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Santamaria pays Schaller’s Filing Fees

July 10, 2010   //     //   Newspapers


After 18 months of working with the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, the PBC Engineering Department, Commissioner Santamaria and PBC staff, Santamaria issued a personal check for $4000.00 to Andy Schaller. The check was for reimbursement of his time and efforts concerning a County road paving project and washed his hands of the matter.

Santamaria had previously written a June 8, 2009 memo to County Administrator Bob Weisman stating,”… I feel that the action taken by the BCC was a big injustice to Mr. Andy Schaller…” He also wrote, “We owe Mr. Andy Schaller an apology for encouraging him to proceed and costing him thousands of dollars in expense and hundreds of hours in wasted time. I intend to personally reimburse him for his monetary expenses, but who can reimburse him for his wasted time and aggravation? We all know how much effort he put into this for over one year!”

Santamaria ended the memo with a parting question, “What are we going to do to prevent an occurrence of this unfair treatment and injustice to other well-intentioned constituents?” The next several months seemed to answer that question: Nothing. Schaller continued to try and work with Santamaria only to be turned away and his pleas for help fell on deaf ears.

On November 3, 2009, during Matters by the Public, Schaller asked Santamaria to “put your money where your spoken and written words are.” Schaller continued, “…those expenses are now over $4000.00, sir. Please make the check payable to the County or any other grading service to benefit all County citizens, to maintain the County road that has been County neglected for 40 plus years. Fargo is a County road.”

Santamaria chose instead to send Schaller a check for $4000.00 and not pursue the matter any further. By doing so, Santamaria left the super-majority of YES vote petitions that were returned to the County as a result of Santamaria’s motion to pave Fargo, hanging in the balance and they ultimately expired because of inaction on his part. Schaller continued to seek Santamaria’s representation to bring the road issue to an amicable conclusion. Santamaria demanded Schaller leave a County forum when Schaller was practicing a topic of the forum; Holding Elected Officials Accountable. This was clearly a violation of Schaller’s right to peaceful assembly.

Santamaria previously told Schaller that if he decided not to run for re-election he would support Schaller for the office. On June 16, 2010, Schaller used the funds from Santamaria to pay the $3683.84 filing fee and qualify as a candidate for the office of County Commission, District 6. Santamaria’s decision to ignore and dismiss his responsibilty to the residents who elected him only highlights his lack of leadership qualities and creates the demand for better representation.

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