Recently I have submitted a few things to the State Attorney Brian Haas regarding some Local Government issues. Response from his Chief Investigator was “It’s a local issue and you must take it up with the City Commission”. It’s sorta like saying “We know there is a Drug problem, but you have to talk to the dealer”.
Ok, Well, We did and of course the Local City Commission won’t do anything. They are sticking to FS 119.12(1)(b) (Request to inspect documents) However, this is not a records request. These are legitimate concerns the Public has with the City and the email sent to the City States “Concerns”. So even at the advice of the State Attorney’s office, the City will not respond. Why? This particular issue has been going on for a few years and still today the City Commission refuses to talk about it.
Issue: City Manager is Violating his Employment contract and the City Charter by not living in the City limits.
The City Manager’s contract States “Employee shall live within the City Limits of the City of Wauchula and maintain residence within the corporate boundaries of the City so long as he is the City Manager” (Section 13 (C) )
It’s also listed in the City Charter that the City Manager has one year after taking office to become a resident of the City.
When this issue was brought up about a year or so ago you can see he changed his homestead to the City home. He did this to make it appear he lived in the City Limits. But changing the Homestead and “Residing” are 2 different things. I believe he was hired in 2012/2013. He kept the Homestead on the County home as long as he could due to the higher exemption value. Claiming homestead on one home and living at another is Homestead Exemption Fraud. On Feb 5th 2018, I sent an email to The State Attorney and the Hardee County property appraiser asking that an investigation be opened on Terry Atchley for Homestead Exemption fraud. On Feb 9th 2018, the property appraiser acknowledged my email. But as of today, Feb 25th, I have not heard back.
When the City Manager was hired he did not have the “Education” required for the position (Other applicants did). He also did not live in the City limits. Citizens questioned Commission on this soon after he was hired. The Education part was soon waived by commission and later (almost a year) the City Manager changed his address on file to a home he owns in the City limits, 317 S 9th Ave. But the problem is, he never moved into that home. His mother in law that runs his restaurant Giovanni’s (Restaurant is City Property, He rents it from the City) lives there. He still resides at 1035 Knollwood Circle(County). Below are pictures of his City Tahoe parked at his County home.
When City Commission was asked why the City Manager is not required to live in the City limits as stated in his Employment contract, their response is “He owns a home in the City”. Well, We are well aware he owns a home in the city. We are also well aware he does not reside there (As stated in his contract & City Charter). ….The point is, this is a position that has 100% control over the City and It’s employees. He writes policies and procedures and All City employees are Required to adhere to them. Yet, He himself is violating his own Contract and the Commission is allowing it. Think about it.
So the City Manager is in violation of his contract & the Charter. States Attorney said we had to talk to the City Commission. We did and the City will not respond. Why? An email has been sent to the State Attorney advising that we have contacted the City and have had no response.
This issue is just one of many issues that the local citizens are trying to get fixed. Hardee county has been in the news before and a Commissioner was removed from office.
Here is the current list of City Commission Members.
District 1 Neda Cobb NedaCobb1@gmail.com Cell 863-781-3566
District 2 Russel G Smith email@example.com Cell 863-448-6963
District 3 Keith Nadasky firstname.lastname@example.org Cell 863-581-2822
District 4 Kenneth Lambert email@example.com Cell 863-781-0038
District 5 Gary Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Cell 863-781-1753
City Manager Terry Atchley email@example.com Cell 863-781-9402
I can be reached at Wau@wauchulaghost.com
Corruption starts at the Local level. Some of these people move up the ladder into State and even Federal positions, taking corruption with them.
Remember, Stand up and fight for what you believe in!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a Great Day & Sail Safe