Letter to the Editor

Reader questions sexual discrimination happened

Posted

I read with interest the circumstances described in the recent article titled “Sexual Discrimination Allegations” resulting from comments by a member of Orange Park Town Council.

Any elected official should know the language of the charter under which they serve and act accordingly. Situations like this neither reflect the language of the town charter or portray the image citizens want for their council or town.

Nominations and elections for Mayor or Vice-Mayor positions are not based on sex, race, religion or how long you’ve been on the council.

Section 2.05 of the Charter of the Town of Orange Park states: “After each regular or special election for council members, the council shall meet and elect from among their number a mayor and vice-mayor who shall perform the duties of such offices for one (1) year or until his successor is duly elected and qualified.”

The result is each council member can nominate and vote for the person of their choice.

Serving as mayor or vice-mayor does not give you any more power than any other member of the council.

According to the article, no one nominated that council member for vice-mayor. When this happens and you desire to be considered, nominate yourself.

Edna Griffith Greenewalt

Mayor of Orange Park, 1994-95

Orange Park Charter Revision Advisory Committee, 1974-75

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Concerned Citizen

This letter takes into account one aspect of the situation where the good old boys have kept their network in line.

Here is a question for the writer of the letter based on the Standing Rules of The Council.

http://www.townoforangepark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Standing-Rules-OP-101816-Adopted.pdf

Rule 1.090 CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS

(b) No member present at any meeting of the Council shall leave the

meeting without permission from the chair.

In a meeting a few months ago one of the Councilmen got up and sat in the audience. He refused to go back to the dais after becoming upset with a topic of discussion.

That member was not censured or reprimanded by the former Mayor. If a member leaves the dais and sits in the audience, it should have been assumed that member of the council was resigning his position.

Otherwise, it should be noted that that member was in violation of standing rule 1.090 (b) based on his reluctance to return to the dais.

The former mayor did not scold or censure that male member of the council.

The writer of the letter questioning the sexual discrimination allegations may have been the mayor (1994-95) and may have served on the Charter Revision Advisory Committee (1974-75), but it is clear the writer has forgotten it is 2018 and discrimination is not tolerated as much as it was 40 some years ago in the evolution of mankind on this planet. This is neither liberal or conservative thought it is a fact and rule of law.

Being a shut-in and older I have to listen to recordings of the meetings online and get updates from other citizens in the community.

So, if you wish to pick the fruit of the poisonous tree with your comments be prepared for rebuttals, and questions.

To recap the point:

Why was the male that left the dais not held to the same rules and standards as stated in the Standing Rules of the council?

He either should have stayed on the dais, or he should have been asked by the male mayor if he was going to sit in the audience or resign his position. By sitting in the audience he was not using the lavatory, he was in fact, trying to make a point by his absence from the dais.

Hopefully, you can shed some light on the logic behind the rules being applied equally, or not being applied equally.

Respectfully,

A Concerned Citizen

Thursday, June 7