Published On: Thu, Aug 9th, 2012

Pinellas county officials seek to have term limit case dismissed as commissioners remain under gag order

The battle in Pinellas County Florida between four commissioners and a 1996 law limit their term to eight years rages on.

Susan Latvala, John Marroni, Karen Seel, and Ken Welch ignored the late July deadline to the lawsuit filed against the commissioners as well as the voices calling for their resignations.

Maria L Scruggs (center) battles Ken Welch for Pinellas County Commission seat, District 7.Welch’s tenure has violated the “Eight is Enough” ruling, but appears to be stalled by the Pinellas County attorney. photo/http://marialscruggs4pcc.com/

Jim Bennett, the county’s attorney has informed the commissioners not to speak on the issue and now has filed a motion to dismiss the case. While there is little updates to report, Beverly Billiris, a former mayor of Tarpon Springs who is a plaintiff in the suit, says the goal is “share the information and get the word out the public.”

While speaking to The Global Dispatch, Billiris explained that in 2003 the term limits were upheld and the commission “Should have amended the charter, upheld the people’s vote, but that did not happen.”

Billiris is an active leader in the Save Pinellas group trying to spread the word and raise funds for the mounting legal fees.

“We’re just trying to get the word out to help with the lawsuit,” Billiris told TampaBay.com at the end of July.

Fellow plaintiff in the suit, Maria L Scruggs, offered a strong question to The Global Dispatch for voters and the commissioners based on those 2003 findings.

“If the ruling in 2003 was acceptable when it was in your favor (commissioners), then why doesn’t it apply now when it’s not in your favor?”

Scruggs is challenging Ken Welch and says she is not counting in the term limit lawsuit to change her political race. “My focus is on the primary. The term limit issue remains number one on my list as politics is not a planting ground for politicians. There are no (shouldn’t be) permanant posts in politics.”

Scruggs continued to tell The Dispatch that term limits is an issue she hopes to fight for when elected.

“Absolutely! (It’s) something I’ve always believed in, never sure how one branch of government where term limits don’t apply,” citing examples all the way up to the President of the United States.

There remains no comments are statements from Pinellas attorney Jim Bennett or any of the four commissioners.

For more on Save Pinellas, check out their Facebook page here. To gather more information or contact Maria Scruggs, check out her website.

NOTE: The link to the Save Pinellas Facebook page became inactive, disabled here on the Dispatch 09/19/2015 – BBJ The Dispatch


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON


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