Battling rapacious politicians is like a game of whack-a-mole. No sooner do the citizens slap down a greedy pol in Broward, Palm Beach or just this week in Sarasota, but another schemer pops up to try to circumvent the will of the people to line his own pockets. This time it is Polk County.
The perp this time is Polk County Commissioner Bob English, who is term limited in 2012. In 2000, over 60 percent of the voters approved measures to limit county commissioners to eight years in office and to reduce their salaries from roughly $80,000 to $40,000 a year. English, with politically connected Lakeland businessman Sam Killebrew, have sued the voters to overturn the charter amendments claiming they are unconstitutional.
As noted in previous posts, the highest court to ever rule on the constitutionality of term limits -- the 4th District Court of Appeals -- decided unanimously in August that term limits are indeed constitutional when approved by voters in home rule, or charter, counties.
But when there is money and power at stake, English and Killebrew are clearly unimpressed by puny things like elections, the will of the voters, clear precedents or apparently anything else. On Nov. 23, the duo and their cronies appeared before Circuit Judge Steven L. Selph in Bartow asking for him to strike down the charter amendments.
Ironically, Miami-Dade voters will soon be voting on whether to term limit their commissioners to eight years in office and raise commissioner salaries. But what are voters before the irreplaceable underpaid awesomeness of Bob English?
(Pictured: Polk County Commissioner Bob English)