Committeeman Fitzpatrick’s absence at last night’s meeting seems telling, as it means he avoided the vote on removing his health benefits. I also suspect that Hainesport Committee is becoming irrelevant to him now that it no longer pays for his health benefits. Time will tell.
On the other hand, yesterday marked the beginning of Mayor Porto’s campaign for re-election. Everything he did appeared calculated to show him in a more favorable light than recent events. Let’s revisit some key points:
- The Property Tax Reduction of 3% or $25 per average household: Of course, this is never bad news, but let’s put it in context. If there are 2138 households in Hainesport, then the total budget for this tax cut is $25 x 2138 = $53,450. The money saved annually by eliminating the Committee Health Benefits for the 2 whose terms end this year is >$60,000. The tax cut, although welcome, is purely a political gesture.
- The Mayor has quietly decided to revert to the previous rules for Public Comment i.e. back to interacting with the public as they speak. The optics of the previous system were bad either way he ran it. If he responded to neutral residents but ignored challenges/criticism, that was clearly unfair. If he ignored everyone, it made no sense. It’s going to be all about looking good from now until November, folks!
- Why tell us openly that the new Administrator is Paula Kosko but attempt to obscure the fact that we have re-employed Dawn Emmons as CFO? Emmons came under fire for the number of days she spent in FL while supposedly working full time for Hainesport (and taking benefits.) Strangely, the job apparently only ever required <30 hours per month. Mayor Porto doesn’t want you reminded of these things now he is in campaign mode.
- The very first negative comment of the 2016 campaign was made by Tony Porto on March 26th (See screenshot) when he accused the Democrats of having no positive ideas. Last night I suggested two positive ideas. I received no thanks or acknowledgement for either, and Mayor Porto even attempted to defend the existing system of communication until his own fellow committeemen called him on it. Once again, he is trying to gaslight Hainesport. Don’t be fooled!
Here’s what we can say about Mayor Tony Porto:
- He posted a disgusting, sexist meme on Facebook directed at me, lied about it, and then refused to apologize specifically to me.
- He is suspected of colluding with the super PAC that produced the smear campaign against me last November, and which no-one on the committee ever publicly denounced.
- He has blocked 20+ Hainesport residents from his Facebook page, and banned many more from his so-called “Community” page, even though he continues to use both to make official Hainesport announcements. His latest stunt is to use the GOP website to make Township announcements (and the links he posts cannot be viewed by those he has blocked.)
- He filed state criminal charges against me for what amounts to “sitting at the wrong table for 30 minutes on Election Day by mistake,” and then, when these were dropped to municipal court, turned up with case files and witnesses (including Committeewoman Gilmore) in a desperate attempt to make them stick. All charges were dropped.
This is clearly not someone who should be representing Hainesport, let alone as Mayor.