“Out of an abundance of caution” were the exact words used today in a Pinellas County Commission meeting, just as we had predicted on Friday. We called it!
It was on Friday that the Tampa Bay Guardian broke the news of the mistake leading to the accidental end of the State of Local Emergency (SLE) in Pinellas County.
Barry Burton, the $300,000+ per year (plus benefits) unelected Pinellas County administrator, claimed that he recommended the commission pass a resolution today simply “out of an abundance of caution.” This after “a question was raised” about the lawfulness of previous commission action. Burton was reading from a script.
Burton made no mention of the fact that the “question raised” was rather by our article, and not by county staff. As we also had predicted, no admission that a mistake had occurred was made either. Not by staff, not by the elected officials.
The Tampa Bay Times reported on today’s meeting and suffered a logic fail when they wrote the following analysis involving County Commission chair Pat Gerard:
“County Attorney Jewel White and Burton had told Gerard she had the authority to extend the orders [on Thursday] without holding a meeting because the county had yet to establish a mechanism to hold virtual meetings.”
If “the county had yet to establish a mechanism to hold virtual meetings” by Thursday, then how had the commission been able to meet virtually the Tuesday before that? Yet another mental pretzel that we will let our readers ponder.
The commission passed resolution 20-27 with the title “Order Declaring Ongoing State of Local Emergency and Extending State Of Local Emergency.” However, the body of the resolution only extended the SLE.
A plutocrat derives their power from their large wealth or high income. Similarly, a politicrat (to coin a phrase) derives their power by the political power they have. In Pinellas, it is clear that it is the bureaucrats who have that political power.
As always….the Guardian reports and our readers decide. Like our Facebook page to find out when we publish articles.
Our other previous Pinellas-related reporting during the coronavirus crisis:
Let the shell games begin: Pinellas County violates governor’s exec order
Helter Skelter Handout? The City of St. Petersburg’s “Fighting Chance Fund”
DeSantis’ stay-at-home order means gun shops can stay open.
Pinellas County: you must close your business, but we’re hiring
Janet Long violates campaign finance law while falsely ordering businesses to close
FWC redefines the term “navigational hazard,” at odds with federal law
Pinellas County provides “non-essential” businesses misleading information
Sheriff violates county order with pandemic notices at businesses
Confusion about Pinellas “safer at home” order, authoritarian threats from Sheriff
Covidiot touchfest as Pinellas County imposes severe Covid-19 restrictions
DeSantis’ illegal executive order enables local government malfeasance
Kriseman’s coronavirus executive order invokes powers he doesn’t have