George Neugent vs. Danny Coll Florida Keys county commission race heats up a tad, finally

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On days when there is no new post at this website, there is a new post at, where I presently am the village idiot.

Meanwhile, night before last I dreamed of this post today headed my way, and I wuz all poisoned up inside already when I wuz awake, liked I’d swallowed a whole heap of toxic waste . I had.
dump the pumps 2
Banks Prevatt, President of Dump the Pumps – – who lives on Little Torch Key, the island below Big Pine Key where George Neugent’s county commissioner office is, sent out this email blast yesterday.

Popeye 8/13/14


Danny has been active in our meetings and very supportive of our organization and our efforts. Respectfully, I forward his attached Letter to the Editor.I am in Alaska and mailed my absentee ballot last week. He got my vote.


Sent: 8/12/2014 4:14:03 A.M. Alaskan Daylight Time
Subj: Fwd: Letter to the Editor

There really is a difference in the candidates for Monroe County Commission/District 2.

***Danny Coll is the candidate who opposes extending for ten years the multimillion-dollar contract with Waste Management without first sending it out for competitive bidding.

***Danny Coll is the candidate who opposes the purchase of a private multi-million dollar land deal, when it is was appraised for less.

***Danny Coll is the candidate who opposes forcing many District 2 residents to use grinder pumps of questionable quality and economics. Other areas of the Keys are receiving a more reliable, less invasive and environmentally superior system.

***Danny Coll is the candidate who supports term limits, and does not believe in career politicians.

***Danny Coll will represent YOU. That means returning your calls, answering your questions and seeking your opinion before casting my vote.

I want to serve you because I love this country . . . and I have a unique perspective on living here. I was born in Cuba shortly after Castro took power. Rejecting communism and seeking freedom, my father gave up his career to move to America. He took a job as a service station attendant, while my mother cleaned hotel rooms in Miami Beach. We were poor, but I learned to work hard and save money. Later I moved to the Keys where I volunteered as a firefighter, EMT/Paramedic. Eventually I started an ambulance company and purchased the Big Pine NAPA Auto Parts store. Everything I am or ever will be, I owe to this nation for the opportunity it gave me.

But our country’s finances have gotten us into deep trouble. I am afraid that the success I have had might not be available to future generations. While I cannot solve the problems in Washington, I can work to make sure Monroe County is on the right track. I can do that with the same principle that brought me success in business — HARD WORK. I can watch the numbers. I can always shop around for the best deal. If I am going to buy it, I will always know how I will pay for it.

If you support principles like these, please give me your vote on or before August 26.

Thank you,

Danny Coll, Republican
for County Commission District 2
(305) 872-1111 Cell phone

I replied to Banks:

Has this letter to the editor being published? If so, where?

After some angel pranking, I wrote again to Banks and Danny:

The angels arranged for Danny and me to bump into each other about an hour ago at Harpoon Harry’s, and we talked a while. Danny said the letter to the editor was published on the Coconut Telegraph, and submitted to other places and not published. I think the regular news outlets viewed it as campaign advertising, and I imagine they would have published it for a fee. Danny said he is going to ask Deer Ed to publish ot for a fee until the election. Danny said his campaign signs in Marathon are being knocked down and even disappeared. I said that tells the kind of people in Marathon who want George reelected. I said I figured Danny will get the Hispanic vote. Danny said, in the past, George has said the Hispanic vote is not a factor, but recently George called a radio station owned by a fellow last name Lopez? and asked if Danny was advertising there and how often – 4 times a day, and George started advertising there 8 times a day. Danny said George has signs out all over the place, unlike in past years when he used only a few signs. I said all of that tells me that George is worried about this race. I figure Danny will take George’s voting district below Marathon, over grinder pumps and other reasons. I figure some people simply think 4 terms is enough, no matter what, and a 5th term for George is not okay. I imagine Danny might do okay in Key West, and perhaps he will do okay on Key Largo. Hometown PAC’s candidate forum is worth watching – Did You Miss Hometown PAC’s August 4th Candidate Forum? – the county commission segment follows the mosquito control board segment, which leads off the forum. George took ever question to him as an opportunity to go on and on, boasting, and once accusing Danny of slander via Rick Boettger. Danny replied that he and not spoken with Boettger in over 5 years. All Keys voters should watch Danny and George’s part of Hometown’s video of the forum. The ethics complaint against George, recently filed Rick Boettger, as broken by Key West the Newspaper, also should be read by all Keys voters. I imagine I’ll publish something at tomorrow about Danny and George’s race.

george-neugent.jpgGeorge Neugent
by Rick Boettger
Rick BoettgerI have recently reported that I was filing an ethics complaint with the State of Florida against George Neugent.  It charges him with using his power as County Commissioner to affect the awarding of a contract to his friends. At the August 4 Hometown PAC candidates’ forum, he charged me twice with “slander” when questioned about my reporting.
Neugent is thus forcing me to make public the full complaint that I have mailed to the state ethics commission. While the commission by its charter must keep its investigation confidential until resolved, they explicitly state that either the filer or subject of the complaint may say anything they want about it.
The complaint itself is 2,800 words long, accompanied by 16 exhibits adding another 50 pages. You may read as much of it as you wish.  The exhibits are public records and Neugent’s own words: emails, media quotes, transcripts of county commission meetings, and his sworn deposition in the county’s years-long losing litigation against SUFA.
Judge for yourself whether his own words and the public record support my charges. To squeeze 58 pages of argument down to a paragraph, here’s what he did: While Stand Up for Animals (SUFA) was negotiating in good faith for a renewal of its animal control contract with the county, being the only bidder on that contract after having had it for eight years of highly-praised service, Neugent suggested to a friend that she form a competing nonprofit to get the contract. He met with a disgruntled SUFA employee to get incorrect criticism of SUFA, making no attempt to get SUFA’s side of the story. He coveted the $ 240,000 endowment SUFA had accumulated largely from grants and donations. He encouraged the illegal audit that froze SUFA’s funds and put them out of business. He himself slandered SUFA’s director Linda Gottwald in various media, telling outright lies about her and her and her business. And much more.
Again, it is impossible to put 58 pages into a quick read. If you care to judge the facts, please take some time with the linked documentation. At the Hometown forum, Neugent told the same kind of lie about me that he told the commission and media about SUFA. He charged them with having no Monroe County directors on their board. This was an outright lie, as the attached Exhibit 13, SUFA’s annual corporate report shows: the majority of directors lived in Monroe. Similarly, Neugent lied about me. He dismissed my reporting as my working for his Republican opponent, Danny Coll, perhaps even being his campaign manager.
In point of fact, I of course support anyone running against Neugent, due to what I detail as his unethical actions. But I have not contacted Danny Coll in any way since the prior election in 2010, nor do I have any relation to his campaign. Coll verifies this, and states he in fact has no campaign manager at all. That is George Neugent: while accusing me of slander, he tells an outright and easily disprovable lie about me on the public record, out there on YouTube for all the world to see.
Please, use these links to judge George Neugent for yourself:

politicans promises

J.W. chimed in:

While on the topic of different fees for different folks, FKAA’s website said $2700 for Duck Key and people there have bragged that they got the discount rate ?by making arrangements when Conch Key was sewered. Neugent says no, they paid $4500.

FKAA has since removed the information on Duck Key paying $2700. Note the revision date of May 2014 on page 2:

I might have a printout of the previous version.

I wrote to All:

To me, the heat in this situation, beyond the backstage shenanigans, is grinder pumps are a far greater environmental threat than gravity. Lately, I’ve see George Neugent gravitate toward knocking gravity as being environmentally inferior. For example, he says grinder pump line leaks do not infiltrate saltwater into the grinder low-pressure sewerage in the lines; that’s true, but those leaks infiltrate raw sewerage into the soil around the leaks, and the leaks are undetectable and cannot be repaired. Gravity lines also spring leaks, but they are buried below the saltwater table and the water pressure outside the lines is greater than the water pressure inside the lines, so there is no raw sewerage leakage into the water table; rather, salt water infiltrates the sewerage in the gravity lines, and that has to be dealt with at the treatment plant, I suppose? [And gravity line leaks can be and are detected and repaired.] Somehow, vacuum sewer systems and their apparently serious problems with salt water infiltration leaks in vacuum lines got brought into the grinder vs. gravity discussion. Cudjoe Regional is not about vacuum.

George Neugent, and BOCC, and FKAA ignore, it seems, or pretend to ignore, horror stories about grinder pump systems failing during storm surges and electric blackouts, and human excrement being in yards and backed up into homes. The failure and replacement rate of grinder pumps is pretty high, from all I’ve read. The president of the Big Pine ARRP Chapter told me right after their meeting, at which the county’s engineer Kevin Wilson presented, that the subdivision in Wisconsin, or maybe in Minnesota, where he has a second home has grinder pumps, and they are buried below the water table, and he’d had to replace his grinder pump twice already in maybe a dozen years – don’t recall the exact number of years. He’s on his third grinder pump. I asked him why he didn’t say that during the meeting? Dump the Pumps people had handed out flyers outside, a number of ARRP members were very upset about that and didn’t want to hear anything I had to say before the meeting started. But when I got the microphone and told of the New Jersey subdivision, which got washed out by Hurricane Sandy and Hazmat teams being sent in to clean human excrement out of the yards and homes, that changed the tone a bit.

George Neugent has remained, or pretended to remain, impervious to all sorts of bad news stories about grinder pumps. They are known sometimes to explode, yes? They give off foul odor and are not recommended to be installed near a dwelling, yes? Other south Florida communities have rejected widespread use of grinder pump-dominant sewer systems, yes? And one or two south Florida communities are ridding, or have rid, themselves of grinder pump-dominant systems, yes? Key West uses gravity almost exclusively, yes? Marathon went with vacuum, yes? Key Largo and Islmaorada went with vacuum, gravity predominantly? I understand Islamorada and Key Largo are using grinder pumps in remote areas where nothing else is feasible, yes? So, with all that mountain of history and evidence, grinder pumps are superior in Cudjoe Regional? Doesn’t pass the smell test.


Walter Drabinski chimed in:

This is a good summary. I have just sent the following letter to editor out to address the specific use of a pressure system on Big Pine.

He [George Neugent] lost his own district in the last election and I believe in previous elections. There are 500 citizens in District 2 that live in Marathon and 8000 in Big Pine and the Lower Keys


I replied, copied to All:

Hi, Walt –

So, I beat George in his own district in 2010 and 2006? 🙂 I didn’t check on that after either of those races.

I believe above Key West and below Cudjoe Regional, Stock Island up through the Saddle Bunch Keys?, are how many sewer districts? 3? Do you know their names, and are they predominantly gravity? I would imagine they are.

I don’t have Word in this laptop. so I can’t open your attachment. Can you copy your letter to the editor and past it into the body of an email back to me? If okay with you, I will use it and the other stuff in this email tread in a post tomorrow at, and if not the whole thing at, then a link to the whole thing at the other website.



Walt replied to me:

I’m still getting confirmation on some facts in my letter, so will hold up till Monday to distribute.

Anon Emus furnished the county sewer info, proving that only in Cudjoe Regional were grinder pumps deemed superior, pee-u!!!

fishy smell

Key West- gravityStock Island (KW Resort Utilities, OMI)- mostly vacuum

Key Haven (FKAA bought it. Leaks so badly they didn’t fix 2 broken lift stations for months! Just a central cess pit)- gravity

Boca Chica Navy- FKAA may take it. Very leaky gravity.

Big Coppitt (incl Rockland, Geiger, Shark- FKAA)- gravity

Baypoint – incl Bluewater RV (FKAA)- gravity in Bluewater is collected by vacuum. All of Baypoint is vacuum.

CRWS (FKAA)- FUBAR grinder pressure sewer system with dense areas collecting by gravity to neighborhood lift stations equipped with a few residential grinder pumps. Insanity, and not in a happy way.

Venture out is private gravity with the mandated BAT system, but they have to connect to FKAA’s.

Marathon (started FKAA, now City’s. includes Grassy key)- mostly vacuum. remote areas have grinders in the right of way collecting from a few homes.

Key colony (cityof KC)- gravity

Duck key (FKAA)- mostly gravity. a few got shafted with grinders. Includes hawks cay.

Conch key (FKAA)- gravity collection, pumped to Duck Key

Layton (FKAA)- gravity, except Long key state park on grinders, whose forcemain plugged up for several months while FKAA trucked sewage and tried to unplug it.

Next stop Islamorada- mostly vacuum as is Key Largo.



Monroe County hired Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) to design and build Cudjoe Regional Sewer System. FKAA’s first design was gravity, except where it was not feasible and grinder pumps had to be used. The County Commission said that was too expensive, go back and design a cheaper system. FKAA did that; it was predominantly grinder pumps. Walter Drabinsky and others objected to that plan in their neighborhoods. Walter filed a lawsuit. The County Commission gave Walter and the others what they wanted, gravity wherever feasible. Later, Banks Prevatt and others further up the Keys objected. George Neugent told them to take a hike. The County Commission outvoted George and Key Largo’s Commissioner Sylvia Murphy to some extent, and reduced on parts of Big Pine Key the number of grinder pumps.

Before that, December 2013, or maybe early January 2014, I attended a public meeting at FKAA’s officeses in Key West, with Banks and other grinder pump objectors from up Banks’ way. Bob Dean, Chairman of the Board of FKAA, told us FKAA preferred gravity and would install it if the County Commission gave FKAA the money to do it. During citizen comments, I asked Chairman Dean and the FKAA Board to issue a stop work order on Cudjoe Regional, until the County Commission paid for the sewer design FKAA wanted to install. I got no response from Chairman Dean or the rest of the Board. A stop order was not entered. FKAA continued installing a design it did not prefer. Then, all sorts of speaking in forked tongues began in FKAA and the county government, and in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), which had approved the inferior design FKAA did not want. I swan, it went down that way. All the while, it came out that the grinder pump supplier had a warehouse in Marathon where  George Neugent lives, and where another County Commissioner, David Rice, lives. David’s voting district is most of Marathon on up through Islamorada.

Dump the Pumps has FKAA and FDEP before an administrative law judge on a bunch of Cudjoe Regional grinder pump system permits FDEP issued to FKAA, which Dump the Pumps alleges were issued in violation of FDEP  rules and standards. FDEP and FKAA ignored FDEP’s own permitting rules, which required stop work while a permit was being contested. Dump the Pumps had to sue FDEP and FKAA to ask a local circuit judge to issue a Writ of Mandamus to force FDEP to follow its own procedure re challenged permits. I swan, that all happened, too, even as George Neugent was saying FDEP, FKAA and Monroe County were above all of that.

Many years ago, the State of Florida required the Florida Keys to be sewered, because the ocean around the Keys was polluted with you know what. Environmentally, grinder pump sewer systems rank below vacuum and gravity systems, and  just above septic systems, which are above cess pits.
Rick Boettger has a newer George Neugent Article in today’s Friday edition of Key West the Newspaer – Here’s the teaser.

Neugent Breaks Oath


On June 14th this year George Neugent wrote his notarized signature on an “OATH. I the person whose name appears at the beginning of this form, do depose on oath or affirmation and say that the information disclosed on this form . . . is true, accurate, and complete.” It is his Form 6, “Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interest.” All declared candidates for office must file it. It is a public record, created for all the world to read and judge.

Neugent’s is rife with errors. One would think anyone running for a position commanding a billion dollar budget would be able to fill out simple financial forms, a form designed to describe himself to the world. What he discloses is, I believe, “true,” but makes no attempt to be “accurate and complete.” […full article]

Locals can vote early through next week at their nearby Supervisor of Elections offices. The election is August 26. Will Florida Keys voters give King George 4 more years on top of the 16 he already served? Or will they dethrone him?

Ciao maim, which sort of rhymes with fish or cut bait.
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Sloan Bashinsky

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That's what this website is about, also and If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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