Saturday, August 05, 2006

What Drives Growth?

Over on the ALA Speak Out there is a discussion about the growth in Alachua started by Charles Grapski. This is a very complicated subject but Mr. Grapski seems to have some simple answers. He believes that unbridled growth is leading to “the destruction of our nation”. He believes that, “This is about a group of parasites that are moving up from South Florida - to North Florida - because they have already exploited that area dry - and now want to do so here”.

When someone asked whether growth was driven by the demand for housing or if developers caused people to move to the houses, an example offered was the analogy of which cames first, the chicken or the egg, Mr. Grapski had this to say:

This is a false analysis - the chicken and the egg.

The developers come first - to answer the question - and then the people move here.

No developers, no large numbers of new homes, no large numbers of new residents.

You seem to assume that a community NEEDS a CONSTANT influx of new residents to remain alive. It does not.

The idea of an ever-expanding community is illogical - as there is a natural limit (a point of saturation).

You seem to assume that a community should be exploited freely to the point of saturation.

When that happens - these developers, with no vested interest in that community, pick up and leave that community HANGING for the damage they have wrought - and move on to another one - and do the same.

Thus you see South Florida moving UP HERE.

And the people are fleeing the South Florida developments TO COME HERE - because they want to LEAVE what the developers have wrought.

Now they are trying to create the same thing here - and eventually - at the saturation point - a large number of the people coming here from South Florida will DISPOSE of this community and move on to the next.

Also - developers and home builders are two different things.

A developer takes a large section of land - with no LOCAL demand for homes - and maximizes the number of homes (and minimizes the expenses beyond that - thus transferring that burden to the EXISTING residents to pay for things for the NEW residents) - and destroys the infrastructure of a community.

Most so-called developments should be TOWNS - not developments WITHIN towns. And as such they should be required to build a TOWN's infrastructure.

There should be a town center - with commercial and social infrastructure in the CENTER. There should be utilities and schools and roads and all of that.

But instead developers - parasites - come in and exploit the resources of an existing community - destroying all natural neighborhoods and community establishing elements - and just fill up land (cheap land - agricultural) with "outsiders" (remember how much the City commission criticizes outsiders?).

The issue is not the DEMAND for people to MOVE INTO Alachua or Alachua County.
The issue is the quality of life of those who ALREADY live here.

Yes there can be SOME new residents moving in - if there were a reasonable amount of new homes appearing in a natural and managed way.

But the DEMAND for all of these new homes - is NOT from within the current residents. And you and the developers force the CURRENT residents to PAY FOR the developers profit-making business (they are the source of the profit - not the homebuyers) - and thus to be accomplices in destroying the community they currently live in.

Question: How many of the people buying these homes are coming from South Florida? WHy are they leaving the developer's paradise in the first place?

Here is a good chance for a civil discussion about growth. I hope that Mr. Grapski will expound on his understanding of the economic forces that drive growth beyond the simple idea that developers from South Florida are the root cause.

My first question is, just who are these developers from So. Florida by name. I want to try to understand who Mr. Grapski blames for our growth.

Posted by Bud Calderwood


At Sun Aug 06, 01:12:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...


How many people living in Alachua County TODAY need ADDITIONAL homes?

At Sun Aug 06, 01:24:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski, you say that developers from So Fla are coming here. Who are they? Are they coming to Alachua County or just No. Fla?

At Sun Aug 06, 02:51:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

They are coming to NORTH Florida and to Alachua County.

They have no "loyalty" or commitment to a particular region. They are there to exploit that region for all it has - and then to move on to exploit another. That is why I call them parasites. Is this "all" so-called "developers" - no, but a large percentage of what has become the "development industry" since post-WWII have been this kind of entity.

In the past - a COMMUNITY was created - with the foundations for a HEALTHY community, the kind of infrastructure, etc.

That community grew NATURALLY - based upon ITS needs. There were LIMITS to that growth - beyond which, just like a child, if it "grew" it was DESTRUCTIVE not productive.

THe development industry bypasses all of these natural limits - and thus DESTROYS community.

Now - its not JUST from South Florida (and they were not all FROM South Florida originally - they came from elsewhere to exploit the then untapped "resources" of Florida - particularly large tracts of agricultural land).

In the city of Alachua - we have some of this impact - but even more - we have a FEW greedy individuals who have owned and operated this town for THEMSELVES for decades.

They exploit their control over the City's government - to use the PEOPLE's resources to benefit THEMSELVES.

That is unethical.

James Lewis is not the only one - but he is the only one left ON the Commission.

This town was run as a plantation for years - then as a company town - and now as the town for the same few people to exploit.

Tracing the "growth" of Alachua from a healthy ONE-SQUARE MILE city - where there were NO TAXES - into a 40 square mile sprawling monstrosity - where the tax burden (and the debt burden) is EXTREMELY HIGH - is the result of Lewis and others such as Pope, Cain, Hope, Cellon, etc. exploiting this town for their own advantage.

The cabal of individuals consists in particular of former executives of the Copeland Sausage Factory (for example Grady Alday who was among those who "grew" Alachua, when he (or his wife) were on the City Commission, by annexing in their OWN lands, and then rezoning them, and then taking public money and developing THEIR "business" with it - i.e. laying water and sewer lines FOR THEIR profit) and former farmers.

A good example of the KIND of corruption taking place in the City of Alachua - beyond looking to the numerous times James Lewis has been found to have violated Florida's Ethics Laws - is the example of the 100 Oaks "development."

Do you remember that one Mr. Calderwood?

At Sun Aug 06, 02:58:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

I'd be happy to refresh your memory of the 100 Oaks scam - which included the likes of James Lewis, Wallace Cain, and James Herring (I believe another of the Copeland Sausage "elite") - and how it attempted to EXPLOIT this community for their own greed and profit.

This included "developers" (from out of town) such as Berry Shirley (who came to Florida from ALABAMA (hmmm... why does Alabama always come into this picture - as in Waco of Alabama? a Jacksonville corporation?) - he was a STRIP MINER! - who also tried these scams in other parts of the State - such as in Punta Gorda and and Palmetto - or his one-time partner, Lawton Skipper, a real estate agent from Sarasota, who then moved to Lake City.

These are PARASITES, Mr. Calderwood - they are not paragons of virtue nor are they civic leaders.

They are here - and in bed with the likes of James Lewis - for their own EXPLOITATIVE GAINS. They could care less about the public good or the people of Alachua or Alachua County.

Those people are their fodder - not their friends.

At Sun Aug 06, 03:27:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, you have made an intersting claim about South-Floridians moving up here in droves. Interesting, but untrue.

From 2000 to 2005, the growth rate in Alachua county has averaged .54% per year while the state growth rate has averaged 2.26% per year.

As usual, the facts are not on your side.

The consumer is the ultimate decider for where and how builders will build. If a consumer wants something, a supplier will fill the demand. Builders, generally, don't take great risks. They don't build neighborhoods in the hopes that they can create the market for that neighborhood. If they decide to build something, it is because they know the demand is already there.

At Sun Aug 06, 03:30:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, I am still waiting. I want to know the date that Jean Calderwood was asked to sign a disclosure stating what interests she had or didn't have in WACO.

What was the date?

At Sun Aug 06, 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Well, you managed to name one person, from Alabama, but none from So. Florida. To hear you all those people moving up here would leave a ghost town or two down south. Can you name a ghost town in south Florida? Can you name a city in so. Florida that is decreasing in population?

The scenario you paint has been going on since the civilized world hanged fro Ag. to Industrial.

I would like to hear your plan to stop this besides developers starting NEW towns. Actually how would they start NEW towns. Who would finance the start up costs. Do you know the start up costs of a new town. How would you decide who could live in these NEW towns?

Yes there can be SOME new residents moving in - if there were a reasonable amount of new homes appearing in a natural and managed way.

WHo decides which people are deserving enough to be allowed to move there?

At Sun Aug 06, 04:40:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Did some quick calculations for you, Charlie.

The average birth rate in the US in 2006 is 14.14 per 1000, per year.

According to the CDC, the birth rate for the state of Florida in 2004 was 12.5 births per 1000 people per year and the death rate was 7.6 per 1000.

That means that while the county's population is growing about 1208 people per year, about 1090 of those are natural, reproductive population growth (new births minus deaths). That means that Alachua County is growing by about 118 people per year, due to immigration.

This developer created influx that you are carrying on about - it doesn't exist.

At Sun Aug 06, 05:02:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Sun Aug 06, 05:06:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

The bottom line to your perceived problem is the fact that the world, US, Florida population is expanding. There are more people being born then die. They have to live somewhere. Where do you WANT them to live. Do you think that the State should set up gates on the roads leading into Florida to stop them from moving here. Should the Federal government dictate the number of children a couple can have like China?

The 2000 census showed that there were over 800 NEW people a DAY increasing our population in Florida. Some are births but certainly not all since there are states declining in population, i.e. people are moving here FROM OUTSIDE of Florida, and not from So. Florida.

What is YOUR PLAN? It is easy to complain and point a finger at successful people who are able to supply the needed housing for all these 800 people but what would YOU do?

Sun Aug 06, 06:02:46 PM

Posted to What Drives Growth?
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At Sun Aug 06, 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Stafford's Faulty Logic 101:

> From 2000 to 2005, the growth rate in Alachua county has averaged .54% per year while the state growth rate has averaged 2.26% per year.

As usual, the facts are not on your side.<

Nice try - but no dice. The growth RATE has nothing to do with the LOCATION from which people come.

Furthermore, if you take the entire County - as you do - rather than merely the areas that "grew" - you are distorting the picture.

Also - if you only take 2000 to 2005 you are missing a large part of the picture.

I am really amazed that you are actually trying to say: 1) there has not been a large influx of NEW residents moving into Alachua county; and 2) that these NEWCOMERS are not coming from South Florida.

The facts, Stafford, are actually not on your side.

> The consumer is the ultimate decider for where and how builders will build. If a consumer wants something, a supplier will fill the demand.<

This is typical nonsense of so-called "free market" analysis (there is no such thing as a free market - and in Alachua - the growth/development market is anything but driven by CONSUMERS).

In Alachua - there are large acres of farmland. Those large acres of farmland are being converted into large, sprawling housing complexes.

The number of homes built does not match the number of new persons born into Alachua county. The residents come from OUTSIDE of Alachua County.

Yes - if you build it, they will come. But this is NOT what you are saying. You are pretending that WITHIN Alachua County - there is a "demand" for these homes. There is not. I am not saying you will not find some of the new homes occupied by persons CHANGING homes within Alachua county - what I am saying is that the TOTAL NUMBER of new homes - is not driven by a natural growth of the population which COMES FIRST - and then the NEED to have new homes for them.

It comes by BUILDING the homes (at the expense of the CURRENT residents) and then ATTRACTING them from OUTSIDE of ALachua county to MOVE here.

They CREATE the demand - it does not exist before they come.

We do not have thousands of people in tents WAITING for homes to be built do we?

At Sun Aug 06, 05:34:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...


On the issue of the disclosure - I will get back on that, and as I said, I will even post the actual documentation - possibly if I get a chance I will even post the video of the event. How is that for you.

In the meantime - notice how you try and "massage" the issue.

The issue here is a disclosure of interest - plain and simple.

Why have you now NARROWED it down with specifics about Waco? I didn't say it was specifically about Waco did I?

Sounds to me - and I have seen you do this many times before - that you are trying to craft your way out of something. But perhaps it was just an error on your part.

At Sun Aug 06, 05:41:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood,

The issue here is not population growth. It is not even migration into Florida.

It is corruption.

It is local residents, such as James Lewis, taking farmland - which was acquired under a social contract - and accumulated with benefits provided by the public so as to support Agriculture - and then turning it around to make profit (profit derived in large part because society had allowed a single owner to possess that large tract of land - based upon the need for agriculture).

But it isn't even just that. It is James Lewis (as an example) USING his publicly elected position to ARRANGE for special treatment of HIS lands - so it is annexed in in a way that uses his vote, it is rezoned in a way that uses its vote, it is often "purchased" - via the use of City (the citizens) resources, and it is financed, and "developed" (i.e. water and sewer lines) BY THE PUBLIC - but for their profit. That is what this is about.

Its not about growth - its about corruption.

However - I never said ONLY South Floridians are moving here - they are (yet you and Stafford are absurdly challenging that point). So are others.

But it is not a result of massive population explosions.

Its a result of CHEAP land - in large quantities - with NO REGULATION (due to control over political offices) - converted into a MASSIVE PROFIT.

THat profit motive builds those homes - not the "demand" for the homes. Then more public subsidies go to ATTRACTING people to come INTO this area - to purchase those homes.

There is no INTERNAL demand for this kind of unbridled growth. Its a manufactured demand - generated by those who seek to PROFIT from it.

I could tell you that there is "free money" in the First National Bank of ALachua (but its no longer there - it certainly did act as if there were free money for decades though - OTHER PEOPLE's money) - and people would go and take it (the so-called "demand").

In that sense - you can say there is a "demand" for anything that is used. But that is meaningless - unless you are merely spouting rhetoric to justify your ends and objectives.

At Sun Aug 06, 05:49:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, I have given you actual statistics and numbers on growth in Alachua County, as a whole.

Of course you are going to say that I am wrong, but you have offered no evidence as to why.

You are not credible.

You just said to Mr. Calderwood that the issue was not growth, but of corruption. But, in the Gainesville Sun article on Alachua, you said:

"Grapski said the overt issues to surface in the city this year are access to public records and the issues laid out in the election lawsuit. But he said it all boils down to growth - or, as he calls it, "the unbridled industrialization of Alachua."

"It's all essentially connected with (growth)," Grapski said.

Again, you are not credible.

With regard to the disclosure that the commissioners were asked to sign, I thought I had read that it was in reference to WACO. Forget WACO. Whatever it was that the commissioners were asked to sign, give me the date. You claim that Jean Calderwood was on the commission, but when James Lewis was asked to sign, Jean Calderwood was not on the commission.

Just get me the date and lets clear it up. Simple question. What was the date. Don't say you will get back to me. What was the date that you claim that she was asked to sign? When was James Lewis asked to sign. What was the date>?

At Sun Aug 06, 06:11:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

I am really amazed that you are actually trying to say: 1) there has not been a large influx of NEW residents moving into Alachua county; and 2) that these NEWCOMERS are not coming from South Florida.

Ok, Charlie. Back up your statements. Give me some facts backed up by a real data source that proves your statements.

At Sun Aug 06, 07:00:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Hugh Calderwood said...
I can see that we will never see eye to eye on the issue of "corruption". You have a problem with successful people. Any profit is EXCESSIVE PROFIT to you. No one will be able to change your mind on that issue. I don't see it that way but then I am one of those "evil" capitalists. Successful people really do things out of concern for all the citizens. You, of course, will never see that. This country was partially founded on the principle of property rights, something they didn't have in England. Your statement, (profit derived in large part because society had allowed a single owner to possess that large tract of land - based upon the need for agriculture), goes 100% against that principle. In fact it sounds like it came out of Lenin's writings.

Since Lewis was a farmer one would expect that he would have LARGE TRACTS OF LAND! If he stopped farming, he could do whatever he wanted with that land. Do you believe in "eminent domain"?? Do you believe that the government can take someone's land if they don't want him to subdivide it? What is your definition of "urban sprawl"?

You see Lewis as a corrupt despot. I see him as a man with a vision. He saw what happened when the only company in town left (due to no factors from him). Alachua was going bankrupt, similar to Newnansville. He and other successful people had a plan to save the town. Did they make some money in the deal. That is questionable. They were already successful in business, which really isn't a bad thing. They employed citizens, they paid taxes which provided services, etc. The fact that they annexed their land into the town that they had been elcted to represent isn't illegal. At the time the county taxes were higher, Gainesville was making noise that they wanted to annex (without the landowner's permission) large parts of the county (what they are doing today). Those lands were not a burden on the city since the city was not providing any services.

Alachua has a growth rate of 3%, much higher than the County and all the similar sized towns around.

Archer, High Springs, Newberry, Hawthorne all envy Alachua because it had the vision to put the infrastructure in place 30 years ago to (can I say) attract people and businesses here. They all seem (except for a few ALA types) to like it here.

So there you have it. It isn't "corruption", it is growth, exactly what you said in the Gainesville Sun. So just keep on your campaign. It will lead to nothing because your targets haven't done anything that hasn't been done for hundreds of years. The citizens haven't had a gun to their heads. They have "profited" from Lewis' vision as much or more than he. They know this. They aren't as dumb as you think. That is why he has been re-elected all those years, all the smearing done by the ALA aside.

At Sun Aug 06, 08:35:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Stafford, Stafford, Stafford.

First - you seem to confuse lines written in the sun ABOUT a topic I was being asked questions on - and "direct quotations of what I said in particular" and how the two often join together in a story.

The issue is about CORRUPTION. Remeber this all started with a stolen election. Who was it stolen for - one of the key players in Alachua politics - James Lewis. Its about Corruption.

Underlying that corruption - is the PROFIT MOTIVE - of the "unbridled industrialization" of Alachua.

Notice there are TWO words there. And the KEY word is the first - the QUALITATIVE word - the UNBRIDLED nature of the thing.

Its not about growth - its about unbridled growth - unbrildled because THAT is what serves the individuals interests who put greed and their own self interest ahead of the public good.

Oh and Stafford - you also seem to think that when someone refers to James Lewis being asked to disclose his intersts - as if it could only logically apply to ONE SINGLE occasion that YOU particularly have in mind.

That is also not a logical necessity. There have been SEVERAL times when that issue has been brought up when Lewis has been on the commission (for forty years).

At Sun Aug 06, 08:39:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood,

Your failure to understand American and English history do not astound me.

No, this country was not founded - in part or in whole - on the notion of "property rights" that you hold.

Rights were a fundamental concept to the founders. But more than just property rights - and property was not an absolute right, but a limited right which relied upon socially conferred rights to possess things (in particular land - which existed as no person's exclusively by nature).

And the idea of property rights did indeed exist in England. That is classically where that philosophy developed in the centuries BEFORE the American Revolution.

So learn about this nation's history and philosophy before stepping into that arena.

At Sun Aug 06, 08:54:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Here is a good statement of the DIFFERENCE between your vision of "growth" and what I am FOR (I am against YOUR idea of "growth" - not growth per se - and in particular you notion of growth without end as a necessary feature of society (which is necessarily self-destructive - as there are NATURAL limits)).

This comes from a book entitled Suburban Nation, by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Pater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck:


This book is a study of two different models of urban growth: the traditional neighborhood [What I am FOR] and suburban sprawl [What you are FOR; What I OPPOSE]. They are poplar opposites in appearance, function, and character: they look different, they act differently, and they affect us in different ways.

The traditional neighborhood was the fundamental form of European settlement on this continent through the Second World War, from St. Augustine to Seattle. [So this is not part of our revolution from Britain - but historically a part of the AMerican tradition] It continues to be the dominant pattern of habitation outside the United States, as it has been throughout recorded history. [Ironically - "Conservatives" claim to look to the past for sound concepts - not to innovations of the present] The traditional neighborhood - represented by mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly communities of varied population, either standing free as villages or grouped into towns and cities - has proved to be a sustainable form of growth. [Notice that this is not ANTI-growth - it is anti-sprawl] It allowed us to settle the continent without bankrupting the country or destroying the countryside in the process. [How novel.]

Suburban sprawl, now the standard North America pattern of growth, ignores historical precedent and human experience. [This is what I am AGAINST. This is what is taking place throughout Florida - destroying a once beautiful and denuding a once rich (in the full sense) state - just as this happened in California prior to here.] It is an invention, conceived by architects, engineers, and planners, and promoted by developers in the great SWEEPING ASIDE OF THE OLD that occurred after the Second World War. [Again - so much for being real "Conservatives".] Unlike the traditional neighborhood model, which evolved organically as a response to human needs, suburban sprawl is an idealized artificial system. It is not without a certain beauty: it is rational, consistent, and comprehensive. Its performance is largely predictable. It is an outgrowth of modern problem solving: a system of living. [So much - again - for your commitment to "Conservativism"] Unfortunately, this system is already showing itself to be unsustainable. Unlike the traditional neighborhood, sprawl is not healthy growth; [obviously then there IS a thing called HEALTHY growth then isn't there?] it is essentially self-destructive. Even at relatively low population densities, sprawl tends not to pay for itself financially and consumes land at an alarming rate, while producing insurmountable traffic problems and exacerbating social inequity and isolation. These particular outcomes were not predicted. Neither was the toll that sprawl exacts from America's cities and towns, which continue to decant slowly into the countryside. As the ring of suburbia grows around most of our cities, so grows the void at the center. Even while the struggle to revitalize deteriorated downtown neighborhoods and business districts continues, the inner ring of suburbs is already at risk, losing residents and businesses to fresher locations on a new suburban edge.

[I think that sums up the contrast in what we are FOR pretty neatly - and WHY I OPPOSE that which is taking place in Florida - and particularly in this area of Florida.]

At Sun Aug 06, 09:01:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

If you were true "Conservatives" - you would look to the wisdom and philosophy of the founders of this nation - how did they CREATE communities?

Your way - or my way?

I think you will find that many - like Franklin, Jefferson, even Washington - had a much DIFFERENT vision for what was good "design" of a community than the "development industry" that you support.

Radically different visions - but then again - they had a radically different vision for SOCIETY. They actually CARED about society - and the future progress of mankind. And they knew that the SHAPE of the structures of the social space of that society - the design of their communities - was ESSENTIAL to that goal.

They had not abandoned a philosophicaly grounded view of how to live in the world - one ethically grounded (essentially social) - and gone on to try and "scientifically" design, in an ethically neutral fashion, how to PACK as many individuals into a single space as EFFICIENTLY as possible so as to MAXIMIZE PROFIT.

The founders would be turning over in their graves if they could "understand" what you have allowed to happen to the country they fought so hard to establish on a BETTER model for society - and ENLIGHTENED model.

The irony is that here you prove - as in many other senses your actual actions betray your claimed ideology - that you are hardly "Conservatives" at all - at least not consistently.

The real issue always comes down to what serves your particular individual intersts. That is not Conservativism - that is Selfishness.

At Sun Aug 06, 09:06:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Actually I think your historical analysis of the decline of Newnansville, Mr. Calderwood, is inaccurate.

Indeed much of Alachua WAS Newnansville - because you seem to confuse the GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION from the PEOPLE. Perhaps that is the fundamental flaw in all of your philosophy - the flaw that makes that philosophy fundamentally self-contradictory.

And your view of James Lewis as a "visionary" is quaint. But you can dress up greed in as fancy a set of clothes that you want - its still greed plain and simple.

James Lewis' vision was not for others (you think he really cared for the "poor folk" who lost their jobs when the sausage factory left town? Not to mention that he began his little venture into "real estate" speculation (and manipulation) long before the sausage factory closed down.) - it was for how to make a PROFIT (a handsome profit - and the MAXIMUM profit you could - thus dispose with the ethics as they are not "efficient" - again - so much for really being "Conservatives") for HIMSELF and as a result - for his ASSOCIATES.

But the name of that game - is how to get from the pot as much as you can - which means how to make sure others don't get more but less - because the pot is not unlimited.

That is the problem with Mr. Lewis' vision for Alachua. Its not for the PEOPLE of Alachua - its for his ability to profit from the GEOGRAPHY of Alachua.

At Sun Aug 06, 09:15:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie

You are full of . . .something

I don't really care about James Lewis. I care about the date that Calderwood was asked to sign such a thing. I only asked about Lewis as a frame of reference because the last time that we can think of such a thing happening was when Lewis was on the commission, but Calderwood was not.

What date for Calderwood.

Next, I gave you facts to show the overall growth rate in Alachua County. You claim that there is unbridled growth. It isn't happening county wide, so if it is happening in Alachua, it is because of annexation, or because people are moving from Gainesville to Alachua, bu the community as a whole isn't experiencing what you describe. Whether they are from Miami or Billings, Montana, you claim that developers are attracting people to the area, but the growth number for Alachua County don't support your claim.

Back up your statements or quit wasting my time.

The next post from you must have the date on which Jean was asked to sign a statement, and it must include the facts to support your claims.

If it does not include that information, the next post from you will be deleted.

Oh, and your post about traditional neighborhoods vs. suburban sprawl is all B.S., too.

Americans are in love with choice. The age of the automobile has created a new age of opportunity and competition. If I don't like the grocery store near my neighborhood, I can drive a little further and choose another. They must compete. If somebody in my neighborhood is looking for a job, they are not necessarily limited to the ones in the immediate vicinity. They have choices. I have already told you, the day of the small, corner grocery store is gone. We hav developed a goods and services distribution system so fantastic that we can walk into a grocery store and choose from items that my grandfather's grocery store could never have hoped to stock.

Your vision of growth is gone, and as long as Americans want choice, it will never come back.

The ability to transfer goods and services and transfer information has allowed payed untold dividends to our standard of living, and I believe that is not selfish and the Franklin and Jefferson would approve. Charlie, they rode horses. They read by the light of oil lamps and candles. They didn't have antibiotics. The market of potential employers was not as varied. They couldn't choose between Albertson's and Publix and they certainly didn't have the selection available in either of those stores. People drive from Gainesville to go to Newberry's Backyard BBQ. They drive from Gainesville to go to Conestogas. Why? Because they have the choice, and it is the age of the automobile that gave them that choices of where to shop, eat and to live.

Your vision of society is gone.

Again, the answers to my two specific questions, or post nothing.

1. what date was Jean asked to sign a statement

2. what information do you have to backup your claims about developers (including or not from south florida, since you mentioned it) are driving rampant growth.

At Mon Aug 07, 06:37:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski, you like to live in the past. I agree with Stafford that the wants and needs of Americans has changed since WWII. Millions of soldiers saw a world that they had never seen. The GI Bill gave them choices they never had. The economy gave them more money then they had before.

But more impportant the business climate canged. Before the war we were still primarily an ag. country with family farms providing for the masses. After the war corporations started to consolidate farms and pushed the family farm to the realm of the buggy whip industry. Now you had those farm families forced (or by choice) to travel to jobs. Cars became more important and the interstate highway system allowed people to travel further and faster then ever before.

Those corporations that you love to hate changed the world. You can live/long for the past but get in line with the buggy whip workers for a trip down memory lane. Is that good or bad? For you it is bad. For most people it is a reality and they learn to live with it/adjust to it and get on with their lives trying to make a "profit" at the end of the month.

At Mon Aug 07, 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, as I said, I am waiting on the answer to the following questions.

You have a nasty habit of avoiding answering questions by branching off into an ever-extending list of subjects.

1. what date was Jean asked to sign a statement?

2. what information do you have to backup your claims about developers (including or not from south florida, since you mentioned it) are driving rampant growth?

At Mon Aug 07, 03:14:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

The things that you can bet the house on are that Mr. Grapski will never admit that he is wrong and he will never apologize. That about sums up his personality. Don't hold your breath that he will come up with evidence, let alone a video, of the Mayor refusing to sign a financial disclosure statement.

At Mon Aug 07, 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Another question Mr. Grapski has failed to answer is whether he will publically apologize to Mr. Watson when his lawsuit fails to find fraud and the election is not over turned. He said he would and he shook hands on it. Is he an honorable man?

At Mon Aug 07, 04:45:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Starting with Calderwood's last entry:

I have no plans on apologizing to Clovis Watson - as I have knowledge of his actions in the recent Alachua election - breaking the law including numerous felonies. I will be seeking his prosecution under the law for these activities. I have no problem apologizing if I am WRONG - but I have sufficient evidence to KNOW that I am not wrong on this matter.

I only have to rely on ONE item of information to KNOW fully what Clovis Watson and Alan Henderson did - and how they STOLE the election for Lewis via the manipulation of the absentee ballot process - and particularly by targeting members of the African American community.

From a first hand interview - with a person who cast her vote on April 10th (the day before the election) - who came to us with this information and has stated this information to several individuals including two attorneys to date - I know that the following occurred on April 10th, 2006. The following is a description of numerous felonies being committed by City officials in the conduct of the City election.

On April 10th, the City's utility bills were due. They are payable to the Deputy Clerk (Alan Henderson). It is common practice by many in the community - and in particular a large number of the African American members of the community - to pay that bill.

Alan Henderson was conducting the election - as the effective Supervisor of Elections. The Supervisor of Elections of Alachua County did NOT conduct this election.

Clovis Watson - in addition to holding the following positions (in violation of Florida's Constitution): City Manager, Police Commissioner, Active-duty Sworn Police Officer, and City Clerk - is Alan Henderson's boss. He is also one of the three members of the Canvassing Board (along with Jean Calderwood).

In addition to City Managers having a code of ethics to not engage in political activities - the role of a member of the Canvassing Board expects neutrality from the individual.

It is also unlawful for a police officer to be present in a polling location unless specifically requested to be there for a particular purpose.

Alan Henderson did not conduct EARLY voting in the City of Alachua. Alan Henderson did not conduct the ABSENTEE ballot process according to Florida Statute. Early voting is not permissible the two days prior to the election or on the election day. Absentee ballots may be RECEIVED up until the closing of the polls - but are not meant to be used as a replacement of the polling locations.

Polling locations have a number of rules that must be followed in their set up (and this is true for the early voting location). Alan Henderson's office was not set up under the rules to accomodate the purpose of CASTING a ballot.

Absentee ballot procedures require that the Supervisor of Elections (in this case Henderson) maintain a log of all requests, deliveries, and returns - by date and time - of absentee ballots. Absentee ballot packages must contain a ballot, a set of instructions, a secrecy envelope, and a mailing envelope.

Absentee ballots must be maintained in a secure manner - and when counted must be conducted according to the statutory provisions.

Absentee ballot mailing envelopes must be VERIFIED as to the identity of the person and their being registered to vote (and it must be ensured that they did not cast a vote at the polls). The mailing envelopes of all verified ballots must be opened and the SECRECY ENVELOPE removed (which contains no indication of the identity of the voter). Those ENVELOPES must then be mixed so as to make it IMPOSSIBLE to identify the voter and the vote. They are then to be opened and counted.

On the morning of Monday April 10th, Clovis Watson camped outside on the steps of city hall. There are rules of polling locations with substantial distances within which solicitation of voters may not occur.

Clovis Watson was WITHIN that space when standing on the stairs of CIty Hall.

CLovis Watson - at City Hall - solicited persons to vote and to vote for James Lewis in violation of the law.

In one case in particular - probably the most alarming case (but by no means the sole case) - Clovis Watson encountered a women he knew arriving to pay her utility bill. She was not coming to vote - nor had she intended on voting in the election.

Watson addressed her on the steps - and asked her if she would like to vote in the election. The woman (who CLovis has since identified - even though her name has never been publicly released) stated that the election was the following day. He stated that it was OK - and that should COULD vote there, that day, at City Hall. This was inappropriate.

She then stated that she did not know WHO to vote for as she was not paying attention to the election - and thus should not vote. He then instructed her to vote for "Mr. Lewis." That was illegal.

He then escorted her into the office of Alan Henderson and instructed him that she would like to CAST a ballot.

Henderson did not ask for ID. Henderson did not have her fill out an absentee ballot request form. Henderson did not maintain a proper log of all absentee ballot requests. Henderson did not provide her with an absentee ballot package. Henderson did not provide her with a private area within which to vote.

Alan Henderson, who had maintained the absentee ballot box UNLOCKED in his office during the election - and who had available in his office campaign literature for James Lewis (all again highly inappropriate) - gave this woman a blank, machine readable ballot.

Standing with her she cast her vote IN HIS PRESENCE and without provision for secrecy. He did not provide her instructions for an absentee ballot. There was no polling location properly established in his office. He did not provide her with a mailing envelope. He did not provide her with a secrecy envelope.

She handed her exposed ballot to Henderson - who placed the ballot in an unsealed envelope.

The woman left Henderson's office - and encountered Watson outside. Watson - realizing he was not as specific as he intended - as her if she voted "for the right one." The woman responded that she voted for "Mr. Lewis" as he had instructed. Watson then asked whether she voted for "number one or number two." She stated that "Mr. Lewis was the first on the ballot." (This referred to Lewis Irby - not James Lewis). Watson informed her that she voted for "the wrong Lewis." She was then led back into Henderson's office.

Henderson removed the cast ballot for Irby (a major felony) which was not in a sealed envelope (also problematic) and gave her a new blank ballot and tore up the originally cast ballot (again this is a list of felonies committed by City officials). He then again watched her vote and took the ballot from her - without any secrecy provided - and placed it into an envelope.

That, in a nutshell, is only a small fraction of the improprieties by City officials in the April 11th election - which manipulated the process so as to ensure a victory for James Lewis.

It places - at minimum - Clovis Watson and Alan Henderson as key individuals in the violation of FLorida statutes and the right to vote.

If you can explain that story as fitting within the law - I will apologize to Mr. Watson. But I do not believe any of the above can be made to FIT within the law.

At Mon Aug 07, 04:47:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...


As I stated I am going to post the actual documents online for all to see.

I also stated I needed to go and get them from my files (I am not currently able to access all of my files - as I am not legally allowed to enter the city limits of Alachua). Thus I needed time for them to be retrieved for me.

The dates of the requests for disclosure were in August of 2000 - and I have the letter sent to each commissioner and the city manager and those returned. Included in this list of recipients were James Lewis and Jean Calderwood - both who failed to fully comply with the request for a disclosure of interests.

At Mon Aug 07, 04:53:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

That is YOUR story, an allegation, not true until proven in Court. Time will tell. If the Court finds no fraud and the election stands, will you apologize as you said in public that you would? Are you an honorable man who keeps his word?

At Mon Aug 07, 05:06:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood - truth is not determined by whether or not a thing is taken to court.

That is the FACT - you may hope to weasel your way out of the facts or to have City Officials just blatantly lie (I am expecting that) - but these are all facts as relayed by the individual person who was the other actor in this - and has been consistently told by her to nearly a dozen people including two lawyers.

The facts are more than that - and they are detailed in our lawsuit.

This election was corrupted by the actions of City officials and the right to vote was denied.

At Mon Aug 07, 05:07:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Again - if you can prove that Clovis Watson DID NOT do these acts - or that this person did not experience and relay them - please provide the proof of that.

At Mon Aug 07, 05:07:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Again - if you can prove that Clovis Watson DID NOT do these acts - or that this person did not experience and relay them - please provide the proof of that.

At Mon Aug 07, 05:32:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

We await this great video that you have. You said:

I would note, however, that I believe on TWO occasions your wife was requested, by the public, when the public indeed had a right to know - along with James Lewis - to file a public statement of your "interests" with regard to votes being taken on certain "development" issues.

Which agency sent her this letter and where was she supposed to file this public statement? And when was this second occasion?

At Mon Aug 07, 05:37:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

Again - if you can prove that Clovis Watson DID NOT do these acts - or that this person did not experience and relay them - please provide the proof of that.

I believe it is your responsibility to PROVE that he did say what you allege. If he lies and you can prove it then you will have what you want. I would think that you would be absolutely giddy at the chance.

At Tue Aug 08, 04:49:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

I have no doubt that he will lie - as will others in the City - they have done so before.

The fact of the matter is - can you prove that the woman in question lied in telling that story. Why would she lie about that? What motivation could she possibly have?

Clovis Watson, Alan Henderson, and Jean Calderwood all have a lot of explaining to do as to why they did not follow the law in the conduct of the election.

I know part of the answer is - they don't know what the law required. But that is not a satisfactory answer - and it does not explain their active advocacy of the election of James Lewis when they each were election officials - not just city officials.

Your wife along with other City officials and employees will be under deposition this week - we will see which ones are willing to LIE under oath at that point in time.

At Tue Aug 08, 04:50:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Like I said Mr. Calderwood - I will post the documents.

At Tue Aug 08, 05:09:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Monday May 11, 1987


by Greg Steinmetz

[The same Florida law used to build the Palms inspired the Alachua project. That law allows developer to pay for roads, sewers and other public facilities with tax-free bonds. Taxes on the sale of adjoining commercial properties pay off the bondholders.]

By all accounts the Palms of Terra Ceia project is a disaster. But a Central Florida city avoided what might have been a similar tragedy by derailing the developer's plans.

Before he came to Palmetto, Palms developer Barry Shirley took a development proposal to Alachua, a small town 15 miles northwest of Gainesville. Shirley called the proposed project One Hundred Oaks. It would include 970 mobile homes. An $8 million bond issue would finance sewers, roads, a golf course and 17 man-made lakes.

Four years later, the project is dead, having polarized the town and raised questions about the private business interests of the town's mayor.

The project had a lot in common with the Palms. Not only was Shirley behind it, but so was his former association, Lawton Skipper. Skipper, a real estate agent who moved from Sarasota to Lake City to help develope One Hundred Oaks, sat on the Palms board of supervisors before Gov. Bob Martinez forced him to resign because of conflicts of interest.

Huntsville, Ala., nursing home developers - Bryson Hill and Hugh Guthrie - were to help Shirley with the Alachua project. The two men, who worked with Shirley on the Palms project, would buy the Alachua land just as they had in Palmetto.

And, like the Palms, the project's size was just shy of the threshold mandating a rigorous regional planning review.

Finally, the same Florida law used to build the Palms inspired the Alachua project. That law, Chapter 190 in the Florida statute books, allows developers to pay for roads, sewers and other public facilities with tax-free bonds. [So much for your free-market analysis and advocacy] Taxes on the sale of adjoining commercial properties pay off the bond holders.

One Hundred Oaks - and the Palms - were just two of a series of Chapter 190 projects that Shirley had planned. One in Brooksville never started. Another in Charlotte County, near Punta Gorda on Charlotte Harbor, fizzled when Shirely couldn't come up with the money to buy the land, recalled Shirley's attorney, Robert Williams.

From the moment that One Hundred Oaks was proposed, it was mired in controversy. Environmentalists and neighboring property owners objected that the venture represented a poor land use decision, was too crowded for the rural setting and was too close to the city's water supply.

"In going through the city plan of Alachua, I found it was very inconsistent with a number of land-use policies," said Earl Starnes, a University of Florida urban planning professor who fought the project.

Starnes had company. More than 100 people signed a petition protesting One Hundred Oaks. The Gainesville Sun published editorials opposing the development. And Alachua County government managers, who rarely worked closely with city of Alachua officials, also joined the fight against the project.

Political conflict was rife. Three city commissioners, including Lewis, had an interest in the property but nevertheless approved zoning changes for the land. They also voted for the creation of a special taxing district to help finance the development.

A showdown was not long in coming. When the bond documents went before a circuit judge, the opponents were there to object, and the judge threw out the bond offering because it lacked required supporting documents. Soon afterward, Shirley withdrew. Today the property remains as it has for decades, a plot of land leased to sunflower growers.

Skipper is glad Shirley failed.

"It was better for the community that it didn't go through," he said. "I told the sellers that it's the luckiest thing this didn't go through." He said he feared another Palms.

Starnes said the One Hundred Oaks controversy played a part in the most recent city elections when two city commissioners were voted out of office. "I think the neighborhood was concerned with the conflict of interest," he said.

Lewis, who has been on the city commission for more than 20 years, didn't want to talk about One Hundred Oaks, at least not in a telephone interview.

"I only owned the property," he said. "I've declared my conflict."

At Tue Aug 08, 05:51:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Sarasota Herarld-Tribune
Monday, May 11, 1987


by Greg Steimetz

[What remains is a partially developed piece of land and hundreds of vulnerable investors from Punta Gorda to Ellenton and beyond.]

Five years ago, an Alabama strip miner came to Palmetto and proposed a plan to turn an abandoned waterfront orange grove into one of the Gulf Coast's most lavish condominium projects.

The development-starved community had never seen anything like it. They greeted the project warmly, adapting local ordinances to accommodate it.

Today the project, called the Palms of Terra Ceia, has collapsed, leaving in its wake a partially developed piece of land and hundreds of vulnerable investors from Punta Gorda to Ellenton and beyond.

Substantial questions loom about how developers spent $11.5 million raised for the project.

The matter of the Palms has riveted Palmetto as few commercial ventures ever have. Complete with a review by the State Attorney's office, it has made civic leaders wary of developers and their promises.

But as much as anything, at least as far as the retirees who bought the bonds are concerned, the Palms lends additional credence to an age-old truism: Buyer beware. No matter how good an investmnet looks, or how glossy the prospects are portrayed, no return is ever guaranteed.

The driving force behind the project was Barry Shirley, a coal mine operator and residential developer who was once president of the Homebuilders Association of Alabama. He and three partners raised money for the Palms through the sale of tax-free bonds issued by a special taxing district created through an obscure state law.

The state law allows developers to float tax-free bonds to finance roads, sewers and recreational facilities if they privately finacne the commercial improvements, such as condominiums or mobile homes. Commercial sales, in theory, would generate tax money to repay the bondholders. [Again - so much for your free-market being the driving force.]

Before the last check was drawn, much of hte money went to themselves, in the form of land deals, or to companies they controlled, through equiptment leases or reimbursements, according to records of the Palms taxing district.

ALl the money was spent while a developer-installed board of supervisors, which was supposed to govern the district, was oblivious to the situation. Board members admit as much.

However, the apparent excesses caused one of the partners to quit, saying in sworn testimony for an unrelated civil lawsuit that Shirley diverted public money for his own gain. Shirley has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the Palms project. Repeated attempts to reach him for this article were unsuccessful.

A few weeks ago, officers of the Manatee Sheriff's Department and Palmetto Police Department staged a two-day raid on the community's offices and carted off boxes of documents. The State Attorney's office is investigating the project, trying to determine if the developers committed any crimes. Private investigators, employed by Palms creditors, are talking to anyone who might help explain how it all went bad.

ALl of the development's employees have been laid off. Only 38 of what were t obe 1,876 condominium units have been built, and only five people are living in them. Construction on another condominium building halted when developers couldn't pay the bills. Heavy equiptment sits under the sun with tax liens on it. There is no restaurant, no marina. The Palms is far from being a "quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle" as described in advertisements.

Investors haven't lost any money yet; but the bonds are in default. The underwriter has notified holders that the October payment might not be coming.

Today the property across the street from Palmetto High School is a stain on a community eager to improve its image as a community overlooked by Florida's growth. City leaders are left to ponder a developmetn that resembles an abandoned tenement. After so much hype and so many expressions of hope the developers of Palms of Terra Caia have failed to deliver.

Shirley, 59, blames it on a condominium market that went sour. No one wanted to buy a $100,000 unit when other condominiums were falling in price, he told the Herald-Tribune in previous stories about the Palms. He also blames the press. The media, by bringing the community's problems to light, snuffed out its chances for success, he had said.

The fingerpointing does little to solace investors.

"I always felt municipal bonds were next to U.S Government bonds in terms of safety," said Alberto DiMille, a semi-retired home builder in Osprey who invested $20,000. "It came as a real shock to me when I got the news about what was going on in Terra Ceia."

"That's one of the best projects gooing, but you need someone to finish it," said retiree Clarence Meyer of Punta Gorda. "I guess I'm going to have to wait until they sell it on the courthouse steps."

DiMille, Meyers and other investors are asking many questions. WHy wasn't the project marketed better? Why didn't the trustee for the bondholders step in sooner? Why wasn't the $11.5 million enough to finish the project? Interviews and court records, from which material for this article was gathered, provide some clues.

Overlooking Terra Ceia Bay, the 136-acre property was covered with scrub when Shirley set his sights on it. He took his plans to Palmetto City Council.

He introduced the council to a little understood piece of Florid law known by its statute number - Chapter 190. That law allows developers to float tax-free bonds to finance roads, sewers and recreational facilities if they privately finance the commercial improvements, such as condominiums or mobile homes. Taxes on sales of commercial property are supposed to repay bondholders.

To win approval under Chapter 190, Shirley needed the council's blessing. The city had to approve zoning changes and sanction the creation of a special taxing district - a geographical area in which the money could be spent.

Over a two-year period, all the approvals were in place and the Palms were born.

"If I had a crystal ball, I probably wouldn't have voted for it," said Palmetto Mayor W. D. Bell, who was a councilman at the time.

"But we thought it would be a boon to the city. It would have increased the population 25 percent. With people putting up that kind of money, you think it would be all right."

The law mandated that a board of supervisors administrate the taxing district. But it allowed developers to appoint whomever they wanted to the board. Jack Lavender, a Longboat Key resident who was one of the developers, rounded up acquaintances from his church and made them board members.

The board did what it was told, taking its orders, including a demand not to tax the landowners, from Shirley.

"We were fooled," said former board member Lawton Skipper. "We believed Shirley and Smith (the district secretary) knew what they were doing. They gave us reason after reason not to levy the tax until the cash flow was there."

Shirley decided who won construction contracts, board members say over Shirely's denials. And many of the contracts were made without bids. Officially, any subcontracting job or expense of more than $5,000 had to be offered in open bid.

But bidding was often circumvented by writing multiple checks below the $5,000 threshold. For example, a $9,600 payment to Florida Equiptment and Service Inc. of Bartow, for instance, was split into two separate payments of $4,800 according to former Palms construction worker Richie Shaffer.

Gov. Bob Martinez has since forced Skipper and two other board members to resign. In their place he has appointed two others, with a third on the way, who have no ties to the developers.

Prospective condominium byers were greated by a scale replica of what the project would look like. City officials helped break ground with a gold-plated shovel. Talk show host Gary Collins and wife Mary Anna Bobley, the 1959 Miss America, donned hardhats and mugged for Palms promotional literature.

But no sooner had work begun than it started to sour. Developers used bond money slated for common facilities to pay for some improvements on their own parcels of land within the Palms. They also ended up owning property that was supposed to have been transferred to the taxing district, according to state officials who inspected property records.

Meanwhile, condominium slaes were dismal. Brokers paraded potential customers through the project, but each turned away. Construction continued. But before such improvements as teh golf course were even close to completion, the money began to run out. Wages were cut.

Soon the project was broke. Shirely dropped out of the project under a hail of foreclosure lawsuits. A group of Shirley's associates has not taken over, but efforts have also sputtered.

The district spent $7 million on construction, design and land acquisition, district records show. IT also laid aside $1.57 million in a bond reserve fund and $2.88 million in a fund to repay bonds during construction. Although the money was supposed to be enough to complete the roads, sewers and recreational facilities, the funds didn't go far enough.

SO how was the money spent? A review of Palms records shows that the developers took a substantial amount of money "off the top" in consulting and sales fees.

For example, the district paid $1.7 million for land acquisition. $700,000 of which was pocketed by the landowners who bankrolled the project for Shirley - two Alabanma nursing home developers, Bryson Hill and Hugh Guthrie. Hill has since filed for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Banruptcy Code, owing his creditors more than $20 million.

Another $1.54 million went to Ibex Mining and Mineral Inc., a company of which Shirley is president. FInally, $216,024 went to a company called SEAHE Inc. Shirley also is president of this firm. The payments to his companies, Shirley has said repeatedly, were for equiptment leases and reimbursements.

To those involved with the Palms, the payments created suspicions of impropriety. Jack Lavender, Shirley's partner at the onset of the project, dropped out.

"They (Shirley) used equiptment and materials and labor that was paid for by the district to enhance the construction of (his) building," he said in a court deposition. "So I saw all tehse things that were going on and here I am the president of teh company so I ... they wanted me out."

Lavender was also upset about the equiptment Shirley leased, calling the equiptment "junk" and saying it was leased at an "outrageous price." Shirely denies the allegations.

It will be months before the state offices conclude their investigation. Meanwhile, the Palms near-empty condominiums stand as testament to all that is bad in Florida development. Investors hope that a buyer can be found who will fulfill the project's visions and obligations. BUt before the project can be sold, the district has to seize the property. The newly constituted board of supervisors is taking steps to tax teh landowners. If the landowners don't pay, their proeprty can then be taken and sold to satisfy creditors.

At Tue Aug 08, 06:09:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Gainesville Sun
Sunday, December 13, 1987


By Larry Schnell

ALACHUA - Dry, brown stalks of summer crops sway in the wind around Burnett's Lake. The landscape is much as it always has been.

But more than three years ago, Alachua city commissioners changed the zoning on the land from agricultural to a planned unit development called Hundred Oaks. Residents at the time packed city hall to protest the change that allowed 970 double-wide mobile homes on the land some say was flood-prone.

ALthough city zoning maps show that Hundred Oaks still could be built, construction has been delayed, a developer has closed his business and a city deadline for starting construction probably has passed.

Residents who lost the zoning battle in 1984 may have won in the long run.

Earl Starnes, a county resident who opposed the development in part because he believed too many homes were planned, said he is sure the project's zoning has lapsed.

"I'm frankly quite pleased," said Starnes, chairman of the University of Florida urban and regional planning department. "That neighborhood can develop out there but I don't think it should have spot uses like that," in which residential land is mixed with agricultural land.

Lake City real estate developer Lawton Skippers said he is trying to put together a financing package to get the project moving again. Skippers, a former partner of Berry Shirley, the original developer, said he understands the land may no longer have the proper zoning for the project.

"We're tryign to get an opinion on that," Skippers said. "It may have expired in August."

If the land is returned to its agricultural classification, anyone trying to build more than one home per five acres would have to go through teh rezoning process again.

City Commissioners unanimously approved the project on August 6, 1984. City law requires that "substantial construction" take place within two years of approval. It did not.

The project got a one-year extension to Aug. 6, 1987, but still there was no construction. According to the zoning ordinance, the land reverts to its original classification.

The city's attorney Neil Malphurs said he is unsure if the time limit on the zoning has passed. he said the three-year time limit may not have started until a master plan for the development was approved.

The master plan was due with the zoning application, according to the ordinance. City Engineer Paul O'Dea said he is reviewing the final site plan submitted more than a year ago, but that is not the master plan.

Malphur said he has not issued any opinion on the project's zoning because the developer has not talked to him about the project in about a year.

The quiet atmosphere of the proposed project now belies the turmoil that occurred in city hall in the summer of 1984, when land owners including Mayor-Commissioner James Lewis and Shirley began the zoning process to develop the 454 acres north of US 441 on the east side of Alachua.

For about three months, residents, planners and environmentalists challenged the project, which included a golf course, swimming pools, 17 lakes and recreation buildings. They charged taht some of the land is in a flood plain, that roads were inadequate for the traffic, and that the density of homes per acre was too high.

More than 100 residents signed a petition protesting the development, and the Alachua County commission joined the opposition by supporting a succesful lawsuit against the Hundred Oaks bond application afte the project was approved by Alachua city commissioners.

Three commissioners at the time, Lewis, James Herring and Wallace Cain, had interests in the property and they voted for the rezoning along with the other two commissioners, while declaring their interest by filing required forms. At that time, public officials could vote even if they had interst in the outcome.

Lewis was part owner, as was Cain's mother-in-law and Herring's mother. Cain and Herring lost subsequent elections, and some residents, including Starnes, attributed the election losses to the commissioners' conflicts of interest. Starnes said the rezoning issue brought many opponents of the project to the polls.

Problems plaged the development after city commissioners approved the $8.5 million project.

One problem was financing. Commissioners approved forming a special taxing district so that Shirley could issue up to $19 million in bonds to pay for the project. But a circuit court judge turned down the bond deal in January 1985 after it was challenged in court.

This summer, Shirley, who had he option to buy the land, closed his operations in Manatee County after a mire of financial difficulties. The state attorney's office in Sarasota is investigating Shirley's dealings, which involved $11.5 million he collected from the sale of bonds, according to an assistant state attorney in the Bradenton office.

Skippers said raising money for the project, which now should cost more than $10 million to build, is difficult, but he has several groups of investors that are interested.

Soybeans, wheat, corn and other crops around Burnetts Lake have survived more than one development plan. In the 1970s, Lewis and other land owners sold Burnett's Lake property to John McConnell, now charged in Houston with one of hte largest land fraud cases [in] the country's history. McConnell sold phony mortgages on Burnetts Lake property and promised to develop the land into lakeside homes. The land reverted to its original owners when McConnell went bankrupt in the late 1970s, according to federal bankruptcy records.

At Tue Aug 08, 06:12:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Now we meet John McConnell. One with a long history of shady dealings with James Lewis and gang in Alachua. He had company called Young American Builders - and was partnered with Lewis in many of the attempted "land-deals" of the first phase of the "big land grab" of the 1970s.

McConnell, I believe, became the head of the Alachua Chamber of Commerce.

THESE are the kinds of people that have been "growing" Alachua - and it has not been for the sake of Alachua (its residents) - but Alachua has been used for the sake of these individuals.

This is GREED gone rampant. It is unbridled development. It is corruption plain and simple.

And it is about the CORRUPTION of Alachua CITY HALL.

At Tue Aug 08, 07:03:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski, so far you have not shown how Mr. Lewis has "raped" Alachua or caused it to go bankrupt. I don't see a PD called 100 Oaks. What you have shown is that Lewis isn't so powerful as to be called a "Robber Baron" and that the system works in Alachua.

Also, it would help your cause to show perceived problems that are not 20-30 years old. If you think that Mr. Lewis is making such an excessive profit, explain why he is driving such an old car that is falling apart.

At Tue Aug 08, 08:15:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood - you attempt, much like Mr. Jones, to play the red-herring game.

First of all - examples of corruption going back to the 1970s - and continuing today - is a far more powerful example of corruption than MERELY pointing out one example today.

Secondly - I never said James Lewis was the ONLY corrupt actor in Alachua. I said he is one of them.

Thirdly - many wealthy people - drive old cars. One's car does not determine one's wealth.

Fourthly - the system did NOT work in Alachua. The people rose up AGAINST the system in the case of 100 Oaks - James Lewis and other Commissioners with VESTED INTERESTS ignored those people and went AHEAD with their plans.

The people of Alachua had to GO TO COURT - along with the Alachua COUNTY Commission - to OVERRULE the City of Alachua, and James Lewis and company, on the 100 Oaks scam.

And the 100 Oaks scam is a good example of the kinds of scams that Lewis and others have been pulling - using OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY - and using PUBLIC OFFICES - as means to get rich off of land deals and development.

Once again - I ask you to OPEN THE BOOKS of the City of Alachua - your wife is the mayor is she not? THen why are the facts HIDDEN from the public?


How much DEBT is the City of Alachua in? Who owns that debt? Who pays that debt? How?

How much money does the City of Alachua "make" from EXTREMELY HIGH utility charges? How much of that goes to paying off the City's debt?

Are you going to post those documents - since you seem to have an inside person in City Hall finding out all kinds of things for you and Stafford whenever you want to try and challenge me.

Here is a challenge. Lay out all of the City's finances for the public to see.

At Tue Aug 08, 08:23:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood,

I'd also like to see what you said when YOU apologized to Mr. Watson.

After all - you were a vicious critic of his when he was made City Manager.

Should I post all of what YOU said about him then?

Why the sudden change of heart - when he just happened to start supporting these developments?

Also - remember when you tried to call me Mr. Lawsuit? Well - I have indeed been involved in a handful of prosecutions - all against public corruption. And I have not been getting rich off of lawsuits - as you were trying to give the impression through that little smear tactic. How many lawsuits has CLovis Watson brought? Now there is Mr. Lawsuit if you want one.

Oh - and remember how you tried to characterize our challenge to the election as some sort of sour grapes just because "we" did not win at the ballot box (again ignoring the actual factual allegations we were making - as it had nothing to do with the outcome, but the process).

But what about when your wife was RESOUNDINGLY defeated by Tamara Robbins (after which she became another one of your targets for harassment and vitriolic attacks) - what did you wife WHINE and CRY about then? Or do you deny she tried to cry "foul" about that election. The difference was she did not have violations of the law as her gripe - but tried to give the IMPRESSION of such - calling it unfair that people like Scott Camil assisted in the campaign (!!) or that there was somehow a "partisan" element to it (not the Democratic party - but I guess the ALA was considered the party). Of course - when she was APPOINTED Mayor by Jeb Bush she stated the reason was because she was a "good Republican." But then cries fowl - claiming that the city is a nonpartisan system - when Tamara Robbins wiped the slate clean in the election.

You also seem to fail to understand what a non-partisan election entails. Which is that there is no OFFICIAL recognition of parties in the process.

You are a master of deception, Mr. Calderwood - when you have gullible people listening to you who do not have the facts.

You will not find that kind of opponent in me - I am armed and ready for battle - and I am committed, regardless of personal cost and without a personal gain motivation, to bringing an end to the corruption in Alachua, reforming its government and politics, and holding to account all those who have misused their authority in this city.

At Tue Aug 08, 08:31:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Now that you are calling for TRUTH and OPENNESS Mr. Calderwood - would you mind explaining your role in getting the Alachua Today going in the City of Alachua as a mouthpiece for tearing down your opponents and a propaganda rag for your efforts at unbridled growth and corrupt government.

What role - exactly - did you play in getting that "paper" going in Alachua?

At Tue Aug 08, 08:34:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...


How many acres of land owned or partially owned by James Lewis has been annexed by the City since James Lewis was on the Commission?

How did Lewis come to acquire such vast tracts of land? Where did the money to purchase those lands come from?

How many of his personal land investments were then rezoned by the Commission with Lewis as a member?

Let's bring out ALL the details into the Sunshine Mr. Calderwood.

At Tue Aug 08, 08:35:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

How many PUBLIC (i.e. taxpayer supported) GRANTS have been used to finance development of Lewis property in the City of Alachua since Lewis has been on the Commission?

Again - here I am only focusing on James Lewis. But he is not the only one - but one of a group - although he is the remaining one "active" on the Commission.

At Tue Aug 08, 08:37:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

WHO conducted the April 11th City election Mr. Calderwood?

What was your wife Jean's role in the election?

What was your role in the election?

What was Clovis Watson's role in the election?

What was Alan Henderson's role in the election?

What was the County Supervisor of Elections role in the election?

At Tue Aug 08, 10:33:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood,

Would you care to share with your friends HOW MANY ETHICS COMPLAINTS have been filed against James Lewis?

Would you care to explain the complaint filed with the Ethics Commission in 1979 - 79-58.

WOuld you let us know if James Lewis has been found to have violated Chapter 112 (which is the statute I brought to the City's attention - as it was blatantly violating it - when your wife had the hissy-fit to have me silenced)?

What about his vote on April 19, 1977

His vote on May 17, 1977

His vote on December 20, 1977

His vote on January 17, 1978

His vote on February 20, 1978

His vote on June 5, 1978

What about his matters relating to the American Morgage and Financial Company and to Mr. Raymond Dyal, Mr. Dwight WIlliams, DyWi Enterprises, and Ms. Judith Harrell.

How about the relationship to Mr. McConnell, mentioned above as being one involved in one of the nation's largest land-scams - and a former head of the Alachua Chamber of Commerce?

Was not James Lewis a trustee and part owner of Historic Burnett's Lake Subdivision - and did he not deed that land to Jack McConnell (through American Mortgage and FInance COmpany) on June 16, 1976 and then on the same day take back a mortgage? Did Lewis not also then vote on two occasions to grant McConnell's request for rezoning of that land?

What about Quail Roost Associates and the Deed with Judith Harrell and Pilot Forest.

What about Historic Burnett Lake Plantation and Mr. Dyal?

How is it that James Lewis found himself REPRESENTED by the very same person that represented the City as City Attorney?

What about the paving of Main Street north of 441 and the installation of city water pipes - conveniently to benefit land owned by - none other than James Lewis.

How about his ethics violations in the 1990s?

You see - going back in history often reveals much more than just looking at today - because you get to see PATTERNS of abuse.

Its not that James Lewis made an error, or that James Lewis ONCE acted unethically - its that James Lewis IS a PATTERN of continued and unabated unethical and illegal activity as a public official.

At Tue Aug 08, 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Hmm. Now what about the ethics violations regarding James Lewis, Ralph Cellon, and Martha Alday - commissioners (Alday's husband Grady was the Commissioner that Lewis replaced in 1967).

WE can go on and on and on with the "funny business" in Alachua.

It is disgusting. And it is time for it to be brought to a head and eliminated.

At Tue Aug 08, 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Oops just noticed an error (I know you will try and deflect from the main point by focusing on such errors - so I have corrected it) - I said, by accident, Jeb appointed her Mayor - I meant commissioner. The mayor, which is a role she plays now but not then, is and was merely a commissioner.

At Tue Aug 08, 12:42:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

Now that you are calling for TRUTH and OPENNESS Mr. Calderwood - would you mind explaining your role in getting the Alachua Today going in the City of Alachua as a mouthpiece for tearing down your opponents and a propaganda rag for your efforts at unbridled growth and corrupt government.

What role - exactly - did you play in getting that "paper" going in Alachua?

Finally we get a specific question as to my "interests" that he feel shows that I am "corrupt".

The answer is ZERO, except that I give them $.25 a week to read it.

PS I give the High Springs Herald $.50 a week. I guess I am twice as corrupt as you think.

At Tue Aug 08, 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski tries to paint Mr. Lewis as a very bad actor. He posts a number of times to point out that he must be continually violating the ethics laws. The Commission on Ethics only has two violations on record. Mr. Grapski tries to spin it that there were many by spreading out one.

He forgot to print the findings from that one with multiple voting dates.

However, the Commission finds no probable cause to believe that Respondent's large land holdings in Alachua County create a continuing or frequent recurring conflict with his public duties, in violation of Sect. 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes.

At Tue Aug 08, 12:57:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Back to the original point of this thread, the causes of growth in Alachua. Mr. Grapski wants to redirect it into an attack on Lewis. He still hasn't given us any names of developers (from So. Fla which he stated) who have caused any "unbridaled" growth here.

He claims that they have built large numbers of homes and suddenly people from outside (he said So. Fla) came here to buy them. He hasn't given us any evidence to support that claim.
He must have seen the movie, Field of Dreams, and believes that is what drives growth here.

If what he says is true there must be a massive advertizing campaign out there. Can you point us to it?

At Tue Aug 08, 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Hugh Calderwood said...
Mr. Grapski says:

What role - exactly - did you play in getting that "paper" going in Alachua?

Finally we get a specific question as to my "interests" that he feel shows that I am "corrupt".

The answer is ZERO, except that I give them $.25 a week to read it.


Nice try Mr. Calderwood - but two problems:

That was not a claim as to how you were "corrupt" - thus it does not negate any such claim if it was made.

Secondly - I have it on good authority that you were BRAGGING about being involved in bringing that rag to town. I merely asked you to state here and now what role that was.

If it was no role - then you may have been bragging by making things up.

At Tue Aug 08, 01:38:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Hugh Calderwood said...
Mr. Grapski tries to paint Mr. Lewis as a very bad actor. He posts a number of times to point out that he must be continually violating the ethics laws. The Commission on Ethics only has two violations on record. Mr. Grapski tries to spin it that there were many by spreading out one.

He forgot to print the findings from that one with multiple voting dates.

However, the Commission finds no probable cause to believe that Respondent's large land holdings in Alachua County create a continuing or frequent recurring conflict with his public duties, in violation of Sect. 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes.

Tue Aug 08, 01:49:53 PM
Wow - you do have access to all of these records Mr. Calderwood.

I note several points:

1) That you refer to "only two ON RECORD" - what do you mean by "ON RECORD" - have the others been lost? Does that make them non-existent?

2) You refer to ONLY TWO violations - as if this were NO violations.

3) You misread that one with the multiple dates - which does have the Ethics Commission state the above (I believe they were wrong then - and it has proven to be the case that they were wrong since there were numerous ADDITIONAL problems occuring AFTER he was found to have been IN VIOLATION in that case).

4) Which brings me to what you left out conveniently when you quoted that section - PRIOR to them writing that - they DO find that he VIOLATED the law on several occasions.

So that was not a ruling IN HIS FAVOR - but a ruling AGAINST HIM - it just did not go as far as it turns out it should have.

At Tue Aug 08, 01:43:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Hugh Calderwood said...
Back to the original point of this thread, the causes of growth in Alachua. Mr. Grapski wants to redirect it into an attack on Lewis. He still hasn't given us any names of developers (from So. Fla which he stated) who have caused any "unbridaled" growth here.

He claims that they have built large numbers of homes and suddenly people from outside (he said So. Fla) came here to buy them. He hasn't given us any evidence to support that claim.
He must have seen the movie, Field of Dreams, and believes that is what drives growth here.

If what he says is true there must be a massive advertizing campaign out there. Can you point us to it?

Tue Aug 08, 01:57:50 PM


Mr. Calderwood I have not tried to "redirect" anything here.

The cause of "growth" in Alachua - is GREED. There is no NATURAL cause of "growth." It is a CHOICE.

But then again - WHO is making that choice - the people at large (living in Alachua) or the few with the power to do so regardless of the views of the people? The latter it turns out to be the case - thus the GREED aspect.

The growth of the housing and other developments in ALachua did not come from the "free market" as you keep trying to pretend.

It comes from a few people - who are financing their business transactions with public money and who are using political offices to give themselves special treatment - who are buying up land, annexing it, rezoning it - in order to develop it. Not for the needs of Alachua - but for their desire to make a profit.

They thus ATTRACT people INTO the area - to purchase the homes, etc. Not the other way around.

THis is not a mere supply and demand model here.

Its also not a free market model - as the actors involved are using OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY (and their positions of authority to gain access to that money) in order to finance their schemes.

And I certainly have given you names of out-of-town developers who have come in - as well as the "in-town" farmers turned developers like Lewis.

Once again you try and distract from the actual facts.

At Tue Aug 08, 02:43:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

If it was no role - then you may have been bragging by making things up.

Or people are making up lies to smear me. I can assure you that it is the latter. I have never bragged or claimed that I had anything to do with the opening of the paper. I didn't even know the family until the paper existed.

At Tue Aug 08, 02:52:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Back to the question of the causes of growth. You claim to have been a businessman at one time. What do you guess that it costs to start a development before the first house is sold? Why would successful businessmen risk (a very important concept) that money hoping that enough people would buy their product? Tell us what you think "attracts" all this "unbridled growth" to Alachua?

By the way the consultants to the City for the Comprehensive Land Development Plan determined that Alachua had a housing shortage, not unbridled growth.

At Tue Aug 08, 03:07:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Having a senior moment. That should be the The Comp Plan not mixed up with the LRDs.

At Tue Aug 08, 06:43:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

There is no NATURAL cause of "growth." It is a CHOICE.

Once again you dismiss the fact that there are over 800 new people in Florida EVERY DAY! This includes births over deaths. Are you saying it is "greed" that causes people to move to Florida?

Be specific.

At Tue Aug 08, 06:45:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Speaking of being specific, I asked you to ask me specific questions about my "interests" that you are so concerned about. You have failed to do so since your question about the Alachua Today wasn't one of them.

At Tue Aug 08, 07:04:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

Not for the needs of Alachua - but for their desire to make a profit.

They thus ATTRACT people INTO the area - to purchase the homes, etc. Not the other way around.

How are they attracting the people? A grand advertizing campaign? Where is it? Billboards on the interstate? I don't see them. Be specific.

At Wed Aug 09, 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Bud Calderwood made the following statement above:

What do you guess that it costs to start a development before the first house is sold? Why would successful businessmen risk (a very important concept) that money hoping that enough people would buy their product? Tell us what you think "attracts" all this "unbridled growth" to Alachua?

Mr. Calderwood - that is exactly my point. Mr. Lewis and gang have AVOIDED all of those risks - by USING the City of Alachua's official bank account and law-making authority to REMOVE those risks for them and ENSURE themselves a handsome profit.

A profit that comes not from the free market - but from the hands of the poor and others in the City of Alachua.

That is CORRUPTION, Mr. Calderwood, Corruption with a Capital "C".

As for your personal and family interests - I have merely asked for you to lay them out for the public to see. I have made no particular claims for this.

At Wed Aug 09, 05:27:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski says:

As for your personal and family interests - I have merely asked for you to lay them out for the public to see. I have made no particular claims for this.

And I have laid them all out but you seem to think I am avoiding answering your request. Since I'm not a mind reader and I have made them all public I guess that you won't continue to question them.

At Thu Aug 10, 09:12:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood - you have yet to lay all of that out publicly. And your wife has - as I have stated - refused to do so when officially asked.

Shifting focus for a minute.

Given yesterday's performance under oath in deposition - and given that City officials have given numerous depositions in the past few months - and given the fact that they all seem to conclude, on their face, that Clovis Watson is CLUELESS as to his job;

I believe that the City of Alachua has an OBLIGATION to its citizens to hold a meeting of CITIZENS to question Clovis Watson - under oath - in a public forum.

I believe that this meeting should be televised.

I believe that someone claiming the qualifications and competence that Clovis claims should be willing to submit to such a process - and I believe that those who SUPPORT his continuation in this job should also be willing to support this.

I believe that the public has a right to know - for themselves - whether or not the person who is single handedly (in violation of the Sunshine Laws) making nearly all of the policies for the City of Alachua - just how INCOMPETENT or COMPETENT this man - receiving an extremely high salary (and defrauding the state of Florida's pension plan by holding dual office so as to maintain "harm" status for his pay and retirement) - actually is.

Let the public decide. Let the public ask the questions. Let the public see for themselves.

At Thu Aug 10, 09:25:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

There are currently FIVE individuals responsible for Clovis Watson and his incompetence being the central means whereby the City is run (and conveniently so - because that means that persons OUTSIDE of elected office can determine, through CLovis' willing cooperation, every public policy decision in the City of Alachua):

They are:

Jean Calderwood, James Lewis, Bonnie Burgess, Gib Coerper, and Orien Hills.

These individuals have maintained and protected Clovis - and allowed him to act in the criminal ways that he has acted as City Manager - and some have done so KNOWING the nature and scope of his actions.

Others - such as one time Clovis detractor Hugh Calderwood - seem to be quite willing to USE Clovis for their ends. The same with purported life-long friend (seems more like an exploiter to me) Ward Scott.

The truth about Clovis is not pretty. And Clovis is as much a victim in this as he has victimized others. And those who are truly responsible hopefully will not escape the public's attention when Clovis is brought down.

Clovis should not become the scapegoat of the corruption in Alachua. He is a pawn. A willing pawn - and must face that fact publicly.

But those behind Clovis are unethical and engaged in what I believe are criminal conspiracies. They too must be exposed and prosecuted - and they must not be allowed to throw Clovis to the wolves when it is inevitable that he is going down (and that is inevitable) - and hope to remain unscathed by the scandal.

When Clovis goes down - so should many others in official position in Alachua and without title.

Mr. Calderwood and Mr. Scott - I believe you will have a lot to answer for when that time comes.

Mr. Jones - I still believe that you are only an accomplice in all of this through your friendly nature and naivety. Although I do think that as a result of your embracing of Clovis and the City of Alachua - the Alachua County Republican Party will receive a much greater black eye than caused by Travis Horn - and I believe that the State party will also now be negatively impacted.

And frankly - it should.

At Thu Aug 10, 09:28:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...


Again - when you show me the LINE of homeless Alachua County residents (and in particular residents of the City of Alachua) who are in the line for purchasing of all of these new homes built by the developers - then you will have proven your claim that there is a "natural" supply and demand market INTERNAL to Alachua County which demands this MASSIVE RUSH to develop every square mile of once-rich farmland.

At Thu Aug 10, 09:53:00 AM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, you have been given authoritative sources that show:

1: There is a housing shortage in the city of Alachua

2: The migration into Alachua County is not what you claim. In fact, there is next to no migration.

You're "build it and they will come" theory isn't correct. It cannot be correct.

I have asked you to supply some backup information that counters the migration data that I have put up. You have failed to do so and only offered up that your theory was "common sense." To a madman, maybe, but not the rest of us.

At Thu Aug 10, 10:21:00 AM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Heard you on the radio the other day claiming that the state attorney offered you a deal to dismiss charges against you if you would drop your investigation.

The state attorney says that they have offered you no such deal.

At Thu Aug 10, 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Regarding your address to me in your 10:25 post:

The party will be just fine, and you are looking more and more like a mad man, lashing out more and more wildly as your are being discredited (and you are).

The only one oblivious to it is you. A little bird tells me that even many of your progressive supporters are beginning to get tired of you.

Your world is headed in the wrong direction, and you are one of the few that don't see it.

You are a good Democrat, Charlie. I am sure the DEC appreciates you.

At Thu Aug 10, 10:28:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Jones - you claim to have authorities - but you don't post them.

Share them with us so we can see upon what you are basing your conclusions.

LOGIC and COMMON SENSE betray your claims.

Once again - the developments being built in Alachua and Alachua County are not those which suit the needs of those IN NEED of housing in Alachua or Alachua County.

These are homes attracting retirees to MIGRATE here - and South Florida refugees to escape the damage done by the development INDUSTRY in South Florida.

It is plain Common Sense, Stafford, PLAIN COMMON SENSE - that there is no driving need for 40 years of turning all farmlands in the County into housing developments based upon the SPRAWL model.

You have not proven your claims in even the most rudimentary fashion.

And one only has to look to the Chambers of Commerce - which are not about local businesses - but about two types of business: 1) Real Estate (and development); and 2) Large out-of-town Corporations.

The Chambers of Commerce are among those "advertising" the growth of the area - the unbridled growth of the area.

Its not about accomodating the EXISTING population - its about EXPLOITING that population and its resources for the interests of a few to PROFIT from the INFLUX of new homebuyers into the County to purchase the homes they built with taxpayer subsidization (of those already living here) and without the risk of the market (because of their links to government agencies and their willingness to use those agencies for their own self-interest) and with those very same taxpayers being left high and dry with the cost of the IMPACT of that "growth."

Growth, per se, is not good or bad.

Growth - as in the growth of a cancer cell - is BAD.

Growth - as in the maturation of a child into an adult - is GOOD.

Growth - as in the "unbridled" growth of an adult beyond puberty - is BAD (deadly).

The same applies to the growth of "communities."

There is good and bad growth.

You try and conflate all growth into one simple sound-bite approach - to sell to the naive and unsuspecting.

But your tactics cannot stand up to actual public and critical scrutiny.

At Thu Aug 10, 11:02:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

By the way - as the Alachua Project site has announced - today is the SECOND day of depositions taking place at City Hall in Alachua on the legal challenge to the April 11th election of James Lewis to his 40th consecutive year by 18 absentee ballots.

Yesterday saw Clovis Watson and his executive assistant Tara Henderson under oath. And this was a real eye-opener.

Today's schedule begins with Jean Calderwood. We will see whether or not Calderwood will lie as Watson did yesterday or consistently tell the truth - or if also like Watson - will render the typical Reaganesque response of "I don't recall" to nearly all questions - most notably about what laws actually are applicable to their role in the City.

Also being deposed today are Diane Morgan, Deputy Clerk (Alan Henderson) assistant - Henderson is mysteriously on another vacation for the rest of the month - so he cannot be deposed at this time. Henderson, you may recall, is the individual accused of actually tearing up an absentee ballot when it was discovered that the person voted for "the wrong Lewis" - he was the effective Supervisor of Elections - and is likely to face major felony charges when the evidence is put forward.

Also scheduled for today is the third member of the Canvassing Board, Roseanne Morse. (Ms. Morse was the sole citizen member of the board - the other two being known James Lewis supporters Jean Calderwood (whose husband was a major player in the Lewis campaign) and Clovis Watson).

The defendants (the City and its officials) had an opportunity to depose witnesses today as well. Any such depositions will not take place in City Hall, however, but the choice of those the City has scheduled for depositions poses some real questions.

Rather than depose a key citizen witness - such as the as-yet publicly unnamed citizen who was solicited to vote by Watson and had her ballot torn up by Henderson - the defendants have ignored this opportunity (which if these allegations were untrue would be a major blow to the plaintiffs) and have chosen instead to depose two obscure plaintiffs: Shawn Durran and Parem Birenbaum.

Indeed they have failed to take the opportunity to depose someone like myself - who has far more information than has been publicly shared (information that the defense would certainly be in a better position if IT knew - but clearly would like to avoid for this to go on the official record - as would occur if it was obtained as testimony under oath in a deposition).

Of note also is the fact that City Attorney Marian Rush is not taking the lead in defending the City. That role has been shifted to senior partner, and her brother, Robert Rush - to ensure far more competent representation of the City - a clear admission that the City - and the firm of Rush and Glassman - recognizes that they are not in the driver's seat in this case.

At Thu Aug 10, 12:07:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Mr. Calderwood:

You claim honesty and openness.

I would like you to answer - here - the following simple question:

When this lawsuit was filed on the election - what did you say to your wife about it and what did she tell you?

Answer that question openly and honestly - and we will see how sincere you are.

At Thu Aug 10, 01:06:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Mr. Jones - you claim to have authorities - but you don't post them.

Charlie, I am going to say something that I have really resisted saying. It isn't polite, and it isn't kind, but it is an observation that I feel that I must offer.

I think that you are insane, and you have no ability distinguish truth from your own fiction.

I posted, above, some statistics on population growth and migration, including birth and death rates, using the census bureau and the CDC as sources of data, and now you say that I didn't.

This is similar to the fact that you denied that I told you several days earlier the exact status of your financial reports that were due on July 10th (a month ago). I then proved that you were wrong about what I told you.

This is what debating with you is. When you get nailed, you simply lie.

I am waiting for your very interesting explanation as to why the numbers are wrong, and now your very intersting explanation about why you say I never posted them, even though they are there.

At Thu Aug 10, 08:34:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Calderwood - you have yet to lay all of that out publicly

Mr. Grapski, your circular logic is getting boring. I have "laid all of that out publically". I have asked you to explain why you think I haven't and to ask questions that you want answered but you have refused.

Obviously you think that I am lying which I am not. Just call me a liar and get it off your chest. It won't change the facts but it might stop your stupid logic(sic).

At Thu Aug 10, 08:44:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Things must not being going well for Mr. Grapski in the depositions. Here he comes one and a half hours after the Mayor gave her deposition and he is trying to bait me into saying something covered in her's. Did they teach you that in the London School of Law?

Here is a question for you to answer honestly. Why is Robert Cohen passing notes to your lawyer during questioning. Isn't your lawyer smart enough to ask the questions you gave him?

Is your ego bruised because they didn't depose you first, the man who knows all? Only a megalomaniac would make statements like you have.

At Thu Aug 10, 09:20:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Stafford, I think that you are right. Mr. Grapski is going insane. All the signs are there. Paranoia- Everyone is out to get him, the State Attorney, Watson, the Mayor, the Sheriff. Feelings of persecution. Meglomania- no one knows how important he is, how he only wants to "help" the City follow the law, no one knows the Law better than he. Definitely OC- CORRUPTION EVERYWHERE!!!! Tons of conspiracies all around him. He has the SHOUT ALL THE TIME so people will pay attention to him.

He thinks that Watson isn't qualified to do his job. I think that Mr. Grapski is going crazy.

Even his friends over on Howardempowered are worried about his mental health. They are organizing a call list to check on him hourly.

At Thu Aug 10, 09:31:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

From Howardempowered:

"Charlie's banishment from the City of Alachua has cost him very much to date. He put all of his resources and money into this battle rather than his personal affairs and his election campaign.

He had to remove himself from the race for the State legislature because he is refusing the deal offered by the State Attorney. He has not been able to relocate to a new home. He has not been able to work. His finances are in really bad shape as a result and his health is not much better. He is sacrificing everything to fight this battle.

If anyone has a chance to give him a call please do so. He can use our support right now."

"Donna, have you talked to Charlie? Do you think he would enjoy hearing form people, me for instance; or, if he's not in such good shape, would talking on the phone be a strain?"

Cat, I haven't had a chance to phone Charlie. I am distressed to hear that he is still not feeling well. I don't know if he would like phone calls or not, but you will only know if you try".

"I trust Charlie to do what is best for himself and to ask for help if he needs it.

I'm sorry Charlie is having such a hard time. It seemed to me he was going to be short on allies, because he was almost as mad at the Democrats as he was at the Republicans. I'm hoping that he thrives on a certain level of controversy and will be ok".

"I gave Charlie money and called a couple of weeks ago. I think I will make him a care package too with some fun and light hearted things in there to lift his spirits".

At Fri Aug 11, 09:02:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski, when are you going to tell your "friends" that you lied to them. The State Attorney's Office has said that they never offered you the "deal" you have touted. We all know that you didn't qualify because you didn't have the money or the petitions at the time of qualifying.

At Mon Oct 09, 11:09:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Reb said...

Interesting blog. Keep up the good work.


Johnny Reb


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