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The “Recall Cynthia Burton” group the commissioner violated Florida’s Sunshine Law, which provides the community with “right of access” to public meetings.
CRESCENT CITY, Fla. — Crescent City held a recall election Tuesday for a sitting commissioner accused of malfeasance.
The “Recall Cynthia Burton” group says Group 3 Commissioner Cynthia Burton violated Florida’s Sunshine Law, which provides the public with “right of access” to public boards’ and commissions’ proceedings, in 2021.
Jim Hammond, who helped organize a petition with signatures from more than 100 voters, said Burton and other elected officials had a virtual meeting without informing the public.
“We, the citizens, have a right to have input in our government,” Hammond said. “The council members here, along with the mayor said, ‘We don’t want you to have these rights anymore. We are going to remove these rights from you, and we are going to just vote ourselves and the heck with what you say.’”
Burton said government officials held the meeting virtually because there had been a coronavirus outbreak in Putnam County at that time.
She said the public was informed in the proper amount of time.
“People are very aware that things are going on,” Burton said. “This particular meeting was posted, posted that it had Zoom. People were welcome to come to the Zoom.”
After investigating, the State Attorney’s Office sent a letter, saying they decided not to file any criminal charges and closed the file.
Burton said she thought it would end there, but she feels the group continues to attack her on a personal level.
“When I became a commissioner,” Burton said, “the city had a lot of different issues and a lot of different problems, and we have been slowly cleaning some of those problems up.”
Running against Burton for the seat is Chris Coleman, who Hammond said he supports.
“It’s important to all of the citizens here to have equal representation in any government,” Hammond said. “and this government has gotten to the point to where it’s all about the few commissioners.”
The Crescent City Canvassing Board is having a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to determine unofficial results.