Your online news source for Alachua Florida.



Public Records Access Request
June 16th, 2009

Sock Hop a Big Hit in High Springs
February 17th, 2008

November 27th, 2007

New Nuke for south Levy County
August 5th, 2007

Proposed Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Questioned
July 21st, 2007

Open Letter To Govenor Crist
April 12th, 2007

Update on Alachua`s Political Wrangling
March 18th, 2007

Do we still have a democracy?
March 1st, 2007

Open Letter To Alachua Commissioners
March 1st, 2007

Alachua politics get nasty: Ganging up on Grapski
February 20th, 2007

Peace Protestors Attacked By Iraq Veteran
January 17th, 2007

Alachua City Staff To Be Commended
January 16th, 2007

Letter to the Editor
November 27th, 2006

Support for Betsy Maloney Hurst
August 30th, 2006

A Letter from Senator Nelson
July 24th, 2006

Watson Asked To Correct Resume
July 6th, 2006

Open Letter To The Alachua City Commission
June 21st, 2006

County Commissioner Byerly Responds To City of Alachua Mayor
June 2nd, 2006

City Mayor Questions County Commissioner`s Role
May 22nd, 2006

Hurricane - A Story Worth Telling
April 27th, 2006

Letter to the Editor
April 11th, 2006

Senate Approves Arctic Drilling
March 21st, 2006

A Letter from Senator Nelson
March 15th, 2006

Water Management Districts - Do they mismanage?
December 21st, 2005

Will Building On WalMart Site Cause Environmental Damage?
November 28th, 2005


Alachua politics get nasty: Ganging up on Grapski

Alachua politics get nasty: Ganging up on Grapski

Michael Canney

Clovis Watson Jr. serves as Alachua's police commissioner, city manager and city clerk. Last summer, he and his long time mentor Ward Scott appeared together at a Gainesville press conference and "came out" as Republicans (see the video here). There has been speculation that Scott, a SFCC faculty member and political operative, has ghost written some of Watson's eloquent guest columns in the press. Now it appears the duo are teaming up to rid Alachua of a pesky activist who says Alachua's corrupt government needs a little "sunshine."

Charlie Grapski and others filed a lawsuit challenging the April 2006 city commission election, and he has been dogging Watson and other Alachua officials over their refusal to provide public records. Grapski recently posted a video on his Alachua Project website, showing Watson being grilled by Grapski about his stated reasons for noncompliance with Florida Statutes Chapter 119. Watson is claiming the city attorney has advised him not to discuss public records with Grapski, and Watson told Grapski this policy applies to all city staff as well.

Ward Scott recently sent a letter (attached below) to local newspapers about Charlie Grapski posing an imminent danger to society. His hyperbole borders on the hysterical, and would be laughable if this wasn’t such a serious matter.

Scott’s grossly dishonest and inflamatory statements reveal an insidious and cynical agenda that coincides with that of his self-serving political cohorts in Alachua City Hall. They fear Grapski for one reason only: he has declared his intention to expose the corruption and official misconduct that has become endemic in the “Good Life Community,” and he has demonstrated a remarkable tenacity in pursuing his goal of holding public servants accountable for their actions.

Charlie Grapski has acted within the law at all times and has threatened nobody. The only people who may have cause to feel threatened by Grapski are public officials (or political actors like Ward Scott) who are subverting democracy, betraying the public interest, and in many cases violating the law. Unfortunately, Alachua has no scarcity of such officials. If these folks face any "danger" from Grapski, it is not being shot as Scott has implied (Charlie doesn't own a gun) but rather being SUED in Circuit Court.

Ward Scott is obviously running interference for Watson and his other cronies at City Hall, whose strategy is to criminalize Grapski’s behavior and turn public opinion against him by implying he is crazy (“deranged” is the word used by Scott). Scott’s letter is part of a concerted effort to neutralize Grapski and put him out of commission. The ongoing attacks on Grapski are also intended to teach other citizens a lesson – that it doesn’t pay to fight City Hall.

By arresting Grapski and dragging him out of a city commission meeting for no reason at all, Watson, Calderwood et al have proven they lack the minimal qualifications needed to govern, and are unfit for the positions they have been elected or appointed to serve.

The trumped up criminal charges Chief Jernigan slapped on Grapski at the behest of Watson, Calderwood and the rest, include a felony charge of resisting arrest with violence, which would indeed be a serious offense if the charge had any basis in facts and evidence. This arrest will be exposed for what it is: just another politically motivated attack against a law-abiding citizen whose only crime has been to hold public officials accountable to the same rules and laws we are all bound to respect.

I predict Charlie Grapski will teach these misguided public officials a respect for the law and the Constitution that they clearly do not yet possess.

Michael Canney

#      #      #

The following letter was published in the Alachua County Today newspaper on Thursday February 15, 2007. In my opinion this letter contains false and defamatory statements. I include it here as an example of the depths to which these people will sink in pursuit of their agenda, and to save AP readers from wasting a quarter.  --MC

Grapski's behavior cause for concern

In light of the recent public display by Charles Grapski of behavior any reasonable person would find abnormal, I must publicly urge our community to take seriously this man's threatening impact on everyday citizens.

One only has to refer to recent news to find examples of such heinous acts as shootings in public buildings by deranged people to realize the view many of us have come to have of Grapski.

Grapski's behavior, displayed on, depicts him attempting to intimidate a City of Alachua public official, and doing it proudly. If my wife were to enter a City of Alachua public facility on public business while Grapski was carrying on like that, I would not feel entirely comfortable that she was safe.

Grapski's erratic behavior has been escalating and escalating and escalating, and who is to say where it will stop? And not only that, he is seldom alone when he pulls these escapades; he is accompanied by at least one, sometimes more, of his gang members.

So far the courts have frustrated those of us who are becoming increasingly cautious of his behavior. While some might like to think that he is harmless or that he is exercising his constitutional rights, the manner in which he has chosen to behave sends signals that discourage citizens from entering public facilities where they are entitled to expect civil decorum.

Ward Scott,

Click for printer friendly version

Email this article to a friend



© 2003 Alachua Post Enterprises