GREAT NEWS! JERI MUOIO SWITCHES HER VOTE
George Bennett's Post on Politics column hit the web on Friday afternoon and the phones started ringing and emails started flying. Jeri Muoio, reportedly a YES vote in the mayor's quest to put an anti-term limits measure on the ballot without the requisite citizen signatures, had committed to voting NO.
She also came out against having a costly special election on the subject, even if the signature effort does manage to come up with the ballot language and 5,800 valid signatures by the drop-dead deadline of Aug. 20.
"City commissioners voting on this initiative does not seem ethical and the whole process seems rushed," Muoio told the Post.
The news arrived to the Keep WPB Term Limits Committee as the group's organizers were meeting at O'Sheas pub on Clematis Street. Pint glasses were raised for Jeri Muoio, Kimberly Mitchell, Molly Douglas as well as the many volunteers, letter writers, sign wavers, editorialists, phone callers who assisted in educating the commission on the issue of term limits and labored to preserve the integrity of the city's citizen initiative process.
SO WHAT ABOUT AUG. 9?
So, what does this mean? Is it all over? Will the citizen initiative process operate under the same rules for the mayor as it does for the rest of us? Do we still have to show up at the Aug. 9 city commission meeting?
The answer to these questions is, we don't know. We are recommending that everyone show up anyway, perhaps to thank the commissioners rather than harrangue them and also to show support for our 8-year mayoral term limit. In any case, so many networks were activated in this effort that we could hardly inform everyone not to come if we wanted to! It is amazing the breadth of public support on this issue.
Plus, there may still be dangers out there we don't know about. We are not political operatives, and we don't know what other arrows may be in the mayor's quiver.
So, see you at 4 p.m., Monday, Aug. 9, 4 p.m. at City Center, 401 Clematis Street! Until then, be sure to check this blog for updates.
SPECIAL ELECTION IS NOT A THREAT
There has been some confusion about the possibility of a special election being 'forced' by a success signature effort. Please do not be misled: the petition drive cannot force a special election. If the signatures are collected and validated by Aug. 20, the issue would appear on the November ballot. If the signatures are turned in after the deadline, the issue would appear on the March ballot.
A special election would only be called if the city commission itself chose to call one via a vote. The only other way would be if the mayor sued the city and convinced a judge (on what basis, I could hardly guess) to force one.
We don't believe the mayor or commission would do this to the city for the benefit of a single politician. But, of course, just in case we are wrong the committee will remain organized until we are sure our 8-year term limit is safe from political shenanigans.
RICK SHEPHERD IN THE POST, ON CHANNEL 5
The Keep WPB Term Limits Committee got some additional exposure on the Palm Beach Post's online letters page Saturday, under the headline 'Taxpayers, aka voters, won't reward Frankel.' They ran a strong letter by Rick Shepherd, chair of the Keep WPB Term Limits Committee, which ends up by inviting West Palm Beach residents to attend the Aug. 9 city commission meeting to have their veiws heard.
Following up with letter writers, we have confirmed that many of you have sent them to the Palm Beach Post. Thank you!
Rick also appeared on in a segment on WPTV Channel 5 during the dinner hour on Friday. It too mentioned Monday's city commission meeting.
MORE REMINDERS MAILED
Before the Jeri news (see above) broke, we mailed an additional 80 Aug. 9 reminder post cards to our growing West Palm Beach prospect list. They should be hitting people's mailboxes today. The reminders tell a short version of the WPB term limits story and include a link to this website.