Tempers apparently flared during a break in the 3.5-hour Longboat Key Town Commission meeting Monday.
The first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club.
Tempers flared during a break in the 3.5-hour Longboat Key Town Commission meeting Monday.
Sharp words were exchanged and there was some jostling although cooler heads prevailed before any punches were thrown. Afterward, commissioners and the town attorney were reluctant to discuss the incident.
“No, I don’t know that I would call it an altercation,” said Town Attorney Maggie Mooney-Portale. “Yes, there was an exchange of words that I observed. It was an interesting evening all the way around. I did not see anything physical.”
Commissioner George Spoll, sworn in earlier in the evening to replace ailing Jack Duncan in District 2, said Commissioner Irwin Pastor simply lost his temper. Duncan is recuperating from a quadruple bypass.
“I expressed my indignation at the behavior of another commissioner. Period,” Spoll said. “I did not like the way the guy berated a couple of commissioners and lectured the commission. I told him I didn’t like his behavior and he got upset.
“Some commissioners reached their boiling point and that’s the end of it. It’s absurd.”
Spoll said he never lost his temper and ended up walking away.
Pastor said the incident had nothing to do with town business.
"It was really over a past personal matter," Pastor said. "I regret the incident took place. As far as I’m concerned the matter has been resolved. It is what it is. I regret it happened. I’m looking forward to working with George Spoll. I really am."
Commissioner Phill Younger said he resented the fact people were spreading rumors about the incident.
“What altercation? I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Younger said. “There wasn’t any dustup with me. I didn’t say anything to Irwin outside the meeting.”
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.