Letter: The Loxagrovian Rebellion

Justice is that standard or boundary of right which enables us to render to every man his just do without distinction. This virtue is the very cement and support of all civil society. As justice, in a great measure, constitutes the really good man, so should it be the invariable practice of every Loxahatchee Groves councilman never to deviate from the minutest principal thereof.

Most Groves residents only know the incumbents by watching council session on the town web site, newspaper accounts and, perhaps, Sunday morning confessionals.

Newspaper interviews, endorsements and political advertising may sway a voters decision, but are they factual?

Jim Rockett has taken too many actions that suggest bad judgment, which is not the desired trait of a town leader.

The attempt to remove Underwood Management was orchestrated by Jim Rockett in June of last year and still is in process. Even a competing management company recognized that the citizens wanted Underwood Management to stay.

Jim Rockett has given the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District some $900,000 to push dirt on our roads instead of looking into permanent solutions.

Jim Rockett, as a canvassing board member, participated in the Ryan Liang campaign, which violated state law… as a part of a quid pro quo, his actions violated Florida Statute, which prohibits the collecting of absentee ballots for benefit… He failed to report Philomena Liu and his own activities to the canvassing board, law enforcement agency and or any agency with election oversight.

As a member of the canvassing board, Councilman Rockett owed a duty to the citizens to look out for their interests and make sure the election was a true representation of the people’s will.

Most residents only know Jim Rockett through council sessions. In 2013 and 2016, he skipped the Loxahatchee Groves Landowners’ Association candidates forum, recently declined the Palm Beach Post for an interview for his reelection, skipped the recent town council Okeechobee Blvd. workshop and has been quoted as not giving dovetails of what residents think.

Citizens’ pent up political frustration with the council since last March has caused Rockett to break into open civil warfare. He owns a web site, badforourtown.com, where he decimates a Groves resident. This atrocity goes against the very grain of the town’s ethics ordinance. However, on his own web site, Jim Rockett claims that the election fraud never occurred! What is Rockett capable of doing to other Groves residents?

When faced with the forfeiture issues of Mr. Liang, Councilman Rockett was provided the reason and case law as to why he should recuse himself. Yet again, Rockett chose the path that put himself and his position into controversy.

Public comment prior to the swearing-in ceremony of the recent contested election was denied. For Councilman Rockett to deny the public the right to speak simply because he can seems to indicate that his mindset is not of the people and for the people.

Rockett took exception to public comments that were recorded in the minutes of the March 17 canvassing board meeting. The councilman attempted to add words to the record that were not spoken by the resident. This unsuccessful “scrubbing” was to censor an act of free speech that was made in a public venue.

Jim Rockett’s campaign sign suggests moving forward and making progress, but he is not. With poor judgment, Rockett’s actions have caused adverse consequences for the majority of Groves residents and has created distrust in the town’s government.

Who to vote for? A little rebellion against the council status quo now and then is a good thing. It is medicine necessary for the sound health of government. God forbid that we should ever be six years without such a rebellion.

Keith Harris, Loxahatchee Groves

Editor’s note: Mr. Harris was a candidate for Loxahatchee Groves Town Council in 2015.