FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2012
Adrian Wyllie, Chairman
Libertarian Party of Florida
727-599-0001 or 727-403-7735
Libertarians call on “expired” Pinellas Commissioners to resign immediately
PALM HARBOR – The Libertarian Party of Florida is calling on four Pinellas County Commissioners to resign immediately because they have exceeded their legal term limits. Commissioners Karen W. Seel, Susan Latvala, John Morroni, and Kenneth T. Welch have ignored and obstructed term limits imposed by the “Eight is Enough” amendment.
The 1996 Eight is Enough Home Rule Charter Amendment limited Pinellas County Commissioners to two, four-year terms in office. The amendment passed with over 72% voter approval. Though the amendment has since been upheld by the courts, the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has willfully neglected to include term limits in the charter.
In May of this year, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of home rule charter term limits for county commissioners. A new lawsuit filed in June, Scruggs et al. v. Clark seeks the immediate removal of the four expired Commissioners.
But the usurpers will not go quietly.
The commissioners will continue their fight against the people, and will use tax dollars to do it. On July 10, the BOCC voted 6-1 to defend this challenge to their usurpation, and instructed County Attorney Jim Bennett to defend Seel, Latvala, Morroni, and Welch, who are named individually in the suit. Commissioner Norm Roche cast the only “NO” vote.
The BOCC can no longer avoid this issue.
In 2000, after the BOCC’s first court challenge to the Eight is Enough amendment failed, Commissioner Seel said, “I really feel that the voters spoke, and spoke very clearly, and to fly in their face once we have already gone to the Second District Appeals testing the waters. Too much.”
Yes, Commissioner Seel, you were correct in 2000. Too much. It’s time for you and your three expired colleagues to go.
It is totally unacceptable that you continue to ignore the law, and the will of the citizens of Pinellas County. We will not be appeased by a 2014 ballot referendum to apply term limits to county commissioners. The term limit law already exists. We The People already passed it. You must comply with it by tendering your resignation immediately.
By failing to include term limits in the county charter, you have effectively falsified official documents for personal gain. You have continued to collect a salary from the taxpayers of Pinellas County, even though you were fully aware of your ineligibility. You have continued to exercise power from offices which you have no legal right to hold. These actions may constitute felony activity under Florida Statute 838.022.
The Libertarian Party of Florida will continue to challenge this blatant corruption and usurpation until such time as you act upon the law, and implement will of the people of Pinellas County.
The People have spoken. Resign now.