Trust is a valuable commodity. When anyone violates the bond of trust, everything this untrustworthy person did or does in the future is questioned. Whenever a politician’s integrity is questioned, they are quick to respond. Their responses are examined and the electorate makes their decision. In the 2012 election for the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council, the voters re-elected Ryan Liang without questioning his integrity.
Why is Liang’s integrity in question in 2015? During the 2012 campaign, Liang was asked about his alleged conflict of interest with the Callery-Judge comp plan challenge. During the 2012 election cycle, the Town-Crier published an article about Liang which included this paragraph: “During the resolution of the Callery-Judge challenge to the comp plan, there were some allegations that Liang had a conflict of interest regarding his family’s relationship with Callery-Judge. Liang said he approached the Commission on Ethics, which found no conflict. ’I asked them if there was a conflict, and they told me that there was not a conflict,’ he said.” Which Commission on Ethics did Liang seek an opinion on his Callery-Judge conflict of interest? The Palm Beach County Commission of Ethics has no record of opining on any inquiry from Liang; the Florida Commission on Ethics has no record Liang’s request. This begs the question, what Commission on Ethics gave Liang a pass?
Can Liang be trusted for another term? Fact: As a sitting council member during the Callery-Judge challenge, Liang attended the council’s shade session, an out-of-the-Sunshine meeting where the town’s legal options were discussed and plans formulated. Fact: The Liang family owns 120 acres of land within Callery-Judge’s boundary. Fact: Laura Zung, along with Liang’s mother, are partners in Dancing Crane Farms LLC. Fact: Dancing Crane Farms LLC owns 45+ acres of land within the northern border of the town and a stone’s throw from Callery-Judge. Fact: Laura Zung is married to Nat Roberts, one of the owners of Callery-Judge and the principal challenger to the town’s comp plan. Does anyone else see a conflict of interest?
Let’s fast-forward to December 2013. Liang filed a Form 8B, Memorandum of Voting Conflict, when the council had votes on Minto. The reason stated on the form was “inured to my special gain or loss of my relative.” The relative? Liang’s mother. What has changed? Liang’s circumstances from 2012 still exist. If there was no conflict of interest during Callery-Judge, why did Liang recuse himself during the “No on Minto” resolution votes? Voters of Loxahatchee Groves, stop kowtowing to the Liangs!
Dennis Lipp, Loxahatchee Groves