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City Mayor Questions County Commissioner`s Role

City Mayor Questions County Commissioner`s Role

May 22, 2006

Letter to the Editor:

After reading the May 18, 2006 article in a local newspaper titled "With County Official now involved, situation heats up in City of Alachua" and after hearing from offended Alachua citizens, I find it imperative to express our outrage to the comments made by Alachua County Commissioner Mike Byerly as quoted in the paper.

Byerly recently accompanied Charles Grapski to Alachua City Hall, along with Eileen McCoy, and was quoted as saying we had "responded to Grapski's requests with intimidation and juvenile bureaucratic gamesmanship" and further stated "No citizen of any political persuasion should be willing to tolerate this behavior from their own government". Why is Commissioner Byerly rushing to judgment without seeking all the facts? He hasn't bothered to contact any of the Alachua City officials, who are indeed Alachua County citizens as well, to make any inquiries. On his earlier visits to Alachua City Hall, Mr. Grapski, who does not appear to be an innocent victim, was accompanied by Eileen McCoy and Robert Perez, listed in public records as Officers and Directors of the Alachua Leadership Alliance (ALA). Also listed is Busy Kislig-Shires, wife of Commissioner Byerly. Ms. Shires-Byerly's history with the ALA dates back to 2000 where she stated in an email that the ALA "plan to audit the city, file a lawsuit against the well as elect new commissioners to the commission". Grapski copied Mr. and Mrs. Byerly, along with Eileen McCoy and others in an email communication to Alachua City Hall which begs the question...Why?

The lack of consideration shown by Commissioner Byerly at Alachua City Hall was further demonstrated by his comment to City Manager Watson that he had traveled all the way from Micanopy. Is that such an imposition since we are constituents of this Alachua County Commissioner too? Some now question his behavior seeing how he appears to have aligned himself with the ALA and Grapski without gathering all the facts. Byerly's question "...just what are they trying to hide?" implies that the City of Alachua is behaving in a questionable manner. We are hiding nothing. I am proud of our City, our citizens and the progress we have made in our Community. Our citizens deserve better representation from their County Commissioner on legitimate issues than Byerly has demonstrated.

Jean Calderwood, Mayor
City of Alachua

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