INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - An Indian Rocks Beach commissioner persuaded his colleagues at Tuesday's commission meeting to direct the city manager and city's lawyer to do his bidding, a pattern that has been established since he took office in March.
Ed Piniero, who is filling out the one-year term created when Bill Ockunzzi moved up last year to replace the departed Bob DiNicola, does not like, apparently, mention of his name in certain news story generated in Indian Rocks Beach.
Rather than complain to the publisher of this newspaper himself, he got the commission to agree to have Al Grieshaber, the city manager, and Andy Salzman, the city lawyer, to contact the Clearwater Gazette regarding the articles.
One of his complaints, he said at Tuesday night's meeting, was that he was not contacted in connection with the stories.
Evidently he forgot a 90-minute phone call with a reporter some weeks ago in which he complained of the "whole story" not being told.
He was invited to lay out all his views and send them to the reporter. Nothing was ever sent.
At Tuesday's meeting, Piniero complained about the treatment the Gazette was giving him. In actuality, he was mentioned in stories that were written solely from documents. Any contact with him would not have unearthed any more than what was in the documents.
Because of this treatment, he wailed, he wanted the commission to approve direction for the manager and lawyer to contact the publisher and "write a letter" to the newspaper.
Piniero asked that the subject be added to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. When it was reached in the course of the meeting there was virtually no discussion.
Piniero laid out his case, Commissioner Jim Palamara nodded in apparent agreement a few times, Commissioners R.B. Johnson and Jose Coppen said nothing, and Ockunzzi, as mayor, said, "All in agreement?" which was greeted affirmatively.
In contradistinction to Piniero's complaints, Ockunzzi recently had an e-mail exchange with the reporter and praised his coverage of Indian Rocks Beach.
Again, as he did with importuning Salzman to write a letter to the Attorney General on a matter in which he had some interest (the letter curtly rebuffed Salzman, directing him to the proper jurisdiction), Piniero got the commission to do his personal bidding.
Thus something evidently personal to Piniero has become an issue involving a government with a newspaper where the government itself has no complaint per se.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition