The Sheriff’s complex on Stock Island
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Saw “Ender’s Game” at Regal Cinema yesterday afternoon. It stuck close to the novel by Orson Scott Card, which I read in the early 1990s and have long felt might be more than just a story. PG.
Hatman wrote yesterday:
Hi Sloan. have you seen the piece about KW city commish Fat Mouth Tony Yaniz? if not, you should.
A cute love squabble:
Key West commissioner goes on expletive-filled rant
By SEAN KINNEY
Posted – Wednesday, October 30, 2013 09:47 AM EDT
What started out as a politically charged incident last month at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Key West resulted in an expletive-ridden e-mail sent by City Commissioner Tony Yaniz
to a constituent who is a former city employee.
On Sept. 26, Mayor Craig Cates,
against whom Yaniz has signaled he will run next year, was at the Rotary meeting at the Key West Marriott Beachside to discuss his push for a new 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week homeless service center, to which Yaniz is adamantly opposed.
When Cates’ presentation started, Yaniz and fellow Commissioner Mark Rossi walked out of the room.
Yaniz — who left the room walking out right behind Cates as the mayor spoke — said he was offended by what he called the overtly political nature of Cates’ presentation, which he said conflicts with Rotary’s “sacrosanct” so-called four-way test, which asks: Is it the truth; is it fair to all concerned; will it build goodwill and better friendships; and will it be beneficial to all concerned?
After the meeting, Jim Fitton, a Rotarian and the city’s former ports director, wrote to Yaniz that he was “disappointed” by his actions.
From Fitton’s Sept. 28 e-mail: “After talking about Rotary not being political, you made a point of walking out on the mayor’s presentation, which was nothing but being political. I understand you and he have some issues but as my commissioner, I expect a more professional and respectful demonstration. What you did was clearly not in alignment with the [four]-way test.”
That set off Yaniz in a big way. He responded — using his city e-mail address — in part:
“Are you [expletive] kidding me! Mayor should not have been allowed to politicize the meeting! …. You have big balls taking issue with me walking out, by the way, so did Rossi. You have your priorities totally [expletive] up!
“If anyone violated the four way test it was the mayor and our Rotary Club for allowing him to do so. Are [you expletive] kidding me? If anyone [expletive] over the four way test it was our club, the mayor…. And obviously you for making the statement you just made.
“As for me… [expletive] the mayor for bringing politics into our club, [expletive] our club for not having the balls to tell the mayor to stop — because they didn’t want to embarrass him, and [expletive] you for having the unmitigated balls to call me out on this without thinking about who really violated the four way test!”
Fitton, noting that he “never intended for [the exchange] to be made public,” said, “I was taken aback by both the language and the tone. I supported Commissioner Yaniz for his seat and thought I could give him my honest feedback. I guess I was wrong.”
“Jim Fitton and I go back over a decade,” Yaniz said. “We worked together in the trenches as Rotary volunteers. We played softball, drank a few beers and shared some BS. An issue came up which I felt was wrong and instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt, I felt he took a shot at me, and I replied in kind.”
He said he didn’t intend to use his city e-mail account, rather a personal account, to send the message, but mistakenly did so.
Cates declined comment.
Sean Kinney sent me the two emails, reproduced below. I had trouble copying the header of Yaniz’ email to Fitton, but it was sent from Yaniz city commissioner email address, apparently replying to Fitton who had written to Yaniz at his city commissioner email address.
Are You fucking kidding me! Mayor should not have been allowed to politicize the meeting! I have lodged a complaint with Frankie, as well as reached out to Janice Long, Alton Weekly,and Brian Barroso, who all agreed that allowing the Mayor to make a political statement at a Rotary meeting violated the sanctity of the no politics policy of our club. You have big balls taking issue with me walking out, by the way so did Rossi. You have your priorities totally fucked up ! If anyone violated the 4 way test it was the Mayor and our Rotary Club for allowing him to do so. Are u fucking kidding me? If anyone fucked over the 4 way test it was our club, the Mayor… And obviously you for making the statement you just made. As for me… Fuck the Mayor for bringing politics into our club, fuck our club for not having the balls to tell the Mayor to stop— because they didn’t want to embarrass him , and fuck you for having the unmitigated balls to call me out on this without thinking about who really violated the 4 way test !
Key West, Florida
On Sep 28, 2013, at 10:10 AM, Jim Fitton <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Fat, I was disappointed by your actions at Rotary. After talking about Rotary not being political you made a point of walking out on the Mayor’s presentation, which was nothing but being political. I understand you and he have some issues but as my Commissioner I expect a more professional and respectful demonstration. What you did was clearly not in alignment with the 4-way test.
Not to be outdone, or undone, or overdone, the Key West Citizen waded in today:
Yaniz sends profane email reply
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
City Commissioner Tony Yaniz didn’t mince words recently when he fired off a response to an email that criticized him for his behavior at a Rotary Club meeting.
The reply to a fellow Rotarian included repeated profanities and a dig at the mayor.
“F— the mayor for bringing politics into our club,” wrote Yaniz in the 10:43 p.m., Sept. 28, email from his city-owned account, email@example.com.
“F— our club for not having the b—s to tell the mayor to stop because they didn’t want to embarrass him and f— you for having the unmitigated b—- to call me out on this without thinking about who really violated the 4-way test!” Yaniz wrote.
The “Four-Way Test” is an age-old Rotary guide for members on how to handle personal and professional relationships that is recited at club meetings:
Of the things we think, say or do:
1) Is it the truth?
2) Is it fair to all concerned?
3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The email, which falls under the public records law, was to Jim Fitton, the city’s former port director, who took issue with Yaniz walking out of the luncheon in protest of the club’s allowing Mayor Craig Cates to speak so close to the Oct. 1 election.
Cates won re-election three days later, albeit by a tighter margin than in years past against Margaret Romero. He will serve a one-year term, halved by the city’s move to sync its elections with state contests.
Yaniz is not a supporter of the mayor and has done everything but formally announce he will challenge Cates in 2014.
Yaniz said Friday the email was a personal correspondence with an old friend.
“It was something that happened a month ago,” he said. “My only faux pas is I thought I was on Hotmail.”
Pressed further, though, Yaniz said he admires Fitton and considers him an old pal.
“If Jim Fitton and his family were offended by it, I certainly apologize,” he said. “It was nobody else’s business, period. If Jim Fitton needed my kidney tomorrow, I’d give it to him.”
Yaniz said he was writing to Fitton as a constituent and called the two emails “a private disagreement between two friends.”
In his email, Fitton addressed Yaniz by his hometown nickname, “Fat,” and noted that he lives in Yaniz’s district. “Fat, I was disappointed by your actions at Rotary,” Fitton wrote from his gmail account. “After talking about Rotary not being political you made a point of walking out on the Mayor’s presentation, which was nothing but being political. I understand you and he have some issues but as my commissioner I expect a more professional and respectful demonstration. What you did was clearly not in alignment with the 4-way test.”
Fitton emailed Yaniz at 10:10 a.m., Sept. 28.
Cates said he was told he could talk about whatever he wanted. He chose to give an update on his ideas for a 24-hour homeless shelter to replace the city’s overnight bunkhouse, Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS) on Stock Island.
The mayor also fielded questions about the homeless shelter, one of the island’s most contentious issues.
Yaniz, however, announced to club members at the meeting that Cates shouldn’t be allowed to talk just days away from running for a third term. Yaniz got up from his front row seat and left in protest, witnesses said.
Yaniz added in his email to Fitton that Commissioner Mark Rossi also walked out of the meeting. But Rossi said this week that he left to make a meeting at City Hall.
“I’ve heard the speech before,” said Rossi. “The mayor knew I had a previous commitment.”
Asked about the Yaniz-Fitton exchange, Rossi said, “I’m just going to stay out of it.”
Cates also said he had no comment on the emails, but acknowledged that his Rotary appearance wasn’t a campaign stump speech.
“It was nothing political,” Cates said. “It was just an informative speech. I didn’t read anything.”
Reached by phone this week, Fitton said he was offended by Yaniz’s response but has already put it behind him.
“I didn’t want it to come out,” said Fitton, of the emails. “That was between me and Mr. Yaniz. I don’t need this hassle in my life right now. It’s over. I just want to get on with my life.”
Fitton said he had showed the email to a few friends but didn’t tip off the press. He doesn’t know how word got out about the correspondence, chalking it up to the “Coconut Telegraph.”
What I’m wondering is, after Mayor Pants On Fire pitched his super homeless shelter to the Rotary, did the Rotary then have Cates’ opponent Margaret Romero
speak to them on whatever topic she wished to discuss? If not, what was the Rotary thinking, inviting Mayor Pants On Fire to speak to them while he was running for reelection? No way the Rotary did not expect a political speech, and no way was Mayor Pants On Fire not going to give one.
I have no problem with Key West Fats use of the F-word when he wrote to his friend. I use the F-word all the time when I talk with friends. But I bet Key West Fats now wishes he had not used his city commissioner email account, and I bet he knew he was using his city commissioner email account. How could he not know? He opened it up to check his emails. And, voila!
Meanwhile, my dreams last night
indicated double taps in city homeless politics today. So, here is what I wrote about that yesterday, which, so far, garnered no replies, perhaps due to it being positioned toward the end of a pretty long post. I added the pretty lady today.
“Regarding the homeless shelter: ‘Build it and they will come.’”
Citizen’s Voice, Key West Citizen
They will come anyway, because, as is sometimes boasted by elected city officials and wannabe elected city officials, Key West is “a world class tourist destination”.
As for the new homeless shelter, I told City Commissioner Teri Johnston
over lunch at Salute last Wednesday, four things need to change.
1) Focus needs to shift to trying to help homeless who want to get back into mainstream; specifically, the city needs to give financial incentives to Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and Samuel’s House, which for many years have been offering down and out people an opportunity to turn their lives around. Those homeless, be they new or old homeless, need most of the city’s attention and funding.
2) The city needs to help fund Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and/or Samuel’s House providing housing and turn around programs for homeless families with children and homeless couples who do not have children. Right now, there is no such help in the city. Homeless families and couples have to break up to go into turn-around shelter programs.
3) The city needs to stop using its police to send homeless people to the Sheriff’s jail and to the hospital on Stock Island, just because they have committed a homeless “crime” – drinking in public, sleeping in public, arguing with law enforcement officers, peeing in public. This practice is financially killing the Sheriff (thus the county taxpayers) and the hospital.
4) The city needs a bigger shelter to house homeless who do not want to turn their lives around, to comply with the Pottinger Federal Court case settlement, which required Miami to provide overnight shelter, for free, to its homeless people, if Miami did not want them sleeping and camping outside. Samuel’s House and Florida Keys Outreach Coalition will not accept clients who have alcohol, marijuana or other street drugs in their urine. Most Key West homeless, including many new homeless, have one or more of said substances in their urine, and are unwilling to get cleaned up. The city’s too small bed-wise KOTS overnight shelter lets in drunks and users.
As will the new shelter. I am pretty sure the Sheriff has land, either under or near the jail, to accommodate the new city shelter. Use tents instead of air-conditioned huts to get around permanent habitation zoning, building and hurricane code requirements. Homeless caught violating Key West homeless laws, as described above, are allowed to lock their bicycles in place where they are apprehended. Then, they are taken in a KWPD police cruiser, along with any of other their other belongings, directly to the new shelter, which is kept locked and guarded 24-7 by retired law enforcement officers or security guards, paid for by Key West. Each morning, apprehended homeless detainees are allowed to leave along with voluntary overnight homeless residents. This approach will save the Sheriff, the county taxpayers and the hospital a lot of money, and will be incentive for the Sheriff and the County Commission to go along with it. Word will spread throughout America of what happens to homeless people in Key West, who are caught violating city homeless ordinances. That will provide disincentive for homeless to come to Key West. This approach also will mitigate, if not prevent, whatever other Key West neighborhood ends up with a new homeless shelter in its own backyard voting in block against elected city officials who voted to put the shelter in the that neighborhood’s backyard, probably guaranteeing those elected city officials’ defeat in the next city election. This secured homeless shelter approach will not placate people who want no homeless people in Key West, or who believe homeless people should want to change, but it will get the homeless who are the biggest eyesores and misbehavers out of the city during daylight, when they are most visible, and it will get them out of the city at night. This approach will not cost the city an arm and a leg, and it will save the Sheriff and the county taxpayers and the hospital a lot of money. I cannot imagine any local judge telling the Sheriff that he cannot relocate a bigger, armed-guard-secured tent-KOTS deeper into his property. Where safer place for a homeless shelter?
Not reported in yesterday’s post, I told Teri maybe they could build a pier to place the new shelter on, and when she asked what about hurricanes?, I said the present KOTS, just to the left of the left corner of the smaller of the Sheriff’s buildings, is just as vulnerable to hurricanes. And, if there is a hurricane evacuation order in place, no homeless people will be apprehended and taken to the new KOTS.
I don’t know how the city presently deals with hurricane evacuation orders at the present KOTS, but I would think they would close it. Far as I know, the city has no program for evacuating homeless people to the mainland ahead of an incoming hurricane. For a fact, hurricane evacuation orders are not legally enforceable against local residents, many of whom do not evacuate ahead of an incoming hurricane. Probably the safest place for the city to put homeless people before a hurricane arrives is Key West High School or the new HOB K-8 School. But then, giving them a one-way bus ticket to the mainland might cause some of them to leave and not come back.
Teri and I also discussed the Greyhound solution. Sometimes it works. She howled when I told her of Hawaii starting a pilot program to give a small percentage of its homeless people one-way airline tickets to anywhere on the US mainland they want to go, figuring they never will get back to Hawaii, while mainland US cities are giving homeless people one-way airline tickets to Hawaii, figuring they never will get back to the mainland. Teri said she bet the airline companies love it.
Moving sideways, had an “accidental” lunch with Naja and Arnaud Girard yesterday at Harpoon Harry’s, they publish Key West the Newspaper - www.thebluepaper.com - online every Friday.
Two of Arnaud’s cute editorial cartoons.
Arnaud described an excellent idea for getting some homeless people back inside and to work, which he will write up for The Blue Paper. Sooner better than later, I said.
I said the F-word a few times, too.
Arnaud told interesting stories about his salvaging business. That is, racing other salvers to boats in distress, to save the boats and get a salver’s fee.
Naja said they didn’t get salver’s fees for saving the passengers. I said, well, point out the fins nearby and tell sinking ships’ passengers to swim for it, or pay to be saved.
Naja said, now that I have moved back to Key West, there sadly are no more missives from The Fool on Little Torch. I said not to worry, now there is a fool on Key West again. Laughter.
Arnaud took a few photos of me with his new underwater video camera, which he said also records sound. I asked him to email them to me. Meanwhile, this fairly recent photo of the Fool on Key West at Harpoon Harry’s will have to do.