Melbourne City Council Newbie Sparks with Barks

The newest member of the Melbourne City Council was cantankerous last night. Apparently Mimi Hanley, District 5, needed attention, needed to make her presence known, needed to show her constituents that–you voted me in, and I am here to fight for...corruption? for the besmirching of the reputation of an extremely honorable gentleman?

Discussed last night in the chambers of Melbourne’s City Council was, among other things, the ongoing investigation into the mishandling of taxpayer dollars by the previous Melbourne administration. Allegedly, an apparently worthless piece of land was purchased with taxpayer dollars at an extremely inflated price; purchased from a relative, no less. It was discovered after the sale had gone through, not only was the land not in the city of Melbourne, the land was toxic and badly in need of treatment to bring the 5 acre plot up to EPA standards; the cost of which Melbourne taxpayers are on the hook for.

Hanley objected to further pursuit of the investigation, stating that too much time had passed for the matter to be important, and that, compared to the Melbourne City budget, the money that was allegedly bilked from the city’s taxpayers was too little for the matter to remain a concern of the council.

Newly elected mayor, Paul Alfrey, stood strong. Alfrey made it clear that he represents the people of Melbourne in the most honorable way, and that every dollar of taxpayer money would be handled properly under his watch. The mayor made it clear to everyone at the meeting, and to all that were watching the broadcast of the meeting, that corruption in his city would not be tolerated.

Mark LaRusso concurred, passionately. It was obvious that LaRusso was beside himself at the thought of ignoring wrong doings by the previous administration. LaRusso fired back, expressing the importance of morality in government, and the importance of honorable tax-dollar stewardship.

Be assured, Melbournians, the investigation continues and the truth will surface, no matter how many times Hanley objects.

Prior to the fiery discussion over the land deal investigation, Hanley took issue over David Neuman’s impending appointment to the Citizens’ Advisory Committee of the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization. Neuman was the only person who applied for this appointment, and the position has no extended residency requirement, meaning that if Neuman had moved to the city the day of his application, he would qualify for the position. Hanley questioned timeline details of Neuman’s resume, prompting Councilman LaRusso to ask Hanley directly if she thought Neuman had purposely falsified information. Hanley replied in the affirmative. A short recess was called to allow Neuman the time needed to get to the council chambers and defend himself.

David Neuman is an honorable man. David Neuman is a man that insists on running honorable mud-free campaigns. David Neuman is a man that has made plans for non-profit projects with opponents during an election no matter the outcome of the election.

Mr. Neuman arrived at the council meeting and quickly explained away what looked like he was residing in two places at once. Neuman had moved to Melbourne even as he continued to work as a clerk for a city in another state; this was an elected position. The city office he was elected to did not have a residency requirement and was sorry to see Neuman leave, they asked Neuman to work remotely until his position could be filled. Hanley had no choice but to withdraw her objection, and Neuman was quickly appointed to the transportation position.

Whether Hanley’s objections rose from a place of ego, or merely her disdain for certain people, Melbourne’s newest councilperson, Mimi Hanley–District 5, showed, in last night’s meeting, that she plans to be heard, which is fine if being heard serves your constituents’ best interests. Attempting to move the council to gloss over corruption, and attempting to besmirch the honor of a respectable gentleman is self-serving, not constituent serving.

Melbourne City Council meetings are held at Melbourne City Hall on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. At each meeting, time is allocated for members of the public to address the council. Melbourne City Hall is located at 900 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne, FL 32901.

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