City of Palm Bay public works employees, as well as Brevard County Parks and Rec, expressed frustration today as they were forced to spend hours picking up signs placed illegally by Representative Randy Fine on City and County property.
Last year, Deputy City Mayor Kenny Johnson proposed an ordinance making it illegal to place signs on any city property. The ordinance passed and was highly supported by residents.
Fine posted several posts on his Facebook page actually placing the signs illegally.
The ordinance was proposed because many residents complained about Fine’s signs in particular as he lined Malabar road with over 30 4×8 foot signs during the last election and placed them all over his district in the right of ways.
When the city was forced to pick them up, Fine called then City Manager Gregg Lynk demanding that they put his signs back. Lynk complied.
Similarly, today when Fine learned that his signs had been picked up by Palm Bay’s public works, he called the City Attorney Patricia Smith and berated her. Fine also threatened to get the State involved if they continued pick up his signs. Mrs. Smith educated Fine of the law and reiterated that he is welcome to place his signs on private property or on vehicles, etc, as other candidates do.
Similarly, at Rhodes Park, political signs are allowed from 8am to 6pm. Anything placed before or left after those times are subject to be picked up. Fine has placed hundreds of sings within the park that have to be picked up every day because he fails to comply. In fact, Fine was approached by a worker while putting signs down outside of the above hours. The worker states he told Fine that he would have to pick those up, and that Fine told him to let him know where the city takes them when they pick them up so that he can come get them from that location as opposed to having to pick them up individually himself. The worker was very frustrated with this comment and stated “this is not my job and this guy should know better.”
To this day, there are still large signs from Fine’s campaign that are sitting at polling stations like local churches that have yet to be picked up by his campaign.
In a post yesterday, Fine came out against a waste of taxpayer dollars for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the opening of St. John Heritage Parkway. He also attributed the alleged corruption involved with the highway to Councilman Kenny Johnson, who was not even elected into office when these decisions were made.
At the ceremony yesterday, Johnson stated “I was in high school studying Algebra when this project got underway.” The unwarranted attack from Fine is believed to be a retaliation for Johnson passing the sign ordinance, which is affecting Fine now.
This year, Fine doesn’t have any of his typical large 4×8 foot signs. The reason is believed to be due to a recent falling out between Fine and Vice Mayor of Melbourne, Paul Alfrey, who Fine hired to construct his large signs in the past. Fine attacked Alfrey on social media in July for not voting in favor of Fine’s 4th of July campaign event he wanted to hold, stating he paid for fireworks.
With 5 days remaining until election day, Fine has shown no motivation to comply with the local laws as he continues to place his signs where he pleases. Workers state it is costing thousands in tax payer dollars, and in staff time, vehicles usage, etc, in order to enforce those not in compliance. “There are much better things we could be spending our time doing to serve our community than this,” was the comment from a City of Palm Bay employee.