Martino: Levy and Council Outfox Themselves

Why does it take the Circuit Court and the District Court of Appeals to read and understand the City Charter of Palm Beach Gardens? Is the answer because the City Council of Palm Beach Gardens, its records’ keeper the appointed City Clerk, and its legal adviser the appointed City Attorney – CANNOT! No, I’m sure they all can read and understand the Charter language. But do they want to is the significant question? As written does the Charter language fit with their power agenda? Does the Charter language meet their obvious desires to maintain the status quo? The answer to those questions and others similar to them is, NO!

The City Council, its City Clerk , and its City Attorney, have tried to distort and misrepresent the Charter language as it applies to the City Election of March 14th, particularly, the Seat 4 results. First, they allowed the 4-term incumbent, David Levy, to be placed on the ballot as a candidate even though the Term Limit language in the Charter determined him to be ineligible. Second, when the election results were tabulated and none of the Seat 4 candidates gained a majority, as the Charter mandates, the City Clerk declared David Levy the winner based on faulty assumptions and imperfect Charter application.

The challenger, Carl Woods, filed suit as was his right. The Circuit Court ruled a runoff election should be scheduled while upholding the City Clerk’s interpretation that Levy was an eligible candidate. Thus, at this point both Levy and Woods have a victory. Levy beats the term limit retroactive eligibility provision and Woods gets the runoff election he sued for. So both candidates are in the ballgame and all they have to do is compete.

But competition and fairness is not good enough for Levy or the City Council. Levy appeals the Circuit Court decisions to the District Court of Appeals. The City Council votes to join the appeal process, in my opinion, without cause. The Appeals Court overrules the Circuit Court and sustains the Term Limits provision of the City Charter. The District Court of Appeals Judges clearly mandates that David Levy was and is an ineligible candidate. Thus, he should not have been on the ballot in the first instance. The decision renders all other issues moot. The case is sent back to the lower Court for final declaration which is pending

So it appears the City Council’s political shenanigans resulted in failure. It looks as if David Levy’s appeal is for naught and he is remanded to the sidelines instead of competing in a runoff election. What’s further distressing is that the residents of Palm Beach Gardens are not being dealt with seriously, truthfully, and responsibly by the City Council they elected to do just that. Instead, the residents are being dealt with cunningly, circuitously, condescendingly, and arrogantly.

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