Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Flier demands recall of Madeira Beach commissioners Oakley and Vander Velde

MADEIRA BEACH — As departures of longtime city administrators escalated this year, so did rumors of an effort to recall two newly elected commissioners whom some residents blame for the city's growing political turmoil.

This weekend, that effort became a fact.

Saturday, a two-page flier was to be hand-distributed throughout the city by a group calling itself "Stand Up for Madeira Beach Committee."

The flier, signed by John Hendricks, calls on residents to "make a difference" by joining an effort to recall Commissioners Nancy Oakley and Robin Vander Velde.

Hendricks, a city resident since 1986, asks his neighbors if they are aware that seven "capable, loyal city employees" left the city since the March election and urges people to "take a stand."

Administrators listed included Denise Schelgel (city clerk), Monica Mitchell (finance director), Michael Connolly (city attorney), Bill Mallory (fire chief), Mike Maxemow (community services director) and Deborah Cline (human resources manager).

Paula Cohen (community development director), also listed, left months before the election, as did former City Manager W.D. Higginbotham Jr., who was not included in the list.

The reason the administrators left the city, according to Hendricks' flier, was "intimidation, constant criticism and a lack of respect shown by" Oakley and Vander Velde.

Much of the flier quoted news articles and editorials dealing about the departures and the commission's responses.

Hendricks declined to reveal the other members of the committee, saying only it is made up of long-time city residents, some of whom are former members of the City Commission.

"We don't want this to look like a vendetta, we just want feedback from Madeira Beach residents as to whether or not they want a recall election," Hendricks said.

He said the other members of the committee will come forward in the future as part of a community-wide effort to retake control of the city's government.

Hendricks called the commission's actions since March "a joke."

"The city was well run and they have dismantled it. We lost good people with a lot of expertise," he said.

The city charter does not directly address recall elections, but does allow five voters to seek an initiative or referendum election by registering with the city clerk and circulating a petition among city voters.

Recall elections are governed by state law, which sets requirements for how such efforts are conducted.

Specific grounds required for a recall include malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

The process is complicated and must be conducted within set time limits.

Mayor Travis Palladeno declined to comment on the recall effort. Oakley and Vander Velde could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, contract negotiations with Shane Crawford, the commission's pick to become the next city manager, were still unresolved Friday.

"It's about dollars and cents," Palladeno said.

The commission advertised the job at between $90,000 and $120,000. Crawford currently makes $117,000.

A special commission meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday to ratify a contract with Crawford. Palladeno said if Crawford and the city can agree on a salary, Crawford would likely begin his new job by mid January.

Flier demands recall of Madeira Beach commissioners Oakley and Vander Velde 12/03/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 3, 2011 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  4. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman

    Health

    TAMPA — When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Throughout her battle with brain cancer, Beth Caldwell, 35, keeps her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7, on her mind.
  5. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.