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Unbowed, Elections Supervisor Kimberle Weeks Signals More Brawling Ahead

| September 2, 2014

Still an issue to at least one person in Flagler County. (© FlaglerLive)

Still an issue to at least one person in Flagler County. (© FlaglerLive)

What could and normally would have been the last and most routine meeting of the Flagler County Canvassing Board this morning turned into yet another broil of contention as the board decided to meet again on Sept. 12 to try to resolve issues raised by Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks. The board hopes to ward off a repeat of the clashes between Weeks and local governments that turned into a persistent background noise to the primary election.

Weeks has been angry at Palm Coast’s city administration for not letting her rule the parking lot at the Palm Coast Community Center with the sort of fiat she does the interior of voting precincts: she roped off for voter parking more spaces than the city thought necessary, and illegally added signage to handicapped parking spaces, prompting the city to remove the signage, since it’s city property. The Canvassing Board assigned its attorney, Al Hadeed—who is also the county attorney—to mediate the dispute with the city.

Weeks was not satisfied. “It was really not much value for us even at that,” Weeks said today of the mediated resolution Hadeed worked out before Election Day. “He had stated it was only for the primary election, so we’re no further ahead for the general than we were for the primary. I anticipate having the same challenges in the general, and I don’t want to wait until we’re days or 26 hours away from having an election and then doing the same thing again.”

The issues are minor, if they are issues at all: how many regular and handicapped parking spaces are to be reserved during early voting and on Election Day at the Community Center, and who makes those decisions. Such issues have never raised a problem in previous elections, at least on Election Day, even when the city continued to use the center for non-election related activities. The council, for example, has held meetings there on Election Day, seamlessly with concurrent election activities. Weeks wants all non-election related activities there scrapped on Election Day, and limited during early voting. The city has so far considered those demands unreasonable and unnecessary, given the very light turnout, but at a recent council meeting one council member proposed making golf carts available to any voter who feels that parking a few dozen feet away from the entrance would be too long a walk.

Weeks’s claims aside, there were no complaints from voters about not having adequate parking. Anywhere. And on Election Day, voting precincts tangle with very busy school parking lots and other community type buildings where parking issues are seldom heard of, even on high turnout occasions as the 2012 election.

But Weeks objected not only to Hadeed’s primary-election resolution, which was supposed to be a blueprint for a more permanent resolution, but to procedures. She complained of not getting anything to sign off on. “I don’t even feel like it was even handled the way it was said to have supposed to have taken place, was my point,” Weeks said.

“When we had the conversation about how it was going to take place,” Judge Melissa Moore-Stens, who chairs the Canvassing Board, said, “we didn’t know Mr. Landon was going to be out of the state with a death in the family, so I think that kind of threw a monkey wrench into what we had hoped would take place.”

Weeks then reverted to claiming that the city was violating an agreement it had signed with Weeks prior to the election, where the city agreed not to remove any signage from the community center other than candidates’  campaign signs.

“Madame secretary,” Hadeed said, “there is no way that they could have anticipated that you would have put signage on designated ADA parking spaces. That language does not give you a license, an authorization, to do something that violates some other standard. Plus, I doubt that they understood how you were going to demarcate or attempt to demarcate property for parking for voters. I actually do not recall, and it may have happened in previous elections, but I don’t recall except on election day, that during early voting we roped off large amounts of area for parking.” He described the use of the Community Center as a learning curve for all, but one that can be worked out “through some sort of consensual, mediated process.”

“It’s not just a handicapped parking issue,” Weeks continued. Wielding exhibit-style pictures she said she herself took, she then contended that the county was confusedly identifying visitor parking spaces at the Government Services Building, then pointed to a sidewalk problem there that should be fixed.

Moore-Stens quickly informed her the issues were not within the scope of the Canvassing Board’s responsibilities.

“I suggest,” Hadeed said, “if there’s some presenting problem out there that you noticed or that someone else brought to your attention, I suggest that you meet with the county administrator with it, and just explain, showing him, or whoever he sends, relative to that issue.”

Weeks then directed Charlie Ericksen, the county commissioner and member of the Canvassing Board who was sitting in for Commissioner George Hanns, to have the commission follow-up on her request.

Canvassing Board members agreed to meet again on Sept. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at the supervisor’s Canvassing Board conference room to resolve what issues remain un-addressed—and to deal with the board’s minutes.

That, too, became an issue.

Minutes are seldom a matter of discussion on local government boards, or even of much interest, beyond the cursory summaries of deliberations they provide. Local government board members examine them, at times make minor, uncontested changes—a word here, a nuance there—and always vote to approve them, usually with unanimity.

Weeks’s minutes are a different story. She records Canvassing Board meetings on her mobile phone (thus creating a public record that must be turned over upon request by any member of government or the public) , and spends long hours compiling epic-size minutes that can add up, for each meeting, to a dozen single-spaced typed pages. The minutes are not verbatim transcriptions of the meetings, but carefully paraphrased interpretations by Weeks of Weeks’s version of the meetings. Somehow, Weeks managed to compose such minutes for the numerous meetings that took place over the weeks preceding and the days immediately following the election.

She would not let the Canvassing Board members approve the minutes, as all government boards do.

“The board decides whether there’s going to be approval of minutes. That’s the board’s decision,” Hadeed said.

“My position has always been I’m not in favor of approving minutes,” Weeks said. “I’m in favor of making any necessary changes, of any inaccurate information or adding anything they have forgotten, but not to approve them, because then I feel that that allows the minutes to be manipulated.”

“The approval process allows them to be manipulated?” an incredulous Hadeed asked.

“Well sure,” Weeks said, “if you can take out what you don’t want in there and you can put in there what you want in there, that allows for manipulation, so if there’s anything in there that’s not correct, I’m in favor of making it correct and changing it to make that adjustment.”

The board members did not challenge her, but rather asked for time—until Sept. 12—to review the minutes, though the matter of approval by vote may be brought up again then.

But Weeks made it clear that she would choose what would be included in Canvassing Board records. Later in the meeting, Hadeed challenged Weeks on the inclusion of an email in board records by Dennis McDonald—a losing candidate for County Commission—to Hanns that had nothing to do with board business.

Weeks snapped at Hadeed: “You shouldn’t even be putting your two cents in it because you’re not a third canvassing board member, or fourth canvassing board member. You’re here for a legal question, not here to create a debate, OK?”

“It seems that anytime I talk it creates a debate,” Hadeed said. “I’m just in good faith trying to tell you what the bounds of the law are.”

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16 Responses for “Unbowed, Elections Supervisor Kimberle Weeks Signals More Brawling Ahead”

  1. Edman says:

    Someone needs to have her meds adjusted. Does the Supervisor of Elections need to prove she is mentally competent to do her job?

  2. TomC says:

    Weeks is such a loser. I miss Peggy Rae Border.

  3. Freddy says:

    Who voted this woman into that office? Not me for sure but will be voting her out next go around.

  4. Biker says:

    OK… Was the fact that numerous citizens were given the wrong ballots by Ms Weeks workers addressed? That needs to be addressed.

  5. Andrea Stowell says:

    This woman is a total control freak. She needs to be relieved of her duties………………..but then we tried. It is hard to get rid of the vote counter.

  6. Concerned says:

    Can’t someone from the state step in….she has obviously lost her mind and in need of serious medical care. Surely she could be placed on medical leave until she recovers.

  7. Will says:

    Definition from Wikipedia:

    “Megalomania is a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, omnipotence, and by inflated self-esteem. Adolf Hitler is widely considered to have been a megalomaniac. [1] Historically it was used as an old name for narcissistic personality disorder prior to the latter’s first use by Heinz Kohut in 1968, and is used today as a non-clinical equivalent.”

    Just sayin’…

  8. m&m says:

    It sounds like Weeks has lost what ever marbles were left..

  9. Michael says:

    Ms. weeks just resign and stop embarassing yourself and the position of SOE, The SOE position is almost a waste of a full time person, you make it seem as though it is a critical to the everyday lives of residents.

  10. carol bennett says:

    Kudos to Weeks, you are doing great!!

  11. tulip says:

    I wonder if she mud wrestles cause she sure likes to splash stuff around.

  12. Derrick R. says:

    In light of yet more drama I’m contemplating a run for SOE. Can’t be to hard of job can it ?

  13. confidential says:

    1.Poll workers are properly trained as per Florida Law and considering they use their skill only every two years one day or occasionally more often on a city race. All complainers will benefit and help just by volunteering to be one of them and find out if you really are the perfect human you expect poll workers to be.
    2.To the one’s calling for ridiculous recounts/investigations and that publicly scorned SOE for the poll workers human error like in the case of Landon, Lopez etc. need to know and let me clarify that Early Voting for all the county and its cities voters take place in only 3 locations; SOE offices, County Library and Community Center (last two in Palm Coast). Poll workers on those 3 locations have to handle ballots for 22 precincts, more than one race City of Palm Coast and Bunnell, etc. and 3 ballots styles DEM. REP and NPA. Florida law states that is the voter responsibility to make sure he/she votes the correct ballot that is why is also given the chance to make 2 errors in spoiled ballots and be given a replacement ballot. Then why chastise our SOE for poll workers human errors in handing the wrong ballot? Are Landon. Lopez, Nancy or the rest of the complainers here, PERFECT some kind of Gods, that never make mistakes in their day to day work?
    3.Other than ostentatiously chastise SOE over poll workers human errors you all should take in consideration that these poll workers (mostly elderlies not by choice, but by volunteering) by law receive few hours of good training in a very complicated ever changing procedures and new electronic equipment for the elections process on skills utilized only in elections generally every to years. How perfect or efficient would you be in your complicated work skills if utilized one day only, every two years or so? Other than negatively accuse our SOE for poll workers human errors you all should be appreciating their volunteering to help with a detailed and complicated elections process and take classes half and also full day plus another bunch of hours to travel and set up your precincts the day before elections and be up at 5 am or earlier (mostly elderlies driving in dark AM or even PM time) on elections day to be ready to work for you all 7AM to 7 PM ( if no extended hours occasionally by Tallahassee till 9PM) for a pay that in my opinion does not cover the sacrifice but fulfils their patriotism and love for country and their fellow countrymen and women. You all need to volunteer to be poll workers always needed and then criticize if you can.
    4.The complainers go hand on hand with the ones that complain about too many political signs totally ignoring the sacrifices made by all those candidates renouncing to privacy in their lives, also spending their monies, time and effort to “Offer Us Choices” in our Democratic Republic! Are you aware that in many countries in the world citizens do not have our choices?
    5.Advise to all complainers ;
    A) get out and volunteer to be a poll worker “for the pay” and other than scorn appreciate our mostly retired elders that volunteer to do it, in place of the younger generations that can’t because of work schedules.
    B) get out and vote.

  14. PJ says:

    Some folks think that they themselves are so important that they can’t imagine how things get done without them….PJ

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