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Date of Issue: June 02, 2010

Stoltzfus submits recall petition defense

Anna Maria Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus last week presented city clerk Alice Baird with a 200-word statement defending himself against the ongoing recall effort.

 Stoltzfus went to city hall about 3:30 p.m. May 28, just 30 minutes before the deadline for him to submit a statement, which will be attached to a second recall petition that will circulate among city voters for signatures.

A Recall Commissioner Stoltzfus committee was formed in April to obtain signatures on the first petition. The committee seeks to have Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Robert Sweat hold a recall election for Stoltzfus.

The first petition, with 247 signatures, was submitted to Sweat in mid-May. The committee needed 10 percent of the city’s eligible voters (1,362) and Sweat certified 218 signatures.

The committee has 30 days from May 28 — the date Stoltzfus provided his statement of defense — for the second petition to be completed and submitted.

 Fifteen percent (204) of the city’s eligible voters as of the last election — Nov. 3, 2009 — need to sign the second petition.

 Stoltzfus’ statement, which contains an assortment of excerpts from a variety of Thomas Jefferson quotes, reads:

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free….this is the sum of good government…

The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest, breaks up the foundations of society.

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

Thomas Jefferson

The charges against me are a collection of nebulous, unsubstantiated falsehoods. Their vagueness makes a specific, directed response impossible.

As commissioner, I have attempted to uphold the policies and regulations of our comprehensive plan and our land-development regulations.

My focus on safety has revealed an inconvenient truth. Our city has repeatedly contravened its policies and regulations.

This recall attempt is spearheaded by a politically motivated group of people, including some within this administration, who are either unwilling to accept that truth or unwilling to make the changes required to bring our city back into compliance.

Anna Marians have a proud history of dealing with similar threats. I’m confident they will respond appropriately to this misguided effort to recall me.

Harry Stoltzfus