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Sebastian Councilman Damien Gilliams dismisses residents, will proceed to fire city staff

Councilman Damien Gilliams is facing a recall, a lawsuit for breaking the Sunshine Law, and now dismissing the people of Sebastian.
Councilman Damien Gilliams is facing a recall, a lawsuit for breaking the Sunshine Law, and now dismissing the people of Sebastian.

The people have spoken, but Sebastian City Councilman Damien Gilliams is moving forward anyway and looking for Charles Mauti and Pamela Parris to vote on his agenda to fire city staff and put limitations on public input for residents.

Gilliams had already requested another special meeting for Monday, May 18th, but now he also wants one on Tuesday, May 19th.

The trio will attempt a filibuster to do the unthinkable while facing a criminal investigation by the State Attorney’s Office, and a lawsuit for violating the Sunshine Law.

Listed below are the agenda items from Gilliams:

  • Resolution to end the Mayor’s Local State of Emergency
  • Resolution to issue Local State of Emergency approved by Council
  • Resolution to conduct Zoom meetings during COVID-19 State of Florida Emergency
  • Resolution to limit public commentary during resolution discussions to City residents only. Non-residents may address the City Council at public comment time end of agenda.
  • Resolution on approving, denying, cancellation of any contracts entered by City Manager as of 3/17/2020.
  • Resolution to terminate the City Attorney’s contract without cause
  • Resolution to appoint an interim City Attorney

The first item is to end the Mayor’s Local State of Emergency, then approve a new one. The City of Sebastian could lose federal funding by changing it.

Gilliams isn’t telling everyone that with his “resolution to conduct Zoom meetings during COVID-19,” he plans to introduce a resolution from his attorney to keep residents from participating inside the Chambers to provide public input.

He claims it’s too unsafe to practice social distancing at the meetings, but residents say he’s been yelling on a bullhorn to the people at Riverview Park to come to his bar and have a drink at 10:30 a.m.

Gilliams then wants to limit non-residents to address the City Council during regular public input. Many local businesses and property owners feel this is unfair.

On item five, Gilliams wants more control over the City Manager.

And the two final items are about firing City Attorney Manny Anon after residents on Thursday asked the Council to leave the staff alone.

All of these items are another attempt by Damien Gilliams, Charles Mauti, and Pamela Parris to take control of the city, against the people’s will, and to fire city staff to appoint their favorite people and a new set of rules.

Sebastian residents will have to go to more special meetings this week to stop a possible take over of the City of Sebastian.

The next special City Council meetings will be on Monday, May 18th. Gilliams is also trying to have another special City Council meeting for Tuesday, May 19th, at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.

There is a recall group named Sebastian Voters Against Gilliams and Parris, who want to remove all three from office. They are meeting Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Riverview Park in Sebastian. A petition to begin the recall will start on May 20th.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.