Friday, October 19, 2018
News Roundup

Madeira Beach mayor calls for ouster of two commissioners

MADEIRA BEACH — In a surprise move that flexed her power at the head of a three-vote majority, Mayor Maggi Black called Tuesday for the ouster of two commissioners who regularly oppose her and the rest of the commission.

Citing the current recall effort against her two allies, Commissioners Nancy Oakley and John Douthirt, Black charged Commissioners Terry Lister and Nancy Hodges with violating the city’s charter by violating the state Sunshine Law.

She said they had also signed the recall petition against Oakley and Douthirt.

The two commissioners served on a previous administration when a court found it had violated the Sunshine Law by the way it filled a commission vacancy.

Black pointed out that the charter states that any commissioner automatically forfeits their office if they violate "any expressed prohibition" of the charter.

She did not explain what that action was. The Sunshine Law is a state law, not a charter provision.

"It is my opinion that they should forfeit their offices immediately," Black said. "I hope our new city attorney will advise us about the next step."

That attorney, Ralf Brookes, was appointed the same night, pending contract negotiations. He is scheduled to begin his new position one day before the next commission meeting when the removal of Lister and Hodges is scheduled to be discussed.

Brookes, who lives in Cape Coral and has a one-man legal office, previously served as city attorney in St. Pete Beach for a brief three months in 2008 during the height of that city’s battle over development rules.

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