Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Politics

Embattled Madeira Beach commission suspends manager, fires clerk

MADEIRA BEACH —Days after the legitimacy of a recent city election was called into question, the Madeira Beach City Commission suspended the city manager and fired the city clerk.

Newly elected Mayor Maggi Black did not give a precise reason for suspending City Manager Shane Crawford and triggering the termination process Thursday, saying only that he did not support the commission.

Crawford had asked the city attorney to investigate the validity of the March election because one of the commissioners who voted the hold it, Housh Ghovaee, was unseated for a Sunshine Law violation.

The 3-2 vote to suspend Crawford made longtime Commissioner Terry Lister so angry that he ripped up a copy of the resolution, threw it on the floor and stormed out.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Validity of Madeira Beach election called into question

Later, commissioners voted to fire clerk Cheryl Crawford, a veteran administrator who recently married Shane Crawford. They did not give a reason for the firing, though at a previous meeting, Commissioner Nancy Oakley had said she did not want a clerk who did lacked certification.

After the vote, Cheryl Crawford asked to read a statement. "Quite honestly," she said, "as much as you don't want me as your city clerk, please know I consider none of you three worthy of my dedication and support."

She picked up her things and left.

It all happened in front of a packed house at City Hall.

At the start of the three-hour meeting, Black insisted the March election was valid because state law requires any challenge to be filed within 10 days. Residents in the audience booed, shouted and threatened to sue.

Black also recommended that former acting City Manager Jim Madden return to the position. But a city attorney shot down that suggestion, saying that it was improper to bring up business not on the agenda.

The city has been deeply divided over issues of development. Black, Oakley and Commissioner John Douthirt ran as a ticket in opposition to actions by the previous commission.

Comments

Pasco Political Notebook for Aug. 17

Republican Club hosts candidate forum at meetingThe West Pasco Republican Club will host an "Election Extravaganza" candidate forum at its meeting Aug. 21 at Heritage Springs Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity. A social time will...
Published: 08/13/18
Early voting in Pasco: Here’s what to remember when you head to the polls

Early voting in Pasco: Here’s what to remember when you head to the polls

Early voting Pasco County begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 25, with 11 locations across the county for voters.Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 20-24, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug...
Published: 08/13/18
Largo election cancelled as incumbents stay with no opposition

Largo election cancelled as incumbents stay with no opposition

LARGO — There will be no suspense in the city when elections arrive Nov. 6. In fact, there will be no election at all, because all four city commissioners whose seats were up were re-elected by default when no one came forward by the end of the candi...
Published: 08/13/18
Florida candidate tried to prove she’s a college graduate. The school says her diploma is fake.

Florida candidate tried to prove she’s a college graduate. The school says her diploma is fake.

The political kerfuffle around Melissa Howard began when a news site reported that the Florida state House hopeful is not a college graduate, as she claims to be. To prove the story wrong, Howard, R, reportedly flew to her proclaimed alma mater, Ohio...
Published: 08/12/18
Romano: Two years later, politicians still ignoring Florida voters on medical marijuana

Romano: Two years later, politicians still ignoring Florida voters on medical marijuana

The war is over, except no one in Tallahassee has bothered to read the news.And so Florida continues its daft fight against medical marijuana. All of which means patients are being left behind, voters are getting ignored, and lawyers are buying fanci...
Published: 08/11/18
Hillsborough, tops in state for drug-addicted babies, will file suit against opioid makers

Hillsborough, tops in state for drug-addicted babies, will file suit against opioid makers

TAMPA — Hillsborough County plans to file a lawsuit next week against companies that manufacture opioid drugs, alleging that aggressive marketing of painkillers worsened the opioid crisis.The county joins a number of other local governments nationwid...
Published: 08/10/18
Ex-aide Omarosa says she refused hush money, pens White House memoir calling Trump racist

Ex-aide Omarosa says she refused hush money, pens White House memoir calling Trump racist

WASHINGTON — Omarosa Manigault Newman was offered a $15,000-a-month contract from President Donald Trump’s campaign to stay silent after being fired from her job as a White House aide by Chief of Staff John Kelly last December, according to a forthco...
Published: 08/10/18
Carlton: Sorry, Gov. Scott, but college students can early vote after all. Hey, USF, talking to you here...

Carlton: Sorry, Gov. Scott, but college students can early vote after all. Hey, USF, talking to you here...

Good news, at least for those of us who keep believing in that old-fashioned notion that voting should be open and accessible to everyone who’s qualified.Even if they’re, say, young voters. And even if certain politicians do not like the direction in...
Published: 08/10/18
Sheriff finds himself at center of political stand your ground storm

Sheriff finds himself at center of political stand your ground storm

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has never been one to shy away from tough decisions.He’s also not known to back off from explaining them publicly.So his 30-minute and 55-minute news conferences to talk about why he didn’t arrest Michael Drejka ...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18
Retired attorney and businesswoman challenge two-term Hernando commissioner

Retired attorney and businesswoman challenge two-term Hernando commissioner

BROOKSVILLE — As the District 2 Hernando County commissioner, Wayne Dukes hopes his public service over the past eight years has earned him another term on the board. But two other Republicans on the ballot for the Aug. 28 primary election would like...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18