Local News

Deleon requests evidence from Anderson

SEBRING - City Manager Julian Deleon wants Councilman Garrett Anderson's claim of lies being told at a council meeting to be placed on the agenda of the July 8 council meeting. In a June 29 email to City Clerk Cheryl Tietjen, Deleon said, "As it stands he [Anderson] has only produced one sheet of paper, which is vague and full of questions, rather than conclusive of any alleged lies or misconduct. "In order to evaluate the latest charges and prepare the council agenda, I am requesting for Mr. Anderson to produce all notes, emails, documents, video and audio relative to his alleged investigation and allegations of lies into the city, its operations and its employees. " At the June 24 council meeting, Anderson said he "found a couple of lies that were told" after researching what was said at the May 28 council meeting.
"I did the investigation myself; it is pretty simple," he said. City Attorney Gerald Buhr said since Anderson's concerns were written down they are public record and he would have to provide a copy to the city clerk. Anderson dropped off a single sheet of paper to City Hall recently with a few hand-written questions, which appear to be related to comments at the May 28 council meeting. At that meeting, former mayor Tom Macklin questioned why two city vehicles had no city markings or lettering on them. During the discussion on the issue, City Services Director Maria Sutherland said, "Under oath in a subpena, an ex-police officer of the City of Avon Park not only threatened my family, but he has stated that he has gone to my house, seen my cars, followed me, gone to my residence, gone to my husband's office, and the fact that I would be driving something with an insignia saying 'here I am' is really scary to me." Anderson's sheet of paper stated the following questions, "In reference to ex-officer who threatened you and followed you. What was his name? Did you report these acts to the law enforcement? Can I find proof of this report of depo [deposition] anywhere?" Sutherland said Monday, "I really don't know what is behind these agendas; is it is a total dislike of city staff? "Mr. Anderson, from what I gather is an up-front guy, I get that and I respect that, but at the same time I do not think that it is appropriate that public forums be used for public humiliation sessions." Sutherland believes in this current climate city business is not getting done. "I would love to be able to move forward and not come to a council meeting feeling as though I am being badgered having to make an excuse for every little tiny miscellaneous thing," she said. "It just seems no matter what we say it's held against us." Anderson's paper also refers to Ordinance 19-13, which requires a "finished floor elevation" of 12 inches above "finished grade" for houses constructed within the city. The ordinance was approved on second reading on June 10. During the first reading of the ordinance on May 28, council and city staff discussion centered on the requirement of the foundation being at least 12 inches above the crown of the road. Anderson stated in his paper, "After listening back to the DVD, I am now confident this Ordinance 19-13 must be redone. The original wording was indeed 12 inches above crest of the road and the concerns of both Councilman [Parke] Sutherland and myself were not laid to rest." Anderson could not be reached for comment. mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826