In a nap dream yesterday, I dreamt of picking up three men in my car. Then, the dream wandered off to other places. Then, I dreamt again of picking the tree men up and this time I asked the one who got into the front passenger’s seat, who they were? “Priests,” he said. I said I was glad to have them. I awoke, knew those were Melchizedek priests and wondered what was coming in that I needed need that kind of “back up”?
Then, I got a phone call that led to my having to drive down to Key West to pay someone’s rent for this week in a homeless shelter, and instead of going to the ATM, I decided to take my checkbook and pay my water and power bills at the main offices of the Aqueduct Authority and Keys Energy Services. Reaching Lower Sugarloaf Key, I received a call from The People’s Special Prosecutor. She said she was at the City Clerk’s Office and they were not letting her file her Appeal from the Tree Commission hearing to the City Commission, which Appeal was featured in yesterday’s Trial Brief from ThePeople’s Special Prosecutor against Key West post.
Sandy said they told her she had to file her Appeal to the Code (Special) Magistrate. She said Assistant Attorney Ronald Ramsingh got involved, and was, as she described it, behaving about like he rabid rottweillered at the Tree Commission meeting. I thought to myself, “Maybe I will get to see if the Florida Bar Association is a real Bar Association, or just a pretend Bar Association.” You find that out when you see how State Bar Associations handle serious complaints filed against wayward lawyers.
Sandy slowed Ramsingh and the Clerk’s Office down a city ordinance that said appeals from Article VI Tree Commission fines are made to the City Commission. Sandy said she whipped out her cell phone and started video-taping the proceedings and Ramsingh said she could not do that and she said it was a public place and she was doing it. Ramsingh left and after a while came back and around a corner, where he could not be viedoes, handed one of the Clerk’s staff a document saying Sandy would have to pay $1,000 to file an appeal to the City Commission.
I said I had my checkbook with me, I was headed to Key West and would be there shortly, and I would pay the filing fee for the Appeal. I said that because I knew Sandy could not afford the filing fee, and because time was of the essence, the time for filing the Appeal was almost up, and those three Melchizedek priests and a heap worse would take me to the woodshed if I did not pay it. I told Sandy it looked like extortion to me, since the $1,000 fee was for appeals by larger developments to the City Commission and Sandy wasn’t even a developer. But they had prosecuted her under Article VI, which only applies to large developments, so if she was to appeal to the City Commission, in crazy way she had to pay the fee large developments paid.
On arriving at the temporary City Hall on Flagler Avenue, I met with Sandy in the office of the lady who looks after the city commissioners. Sandy said she finally had been able to persuade the secretary to take copies of her Appeal and give them to the city commissioners and mayor, after Ramsingh had told her not to take the copies. Sandy showed me the city ordinance which required the $1,000 filing fee. It indeed had to do with appeals concerning large developments and Article VI, which the Tree Commission has been using for some time to extort heapum dinero out of private homeowners in Key West. Article VI is also the ordinance under which Sandy was fined $5,000 at the last Tree Commission meeting, as described in her Appeal document.
We walked a few feet to the the Clerk’s Office, and I had some chatter with the ladies there, whom I know somewhat from all the times I went in there mostly around three runs for mayor of Key West. I wrote out the $1,000 check and gave it to Sue. I should have asked for a copy, but my checkbook is the carbon copy kind, and I have that as a receipt, as well as the receipt Sue gave me. Sue said, yes, if the City Commission did not agree to hear Sandy’s Appeal, I would get my $1,000 back. Sue accepted Sandy’s Appeal document and stamped it in, and stamped Sandy’s copy.
Then, I asked where to file an appeal to the Code (Special) Magistrate from a Tree Commission hearing? Nobody seemed to know, so a phone call was made, and I was sent a few doors down to Code Enforcement. No one knew there, and I was sent a few more doors down to the Tree Commission office, which also houses other offices. No one from the Tree Commission was there, and a phone call was made by a woman who was there and I was told appeals to the Code (Special) Magistrate were filed at the Clerk’s Office.
I went back to the Clerk’s Office and told the ladies there were two appeals being filed, one to the City Commission, and a cya appeal to the Magistrate, in case the City Commission did not hear Sandy’s Appeal. I explained all lines of appeal were being preserved, so Sandy could wend her way to the Circuit Court, and even to the District Court of Appeals, from either the City Commission or the Magistrate. Sandy gave them her second Appeal document, for the Magistrate, and they stamped it in and gave her a stamped copy. There was no fee for filing that Appeal.
I told Sandy later, this is how it goes when the Devil is your adversary, using people to do the dirty work. Every step of the way is a struggle, nothing is predictable, and you just have to take care of each thing as it happens, and then the next thing as it happens, and so on, until there is nothing else left for you to do. Then, it is between the other people and God, the State Attorney, or whatever.
I asked Sandy to write an account of her trip to City Hall, “Just the facts,” I said. She told me later that she had another visit with the felony prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office about all of this.
On returning home, I found this email from a dear old Higgs Beach beach bum amigo – a live in his van person whose opinon of the city government is, simply and often stated, the best part of them ran down their father’s leg. He is a Vietnam combat vet, a retired fireman, a retired businessman, and a disabled Vet. Another target of the Key West Nazis.
Viva Sandra Downs
Daffy Rico Duck
He tends to sign off as Daffy Duck when he is especially irked with something about the city. Rico, of course, is Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act …
Here is Sandy’s report about her joyous time at City Hall yesterday:
Sloan, I will tell you what went on in the city Clerk’s office before you arrived today. But first, what led up to it.
The time limit for the Tree Commission to render its findings is 10 days. On the 10th day, I had heard nothing from anyone regarding the status of the Hearing from Feb. 13th. For 10 days after the Tree Commission Hearing, we waited while the City “worked on the tape”. The tape I would have a Court reporter transcribe from, for my Appeal. On the 10th day, I got a phone call from the Clerk of Court saying, “the City had given no reason, nor excuse” for what she was about to tell me. “Ms Downs, I have been told by the City, the tape WILL NEVER be made available to the public”. As I said, I was with the felony prosecutor for the State Attorney at the time.
We all debated then whether they would have to rehear the entire Feb. 13th Hearing, because there was no record of it, and nothing could be transcribed from, in violation of the City’s own ordinances.
On the 11th day which was Friday, after the expiration for the Tree Commission to reduce it’s findings to writing and issue an Order, I received a fax at 4:00 PM which said it had been faxed the day prior and was sworn to by Paul Williams, new Urban Forester. I received a certified letter the day after on Saturday, also sworn to having been mailed on Thursday, but the postmark was Friday. The Tree Commission missed its deadline. Because of this, and my only knowledge the Hearing was going to “count”, being given to me at closing time on a Friday, I could not appeal until Monday today, which I did. During all this time, I never thought about Paul Williams signing that Order.
I worked on my appeal which you posted this morning. Ron Ramsingh was ready, he waited for me to come in. He had already told Sue to not take my appeal and to tell me it was too late. Sorry. So, Sue said she would not allow me to enter my appeal. She would NOT take it, nor log it in.
(Since when does a clerk decide what she will or will not log in ? Last I checked, it is up to “who gets it” to make that decision if it is valid or not. Sue’s job is to take my document, stamp it and give me a copy of the stamped page. That’s it Sue. Since when were you declared Judge? )
So after wrangling with Sue in front of a witness I brought, she still refusing to allow me to submit my appeal, I threatened to call the police. Then Ron Ramsingh appeared from hiding and stood fast with Sue, until I showed him I had a right to appeal. Ramsingh said he would not allow me to appeal to the City Commission, and I had to appeal to the General Magistrate who Ramsingh apparently is sure is “in his pocket.” I showed Ramsingh a bunch of documents and told him I could ONLY appeal to the City Commission per these rules I showed him. He then said, “OK, it’s $1000 dollars.” I said I would video tape him saying that and pulled out a video recorder. Ramsingh said he would not permit me to tape him, and I said it was a public place and I was going to record him saying this. He ran away. Which again, left me with Sue. Ramsingh gave her some documents from around the corner and Sue presented them to me and said to pay the $1000 per the rules found in the appeals of the large scale development projects like Truman Annex….specifically mentioned in the Articles they are prosecuting me under is Truman Annex. Parrot Key may be a large scale project, but now I am beginning to wonder if it even qualifies. Yet private little homeowners are being violated and tried and fined and have to appeal under Truman Annex rules.
Well, Sloan that is when you came, and I’ll let you tell the rest, because some of it, you made me wait outside for because I was so livid. Of course I didn’t mention trying to hand-deliver the Commissioners copies and Sue locking the door on me. But all in all, I got everyone delivered, with your help in a lot of the deliveries. And to think I have to go back there again soon. Oh Lord.
Another email from Sandy last night:
Sloan, Sec. 90-431 (1) b. 10 days to file after the date of “the order”. My orders are dated Feb. 24th.
BUT, the Tree commission WAS LATE in filing their Order. SEE BELOW: Article VI Sec. 110-294. The Tree Commission had 10 days to give me their order, but they didn’t fax or mail the Order until the 11th day at 4:00 PM. They missed their deadline. Also, the order is signed by Paul Williams, who has no authority to sign Orders of the Tree Commission, just like he has no authority to sign tree removal permits. These must be signed by the Chair of the Tree Commission. So what is going on here…………again??????? Chair Neils Weise does not want his name on an Order he has to swear was sent the day prior to the actual day that’s what is going on, which is perjury or something I am sure. Paul had NO authority to sign an Order, yet he told me he was MADE to do it. It appears, I have yet to receive an official Order with the Chair’s signature on it for which I can actually appeal. ( And Paul was made to commit crimes so Chair Neils Weise wouldn’t have to ….ain’t that nice of Weise? )
Sec. 90-431. – Procedures for rendering decisions.
In considering and acting upon appeals of final decisions of the planning board, the historic architectural review commission, or the tree commission, as well as final orders and questions of interpretation and enforcement of the land development regulations and the building codes by the city planner and the chief building official, the following procedures shall be observed:
Procedure and time limitation for appeal.
An appeal to the city commission or the special magistrate, as the case may be, shall be taken on or before the tenth day, counted consecutively, after the date of the order by the planning board or the historic architectural review commission to which the appeal is directed.
An appeal to the board of adjustment shall be taken on or before the tenth day, counted consecutively, after the date of the order or the administrative action of the tree commission, chief building official or the city planner.
When the order or other administrative action has been mailed to the party, the party may add three (3) days to the prescribed time period for appeal. The original and one copy of the notice of appeal, together with all the documents, plans, papers or other materials constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken, shall be filed with the city clerk who shall provide copies thereof to the presiding officer of the city commission, the board of adjustment or the special magistrate, as appropriate, and to the city manager and city attorney. Appeals not so filed shall be deemed waived.
Date of hearing for appeals. Hearings of appeals by the city commission as well as the board of adjustment or special magistrate shall be held at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the city commission, board of adjustment or special magistrate, as the case may be, after the filing of the notice of appeal, unless the parties mutually agree to another date.
From Article VI:
Sec. 110-294. – Notice of tree commission’s final decision.
When a person found to be in violation of this article by the tree commission opts not to enter into a compliance settlement agreement, the tree commission shall provide written notice of its final decision and its intention to forward the case to the code enforcement special master. Notice shall be provided either by hand or by mail, return receipt requested, within ten days of the hearing.
(Ord. No. 97-10, § 1(3-14.11(C)(4)(b)), 7-3-1997)
Based on what Sandy provided, the Tree Commission did not timely comply with the notice provisions of Article VI, and the notice was not signed by the proper person. Thus, there is nothing for Sandy to appeal, because her Star Chamber conviction and fine were waived by the City via its own bumbling Gestapo. The Tree Commission and the City cannot proceed against Sandy/her tree company without committing yet another felony. Where I practiced law, serious felonies garner prison time. Furthermore, it appears purjury occurred, which also is a prison offense where I practiced law, but perhaps committing purjury and other felonies is saintly in Florida.
So far, I have seen nothing nice about Herr Weise. He still reminds me of Adolph Eichman, and his rabid rottweiler Ramsing still reminds me of a rabid rottweiler which should be put down, and what does that say about their keepers in City Hall? Ahem, the City Attorney, the City Manager, the six City Commissioners and the Mayor, all of whom have received everything I have published on re the Tree Commission, and it appears they have done nothing but encourage what their Tree Gestapo are doing to private homeowners and tree companies they employ to take care of trees on their own private property.
I also have copied all of my posts re the Tree Commission to State Attorney Dennis Ward. He will get this one and all future posts re Tree Commission.