Resolution regarding constitutional violations for the Flavet III community, University of Florida (3 pages)


Material Information

Resolution regarding constitutional violations for the Flavet III community, University of Florida (3 pages)
Series Title:
Flavet Village. 1971
Physical Description:
Plant, Charles ( donor )
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box: 1
Folder: Flavet Village. 1971


Subjects / Keywords:
Married students -- Florida -- History
University of Florida -- Student housing
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
sobekcm - AA00003171_00001
System ID:

Full Text

.-- .

SI. Whereas...

The last commission amended the Flavet Constitution
without the necessary vote of the residents by arbitrarily
reapportioning the commission's districts....and...


this unconstitutional apportionment was the basis under
which the election last week was conducted, a question arises
as to the validity of that election.

II. Whereas...

That election was further tainted by the fact, that
write-in votes were not permitted for the rayor's office,
an election practice not denied by the Flavet Constitution...
and specifically permitted for th offices of the commission...


precedent was set for this practice by the write-in
election of Richard Enocs as mayor in 1968.

III. Whereas...

The Flavet Constitution provides that the newly elected
mayor and commission shall take office at the first regularly
scheduled meeting, after the outgoing commission has reviewed
and found valid the election of these officers...and...


A special commission meeting was called, immediately
after the election, at which a constitutional majority was
not present to conduct official business...and...


the newly elected mayor and commission were sworn in
at this special commission meeting.

We the undersign beseech and demand that the Flavet
Judicial Committee investigate fully all these obvious con-
stitutional violations which pervaded the election and which
left unanswered and unresolved has impeached the integrity
of the last administration and would impeach the integrity
of any actions by the new administration....and....

We the undersigned strongly recommended that the
Judiciary invalidate the election, call for a new election,
and ensure the irresponsible actions of the last administra-


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Full Text

another Commissioner ran for Commission'. John, who is the husband of the
editor took advantage of his position, in view of the fact that he has acted
as a representative of the Three Press on the night of the election on the
1. Lois was not there.
2. John was there taking notes with a pad and pencil.
3. John. ad never taken notes at prior Commission meetings he attended with Lois.
4. Lois specifically told me, in regards to a meeting in September she could
not attend, that John would go, if possible in her place if she could not at-
tend a meeting. The meeting in question was the one during which the motion to
salary-the government was passed, at which neither member of the Schmatz family
My charge of irresponsibility is in no way related to the substance of John's
letter, only to the timing, which is regulated by our Constitution.
As: a result of these three incidents, which I believe clearly manifest a
high degree of irresponsibility, I made my recommendation to the Commission.
After debating the motion made by Chairman of the Store and wash-house Committee
Mark Beard to dismiss John Schmatz, the Commission voted 3-2-1 in favor of the
motion, Mayor not voting. Per S309 of our Constitution "A majority of Commission
members present must concur in any action relevant to hiring or dismissing
Subsequent to the above- described remark made by John Schmatz, I went to
the Student Government office to get the official results of the Senate race.
While there I overheard the following remark, "Did you hear about the Senator
from Flavet, Leo Thomas, taking the ballot box home?" I then learned that earlier
that evening an unidentified male rushed up to the Senate majority leader in the
presence of several others, and made the above accusation. By the time the
rumor reached my opponent in the race, Jim Cooper, I had "counted the ballots'
I thank Jim Cooper for contacting me and not perpetrating the rumor. To those
of you who did not vote, the Student Government vote was taken on a 900 lb.
computerized machine!
In any event, the action of the Commission is not final, as S401 of our
Constitution gives the Judicial Committee the power to review any action by
the Commission. Futhermore, all that is necessary to appeal any such action is
a request by four Commissioners or a written request by fifteen residents of
Flavet (S405)1
There was a complaint regarding the legality of the motion passed by the
Commission to fire John, First let me say the meeting was publized in the
proceeding edition of the Three Press. Second, my wife telephoned each and
every Commissioner the day of the meeting to so advise them. The only Commissioner
not telephoned by her- because he has no telephone- attended the meeting. Third,
two additional Commissioners were present at the vote count but left just before
the meeting began. Although only six Commissioners were present and voting that
night, they comprise a majority of the present Commission membership of ten
Commissioners. S207 of our Constitution reads, in part, "a majority of the
total membership of the Commission shall constitute a quorum to do business.
A majority of the Commissioners present shall be required to pass regular
For those of you interested, I refer you to Mason: Manual of Legislative
Procedure, 1970; S501, p.337" (1) The total membership of a body is to be taken
as thebasis for computing a quorum, but when there is a vacancy, unless a
special provision is applicable, a quorum will consist of the majority of the
members remaining qualified." S502, p. 338 "(1) In determining a quorum,
persons who are not at the particular time regularly qualified members of the
body should not be counted."
A complaint was made regarding our interpretation of the Constition re-
garding write- in ballots for Mayor, S203 of our Constitution: "The Election
Committee shall set a qualifying deadline after which time said committee shall
ascertain if Commission Candidates are qualified. In any event, write- in votes
during the election are valid." S305 Qualifications for the office of Mayor...
A petition bearing at least (25) signatures of Village Citizens must be presented
to the illection Comaittee one (1) week before the time of election,"
Note that S203, regarding Commissioners, expressly provides for write- in
votes and S305 makes no such provision. Although I may not agree with this
provision, I do not believe I may arbitrarily choose which provisions of the
Constitution to follow and which not to follow, in view of my oath of office:
Art. V111 of our Constitution.
Again Our Constitution provides a solution in that S401 gives to the
Judicial Committee the power to interpret the Constitution.

& S 1./ 4


Qt October U., 1971, I went to the Recreation Hall to help Elections
Committee Chairmrn Doug Dypolt supervise our election, in which I was not a
candidate for asn office. As you may know, Student Government elections were
also: being held there. After the close of the Student Government polls, one
of teeir poll-watchers (three were present) advised me unofficially that I
had won the Senate seat from Flavet.
At 6:30 pjm. Doug Dypolt and I, in the presence of villagers Charles
Corbin, and Noel Woodall, destroyed the remaining unused ballots from our
election. Doug Dypolt, in my presence, then placed the ballots "somewhere
in a rear room of the rec: hall, after which I left.
At 7:15 p.m., Doug Dypolt in the presence of Joseph Gallette, Donna
Joyner, and myself, then opened the rec. hall and retrieved the ballots. As
we were about to begin the count we were joined by several other villagers. The
ballots were then counted'and, after the winning Coamissioners who could be
located were notified, the meeting began.
A villager then came before the Commission to protest the motion to salary
the Commission and lMayor. During the debate- in which John Schmatz did not
participate- this villager made several inaccurate statements:
1. This would cost $2,000,00 a year.
Wrong! At the most, with 3pimum attendance at 22 meetings, it would cost
2. The salaries would be funded by Student Government.
Wrong Flavet Village would bear the entire expense.
3. Student Government officials do not get paid,
Wrong Student body president recieves $2000,00 a year and this was recently
reduced from $3600,00.
During the debate the villager remarked he would take this to the floor of the
Senate, I responded that I would be there to debate it. In direct violation
of our Constitution John Schmatz yelled outt: "how do you know you are a senator?"
S206 of our Constitution reads in parts "All residents shall have the right
to speak before the Commission at any time during a Commission meeting when
he shall have be.n recognized by the chair," John had not asked to be- nor
was he- recognized by the chair. Shortly after, John again interrupted the
meeting, stating "you are not a Senator yet," The third time John interrupted
the meeting he yelled out, in the presence of my wife and several other ladies,
and the old and new Commission members, "Did you also take that ballot box
home Leo?" At this point I lost my temper and approached John and asked him
if he was making an accusation, I also asked him to step outside and one
villager later said I called him a punk, which I do not recall. For this out-
burst I apologize to the Commission, to the Village, and to John. People have
stated that because of the heated debate the atmosphere at the rec. hall just
prior to the incident was- to say the least- very tense. I agree, this being
so it seems to me John's inflammatory accusation was even more irresponsible than
if it had been said under normal circumstances. If one throws a lit match on
a pile of paper- that is irresponsible. But if one does the same to a pile of
papers soaked with gasoline- that is much more irresponsible.
After the tempers had cooled, in my capacity as supervisor of all village
employees, I recommended to the Commission that John be fired from his position
as store clerk based on the three grounds which I felt manifested a clear show-
ing of irres7hsibility unbecoming a representative of Flavet. In addition to
the above- described incident, the following were grounds for the recommendation:
1. During the Commission meeting of September 18, 1971, Store lManager Uickey
T-ias recommended, and a motion was made, that John Schmatz be fired because of
irresponsible behavior. Although the motion was defeated 4-3-1, the Commission
agreed John had acted irresponsibly but the dissenters felt the penalty was too
severe for a first offense.
2. In the Three Press of October 12, 1971, immediately proceeding the Village
election, a letter was written by John Schmatz which began: "The Flavet Commiss-
ion really screwed up this time and you, fellow villagers, were on the blunt end
of the screw." S210 of our Constitution reads, in part, the Three Press "being
the only publication to reach the people as a whole and in fairness to all, the
editor shall not in any event write an editorial on personalities in the issue
of the Three Press immediately proceeding a village election." One of the Commiss-
ioners and I ran for Senate, one Commissioner ran for lMayor, and the wife of