Hold Vanessa Baugh Accountable For Her Unethical Behavior -- Remove Her As Commissioner

Hold Vanessa Baugh Accountable For Her Unethical Behavior -- Remove Her As Commissioner

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jennifer Hamey started this petition to Governor Ron DeSantis and

Calling on ALL residents of Florida to help in keeping our elected officials ACCOUNTABLE for their behavior.  This is not a political issue.  It doesn't matter your stance on masks, vaccines or Covid.  It doesn't matter your political affiliation.  It doesn't matter if you like the Governor or not.

                  THIS IS ABOUT ETHICS, PLAIN AND SIMPLE!

Our elected officials have a duty to be ethical, transparent and avoid self-serving behaviors.  Manatee County Commissioner, Vanessa Baugh, violated her ethical duties as a commissioner to the residents of Manatee County on two separate occasions and as a result of her actions, she needs to be removed from her position.

         1.         In February 2021, Vanessa Baugh unilaterally chose two specific zip codes in her district to receive an extra 3,000 vaccines that became available by the state.  She did this without seeking input or approval from the other six commissioners.  This resulted in the exclusion of approximately 142,000 Manatee County residents who had signed up for the lottery system imposed by Vanessa Baugh and the other commissioners to insure fairness in the system for people to get Covid-19 vaccines.  Vanessa Baugh violated her own rules put in place for the residents!

            2.         In February 2021, Vanessa Baugh sent an email VIP list, which named herself and four other persons, to the Manatee County employee responsible for setting up the vaccine site ordering him to add them to the list of people who would receive vaccines at the Lakewood Ranch pop-up vaccine site.  Vanessa Baugh put herself before all of the Manatee County residents who had signed up for the lottery system.

Vanessa Baugh admitted to her actions in a public forum during a regularly scheduled board meeting, showed no remorse for what she did and advised she would do it again.  This is not someone that has any concerns for the needs of the residents of Manatee County.  Ms. Baugh refuses to resign from her position as chair and refuses to resign from her position as a commissioner.

Covid-19 hit many individuals very hard in one way or another over the last year.  People have suffered job loss, mental health issues, death, long term physical health problems and loss of precious time with family members and friends.  Many people went without seeing loved ones, especially those in nursing homes, for ALMOST A YEAR.  Children are struggling with getting caught back up with school and understanding mentally what is happening.

The CDC and the government said just hold on for a vaccine.  Finally, that vaccine that millions of people were waiting for became available and there was hope at the end of a tunnel of darkness.  The residents depended on the local government to set up a plan to administer the vaccines, TRUSTING that they would do what was best for everyone.  Manatee County Commissioners met and put a plan into place for a lottery system that the residents could enter into so it was fair for everyone, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, nationality or religion.  It had flaws, but it was fair!

The distributions arrived and started being systematically administered to the oldest population who were most susceptible to dying from Covid-19.  Then in February, another gift came in the form of 3,000 extra more doses from Governor DeSantis.  Now instead of honoring the lottery system that Vanessa Baugh helped set in place with the other commissioners, she KNOWINGLY AND WITHOUT REMORSE decided to keep those 3,000 doses for certain residents in her own district and failed to tell the other six commissioners about the 3,000 doses.  Vanessa Baugh unfairly disregarded the needs of over 150,000 people who followed the rules and entered the lottery system, patiently waiting for their turn to be called!  And then after knowingly engaging in this behavior, Vanessa Baugh added insult to injury by directing that herself and a few of her friends be added to the list to receive one of the 3,000 available doses.

Vanessa Baugh has violated the trust of every resident of Manatee County and put herself and her friends before everyone that voted her in.  The voting population of Florida, regardless of what county you reside in, deserve to have elected officials that are transparent and put the best interest of their constituents above the needs of themselves.  Those elected officials are OBLIGATED to act in a professional and ethical manner as outlined in the Florida Constitution and Florida Statute 112.313.  If there is no accountability for bad behavior, elected officials such as Vanessa Baugh will continue to engage in any behavior they so choose because there are no consequences.  Vanessa Baugh clearly does not respect her constituents, the process or her fellow commissioners and cannot be trusted to continue as a commissioner representing the best interests for Manatee County.

We call on Vanessa Baugh to immediately resign from her position as a Manatee County Commissioner.  If Vanessa Baugh does not resign, we call on the sitting Governor to use his powers under Article IV, Section 7(a) to suspend Mrs. Baugh for malfeasance and neglect of duty and forward that suspension to the Senate to move forward with an action for removal.  We need our legislation to promote integrity in our state among our elected officials and use the power to suspend and remove when necessary!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!