ST. LEO — Gov. Rick Scott's signing of a bill de-annexing dozens of Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club homes from St. Leo immediately ended the tenures of two commissioners who live in the gated community.
A problem, however, emerged as Scott's May 12 signing of the bill coincided with a St. Leo town commission meeting that night which went forward without city officials' knowledge that the two commissioners were now disqualified. As a result Commissioners Robert Inslee and newly-elected Ray Davis — who was sworn in after the bill was signed even though he no longer lived in St. Leo — voted on agenda items.
Town Clerk Joan Miller called the mistake "unfortunate," saying she did not see an email sent from the state after 5:30 p.m. notifying her that the bill had been signed as she was preparing for the 7 p.m. meeting.
Now the commission will need to re-visit all of the items Inslee and Davis voted on that night, re-read them, and allow new commissioners to vote again on them at the scheduled June 9 commission meeting, Miller said.
But who will do the voting still remains up in the air. In April, one commissioner, Lake Jovita resident James Wells, resigned and the commission appointed St. Leo resident Greg Smith to take his place.
Now the seats of Inslee and Davis need to be filled. The town's charter states it will be up to Mayor Richard Christmas to recommend candidates to the commission for a vote. Miller said that could take place as soon as June 9 but the mayor could opt to take more time. With only three commissioners seated, the board can still move forward with city business.