They Used to Say We Are Anti-Development…
Now They Say We Lie
Until recently, when Bill Karns hired a media guy, Madeira Beach City Officials’ and the Developers’ official story was that about 25 oddballs opposing the proposed development were anti-development.
Now that a media guy is involved, the story is that we’re all liars. So they need a platform for telling this, right… So where did they start? Well, we aren’t sure, but we think they started with BayNews 9.
Here’s What Happened
The city or media guy, we don’t know which, called the BayNews 9 to come get a story about opponents of the developments lying – to get vulnerable people to sign a horrible, odious petition that could be the ruination of Madeira Beach.
Josh Rojas was assigned the story. He contacts Madeira Beach United and wants to talk with someone connected to the petition that is circulating….
Oh, and when Sam Baker, the representative for Madeira Beach United, spoke with Mr. Rojas, Sam Baker wasn’t told that the story was: “Madeira Beach Leaders Question Petition Signatures”.
So this is like a comedy in three acts!
So the story broadcasted is something like this… It’s maybe 2 minutes long.
The City Manager says…“A steady stream of calls coming into city hall and all my elected officials have been getting contacted about it…”
“Basically, they’re just saying anything they want to, to get these people to sign.”
So, this is not even a very good fabrication. A steady stream of calls? All “Your” Elected officials? It strains credulity to think that someone would say this and think it might be believable. There are not a steady stream of people being called on… so what would precipitate a steady stream of calls. (Maybe the City Manager attributes ‘super powers’ to us?)
And, volunteers are just “saying anything they want to”? It’s hard to believe that a City Manager could not come up with a better line than this. But, this is NO JOKE.
This is the City Manager who has two ethics complaints against him that are being investigated by the state of Florida, telling a story so unlikely that it is disappointing.
Then they go to Jim Durda’s house. He’s the guy who hosted the cocktail party for the developers. (But BayNews didn’t know they had ‘a ringer’ to interview next.)
So, Mr. Durda – a business associate of Bill Karns (as shown on the sunbiz.org database… click here to see ) – said that “a volunteer tried talking his wife into signing the petition and she refused.”
Well, this is a small town. We know who is doing petitions and where they are doing them. So we know exactly which volunteer went to his house.
And, we can say this… The man who went to the house is a highly reputable man, who would never brow beat or lie to anyone over a petition!
The Volunteer is also non-judgemental. So he decided that it was not for him to know if Durda’s wanted to sign or not… and, therefore, he didn’t skip their house. (He knew who Durda’s were… and that they were unlikely to sign.) But, he did NOT try to talk Mrs. Durda into anything.
This is also an unlikely and according to what we KNOW, made up story!
And, by the way, Mr Durda goes on to say… “The petition’s completely different than what they were selling when they came to the door,” said Durda. “They were selling an 11 story building and that’s not true. They’re against the whole project.”
That’s an almost perfect example of a non sequitur. Why would a volunteer say that?
- But, in fact… in the description of the Karns project, it says… “ North of Madeira Way a new suites hotel with up to 180 rooms will be developed. This building will have 11 floors.”
- And in the next paragraph, it says “ Across the street, on the triangular block, will be a new full-service hotel with up to 250 rooms. This building will also have 11 floors…”
- So is Mr. Durda trying to deny that there are 11 story buildings proposed in his business associate’s plan?
- Do you think he’s ignorant of this?
We don’t have to lie. The facts speak for themselves. These developments include 11 story buildings! And the right to petition is a 1st amendment right.
This one is the wrap up... “Another version of those petitioners are liars.”
So Josh speaks to the Mayor, who says: “Some people out doing petitions are giving them false information or confusing them,”
And, “If you feel like you’ve signed one of these petitions and you’ve been misled, you can come sign and sign an affidavit to have your name removed from these petitions.”
So that’s his indictment of the Madeira Beach United “Liars Club.”
We are giving false information and confusing people… Well our volunteers do NOT give false information. As for confusion, well Sam speaks to that below. But, somehow we are again getting ‘super powers’ attributed to us… We can get people who are unwilling to sign petitions to do so? Wow, we are impressive!
The Denouement of this Comedy
So, finally, Josh speaks to Sam Baker, who put together the petition for Citizens of Madeira Beach. And Josh has almost no time left. Sam says: “We like the city the way it is. This is a wonderful place to live. We don’t need any more bars or hotels.”
And, when asked about us confusing people, Sam Baker says, “the legal language in the petition can be ‘a little complicated,’ but volunteers answer all questions from residents honestly. If they don’t read it before they sign it, I don’t know what to say,”
Ending On A Sweet Note
And, for sure, if you know anyone who has signed and wants to remove their name, please tell them to email us. We are more than happy to accommodate them.
We don’t need to lie about the proposed developments. The facts speak for themselves. And, we want residents to be able to speak for themselves – which is what the petition is about!