This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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With this callous remark, folklore of the 18th century, true or not, made Marie-Antoinette a hated symbol of the decadent monarchy and, allegedly fueled the revolution that would cause her to (literally) lose her head several years later.
Last week’s 4 hour marathon City Council meeting makes one realize that history has a habit of repeating itself….
Now faced with proof positive that upper level administrators ‘lied’ about their handling of the Wildflower site proposal, not one member of the City Council demonstrated the political will to directly address the issue. In fact, both individually and collectively, Councilmembers tacitly gave their collective approval to the proposition that ‘lying’ to the public is an acceptable practice.
The facts reported in BocaWatch last week were not refuted by any member of the Council; nor were they addressed and defended by the administration’s members responsible for and present throughout the evening.
Kudo is given to Councilman Weinroth for facilitating the issue as a subtopic in the discussion arguing for a Comprehensive Waterfront Study to be commissioned sometime in the future. Thumbs down are given to Mayor Haynie, who, even in light of the undisputed facts, once again told us how great a staff this City enjoys. Councilmen Rogers and Singer also demonstrated their acceptance of staff’s behavior in the Wildflower ‘lie’.
Prior to the meeting, Councilman Singer contacted this writer by phone where, in conversation, he agreed that the facts outlined in the BocaWatch article were accurate and that he was instrumental in assisting in getting the City Manager to correct the city website’s fictitious narrative.
Councilman Rodgers communicated with me in the form of an email. He informed me that he also approached the City Manager about the website fallacy and insisted on its removal; a fact that I was unaware of until then and had not given him the deserved credit in my article.
However, what Councilman Rodgers wrote gratuitously raises an even greater concern for the public. He states in his communication that “….I (Rodgers) believe that certain council members sentiment expressed privately to the City Manager at the time was the origination of the problem, but there was no public record.” The implications of this comment alone should initiate an inquiry to determine the basis for the belief; as this comment leads to the greater possibility of a conspiracy between some Councilmembers and the City Manager to tell citizens one thing (a park) and take actions for another (an intercoastal restaurant.)
Judging from Council’s lovefest, there is no possibility that the City Manager and/or the Assistant City Manager will resign and little possibility that the City Council will take remedial action against staff’s blatant deceitful actions.
What remains is to engage outside third party agencies once again….a long and arduous process as is being experienced with the airport ethics complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics and the misappropriation of taxpayer funds by the City Attorney outlined in the pending Palm Beach County Inspector General Office complaint.
Stay tune….next week I will provide an update on these third party filings; their status; and the reasonable expectations of outcomes; outcomes certainly not as dramatic as that of Marie Antoinette’s beheading but, albeit, significantly interesting in their own right.
I agree with you Al, it is very disturbing that council members would request we back off the city staff.
The City Manager and Assistant City Manager can hardly be considered staff in my opinion. How long have these two Lords of the Manor been collecting government pay checks?
Council members come and go and if they want to move up the political ladder, it behooves them not to rock the Boca Boat
( or in this case ‘yacht’) with Capt Ahnell and First Mate Brown in command.
I agree its very strange and telling that the Council members don’t want the citizen to scrutinize the behavior of City manager Ahnell. He makes about 300k a year and controls the city and apparently the council. But yet needs to be protected from criticism.
Because of social media sites like BocaWatch, the citizens and most of my neighbors are waking up to this and the outrage is growing. We refuse to let the connected developers and irresponsible city officials ruin our city.
This council has the opportunity to turn this around and make Boca an even better place to live. But only if they start listening to the people and not only the developers.