WHAT GOES AROUND
"Come around time: It took six long years but former Canaveral Port Commissioner Sue Ford finally can savor the sweet taste of victory over the characters who tried to smear her name in a scurrilous poem after the election of 1986," wrote Allen Rose on August 21, 1992 in the Orlando Sentinel.
Sue Ford brought a libel suit against Canaveral Port Authority Director Charles Rowland, former Deputy Port Director Ken Karpinski, Port Commissioner Tommy Newbern, the Cocoa Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, and Wes and Charlotte Houser. The suit was settled August 1992 in Sue Ford's favor after a six year legal battle.
Following announcement of the settlement, including public apologies and retractions from the defendants which appeared in The Reporter, News Observer, Florida Today and the Orlando Sentinel, Allen Rose of the Orlando Sentinel wrote:
The poem, in which Ford was called a "hooker" and a "bimbo" was written by Karpinski and distributed at a social function of the Chamber after Rowland took it there. It was photocopied and distributed at the port office.
Rowland claimed that he had found it on his desk, had no idea who had written it, but nonetheless considered it a public document, an absurdity that only someone with Rowland's arrogance would have offered. Court documents reveal that Rowland knew from the beginning that Karpinski had written it and that he called others to read it to them, then lied about the circumstances when the press started inquiring.
His kind of arrogance has been a way of life at the Port Authority where Ford was a maverick. Elected by the people, she saw it as her mandate to stir things up....She was not the favorite of the tight-knit groups that control the port and constitute the backbone of the Chamber.
In a series of August 1992 articles after the suit had been settled Carol Hayes of The Reporter outlined in depth the details of the case. Excerpts follow:
The "Ode to Election Night" was a mysterious document that appeared out of nowhere on Canaveral Port Director Charles ("Chuck") Rowland's desk the day after a hotly contested Port Commission primary election...when Sue Ford, a political novice, came within 850 votes of unseating veteran Port Commissioner Malcolm ("Mac") McLouth.
Nobody knew who wrote it or where it came from. Almost everyone at the port had seen it. Everyone who attended a Cocoa Beach Area Chamber of Commerce...party...knew about it. But nobody would admit that they had read it or seen it.
The "Ode" vanished as quickly and as mysteriously as it had appeared after Orlando Sentinel reporter, Lynn Bumpus-Hooper got wind of it. A Cocoa Beach Chamber member [said] that "The Chamber is closing ranks fast and all copies will be destroyed. No one in their right mind would admit they knew who wrote this thing." Chamber President Roger Ingram and Chamber Executive Director Larry Malta told the press they didn't see any copies circulated at the Chamber's party.
[Later,] Barnett Bank Vice President and former Chamber President Roger Ingram admitted, "I did not make true statements to the press."
Barnett Bank handles banking business and bond issues for the Port Authority. At the time of the "Ode" incident Port Commissioner M.M. ("Buck") Buchanan served on the Bank's Board of Directors. Former Port Commissioner Dave Nesbit was a Bank Director for 20 years.
The "Ode" was a parody on "The Night Before Christmas." It stated that then Port Commissioner Sue Ford and four others were involved with prostitution and drug parties and were deficient in morals and intelligence.
The poem was authored and hand written September 3, 1986 by Deputy Port Director Ken Karpinski the morning after the primary election. Election results returned Port Commissioners "Mac" McLouth and Tommy Newbern to office. Karpinski was overheard by staff in an adjacent office asking Port Director Rowland to delay a meeting in his office for fifteen minutes so that he could finish writing a poem, according to public records.
Karpinski brought his poem to Rowland's office and told the Directors he had written it "in honor of the election". He read it aloud to Rowland, Port Engineer Joe LaPolla, Director of Operations/Maintenance Ruper ("Bud") McMann, Director of Finance Bert Francis and Director of Public Relations Charles ("Chuck") Agostinelli, according to a prepared statement by Agostinelli.
After the reading the Directors exchanged some wise cracks and jokes and generally congratulated themselves on the fact that "their" people had been re-elected. Karpinski telephoned Commissioner Newbern and read the poem to him. Rowland read it over the phone to his friend Lee Barnhart [President of a fuels supplier to the Port Authority and a former Chamber President]. [He] sounded "jovial, like it was a joke", Barnhart said in his deposition.
Rowland's secretary typed and duplicated several copies for him at his request. He carried them to the Chamber's party that night.
According to sworn testimonies, he gave copies to several friends, including Barnhart, Newbern, and Charlotte Houser.
And according to sworn testimony by a Cocoa Beach Chamber employee, that same night Charlotte Houser gave her a copy of the poem and asked her to retype it and title it "An Ode to Election Night" and had her make more copies.
After the Chamber party Commissioner Newbern phoned another Commissioner in violation of the Sunshine Law and read portions of it to him in a two to three minute conversation, Commissioner Newbern said in his deposition.
When the Orlando Sentinel got wind of it and ran several news stories, copies vanished overnight. No one would admit seeing it or reading it. No one claimed any knowledge of where it came from. Within the next three days the Canaveral Port Authority sold 42 copies of the poem as public documents for ten cents each.
Port Director Rowland read a prepared report to the Commission and a standing room only crowd at the Port Authority meeting following the incident. He said that he "first saw the poem about mid-morning September 3, 1986. It was laying on my desk...We did not find any other copies at that time.
"I asked...staff members...if they knew where it came from or who wrote it. My informal investigation determined that port employees had not authored this document and that they did not know its origin. My conclusion was that this was a public document and I acted accordingly...
"I knew that it would be a serious mistake to destroy the only copy of a public document even though the contents were personally distasteful to me...While with hindsight it may seem stupid to make available public copies of such an atrocious document, to destroy a document or refuse to provide it to a member of the public when it is believed to be a public document also has grave implications."
"The Chamber is getting a bad deal off this whole thing...we haven't done anything nor had any involvement with the poem. If it was distributed [at the party] it was neither an official nor unofficial act. If a Chamber member gave it out..you can't stop that individual from exercising constitutional rights to free speech," [President] Ingram said at the time.
Ingram later commented in a Chamber publication that "it was extremely unfortunate and in poor taste that someone brought the poem to a Chamber social and...unduly cast a bad light on the Chamber." He said the Chamber had been "victimized".
"The Chamber would never condone anything like that. We're a professional organization that represents the positive aspects of the business community", Malta said. Malta also said in sworn testimony that he conducted his own investigation and could find no one who had seen, read or discussed the poem at the Chamber's Wednesday Friendsday event.
The port's Public Relation's Director Charles ("Chuck") Agostinelli told the press he first saw the poem the day after the Chamber party when Port Director Rowland showed him a copy and asked if he had seen it before or knew who wrote it. And that Port officials guessed that one of the many people who came by the office Wednesday to offer congratulations on the election results might have dropped it off.
Ford and three others named in the poem subsequently sued participating parties for libel and conspiracy to defame. Two later withdrew their lawsuits. After six years of legal maneuvering, defendants settled out of court...just ahead of a jury trial scheduled for August 3rd, 1992. A $500,000 judgement was issued against the poem's author, Ken Karpinski, with the stipulation that Ford and her attorney would seek to collect the amount from his insurance company. The amount of the total settlement was not disclosed and will remain confidential.
Judge Woodson presided over the lower court hearings for two years with as many as ten attorneys in attendance. Woodson openly referred to the case as Brevard County's "lawyers' relief suit" and joked with the defendant's attorneys...had each made $50,000-$60,000 on the case yet? They laughed and assured him they had. He then dismissed Ford's suit and one other.
The Appellate Court reversed the lower court findings in 1989 and upheld Ford's suit against the Cocoa Beach Chamber, Rowland, Karpinski, Newbern, and the Housers.
The defendants then challenged Ford's right to pursue conspiracy charges and to sue for punitive damages. In subsequent hearings before Circuit Court Judge Charles M. Holcomb in 1992 the court found in favor of Ford.
Wes Houser was asked under oath what he did with the "Ode" that someone gave him at the Chamber party. "Did it stay in your pocket? Did you show it to anyone? Did you show it to your wife?" Houser took the 5th Amendment rather than reply.
Houser is a Merritt Island Certified Public Accountant, a former President of the Cocoa Beach Chamber, and a former Port Authority Commissioner. He was defeated by Sue Ford in 1984 in his bid for reelection to the port seat he had previously held. His wife, Charlotte Houser, was asked under oath: "After Rowland gave you a copy of the "Ode" what did you do with it? Did you duplicate it? Did you use the copy machine while at Wednesday Friendsday? Did you see anyone else use it? How many copies were made? Who gave permission to use the copy machine?" She, too, took the 5th Amendment rather than respond. Attorney Patricia Olney of Dean, Mead, Spielvogel and Goldman represented Mrs. Houser.
A statement given by [Port Authority Public Relations Director] "Chuck" Agostinelli to the attorneys for Sue Ford in 1987 became public record March 9, 1992 in a hearing before Circuit Court Judge Charles Holcomb. It was not introduced sooner because Agostinelli feared for his job, according to the statement. Defendants, however, showed no inclination to settle until the statement was made public record.
According to the Agostinelli statement, Port Director Charles Rowland told him "If you get any calls from the press...this is what I think you should tell them." Mr. Rowland then proceeded to tell me that I should tell the press that he found a copy of this poem on his desk and that he did not know where it came from and also to tell the press that Wednesday, the day after the runoff, many people came into the Port Authority offices to congratulate us on the incumbents winning and that probably one of those people dropped a copy of the poem off on his desk."
Agostinelli did as he was told "basically because Mr. Rowland, who is my direct superior...asked me to say that...they would probably force me to quit. Make the situation so bad that I would just quit."
Agostinelli also stated he was pulled out of a conference in Orlando during this time period for a telephone call..."Mr. Karpinski came on the phone and said 'Get your ass back here into the office. We're getting some telephone calls on the poem and I'm not going to handle them.' I went back to...the office to field any calls that might come in concerning the poem."
Agostinelli was asked why he came forward voluntarily to give a taped statement to the attorneys for the plaintiffs. He replied: "The situation has gotten out of hand and I am basically an honest person..."
Agostinelli replied [to a question regarding the discipline given to Rowland for his actions] "It is my firm belief that the four commissioners...Mr. Malcolm McLouth, Mr. Jerry Allender, Mr. Tom Newbern and Mr. Buck Buchanan had settled on Mr. Rowland's punishment so to speak before the commission meeting was held."
Ford's attorney asked Agostinelli, "What leads you to believe that?"
Agostinelli replied, "The...meeting day...the commissioners, each individually, each went into Mr. Rowland's office behind closed doors and again...it is just my feelings that...the four commissioners talked among themselves at some other time and had pre-decided how the situation was going to be handled."
Port Authority commissioners in a 3-1 vote suspended Rowland for one week without pay. Commissioner M.M. ("Buck") Buchanan was the lone dissenter and supported Rowland and told the press at the time that "everybody makes mistakes." Then-Commissioner Sue Ford abstained from the vote. Commissioners also canceled a proposed $3,700 raise for Rowland. The Authority appointed Karpinski to fill in as Port Director.
Rowland fired Karpinski from his $50,500 position the following year when Karpinski refused to resign as asked. The poem had nothing to do with the severance, according to Rowland, and everything to do with Karpinski's attitude.
According to the port's Finance Director, the Port Authority paid $84,052 of public revenues to attorneys as of June 30th over litigation stemming from the "Ode to Election Night." The Reporter has not yet received figures for the last six weeks of negotiations.
According to the Chamber's attorney Leonard Spielvogel, the Chamber incurred no expense because its legal fees and costs were paid by its insurance carrier. And he noted that the Chamber did not pay any legal expenses of any other defendant in the Lawsuit. Spielvogel's response does not answer the question whether or not the Chamber's insurance company paid for the Housers settlement and expenses.
In August 1992 Allen Rose asked Wes Houser about his settlement with Ford and his public apology for the role he played in promulgation of the poem. And what effect that might have on his candidacy for tax collector [in the September 1992 primary].
"I haven't really thought much about it," he said...Houser acknowledged that he belonged to a group considered by many to be the county's "good old boys." And that he was proud to be thought of in those terms.
"It's good old boys who get things done." he said. "If a good old boy is running for office and he's my friend I'm going to support him. And would like to think he would support me."
Wes Houser lost his bid for Brevard County Tax Collector in the September 1992 primary.
+ • How will this settlement effect the insurance rates for the Cocoa Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and therefore the dues its members pay?
Footnote: On September 3, 1992, the News Observer, a Titusville newspaper, ran an editorial entitled: "WEEKLY PAPER BULLIED BY CHAMBER". The editorial was in reaction to a two-part series on the Ford libel suit printed in The Reporter. Diana Greco, editor and publisher of The Reporter was contacted by a Cocoa Beach Area Chamber of Commerce official who told her that the "business community would no longer be supporting her newspaper." One week later The Reporter received a letter from W.B. Wood, President of Fidelity Bank of Florida, a Cocoa Beach Area Chamber member, stating that as of September 21, 1992 they would be cancelling their full page ads due to a cut in expenses.
AND THE BEAT GOES ON
After the publication of Brevard Good Ole Boys - First Edition additional points came to light and are included in this Second Edition:
3. EVERY LEASE-PURCHASE HAS A BLACK LINING:
County Commission candidate for District 5, Dave Wickham, son of former County Commissioner Joe Wickham, stated he believes that the public should not be allowed to vote on renewing the lease of Brevard County's Government Center at Viera. His opponent Scott Ellis stated he wholeheartedly supports a binding public referendum on the Viera complex and sees lease purchase as "a dishonest circumvention of the citizens' constitutional right to vote on long-term debt secured by property taxes."
4. HAVE FAITH
Brevard County is currently widening Wickham road from I-95 to the Pineda Causeway. At I-95 this road connects to Duda's Viera West, Viera East, and the Brevard County Government Center. The original estimate was $11.8 million, but bids have come in from contractors from $12.6 million to $15.7 million for this 5.5 mile stretch - what one sub-contractor calls "the largest contract in road projects this County has ever seen."
There is reason for taxpayer concern with what seems to be an improper use and waste of scarce tax dollars to landscape and light the entrances to Duda developments. The cost of landscaping alone is estimated at $920,000 by the County's consultant Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc. Special hanging street signs, lit from within, would cost from $54,500 to $83,200 and have never been installed on any other County maintained road.
"I don't know how this happened, but I think it stinks," commented County Commissioner Karen Andreas. "It's not fair to treat one project lavishly and others poorly."
But generous landscaping may be the least of the County's problems, several contractors told The Reporter "that lack of County bid award criteria has been a problem for years despite repeated requests to the County to establish a consistent policy. County Administrator Tom Jenkins acknowledges the problem and says the County is taking steps to develop such a policy."
Lack of a consistent policy enables favoritism to creep into the awarding of County bids. The contractors say that at the July pre-bid conference on the Wickham Road project County staffers refused to answer any questions about what basis the County planned to use to award the Wickham Road bid. A representative of Bergeron Land Development, Inc. told the Commissioners at an August 18, 1992 meeting that the procedure casts a cloud over the integrity of the County's bidding process.
+ • Why doesn't Brevard County have a standard bid award policy?
5. THE SINS OF THE COMMISSIONERS ARE VISITED ON THE TAXPAYER
On September 9, 1992 Allen Rose of the Orlando Sentinel reported "A delinquent assessments certificate on the Government Center at Viera, owned by First Union Bank, was sold in June at a tax collector's auction for $6,458.38. It seems that First Union failed to pay its assessments...
"Frank Rauzi of Suntree...bought the certificate. He will earn 11 percent on his investment until the certificate is redeemed. If First Union does not redeem the certificate by April 1994, the Government Center will be auctioned off and the highest bidder will be awarded a deed to our celebrated Taj Mahal-by-the-Swamp. If no one else bids, Rauzi will become the new landlord at 2725 St. John Street, Viera. And could kick everybody out if he felt like it."
"'I did not realize that's what the property was. I just decided to buy the certificate because the interest wasn't bad and it belonged to First Union. I thought it looked like a safe investment.'
"And what would he do with the government complex at Viera if he became the owner? 'Maybe we'll straighten things out over there,' he said with a laugh. 'I sure as hell wouldn't give it to the County.'"
+ • Will the taxpayer end up paying this assessment bill and penalties?
14. JUST SAY NO
• Dave Wickham, a candidate for County Commission District 5, stated he believes a centralized courthouse should be built at the Corplex site. His opponent in the November election, Scott Ellis, stated he believes "there is no need for new taxes and no order nor need for a new courthouse at Suntree."
• When the Board of County Commissioners decided not to appeal Judge Chance's ruling, nine citizen taxpayers from the Grass Roots Alliance filed an appeal on August 21, 1992. They believed that Chance's ruling was constitutionally flawed and appeared to be unconstitutional. Those filing the appeal were Guido Roncallo of Cocoa Beach; Paul and Barbara Lingenfelter of Palm Bay; Mahlon, Evelyn and Alan Gast of Palm Bay; Marie Hannah of Cocoa; Zane Vest of Rockledge; and Roger Olsen of Merritt Island.
Judge Chance's order appears to be on hold, until this case is heard before the Fifth District Court of Appeals.
To assist this courageous effort contact the Grass Roots Alliance, P. O. Box 346, Cape Canaveral, Florida 32920.
In 1986 voters decided by a solid majority to elect Commissioners by district in an attempt to hold each of the Commissioners accountable to their own voters rather than to the whims and influence of countywide special interest groups. In 1988 special interest groups tried to get a referendum passed to switch back to countywide elections, but it was overwhelmingly defeated.
On August 29, 1992, an article appeared in Florida Today showing that countywide Commissioners are once again being considered, "talk of adding two at-large Commissioners has circulated in the business community for several weeks following a study of economic development efforts. The study found one thing wrong with Brevard is parochialism on the Commission." On September 9, 1992, Larry Wuensch, Director of the Brevard Economic Development Corp. (BEDC), responding to this article said, "Florida Today took a one line observation...and ran with it....the study had nothing to do with what the newspaper [article] eludes to."
Commissioners Thad Altman and Carol Senne both came out in support of the additional two at-large Commissioners, stating these two extra positions could be set up using existing staff and budget.
According to the August 29th Florida Today article: "Commissioner Carol Senne also sees merits: 'I've seen it in Volusia county, and I think it works well. It puts some countywide balance back in the system.'"
On September 8, 1992, the Board discussed placing two at-large Commissioners on the November ballot, but decided to wait until the September 22 meeting to make a decision.
According to Lee Wenner, a former County Commissioner, "With single district voting, constituents can vote for the Commissioner...of their choice and not worry about 'big money' swinging the vote in another district. This is the reason the electorate voted twice overwhelmingly for single districting. This is the only way the average person can make their vote really count. The recent move that's on to go back to countywide elections has been instigated by those who profit most by giving the most monetarily. People in Brevard are alot smarter than the 'fat cats' think..."
BREVARD ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP.
On August 10, 1992, the Brevard Economic Development Corp., the Cocoa Beach Chamber of Commerce Development Council, the Melbourne-Palm Bay Area Development Council and North Brevard's Space Coast Development Commission decided to pool their resources to form one mighty group. You can bet they are backed by the special interest groups that have the vision of rapid growth at any cost.
On August 13, 1992, the Florida Today editorial staff endorsed this concept stating, "Brevard County wisely has decided to consolidate its economic-development organizations into a single, unified effort....Let's marshal our forces and focus on our common goal: a more prosperous Brevard County."
+ • Do taxpayers want Brevard County tax dollars funding this Brevard Economic Development Council with nearly $175,000?
POLITICAL POWER BROKERING
In January 1992, the Brevard "good ole boy" network failed in an attempt to fill the remaining term of the Tax Collector, the late C.N. "Newt" Jones, with Republican Carol Senne and to fill her vacancy on the Brevard County Commission with an electable Democrat, Palm Bay Mayor Bob Devecki.
Per the Orlando Sentinel, members of the Democratic power brokers maneuvered to fill these positions with their handpicked choices. The power brokers were Tallahassee lobbyist Guy Spearman, attorney and developer Malcolm Kirshenbaum, attorney for the South Brevard Water Authority Cliff McClelland, developer and chairman of the Tourist Development Council Tom Wasdin, former Brevard Commissioner Joe Wickham, South Brevard Water Authority member Bob Massarelli, businessman John D'Albora, and Democratic County Chairman Brent Mack.
Brent Mack told Florida Today, "The feeling was Carol Senne might be the most likely because she might be beaten" in her reelection bid. "The Tax Collector's job pays well. It's not tough work." The job pays about $82,000 a year, according to Florida Today, more than twice her current salary as a Commissioner.
According to the News Observer, "...the deal soured...when one of the key players,...Bob Devecki, who said he would go-along to get-along, had a change of heart saying his first obligation was to the people of Palm Bay who elected him, and that he was concerned about public perception of taking a job that had not been open to the public process." He declined their offer because of the "smoke filled room" aura about it.
When the public received the news of this political maneuvering, many called Florida Governor Chiles to register their indignation. The Governor appointed Assistant Tax Collector James "Rod" Northcutt to fill the remaining term. In the September primaries, Northcutt defeated Wes Houser and Neal Chancellor. He now faces two good government candidates, Pam O'Kell and Charles Bronson, in the general election in November - a race that could have been tarnished by political deal making.
The September 10, 1992 issue of The Reporter included the following:
The County purchased ten acres of land from Harry and Wendy Brandon in five transactions from November 1989 to June 1992 totalling $1.227 million. The fair market value was estimated at $667,978 by County Property Appraiser Jim Ford. It appears the County paid around 84% more than fair market value.
The property lies along the Indian River Lagoon on River Road south of Prospect Avenue in Melbourne. It is well known for drug and prostitution problems, according to a Melbourne Police official. Locals refer to it as "Needle" Park because of the drug activity. Commissioner Altman hoped that the new Park when built could attract an Olympic surfboarding team.
Wendy Brandon contributed $300 to each of Commissioner Senne's campaigns for the District 3 seat plus in-kind contributions of copying costs. Harry and Wendy Brandon sponsored two fund raisers in 1992 for Commissioner Altman's unsuccessful campaign for Supervisor of Elections.
In September 1992, the County is considering purchasing 6.5 more acres adjacent to the original ten acres from the Brandons. The market value is estimated by the Property Appraiser at $540,247. However, the public is not privy to the independent appraisal figures or the proposed purchase price until negotiations are complete.
+ • How much will the County ultimately pay for this new park?
TAXING PORT CANAVERAL BUSINESSES
Brevard County Property appraiser Jim Ford believed that government owned property not used for governmental purposes and not qualifying for exemption should be subject to taxes, he asked Florida Attorney General Butterworth for an opinion. In early 1992, the Attorney General agreed and subsequently the Florida State Department of Revenue sent a letter to all Florida Property Appraisers confirming their position that governmental owned property not used for governmental purposes, is subject to taxation.
Ford's office then determined the proper assessed valuation on business lessees located on Port Canaveral property and tax notices were issued. Some of these businesses angered by the tax notices confronted the Canaveral Port Authority. Per Florida Today on Tuesday September 8, 1992, all elected Port Commissioners, "Buck" Buchanan, "Mac" McLouth, Tommy Newbern, Ralph Kennedy and Jerry Allender unanimously agreed to pay legal fees for their tenants' appeal of the new property tax.
"We're in the same boat together," M. M. "Buck" Buchanan, chairman of the Authority, told about ten lease tenants. "We'll work together."
+ • Does the Port Authority not recognize that if these properties continue to escape taxation its a greater tax burden on all the taxpayers?
• Does the Port Authority work for their tenants or the people who elect them to public office?
CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE 1992
County, State, and Federal
(NP) No party
BREVARD COUNTY COMMISSION:
Frank Buckoski (R) Mims
Jack N. Houts, Jr. (R) Cocoa
Truman G. Scarborough, Jr. (R) Titusville (i)
Don L. Williams (D) Cocoa
Frank Filiberto (D) Malabar
Nancy Higgs (D) Melbourne Beach
John Scianna (Ind) Palm Bay
Carol Senne (R) West Melbourne (i)
Veronica Daly-Smith (D) Melbourne
Scott Ellis (R) Melbourne
Judy England (R) Melbourne
Cade J. Ritchie (R) Titusville
Floyd A. Rogers (R) Melbourne
Dave Wickham (D) Melbourne
BREVARD COUNTY CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS:
CLERK OF THE COURT:
Mark Cook (R) Cocoa
Sandy Crawford (D) Merritt Island
Frnak E. Dudley (Ind) Cocoa
Ray Winstead (R) Titusville (i)
SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS:
Thad Altman (R) Indialantic
Fred D. Galey (R) Melbourne
Beverly Hancock (D) Titusville
Barbara Kool (Ind) Cocoa
George John DeRise (D) Titusville
C.W. "Jake" Miller (R) Titusville (i)
Charles Bronson (R) Satellite Beach
Neal Chancellor (D) Melbourne
Wes Houser (D) Cocoa
Rod Northcutt (D) Titusville (i)
Pam O'Kell (Ind) Titusville
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, GROUP 6:
Bennett Ford (NP) Titusville
Kenneth Friedland (NP) Titusville
J. Preston Silvernail (NP) Melbourne
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, GROUP 3:
John Adkins (NP) Melbourne Village
A.B. Majeed (NP) Melbourne
Lynn Demetriades (R) Indialantic (i)
Helene Kansas (D) Satellite Beach
Rich Wilson (D) Satellite Beach
Robert L. Blubaugh (R) Cocoa
Paula Veibl (R) Melbourne
Bob White (R) Melbourne
Keith Yarbrough (D) Rockledge
CANAVERAL PORT AUTHORITY:
M.M. "Buck" Buchanan (R) Cocoa (i)
Joe Griffin (D) Cocoa
SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT:
Fred Robitschek (NP) Satellite Beach
Everett (ED) L. Wegerif (NP) Merritt Island (i)
Carroll Smith Holland (NP) Merritt Island
John F. Tucker (NP) Rockledge
Dave Hales (NP) Palm Bay
Douglas C. Platt (NP) Melbourne
SEBASTIAN INLET TAXING DISTRICT:
Michael Rowland (NP) Palm Bay
John Schram (NP) Melbourne Beach
Tom Lawton (NP) Indialantic
Philip David Sanborn (NP) Barefoot Bay
Peter Fallon (NP) Vero Beach
Laura Lathero-Gay (NP) Roseland
Randy Mosby (NP) Vero Beach
FLORIDA STATE SENATE:
Patsy Ann Kurth (D) Palm Bay (i)
Lloyd F. Behrendt, (R) Palm Bay
Gene Waddell (R) Vero Beach
Bob Allen (R) Titusville
Shirley Baccus (R) Melbourne Beach
Rod Borum (R) Indialantic
Patricia "Patti" Grogan (D) Merritt Island
Bob Nabors (D) Titusville
FLORIDA STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
John Gerald Carey (R) Cocoa
Henry "Hank" Masson (R) Titusville
Charlie Roberts (D) Titusville (i)
Janet S. Bonder (R) Melbourne Beach
Peter DiLavore (R) Indialantic
Howard Futch (R) Melbourne Beach
Louis Rossi (D) Satellite Beach
Harry Goode, Jr. (D) Melbourne (i)
Tony Amelio (R) Palm Bay
O. Waldo Emerson, (Ind) Merritt Island
Bill Posey (R) Rockledge
Rick Schmidt (D) Melbourne
Andy Tucker (R) Rockledge
FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY CIRCUIT 018:
John D. Galluzzo (R) Oviedo
Norm Wolfinger (R) (i)
Hugh J. Brotherton (R) Grove City
Bob Graham (D) Tallahassee (i)
James William Grant (R) Tallahassee
Kenneth W. Halsey (R) Tarpon Springs
Anthony R. "Andy" Martin (R) Palm Beach
Donald Robert Quartel, Jr. (R)
Robert Richman (D) Daytona Beach
Michael Alan Stern (R) Bradenton
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
Larry Bessinger (D) Satellite Beach
Jim Bacchus (D) Cape Canaveral
Dixie Sansom (R) Satellite Beach
Bill Tolley (R) Melbourne
Sheriff $ 86,693
Clerk of the Circuit Court $ 81,552
Property Appraiser $ 81,552
Tax Collector $ 81,552
Supervisor of Elections $ 70,299
County Commissioners $ 47,705
School Board Members $ 22,431
Canaveral Port Authority Members $ 6,000
Commissioner Sebastian Inlet $ 1,000
Soil & Water Conservation $ 0
Governor $ 95,000
Secretary of State $ 94,040
State Treasurer $ 94,040
State Attorney, 18th Jud'al Circuit $ 91,046
Public Defender,18th Jud'al Circuit $ 85,937
State Senator $ 22,560
State Representative $ 22,560
Florida Supreme Court Judge $ 100,444
District Court of Appeals Judge $ 95,421
Circuit Court Judge, 18th Circuit $ 90,399
County Court Judge $ 80,354
United States Senator $ 129,500
Representative in Congress $ 129,500
THE VOTE IS MIGHTIER
THAN THE SWORD
"No government can continue good but under the control of the people," Thomas Jefferson's letter to John Adams December 10, 1819.
The most valuable right we all have is the right to vote. Without that, we would be serving dictators at a cost that is too burdening to imagine. With our rights of free speech and voting we can recover from bad government. Your vote counts just as much as any Good Ole Boy's vote. There will probably not be a better time then now to make a difference to gain back control of Brevard County and reinstall true public servants, it is up to you!
You are the key. One person can make a difference. But you must vote. Encourage your neighbors and friends to do the same. Some of you might be thinking, "My County Commission District seat is not being elected this year." Please select a good government candidate and support them with time, supplies, or money....because you can be sure the Good Ole Boys will be supporting their candidates. District boundaries know no lines. Cross them and help out a candidate. Call your local Supervisor of Elections office for the registering deadlines for the primary and then for the general election.
Often the best show in town is at the County Commissioners' meetings usually held every other Tuesday of each month at the Government Center west of I-95 off Wickham Road. If you can't attend, call your preferences into your Commissioner before the meeting.
When your elected officials, who have been wasting your tax money and giving favors to their friends realize that they may loose their power, be prepared for them to rush through deals as a final effort to benefit the Good Ole Boys.