Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Citizens for Full Disclosure?

Local group Citizens for Full Disclosure comprising Richard Chervony, Alvin Blake, James Carter, Jane Blake and Gloria Carter, sent out a mailing last week entitled ELDER ABUSE. The email is reprinted below, with the permission of Richard Chervony, Alvin Blake, James Carter, Jane Blake and Gloria Carter. I also sought and received permission from Nancy Sonnett-Selwyn.

The email refers back to my posting of June 14, 2011 where I discuss the ongoing bullying on Dr. Paul Vogel. You should read that posting here for full context.

Before getting to the email, I have two brief comments.

The mistake in the letter regarding the circuit court is mine. I filed the papers with the Miami-Dade Clerk of the Courts, the governing authority on recalls.

All grammatical and spelling errors in the email belong to the writers of the email and Ms. Sonnett-Selwyn gave her permission contigent on my noting that she would never have used the word "infirmed" as there is no such word.

Finally, you will find the letter referred to below the quoted email text.

From: Citizens for Full Disclosure of North Bay Village Inc. <cfd_nbv@hotmail.com>
Date: September 23, 2011 8:12:48 AM EDT


The actions in the last months committed by a group of individuals in our City may border or may be considered as ELDER ABUSE. This has been reported to the proper agencies and their investigation and admonitions are sure to follow.

First and of most impact is the behavior and accusatory tones used by our Mayor in her attempt to intimidate, Dr. Paul Vogel. Her illegal request to have him barred from the dais for a vote and to accuse him of having missed four consecutive meetings unexcused is reprehensible lie and a low attempt to usurp the power of the City. Must we remind the Mayor that North Bay Village does not subscribe to a STRONG MAYOR form of government. Furthermore North Bay Island Commissioner, Dr. Paul Vogel also known as the Mayor Emeritus of North Bay Village has served this City for 20 plus unselfish years. He has given of himself at all times with respect and dignity and at no time has insulted or belittled a fellow commissioner, no matter what the offense they committed.

Secondly, the Mayor's mouthpiece and community mis-blogger, Kevin Vericker, stated on his rant of June 14, 2011, " Well, today I want to speak about the more grotesque bullying happening on the dais and in plain sight. I refer to the way Dr. Paul Vogel, a man who served the city long and honorably, is being exploited." He further states "It's sad. It's sad that age and sickness have struck this fine public servant and a hell of a guy, and it's made even worse to see how those who claim to respect and even to love him, don't hesitate to exploit him, in public, in front of cameras and in front of the city he served so well."

He continues, "What's happening to Dr. Vogel fits the definition of elder abuse. Those surrounding him are isolating him, keeping him uninformed, directing his behavior for their own personal gain and punishing him with withdrawal if he does not comply. We are all complicit when we allow this to happen. We are all bullies if we do not protect our elderly. "

Attached you can find a letter written by Mr. Vericker a couple of weeks prior to his rant. In it he states that "today I filed paper with the county circuit seeking you recall." His actions demonstrate the elder abuse by threatening the Mayor Emeritus into thinking he was being recalled. No recall has ever been filed in the circuit court nor is this the process for a recall as our charter reads and we all know it.

The last person from this group, Ms. Nancy Sonnett-Selwyn who at the Commission meeting in April 2011 accused Mayor Emeritus Vogel of being "too old and infirmed" therefore he should resign or she would seek his recall. Ms. Sonnett-Selwyn attempted to create a recall based on the Carlos Alvarez documents. Being such a long time resident of our City, being involved in numerous Boards yet she doesn't know the charter of our beloved City nor the "GROUNDS FOR REMOVAL OF AN ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL"

Nowhere in the Florida Statutes does it list age or illness as grounds for removal. The actions of these individuals with their cohorts merit an investigation of not only ELDER ABUSE but AGE DISCRIMINATION and ABUSE OF POWER.

As Mr. Vericker blogged "When we are called to account, I firmly believe that the question we will have to answer is "How did I treat people who were weaker than me?" The longer we let this go on, how will any of us be able to answer that question?


This information was sent to you by Citizens for Full Disclosure of North Bay Village, Inc., whose purpose is to help the citizens of North Bay Village obtain full and complete disclosure in all matters of government of the city of North Bay Village.

President - Richard Chervony
V. President - Alvin Blake
Secretary - James Carter
Director - Jane Blake
Director - Gloria Carter

Now the text of the letter referenced that I wrote to Dr. Vogel.

April 29 2011

Dr. and Mrs. Paul Vogel
7801 Beach View Drive
North Bay Village, FL 33141

Dear Dr. and Mrs. Vogel,

It is with genuine sadness that I write today. Today I filed recall papers with the county circuit court seeking your recall. It was not an easy decision and one I had hoped never to make.

Wednesday night was a travesty. The issues around reforming the purchasing processes, the taxing, the non umion employment processes were simple. Put them before the voters. Not pass it effective immediately. Not vacate the existing contracts. Just put the reforms before the voters.

Connie Leon-Kreps and Eddie Lim were fundamentally dishonest in their “concern” that the whole charter needed revision and it was better to not do anything and maybe in 2012... etc. That's a load of crap. Were their concern genuine, somebody would have proposed a motion to move the charter review up, but no one did.

I have for several months, and particularly since the Alvarez recall, kept the lid on the whole talk about recalls. But last night, a simple request to put the issues before the voters was rejected. I had promised those calling for a recall that you would openly listen and engage in the reform discussions. When that didn't happen, I did what was necessary.

This leaves me wondering if either it is more important to please the Lim-Kreps team than do the right thing or if perhaps you just didn't understand it? Our city can't afford to be run this way. We are almost broke.

Dr. Vogel, it would be best for the city if you ended your distinguished career with an honorable retirement. In the current political climate, following the Alvarez recall, for the same reasons we are facing - increased taxes, reduced services and generous private contracts – North Bay Village will see the same result as the 90% vote to recall Alvarez. My hope is that for the good of all, you will consider that.


Kevin Vericker

For more about the Citizens for Full Disclosure, check their website at www.cfdnbv.com or email them at cfd_nbv@hotmail.com

Kevin Vericker
September 27, 2011

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