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My Open Letter to the Town, by Al Dennington, Melbourne Beach, Fla (+ P.S. and thank yous)

Updated: Nov 6, 2023


Open Letter to the Town

by Alison "Al" Dennington, Candidate for Mayor of the Town of Melbourne Beach


To the Residents and Voters of the Town of Melbourne Beach,


My name is Alison "Al" Dennington, some of my friends and family call me Alison, others call me Ali or Al, but my favorite name has always Mommy, now just "Mom."


I would like my family to continue living and going about town, without awkwardness, shame, or anxiety when I go out biking or walking, or shopping or eating with my husband, and/or with our sons, or our sweet GSP Tallulah.


And the fact that I even have worry about that at all, is terribly sad.





That is one of many reasons that I am running and asking for your vote. I intend to cooperate and lead with honor, integrity, and kindness, no matter what, whether I win or not. And that is what I have been praying for most of all these last few days and weeks.


Who am I? I am an Honest, Proud, Strong, Mother of 2 boys, ages 9 and 14 that attend public schools (Gemini & West Shore). I am an extremely lucky wife, with an incredible husband, who is an amazing father, who is loyal and devoted, and who works incredibly hard to supports us. I am also very fortunate and grateful for all of this. I suppose some people expect I must apologize for that, but I will not. I am also imperfect, as we all are; therefore, I am grateful to those who love and support me anyway, despite. Because I am asking for your confidence, and your vote, I will not shy away from valid questions or concerns. And so, I will answer what I can, if you care to know. But first, I want to discuss some provide some context and warnings.


You have now been bombarded with a cacophony of harsh attacks from "social media" about me, and your mailboxes have been littered with an assortment of lies, selective omissions, and distortions, intended to Divert and Distract. When not selectively censored, "Social Media" is useful; however, Facebook, etc. is just a modern and more efficient version of the old Rumor-Mill that runs faster, father, and meaner than before.


However, Greed is a still the old companion of corruption, who excels at manipulation, lacks scruples, and is neither loyal nor picky.


Greed wears Green suits and skirt, carries a flag of Silver and Gold, not Red, white, and Blue, nor purple, or any other political.


Greed will court the affections of any Politician, and will accept all Party invitations. In fact, it prefers dating as much as possible, whenever and with whoever it can.


Hence the rowdy "dust-up" we see as a number of Incumbents, and their predecessors, go round "circling the wagons" for Barton.


Everyone should be asking: Who is behind this Barton-hard-sell to divert your attention AWAY from Barton's demonstrated failures and costly mistakes? And what kind of bargain has been made? What are they expecting to get in return on their investment?


Answer:

Developer-backed dictators, shadow associates and their cozy friends in fear of losing their power grip on local affairs (and funds). To protect her is to protects themselves and to prevent the unwinding of their own self-interested shenanigans. The wise would verify and weigh the facts and evidence, and consider sources and motives, whenever and before deciding for whom to vast their ballot. The wise and strong also do not surrender their intellect to the Thought Police, nor to their harpies or hounds.


So, who am I, Al Dennington, & what do I hope to do for this Town?


I have integrity, intellect, ideas, and honest interests, NOT excuses. Transparency is a right intended for our protection as Voters in a free and true Democracy and Republic. Public Officials owe us a duty of Transparency. It is a debt owed we are entitled to demand, and not a worthless re-election slogan to be lightly tossed out, nor is it a gratuity arbitrarily paid, if at all, only to those who meekly smile or beg.


Without transparency, the Doors of Corruption are open and are being actively exploited. I want to end that. I want to make Open Plans with Priorities, so that Tax Revenue is spent wisely on infrastructure; and, so that we can Save, rather than raise taxes.


I want to STOP the Meetings before Meetings and END all the various wasteful Flavors of Tax-Funded Favors with actual Oversight.


And, when I say that I want to keep the Town small and safe, I actually mean it! Because I want to preserve this Town for my family & children, and for yours too.


I have sacrificed almost 3 years of my own time, and my family's, on the outside trying to lift the veil, raise awareness, and rally the troops to Protect the Town from the forces within it. Consequently, I am now their favorite target to collectively bully.


The expensive barrage of Barton's empty, redundant talking points, and tacky liar-flyers force-feeding their "Choice of Joyce" down your throats is case in point. Her track record in office is a lack of candor with, and a contempt for resident-citizens.

Our small family company, and our properties, are owned by my husband, myself, and our children. We ONLY rent Long Term. I believe in private property rights within the law, and the SACRED right of individuals to have and express their opinions on Government. Opinions, discussions & criticisms might not always be pleasant to endure, but they are the tools of the trade in our unique American duty to seek the truth.


This Town as we found it 6 years ago, is every parent's dream for their children, and is a priceless asset to be protected. I am challenging the Incumbent, Vice Mayor, Joyce Barton because she has had her chance and she has already failing her in duty to protect that priceless asset. That is why I am asking for your vote. Please read my other blog poasts for more information.


Barton's Education: GED Experience: Restaurant Air B&B Experience renting her own house for nightly rentals. Barton's Tenure in Office and her Idea of Ethics and Transparency: 1) Town funded trips to Tallahassee NOT to lobby for Air BnB restrictions, but instead to actively lobby to exempt Local Municipal Officials such as herself and others, from Ethics Disclosures; 2) Advertises using her title as “Vice Mayor,” on her own Air BnB while reducing her taxes by taking 2 homestead exemptions; 3) Added in a 2nd Kitchen in her Air B&B house; thereafter, failed to disclose it & changed the Code to allow 2nd Kitchens; 4) Passed an Short Term Rental Registration Exemption for Air B&Bs like hers ("Owner-Occupied" Exemption); 5) Communicates ONLY when she wants your Vote. Listens ONLY when you flatter her.


I do not think that Joyce Barton is a bad person that is not what I am saying. I am sure she is a nice, kind person in her personal life.


But she is not a good public official, and I do not think she merits reelection for many reasons.

For contrast then, consider my Education and Experience: UCF: Degree Political Science & Philosophy; Law Degree top 1% of graduating class; Passed Arkansas Bar Exam. Practiced Corporate Law at prestigious boutique law firm; Staff Attorney at a State Regulatory Agency; Represented numerous private & public entities in various transactional & litigation matters until retiring to raise my children. On the issue of My Arkansas Law License: Florida does not have “Reciprocity.” Why keep paying $1,000s in license fees and CLEs—AFTER we moved to Florida when I retired 14 years ago for my kids? It is in fact a common occurrence, when attorney retire and/or move out of state. I did NOTHING wrong. My Town Government Experience: 1) I was on the Environmental Advisory Board before Covid as an non-voting alternate; 2) I created on online Nextdoor group years ago (grown to 240 members) TO ASSIST & INFORM RESIDENTS to fill Barton’s Vast Information Void, 3) After first making fun of it, Barton then asked to JOIN, but only to spy on myself to assist her in monitoring her continued standing with Electorate, not to provide information to you, and 4) she has not yet come up with ideas or ideas for dealing with numerous Town issues, but instead simply steals my ideas and tries to pass them off as her own (Air BnB hotline)..


The Lawsuits?Suing Baseball, FPL, not paying Contractors, "costing" the Town $62,000?

NO.

I amNOT suing FPL or SBBL. These are sheer fabrications. In fact, our company, Funoe, LLC has donated over $1,500 to SBBL in the last 2 years to pay for Game Shirts for various teams that lacked sponsors; teams my child was not even on. There are ZERO contractors who “haven’t been paid.” In fact, we pay our amazing local yard guys, Shades of Green, 3-6 months IN ADVANCE.

Who is Costing the Taxpayers $62,000? The Truth: Barton is costing the Town. I am protecting it.

First, if you actually wanted to verify this or determine who is to blame, you would need numerous types of public records! Good luck with that!

Second, as to the "shed case," I tried to talk reason with the Commission about a shed that did in fact comply with the law and the Town’s ambiguous code, as written. They tried to Extort me; my refusal to “Pay to Play,” starting at $5,000 to “fix” your problems, caused them to declare me as Public Enemy #1.

I was NOT the 1st, but I was 1st to say NO, and fight back. That’s why I had to make public records requests. They "sued me" in "administrative court" and I appealed to a real court, as is my right.

Barton and the Town Attorney, and his thriving private practice law firm in Melbourne, do not want anyone to know the Truth. They represent the interests of a number of local developers, including Commissioner Runte. The Town Attorney unethically racks up of billable hours to protect Barton and Runte’s PRIVATE, financial interests to the detriment of the Town. Barton and the incumbents have set up an Impossible, Inaccessible Obstacle Course to prevent disclosure of any and all important records, so if you want to know anything as a Taxpayers you must Run the Gauntlet full of traps including exorbitant, illegal and prohibitory fees, and tactical intimidation. A court did recently order the Town to answer why Barton (and the others) have refused to disclose her Vice Mayor Emails for 14+ months, and counting.


Despite my personal sacrifices of time, money, and up against INTENSE, Town-sponsored, Town-coordinated, collusion, ridicule, and intimidation—Despite that I have endured. Barton’s behavior is simply: NOT normal, NOT justifiable, and NOT otherwise explainable.


In Re: Barton's Past and Present Plans for Our Town's Future and Our Tax Dollar$

The Executive Summary:

Secrecy, Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest, Hypocrisy, Contempt, and Costly, Wasteful Spending Mistakes are Barton's Track Record


  1. Barton wasted $10,000s on Fancy New Stop Signs at Riverside Drive, a historic thoroughfare without ANY notice; the black painted signs cannot be seen at night and are now peeling; and, will only increase wear & tear on residents' cars.

  2. Barton did nothing to stop or hinder the new Vape Shop signage advertising the sale of paraphernalia to the our Youth!

  3. Barton wants to WASTE $50,000+ Town-Funded Charging Station, for Her Tesla, across from her favorite Restaurant, Djons’s, and there is an (unconfirmed) rumor that this is the real reason why the Bocci courts were unilaterally removed without any notice to the residents or the Parks Board itself;

  4. Barton Flip Flops around Ambiguously on her PLAN TO WASTE $300,000+ (before political pressure got hot) on a New Concrete Skatepark at Ryckman, that will increase parking & traffic, runoff pollution, noise, and cause more drainage issues to residences nearby, negatively impact Founders day and other Town events, and reduce safety, peace and tranquility. She has ONLY recently put on some ambiguous flip flips on her statements and trotted them out right BEFORE the election, saying-that she is not necessarily for it? What will she vote AFTER election though, and on that particular issues, why was she not a NO from the GET-GO ?

  5. Barton Wants to waste Tax$ on an Expensive, Loud, NEW “Destination” Boat Dock at Pine Street will increase noise and traffic from everywhere into town and the nearby streets, while reducing safety and tranquility for our children;

  6. Barton Wants to waste Tax$ on an unnecessary, but Fancy and Expensive, New Ocean Ave. Median, despite the Fire Chief's safety/traffic congestion concerns; Disclosed Co$t: ??

  7. Barton Repeatedly allows and wastes numerous Revenue Transfers & Costs for Undisclosed Fluff; NOT Fixing Infrastructure such as at the recent October Town meeting, where she voted transfer $98,000 from Parking Revenue NOT for fixing Roads, but instead for a 2nd “Ryckman” fund, with NO details on how the $ will be spent;

  8. Barton cares not for Fiscally Prudent Competitive Bidding Laws and Approves Sloppy, Hasty Contracts for Town Funded Projects that are supposedly a “good deal” (Cherry road contract), which then balloon and double (from $500,000 to shy of $1,000,000 overnight, after contract work starts);

  9. Barton has nothing but contempt for Public Input: Barton has demonstrated her Contempt for the Public's Right to know and to speak, by supporting MOVING the Public Comment to the END of meetings, only AFTER she has Voted; and CONTEMPT for Public Records: Changed the Town Clerk position, fireable by the Town Manager alone; Nixed the Deputy Town Clerk; Unconcerned about numerous qualified Clerks resigning in protest; Read the blog & the former Town Clerk’s April 2022 Grievance (hiding and deleting records, and other horrible but common practices); SHE has cost the Town money by hiding records.

  10. Barton wants to waste over $85,000+ on equipment to Televise Town Meetings, so she can on TV;

  11. MEETINGS BEFORE THE MEETINGS & MIXED USE REDEVELOPMENT CODE CHANGE Nightmare in the making: Barton & Crew UNILATERALLY voted to Change the Town Zoning from Commercial to Residential-Mixed Use which will allow pop-a-top condos higher than 28 ft and increase density and traffic, and short term rentals;

  12. Barton constantly LIES BY OMISSION ON INCREASED TAXES by Raising taxes every year to JUST shy of the max; Track Record and Tendencies to Continually Lies by Omission and/or fail to ethically disclose her Conflicts of Interests on various significant Matters and Issues

  13. Secretly Condones and Conducts Slash and Burn Political Strategies, but pretends to promote harmony and promises peace. She supports Town-Sponsored, Coordinated Character Assassinations, Lies, Slander, Censorship, Intimidation and Bullying of Not just her Challengers, but their entire family, and anyone who knows them.


CONCLUSION:


This Tuesday, November 7, 2023


VOTE for Alison "Al" DENNINGTON


Sincerely,

Alison Dennington,

Resident, citizen, and candidate for Mayor.



PS:

The last couple of weeks have been difficult. I am a notice at politics, and dislike it entirely. However, I chose to run.


I have had such a wonderful outpouring of open, as well as silent, but always kinds and faithful support and words of encouragement, prayers, and well wishes from so many people. It has never failed to really lift me up each and every time others have tried to tear me down. I am so thankful to so many supporters from so many different pockets and corners. You all know who you are, and I thank you., truly.


Some of you have been leading the "resistance" movement for awhile, and I never realized before just how hard and difficult this is, but now I certainly do.


I am thankful to all of the people who I have met only recently but who have said that they have followed me for a while and were supportive. It has been SO nice to meet all you. You cannot know what it has meant. For a long time I had felt alone and ostracized and was ok and resigned to it, but this has made me realize I was not really alone.


I am thankful for a number of very specific people too, some people who came right to me to meet me, shake my hand, offer help if I needed it and to give me the guts I needed when I needed it, also some who just seem to show up right when you really need them the most, with helpful tips, or with information, or with sage, honest, direct advice which is my favorite kind.


Others have gently offered many times to assist me in "editing" and proofreading! And I have taken them up on it, and probably let them down some too and I am sorry. And yet they have kept on, have been patient and haven't abandoned me!


There are also a lot of great-pensman and women in town, and I wish I could have even half of their energy, speed, wit, and wisdom.


I am thankful for the good company of my Nextdoor prisons mates. Our censorship cells are getting crowded but here that is a good sign in that it means so many people are waking and have been waking up!


And I am thankful to all the people who hated sending me all the hateful things, but also cared enough that they wanted me to know what was being said, and many of you also courageously stood up for me on the interest and also on their yards.


I think of all of us like a team of independent "freedom fighters" in a local militia, all coming together, fighting for truth, risking information prison, and public ostracism and ridicule. But our numbers have definitely grown and I am optimistic that soon it will be known that we now a strong Majority. Or at the very least, we have put up a darn good fight!!


I have alway liked team competitions, that is exactly what this has been, a very large team of people, all of working on the same thing, protecting this town.

Thank you, all of you.


If I win-it will only be because of all your support and efforts.


When I win, it will be OUR win together by this Town, for this Town.


I tried to get this letter into a 1-page flyer front and back. But I obviously failed to do that.


I almost scrapped it entirely. But I decided to post it anyway even if no one reads it, and even though it is redundant because if have already responded to the various slanders many more times that I ever would have cared to. But I do also have a family and kids, and my little one has been sick and life throws us curve balls and we just take the hit, dust off, and keep going.


Today was the anniversary of my step-dad's death. He was an amazing but quiet man. I learned a lot of things from him. He was very quiet and pensive, but always thoughtful, respecting of others, and very kind and present. He died last year after a long battle with cancer. I have a very small family and my mother is a saint and gift. I am so grateful to her.


And yet here I am and have been so wrapped up in this, I was not able to be there for her on this difficult day which gives me a terrible feeling of guilt. So it is things like this, this life that keeps us constantly busy with all the every days things and all the things that are SO important and critical and yet which pale in comparison to what truly is the most important of all--our circle of people, our neighbors, friends and most of all our family.


When a family member or a child is sick, or worse when a loved one has passed, and another loved one is in pain, grieving their monumental loss, we are reminded to take a step back breathe, and keep ourselves and everything into perspective. What really matters is people and relationships. So, at the end of all of that, let us all be humble, and kind, and remember that.


Interactions and Relationships we have with our neighbors, friends, and especially our family is the most important, and when we put kindness into them, it comes back to all of us. I think we should always remember that whenever we get wrapped up in other things. So that is what I am thinking of now too.










So even though I have already addressed this "response" to the slanders, ad nauseam, I am posting this anyway--Because it is important for me to say it out loud even if no one ever reads it. It is cathartic.


This is not just my life and hometown, but it also belongs to my husband and our children. We will still walk around town and would like to keep our heads up regardless of whether I win or lose. By posting it, I can let it go and release and not feel awkward as if I need to explain anything to anyone.


So, I can now go to bed, so that I can get up tomorrow for the last 24 hours til VOTE time.


I hope to out and about somewhere by A1A, or Riverside, with my best comfy dress and some tennis shoes on, waving to everyone coming home from work with my Vote Dennington Sign and a Big Smile!!



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