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To reaffirm or not affirm, that is the question?

February 6, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Citizens of Cape Coral, Fla.: Just the other evening I was asked by a fellow Cape Coral citizen to attend the Cape Coral City Council meeting. If none of my fellow Cape Coral Citizens have never attended such a session I tell you, it is a lesson in civics. Whoops - a word that use to be common with every student in the public and private school systems of the United States of America, especially here in the Great State of Florida. Civics lessons - where we learned the responsibility of our representative government to the people and the people's responsibility to the government they elected and to the common good of the community. The responsibility of individualism to establish an environment for the whole of the community, such as road systems, laws to guide the common good, the protection of individual private property and the establishment of support systems to help the whole, Fire Departments, Police Departments, and a plethora of other public works programs.

Well, in our representative form of local government on Cape Coral, Florida, when you speak to the City Council be sure that you are looking them in the "eyes," or you might be publicly admonished by the Mayor for not communicating directly to them. As in most circumstances, when a citizen stands up to communicate, the best etiquette on the part of the leader,is not to interrupt the speaker unless they are doing something totally out of control (such as being insulting, cursing or being outright abrasive). There were several council member interruptions during a citizens speaking which for the purpose of common courtesy should not have occurred. Believe me when I say this - I understand that it is hard to not respond when you are hearing someone say something with which you do not agree. That individual citizen that stands before you took a lot of nerve to stand up and speak to the city council. Let them have their 3 minutes to communicate, don't interrupt them. Just think - as council members if someone in the audience interrupts you they can be removed from the hall.

Now to the subject at hand. I have read and am familiar with Rep. Eagle's HB 733. Councilman Leon introduced an amendment for the Cape Coral City Council to re-affirm their commitment to the Second Amendment of the Constitution and HB 733. I, for one, think it was an important issue for the entire City Council to hear and approve. According to the second vote last night there is still a majority of the City Council that do not.

Here in the United States we have 50 sovereign states which each having their own constitutions establishing their sovereignty. It is important to understand that each individual state constitution has language which is similar - establishing an executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, a listing of a sort of bill of rights for each citizen within the state. Hence, each State and Territory (approximately four territories, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Northern Marianna Islands, and American Samoa). All attest to the premise that it is the legislature that creates law and it is the executive branch that enforces those laws. (Judiciary interprets the laws per the Sovereign States' Constitution). Again, what we have here is a basic civics lesson.

Here is the bottom line: The Executive Branch of Government at the federal level has overstepped its constitutional authority. Issuing Executive Orders that create law, which is usurping the constitution where it places the creation of laws as the sole responsibility of both houses of Congress. And, if any of you heard, watched or read about the Chief Executive's State of the Union Address, the Chief Executive said that if Congress did not enact a law that he felt should be acted upon (in his view) he would use the power he had to move his agenda forward.

So you see, Cape Coral council members, when a citizen during their 3 minutes speaks about local issues they need to bring up the federal issue because now we have a Federal Chief Executive pronouncing Executive Orders to the Executive Branch of Government which impacts the local government through support and enforcement.

This is why HB 733 was initiated and why other sovereign states within the United STATES of America are doing the same.

So they can protect their resources from being used unwisely and keeping in balance with Florida's scarce and limited budget. We refer to these sort of procedural enactments as unfunded mandates. And the bottom line is those of us who pay our taxes will be expending monies that can be used elsewhere for fire equipment, police equipment, salaries and benefits for those who work day in and day out for the citizens of our wonderful city. And, though I write critically of issues that we deal with here in Cape Coral, I applaud and hail those public servants who work for the betterment of each citizen of our community. These public servants are always helpful, friendly and appreciative whenever I call for information, advice and assistance.

In closing this letter to the editor I read several sections of the Great State of Florida's Constitution which was enacted in the 1880s and amended in 1968. This is what I think was the oath you took upon taking office:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the state; and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of (title of office) on which I am now about to enter. So help me God."

If this is the oath you took. Why couldn't you reaffirm the subsection which was introduced to you through Councilman Leon's submission?

Not a lecture, just a thought.

Dick Peppe

Cape Coral



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