201 by lanyuehua

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 5

									                                  STATE OF FLORIDA
                            FLORIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION

IN RE: Ann G. Welsch, in her capacity as
City Clerk for the Village of Highland Park
in Polk County, Florida                                       Case No.: FEC 02-232
                                                              F.O. No.: DOSFEC
____________________________________/


                                       CONSENT ORDER

           The Respondent, Ann G. Welsch, in her capacity as City Clerk for the Village of

Highland Park in Polk County, Florida, and the Florida Elections Commission (Commission)

agree that this Consent Order resolves all the issues between the Village of Highland Park and

the Commission concerning the complaint filed against Respondent, in her capacity as City Clerk

for the Village of Highland Park in Polk County, Florida, on September 10, 2002. The Village

of Highland Park and the Commission jointly stipulate to the following facts, conclusions of law,

and order:

                                       FINDINGS OF FACT

           1.    On September 10, 2002, the Commission received a complaint alleging that Ann

G. Welsch, in her capacity as City Clerk of the Village of Highland Park, violated Section

104.051(2), Florida Statutes.

           2.    Section 104.051(2), Florida Statutes, provides as follows:

                 Any official who willfully refuses or willfully neglects to perform
                 his or her duties as prescribed by this election code is guilty of a
                 misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
                 775.082 or s. 775.083.

           3.    The Respondent; Earl Sehi, Mayor of the Village of Highland Park; and the staff

of the Commission stipulate to the following facts:

           A.    The Respondent was the City Clerk for the Village of Highland Park in


Faa012 (01/98)                                    1
           Polk County, Florida, and served as city clerk from 1962 to September 30, 2002.

           B.     The Mayor of the Village of Highland Park is Earl Sehi. Mr. Sehi has
           served as Mayor since 1975.

           C.     The Complainant is a concerned citizen who resides in Polk County,
           Florida.

           D.       The Village of Highland Park was incorporated as a municipality by a special act
           of the legislature in 1927, Chapter Law 128 4. There have been no changes to the
           special act since it was adopted and two election ordinances have been adopted. On
           January 24, 1957, Ordinance No. 15 was adopted, which provided that an intention to run
           for office of Commissioner of the Village must be filed at least two weeks before the
           election with the City Clerk On January 13, 1961, Ordinance No. 18 was adopted, which
           set: (1) the annual election of Commissioners for the first Tuesday in March of each year;
           (2) the polling location at the home of Genevieve Takala, City Clerk; and (3) the hours of
           voting from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

           E.      There were few laws applying to municipalities in 1927. Florida’s current
           constitution, which was adopted in 1968, states in Article VI, Section 6, “Registration
           and elections in municipalities shall, and in other governmental entities created by statute
           may, be provided by law.” Article VIII, Section 2(b), states that municipalities were
           granted any power for municipal purposes except as otherwise provided by law.
           Therefore, there are some state laws that municipalities must comply with, regardless of
           the municipality’s enabling legislation.

           F.      In 1973, Chapter 166, Florida Statutes, was adopted by the legislature. This
           chapter is known as the “Municipal Home Rule Powers Act” (Act) and allowed Florida
           municipalities to “exercise any power for municipal purposes, except when expressly
           prohibited by law.” See s. 166.021(1), Fla. Stat. The legislation also provided that any
           registered voter who is a resident of the municipality may vote in the elections. See s.
           166.032, Fla. Stat. In addition, all existing special acts pertaining exclusively to the
           power or jurisdiction of a particular municipality, except as otherwise provided, became
           an ordinance of that municipality, subject to modification or repeal as other ordinances,
           on the effective date of the act, July 1, 1973. See s. 166.021(5), Fla. Stat. Provisions in
           the Act were also made for charter amendments to municipal charters. See s. 166.031,
           Fla. Stat.

           G.      The Village of Highland Park is a municipality and is, therefore, subject to the
           provisions of the election code that apply to municipalities. Section 100.3605, Florida
           Statutes, which was enacted in 1995, provides that a municipality must comply with the
           election code in the conduct of a municipal election if the municipality has no charter
           provisions or ordinances, which cover the election.

           H.      Prior to Respondent’s service as City Clerk, Genevieve Takala served as the City
           Clerk from 1948 until 1962.

           I.     The Respondent was instructed upon assuming the office of City Clerk by Mrs.
           Takala as to the method for conducting municipal elections.


Faa012 (01/98)                                      2
           J.      During Respondent’s 40-year tenure as City Clerk, the municipal elections were
           always conducted in the same manner as explained to Respondent when she took office.
           Respondent understood the elections to be in compliance with the law and until the filing
           of this complaint, no question had ever been raised as to the conduct of the Village of
           Highland Park’s elections.

           K.       The Respondent retired from her duties as City Clerk on September 30, 2002;
           however, the Mayor agrees that the Village of Highland Park will expeditiously comply
           with all the requirements the Florida Election Code, Chapters 97-106, Florida Statutes
           that apply to municipalities in the conduct of Village of Highland Park elections. The
           Mayor also agrees that the Village of Highland Park will work with the Polk County
           Supervisor of Elections and the Division of Elections to determine and implement
           necessary changes in the Village of Highland Park election procedures.

                                     CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

           4.     The Commission has jurisdiction over the parties to and subject matter of this

cause, pursuant to Section 106.26, Florida Statutes.

           5.     The Respondent admits that elections in the Village of Highland Park have not

been conducted according to the requirements of the Florida Election Code.

                                               ORDER

           6.     The Respondent, the Mayor, and the staff of the Commission have entered into

this Consent Order voluntarily and upon advice of counsel.

           7.     The Village of Highland Park shall bear its own attorney fees and costs that are in

anyway associated with this case.

           8.     The Respondent understands that before the Consent Order is final agency action,

the Commission must approve it at a public meeting.             After approval, the Consent Order

constitutes final agency action on the violations alleged in the complaint filed on September 10,

2002 and addressed in this Consent Order.

           9.     The Respondent voluntarily waives the right to any further proceedings under

Chapters 106 and 120, Florida Statutes, and the right to appeal the Consent Order.

           10.      The Mayor will carefully review the Florida Election Code, Chapters 97-106,




Faa012 (01/98)                                     3
Florida Statutes, and avoid any future violation. The Mayor also agrees that the Village of

Highland Park will work with the Polk County Supervisor of Elections and the Division of

Elections to determine and implement necessary changes in the Village of Highland Park

election procedures.

           11.     This Consent Order is enforceable under Sections 106.265 and 120.69, Florida

Statutes. The Respondent expressly waives any venue privileges and agrees that if enforcement

of this Consent Order is necessary, venue shall be in Leon County, Florida.

           12.     The Respondent shall remit to the Commission a civil penalty in the amount of

$200. The civil penalty shall be paid to the Florida Elections Commission, 107 West Gaines

Street, Suite 224, Collins Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050, as a condition precedent to

the Commission's execution of this Consent Order.


           The Respondent hereby agrees and consents to the terms of this Consent Order this

_______ day of October 2002.



                                               _______________________________________
                                               Ann D. Welsch
                                               1317 North Highland Park Drive
                                               Lake Wales, Florida 33898

           The Mayor herby agrees and consents to the terms of this Consent Order this

________ day of October 2002.



                                               _______________________________________
                                               Earl Sehi
                                               1337 North Highland Park Drive
                                               Lake Wales, Florida 33898


           The Commission staff hereby agrees and consents to the terms of this Consent Order this



Faa012 (01/98)                                    4
________ day of October 2002.



                                              _______________________________________
                                              Phyllis Hampton
                                              General Counsel
                                              Florida Elections Commission
                                              107 West Gaines Street
                                              Suite 224, Collins Building
                                              Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050


           Approved by the Florida Elections Commission at its regularly scheduled meeting held

on November 14 and 15, 2002, at Tampa, Florida and filed with the Clerk of the Commission

this ________ day of November 2002 in Tallahassee, Florida.



                                              _____________________________________
                                              Susan A. MacManus, Chairman
                                              Florida Elections Commission
                                              107 West Gaines Street
                                              Suite 224, Collins Building
                                              Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

Copies furnished to:

Phyllis Hampton, General Counsel
Albert C. Galloway, Jr., Attorney for Respondent and Mayor
Kara R. Goldman, Complainant
Sharon Larson, Division of Elections
Supervisor of Elections, Polk County




Faa012 (01/98)                                   5

								
To top