Thank you Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Catherine Brunson for ordering the cities and towns to respect the will of the people. In 2010, we voted overwhelmingly 72 percent for a fully funded Office of the Inspector General.
I now urge the cities and towns not to waste taxpayer money and time with any futile appeals; the judge has ruled in our favor, the watchdog fight is now over.
I told my dad once that, “I was always right, except when I was wrong.” His response was, “Son, you have a right to be wrong.” The lawsuit by the cities led by West Palm Beach was wrong, very wrong, and now is a good time to accept the judge’s ruling and throw in the towel.
The great Mexican fighter Roberto Duran once said in a fight with Sugar Ray Leonard, “No mas.” (No more.) The great Joe Frazier versus Ali in the “Thrilla in Manila” — considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight fight in the history of boxing — threw in the towel when he realized he could not win. With those two legendary fights in mind, I urge the municipalities to do likewise; stop the fighting and start the funding of the OIG.
Statistics prove that funding the OIG gives us, the taxpayers, a great return on our investment. I am positive that a fully funded OIG will not only help to eliminate waste, but would also be a deterrent to unscrupulous officials and others.
Whenever we are driving on I-95 or any road and see a blue flashing light, our immediate response/reaction is to slow down, even if we are within the speed limit. A fully funded OIG would have the same impact on our municipalities.
The abuses by public officials led to Palm Beach County being stigmatized with the title “Corruption County.” Who could forget Mary McCarty, Jim Exline, Tony Masilotti and Warren Newell? They were elected to lead but were consumed by greed.
To the municipalities, I say do the right thing, obey Judge Catherine Brunson’s order and stop the watchdog fight. In your hearts, you know it’s wrong and you cannot be wrong and strong. Kudos to ex-County Commissioner Jess Santamaria for his strong, relentless support for the OIG, and also to the Town-Crier and all the citizens and municipalities who voted and supported the full funding of the OIG from day one.
Karl Witter, The Acreage