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Letter: Will the mayor, mayor-elect, and traveling commissioners do the right thing?

Open letter to Mayor Lauren Poe and Commissioner/Mayor-Elect Harvey Ward:

Commissioner Harvey Ward said he wants to RESTORE his public trust. Will he stand up to Mr. Poe today and begin that extremely difficult process?

Mr. Poe, you were first elected to this body nearly a decade and a half ago, weren’t you? 

You are almost entirely responsible for the financial train wreck of city finances, aren’t you?

Mr. Poe, you have wrecked our public utility, which was once among the most admired, LOW-COST utilities in the state.

That’s a bit of context for the topic I want to ask you to address for members of the public.

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Here is my topic:

Because of the gross mismanagement of our city at the hands of the city commission MAJORITY, many people are having their power shut off and struggling to stay in their homes – in the midst of global inflation.

Meanwhile, three term-limited men on the city commission–Mayor Poe and Commissioners Hayes-Santos and Arreola–in the days before their LAST city commission meeting, intend to be globe-trotting to ISRAEL for an unnecessary junket at taxpayers’ expense.

Where is the outrage?

Did you all NOT read Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut’s email about this inappropriate overseas trip?

Since their 2016 elections, their travel junkets have cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per year, HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars in all.

Mr. Poe, after your election as mayor, you increased the amount each commissioner could spend each year for TRAVEL from $1,500 to $5,000.

In your first year as mayor, you exceeded even $5,000 in travel expenditures, as well as Mr. Hayes-Santos.

Mr. Poe, you will NOT acknowledge that you and your travel junketeers are delaying filing expense reports to keep public records of your activities out of public hands as long as possible, as you and Commissioner Hayes-Santos did during your last overseas junket a few months ago, will you? 

Mr. Poe, will you renounce this latest overseas travel junket and try to leave office on a positive note by acknowledging what you have done?

Mr. Ward, will you, as successor to Mr. Poe, do the right thing and have the decency to stand up for the public and say enough is enough?

Debbie Martinez, Gainesville

The opinions expressed by letter or opinion writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AlachuaChronicle.com. Letters may be submitted to info@alachuachronicle.com and are published at the discretion of the editor.

  • “Will they do the right thing”? Of course not. They will do the left thing which is the antithetical thing which is devoid of any logic whatsoever.

  • Don’t think they listened to you faithful citizen! They will all enrich themselves as much and as long as possible and leave office still self promoting to crooked connections with their friendly serving mayor. Hopefully they will slip up and fall prey to state law enforcement.

  • Let’s call them what they are which is just plain wicked! They don’t care about the people of this city or this county! They just want to spend our tax dollars for a vacation. Someone with the power to do something should stop this nonsense!

  • A person shows their true character when they have the authority and resources to choose whether or not to do something that is morally suspect. Poe, Hayes-Santos & Arreola fail the test.

  • Why on the taxpayers dime? Do something about the vagrants coming here and the 24/7 drug haven/thieves den at Grace Mkt.

  • Poe, Arreola, and Hayes-Santos should cancel their trip to Israel. That would be the right thing to do!! I am sick and tired of Commissioners globe trotting for their egos on the backs of citizens, many of whom cannot afford a car to go to the grocery store!!!!

  • I hope you all show up at the next few meetings! I am interested to see where these 3 stooges end up after January 5th.

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