Open Letter to KW Mayor and Commissioners

Harry Bethel, Former City Commissioner

Mayor and Commissioners:

Tuesday night’s was the most EMBARRASSING meeting I have ever witnessed. When someone signs up to speak 3-minutes on an agenda item, that is what it is but when that man got up to speak, he looked like a WACKO to begin with but when he started immediately to attack, embarrass and humiliate Commissioner Romero was wrong. It is very sad that the Mayor allowed this man to go on and on and basically he spoke more about Commissioner Romero than the agenda item. I guarantee you when I was on the Commission this would have never happened and Commissioners Weekley and Lopez know this to be a fact. Now, I have seen the Mayor stop the personal attack on Commissioners before but to let this one go on as long as he did was ridiculous and unprofessional. Then again there’s a reason for everything we do in life. Then later in the meeting the Mayor started to speak about how he was personally hurt my things said about him, then he choked and quit speaking. How do you think Commissioner Romero felt???

Harry Bethel

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3 thoughts on “Open Letter to KW Mayor and Commissioners

  1. I was there at the meeting. It was Commissioner Romero’s agenda item. I had no problem with the man speaking directly to Romerro, even though the “rule” is, all citizen remarks are supposed to be addressed to the mayor. I did not agree with the man, particularly that Romero had been out of line. I don’t always agree with Romero, but I know she does her homework, and then some. She did not react to what the man was saying to her, and finally Mayor Cates did start reining in the man. Romero was level the entire time.

    Romero doesn’t seem to worry about being popular. She doesn’t seem to worry about what others on the dais think of her.

    In fact, Commissioner Billy Wardlow sided with Romero on that vote

    I sided with them, too, because of all the talk about how much money the new amphitheater would make the city from large concerts, but there was no business plan. While on the other hand, the mayor and others were saying it wasn’t about big events, it was about the local events, for all people, organizations, schools, etc. It was seriously confusing.

    During my citizen comments, I told the 7 electeds that what really was needed on Truman Waterfront was about 1000 units of actually affordable rental housing, manage by the Housing Authority. But all of their talk about building new actually affordable housing was political B.S., smoke and mirrors. So I did not now oppose the new park, but if they are going to be doing big events there, then the producers of those events need to pay the city a good price for it, so that the city makes money, instead of losing money like it does at Fantasy Fest and the power boat races.Soak the big event producers, I said. Applause in the audience.

    That was Romero’s drift, too, when she spoke later.

    I myself have personally called out the mayor and various city commissioners during citizen comments at many cit commission meetings. This is America, not Korea. Not yet. Give the Donald time, he detests being call out by citizens, the press.

    Yes, Mayor Cates got choked up. But it was not about criticism of him. It was about his city been deeply divided, He wants everyone to just get along.

    In late 2008, when I met Craug and his wife for the first time during Thanksgiving dinner on the dockside at the Yacht Harbor, I asked what was his platform for his already announced mayor campaign in 2009? He said for everyone to all get along. I said, good luck that happening.

    1. Fantasy Fest tourists spend thousands on bed tax and create a lot of hours of work. The problem is it gets misused for things like Peary court. So no not costing the city. Just bad math work making it look that way.

      As to being attacked verbally if your in office , get use to it as it is part of the job. Should be a limit if it turns into rude.

  2. There was a time, back when City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley was mayor, 2003, when I was the only citizen who routinely took the mayor and commissioners to task during city commission meeting. Harry Bethel was a city commissioner then. I found him rude and arrogant. I was glad when he decided not to run again.

    Bethel had two sons, who seemed to go out of their way to excel at being horses asses. One son was caught robbing fishermen’s lobster traps. He was prosecuted by then State Attorney Dennis Ward’s Office, and he was convicted and sent to prison.

    As was his custom, Harry Beth blasted Ward and staunchly defended his son, despite overwhelming evidence that his son was a criminal. Bethel would do the same or his other son, who seemed to like to get in his car, while impaired, and drive it somewhere and get caught by police and then claim some medical problem made him do it. Then, Harry Bethel blasted the good guys, again, and again.

    Bethel hated Ward so much, that he mounted a campaign to get Ward defeated in 2012. Bethel’s effort was joined by many Conchs (white people born in Key West), who hated Ward for his Office prosecuting and convicting elected Superintendent of Schools Randy Acevedo, for not stopping his thieving wife, who worked under him, from stealing the school system blind. Acevedo was a white Conch. Thanks to the white Conchs, led by Bethel, the people ended up with Catherine Vogel as their State Attorney. Yipee!!!

    Bethel gloated online and in the press about having gotten Ward defeated, for doing just what Ward was supposed to do: be tough on criminals, like Bethel’s thieving white Conch son and Acevedo.

    Bethel must be thrilled that Ward beat Vogel in 2016, and is back on the job, just itching, I imagine, to have a go at Bethel’s white Conch son, who seems to like to get impaired and drive his car somewhere until he is caught by the police, and then he claims some medical problem made him do it.

    Bethel did mount a campaign to do something about the mega hospital management company running our hospital like it was a monopoly extorting money out of the people who used the hospital. Bethel was not alone in that effort, but he was part of it.

    I figured, based on past experience with and observing Bethel, that he had his own personal motive. Maybe I figured wrong. I hope so. I hope Bethel did it simply as a public service.

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