Call for Saivetz resignation

After a July 16 editorial in Longboat Key News, Planning and Zoning Board member Brad Saivetz came under fire from fellow board member and chairwoman BJ Webb who called for an examination of his actions. Former Mayor Ron Johnson also wrote a letter calling for Saivetz to resign from the Planning and Zoning Board.

Saivetz was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Board several months ago, among controversy in the Town Commission when newly elected Commissioner Lynn Larson cast the deciding vote for Saivetz, then later stated she did not know the full background of who she was voting to appoint.

Saivetz’s editorial criticized the Town Commission’s decision to grant approval of the Longboat Key Club’s $400 million redevelopment plan, despite Town Planning, Building and Zoning Director Monica Simpson’s statement that the redevelopment plan was too massive and too dense and did not recommend passing the plan.

As a result of the editorial, Planning and Zoning Board chairwoman BJ Webb wrote the following e-mail to fellow Board members:

“For a Planning and Zoning member to be writing articles, pro or con, after a decision has been made by the Planning and Zoning Board and not even acknowledge he is a member of the Planning and Zoning  Board is unseemly at best. Being on a public body, appointed or elected, has certain public speaking restrictions and disclosure requirements. The time to debate an issue is before a vote with fellow Board members.  If one is not able or willing to debate an issue from the dais, perhaps that is not a person well suited for serving on a Board.  We will have a discussion of this issue on the September agenda.”

Town Attorney David Persson stated that he has not yet read Saivetz’s editorial, and therefore could not comment on whether Saivetz violated any town regulations.

Saivetz responded in an e-mail to Webb’s call for his resignation, stating the renovation plan had already passed through the Planning and Zoning Board before he was appointed.

“When I was sworn in to the Planning and Zoning Board, I took, very seriously, my oath to ‘support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and the State of Florida.’ There is nothing in this oath with reference to defending the opinions or actions of my Board Chairman or of the Town Commissioners of the Town of Longboat Key. The actions that were taken by the Planning and Zoning Board with reference to Ordinance 2009-25 occurred long before my appointment to the Board. The departures mentioned in my op-ed piece referred to a much different plan than the one that the Planning and Zoning Board processed and approved—albeit subsequently approved by the Town Commission without a referral back to the Planning and Zoning Board. So neither the new plan—never processed through the Planning and Zoning Board—nor the original one—were things that I was able to ‘debate…from the dais.’

In my own defense, I am extremely well qualified and suited to serve on a Board, especially the Planning and Zoning Board, in this town in which I have resided for over thirty years. It is not in the best interest of this board, or any board, that the members are in lock-step with its Chairman. I believe the Planning and Zoning Board is not constituted as a choir  – with a director.  Nor is, thankfully, our Town Commission.”

Resident and former Mayor Ron Johnson also wrote a letter expressing how Saivetz should not have written his opinion in the newspaper and should therefore resign.

“There is no way a reasonable person can believe that the words Mr. Saivetz uttered in his defense during his appointment process were honest.  His July 16 letter clearly states where his mind is on this matter.  It would be virtually impossible for him to act ‘fairly and squarely’ and ‘with all the integrity he possesses’ in the Town’s best interests.  His lack of objectivity will significantly handicap the other Planning and Zoning Board members. Also, his letter did not identify himself as a member of the Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Board.  This is not a proper action by a board member Mr. Saivetz. He is obviously not capable of doing the job he has volunteered for on the Planning and  Zoning Board.  He will remain a serious detriment to the board as it serves the Town of Longboat Key. I am certain that he will continue to write letters criticizing Planning and Zoning Board and Commission decisions. I call for Mr. Saivetz to resign his seat on the Planning and Zoning Board for the good of Longboat Key.”

Webb has stated that the issue will be brought up at an upcoming Planning and Zoning Board meeting.

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Longboat Key News

8 Responses for “Call for Saivetz resignation”

  1. Gene Jaleski says:

    “Freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they have, or the views they express, or the words they speak or write.”
    Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice 1963

    I miss the good old days on Longboat Key. We are more and more looking just like any other suburban community inhabited by egomaniacs.

  2. George McFarland says:

    The Gault’s should put their for sale sign back up at a realistic price and stop blabbering.

  3. carmel izzo says:

    Will Mr. Gault never cease? I’m sick of hearing him. It’s either his way or no way!!!! What makes him “EL SUPREMO”? He pulls the strings as a puppet master on the commissioners to which they bend and shake. Shame on Mr. Spoll. And to think i was so impressed when came forward with an alternative plan to set matters straight as to the density of this massive plan. But he lack the guts to see it through.

    This is simply a matter of TOURISM vs PEACE AND TRANQUILTY. Good luck in destroying the best little town in Florida.

  4. George McFarland says:

    Did anybody call for Bob Siekmann’s resignation as he voted against the Key Club’s plan as too massive? Did Siekmann comport himself poorly when he explained his NO vote? The Key Club’s expansion project will unfortunately wind up in the COURTS as there was NO compromise between the parties. Saivitz and Siekmann could be very well right whwn the dust settles.

  5. Bob Gault says:

    ‘Injustice”? What “injustice”? Six out of seven elected Commissioners approved the LBK Club project after some 3 years and 30 public hearings. Mr. Saivetz is an appointed public official to an important Board and should comport himself accordingly despite his first amendment rights. Leadership calls for bringing our community together after debating and deciding a contentious issue. Public official and community leader Mr. Saivetz should recognize HIS responsibility and lead rather than inflaming the issue further after the fact.
    Let us ALL come together and heal to the benefit of our community, PLEASE! Bob Gault

  6. William Kary says:

    Contrary to Mr. McFarland’s response, Saivetz gave up those rights the minute he sat. Public officials need to act in the “best interest” of the community, NOT in their own.

  7. George McFarland says:

    Contrary to Mr. Gault’s response to Mr. Saivetz’s criticism of the P & Z Board, I feel Saivetz was well within his rights, as a citizen, to speak out against any injustice he may see from our public officials.

  8. Bob Gault says:

    As I stated to the commission before he was seated, Mr. Saivetz should not sit on the P & Z Board due to his publicly stated lack of objectivity. His recent article is only more proof of his bias against development. In fairness he should resign. We need more objectivity in our town leaders and listen more to the vast majority of our residents. Bob Gault, Longboat Key

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