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Palm Bay City Council vacancy finalists and scoring for all 33 candidates published; Mayor Medina violates City Charter

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A total of 33 applicants applied to fill the vacancy on the city council after the resignation of Pete Filiberto following his DUI/Drug arrest. Last night, the council ranked all 33 applicants, 1 to 33, with 1 being the first choice. The applicants with the 5 lowest scores advance to the final round of voting next week.

Prior to the voter however, the council had to approve new language in a city ordinance describing the method of ranking the applicants, as well as changing the language to match the language of they new city charter that the voters approved in November. During the discussion, Mayor Medina stated he did not agree with the timeline for filling the vacancy for Mayor (60 days). He stated that he felt it should be longer than a “regular city councilman.” He stated that he feels “the people” view the Mayor differently than the rest of the council, and he is the face of the city. The people however voted for the language in the charter which states that a vacancy for the Mayor would have to be filled within 60 days.

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The city attorney reminded, or possibly informed Mayor Medina that the charter can only be changed by the people, and that because it states 60 days, that could not be changed by the council. When the vote came to approve the ordinance to line up with the new charter, Mayor Medina voted AGAINST it, because of the 60 day time-frame he does not agree with. It should be noted that every council member, including the Mayor, swore an oath to enforce and uphold the city charter. Mayor Medina just voted against it.

The next item was to reveal the ranking of the 33 applicants by each council member. This was the first meeting that Councilman Randy Foster was able to attend since his hospitalization after suffering a medical emergency a few weeks ago. He attended via phone. The 5 finalist were (in order of ranking, lowest score is ranked #1):

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  • Aaron Parr 16 points
  • Kay Maragh 36 points
  • William Capote 40 points
  • Phil Moore 40 points
  • Mike Jaffee 43 points

When it came time to vote to simply accept the rankings, Mayor Medina had another speech. He stated that although he had earlier agreed to meet with all of the candidates, God spoke to him and corrected him, so he met with none of them. He then, without any explanation, voted against approving his own ranking of the candidates, as well as the rest of the council’s ranking. It’s not clear what exactly the alternative would have been or what he disagreed with, as the motion was to simply accept what each of them did.

This isn’t the only time recently that Medina has essentially violated or gone against the charter he swore to the same God he referenced in his speech to enforce. A few weeks ago, the council voted to send a letter to the Governor and the Speaker of the House, asking them to intervene on the City’s behalf after Representative Randy Fine stripped Palm Bay’s Police Department, Fire Department, funding for the widening of St. John Heritage Parkway, and funding for septic to sewer connections for residents to protect the Indian River Lagoon of millions of dollars over a personal gripe with Councilman Johnson.

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The Charter REQUIRES that the Mayor sign all documents on behalf of the city; the very same argument Medina was making earlier about being “the face” of the city. The charter specifically uses the word SHALL which legally means that it must happen. Medina refused to follow the Charter.

Mayor Medina appears to be making it a habit of being “the face” of the city only when it’s something he agrees with, but not when out-voted by the majority of the rest of the council. In the past when the council has asked for a letter to be sent on behalf of the city for other matters, Medina has separately sent an additional letter, with the seal of the city, and his title, contradicting that same letter.

Recent text messages obtained between Representative Fine and Mayor Medina show that Medina has been coordinating with Fine in order to attack Councilman Johnson. We will be doing a separate story on that in the near future, pending further requests.

The total rankings submitted by each council member for each candidate is below.

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