Sebastian Voters Expecting to Make History Tuesday in Recall Election

Sebastian recall gets underway Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.
Sebastian recall gets underway Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.

Voters in Sebastian could be making history Tuesday if they decide to recall Damien Gilliams, Pamela Parris, and Charles Mauti.

As of Monday, almost 3,400 mail-in ballots have been cast, which is a turnout of 16.53%. It only took 16.75% to elect Damien Gilliams last November.

The PAC group, known as Sebastian Voters Against Gilliams and Parris, were seen holding signs early this morning at multiple locations in Sebastian asking people to vote ‘Yes’ for the recall.

Gilliams and Parris say they did everything they promised to do, which was to stop the annexation and ban all spraying at our parks and near our waterways.

Unfortunately, they voted to stop the spraying but had no plan to handle the weeds’ overgrowth or the ant problems that kept children out of the parks. The canals have not been maintained, and now it is costing taxpayers more money to get them under control.

Most cities, such as Fort Pierce, slowly implemented a new program to eliminate Roundup instead of voting for a full ban.

In 2018, Mayor Ed Dodd opened the door that allowed the Council to ban Roundup. The city staff was already planning to test alternatives. Dodd also spent almost two years pushing it through, and started the Sustainable Sebastian project.

Damien Gilliams is accused of voter intimidation and harassment after confronting the recall group several times as they collected signatures at Riverview Park.

Gilliams then tried to sue Sebastian City Clerk Jeanette Williams, Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan, recall founder Tracey Cole, and the recall group itself. Gilliams accused the recall group of being “deceitful.”

Eventually, a judge dismissed every complaint in the lawsuit.

Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris arrested.
Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris arrested.

Pamela Parris has also made several controversial statements, including one where she called Sebastian citizens fat & obese and our snowbirds “Carpetbagger Yankees.”

Parris would then deny saying it, and accused Sebastian Daily of creating falsified information. We posted a screenshot showing the comments made by Parris on her Facebook page. However, she denied writing it and then accused the press (trash tabloids) of hacking her social media account.

More recently, Parris applied for a grant to receive money she voted for, but her application was turned down. After we published the entire application she submitted, with her signature, she said the “Sebastian Daily tabloid” lied and she never applied for a grant.

Charles Mauti was added to the recall after the State Attorney’s investigation concluded that an illegal meeting took place on April 22, 2020. Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris joined Mauti in the meeting where they wanted to fire city staff and remove Ed Dodd as mayor. Then they appointed Gilliams as the mayor. Sebastian citizens saw this as an illegal coup to take over the City of Sebastian.

Gilliams and Parris were arrested and charged criminally for violating multiple Sunshine Laws and perjury after lying to investigators. Mauti is cooperating with the State Attorney’s Office.

In Sebastian, there are four polling locations for the recall:

  • Precinct 6 and 7
    St. Sebastian Catholic Church
    13075 US Highway 1
    Sebastian, FL 32958
  • Precinct 8
    American Legion Hall Post 189
    807 Louisiana Ave
    Sebastian, FL 32958
  • Precinct 9
    Sebastian Elks Lodge No. 2714
    731 S Fleming St
    Sebastian, FL 32958
  • Precinct 10 and 11
    Sebastian Christian Church
    190 Day Dr
    Sebastian, FL 32958

To find out your polling location, visit the Indian River County Elections Office.

There is also a special City Council meeting tonight for a budget hearing. The meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. inside City Hall.

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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.