‘I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my commission duties and my personal emails instead of two,’ a commissioner tells the Longboat Observer.
APRIL FOOLS — A Citizens for Sunshine inquiry revealed that Longboat Key town commissioners have used personal email accounts on a server run out of an unnamed commissioner’s home.
Asked about the policy of conducting town business from personal email, one commissioner said:
“I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my commission duties and my personal emails instead of two.”
The Longboat Observer intercepted a handful of emails from the server before commissioners deleted it. The emails contain classified town secrets, including:
- A plot to place a helipad on Town Hall so that elected officials will not have to wait in traffic;
- An attempt by commissioners to speed up the three-minute clock for the “public to be heard” portion of the meeting so that speakers would only get two minutes;
- Commissioners held secret negotiations to discuss making the town’s 30-day rental restrictions into 29-day rental restrictions.
The Longboat Observer also intercepted several personal email communications between commissioners during the recent March 23 regular workshop that stretched more than six-and-a-half hours, including:
- “That’s not really water in my Zephyrhills bottle. ;-)”
- “Can we adjourn soon? I forgot to record ‘The Bachelor.’”
- “Can’t we form a couple subcommittees to discuss the rest of this and call it a night?”
Notified by the Longboat Observer of commissioners’ use of private email, Town Attorney Maggie Mooney-Portale downed a triple-strength Tylenol, as she prepared to draft a “Gone With the Wind”-size Sunshine Law memo.
Commissioners could be required to attend a Sunshine Law boot camp. There, they will be required to work through their thoughts and feelings about comprehensive plan and zoning code changes, 911 dispatch changes and underground utilities while sitting in a semi-circle with a reporter present at all times.
Electronic devices will be banned. However, Publix sandwiches will be served.
The Longboat Key Town Commission used the following email addresses to conduct town business.
Hopefully you made it to the end of the article, so we can say, Happy April Fools' Day! This story is not true.