Councilman Bill Veach Says He Plans to Resign

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It was a shocker of an announcement at the end of the Town Council meeting Monday. Councilman Bill Veach said Monday will most likely be his last meeting after he announced he would not be filling out a new state-mandated ethics and financial-disclosure form.

Back in May, Florida state lawmakers passed a law requiring all municipal elected officials to fill out Form 6 by the end of the year or face a $25,000 fine if they don’t.

Before the new law, elected officials had to fill out a different form (Form 1), which asks for sources of income, property, assets and liabilities and businesses of which they own a share. It did not ask for specific dollar amounts. Form 6 requires elected officials to list assets and liabilities of more than $1,000 and specific dollar amounts and it asks for net income and salary.

The bill passed both the House and The Senate nearly unanimously. The governor and his cabinet, all state senators and representatives, judges, county commissioners, school board members and sheriffs in Florida have to fill out Form 6.

Veach said he’s not filling out the form and plans to resign before the January Town Council meeting because the form is an intrusive invasion of privacy. Although the form does not ask for bank account numbers, Veach said it is an invitation to a hacker. And, he said, revealing the personal information is an invitation for a burglar to know where to go. “I’m not very comfortable with exposing my financial information, and that of my family, to the public.”

Veach does not want the public to see his financial information. “We’re a small town. Everybody knows somebody’s business to some degree. The coconut telegraph works very well on our little island. That’s a huge concern for me. This is what I feel is an exposure to a risk to exposure that I’m not comfortable dictating that my wife and my family takes.”

Earlier this month Naples City Council member Beth Petrunoff resigned for the same reason Veach says he plans to. Several other small-town elected officials have also resigned across the state.

Veach’s term expires at the end of 2024 and he has been telling friends on the beach, including at least one current town council member, that he did not plan to run for re-election. If Veach does submit his resignation the Town Council would fill the seat by appointment. The seat would then come up for election in 2024. When this happens in other municipalities, sometimes the elected body chooses to appoint someone they know will not run for the seat to avoid giving that person an advantage in an upcoming election.

You can check out the controversial Form 6 HERE.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Veach’s delayed resignation until the last possible day, despite his prior announcement of not running next year, raises concerns about his commitment to the tax-paying residents of FMB. The law in question was enacted over seven months ago in May 2023, prompting the question of why wait until the eleventh hour. This delay only hinders the process of electing a more dedicated individual for the citizens of FMB, who are actively working to rebuild.

    Engaging in a questionable practice, Veach, by staying on to collect a salary despite the intention to quit, appears to prioritize personal gain over the town’s best interests. This decision not only costs the town additional funds but also denies the opportunity to allocate resources to someone more committed to addressing the pressing needs of the community, particularly in the aftermath of significant devastation. Regrettably, Veach’s actions seem reflective of a self-serving individual who utilized the new law as a convenient excuse to abandon the residents of FMB.

    Moreover, the unresolved FOIA request sent to Veach and the town council since February adds another layer of concern, signaling a lack of transparency and responsiveness. This experience, shared by others, underscores frustrations with what appears to be an ineffective and self-serving council.

  2. I do not usually agree with Bill. I ,100% agree with him. Too much private info, for a shit paying job. Using up a big part of his private time in this community. Too invasive!

  3. Thank you for your service, commitment to the island, you love, & having to put up with all the bs over the years. You will be missed.

  4. Let’s see….do we want successful people or do we want people who don’t even have enough money to buy property on the island yet have the power to make decisions that effect tax paying/home owners? I don’t know about anyone else but to me, this is absurd. As long as someone can prove their taxes are paid and that they own a home/condo on the beach, then that is all I need to know. Their net worth is no one’s business. What I would like to know about town council is what their party affiliation is. That makes a huge difference in decisions that they make. That is way more important than knowing how much they have in their bank accounts.

    • As long as a statesman is #1- HONEST
      #2- With good intent…. I could care less what he has or hasn’t. Nor where he comes from. Many are quick to criticize but not willing to place their names on the ballot.

  5. This is another “ get on the roof “ solution. Bill should not fill in the forms but run for office. Let’s see the state reaction. Let them force the issue . This is almost a volunteer job. Transparency has gone too far. Bill has the opportunity to change the law.

  6. Campaign financing yes, report everything … personal bank and investment accounts are nobodies business if want to keep getting quality representation. If a representative holds interest in a company where a municipal decision needs to be made, they are expected to recuse themselves.

  7. Bill Veach and Myself have not ,what you might say as ,get along with each other.
    I do thank him for his service and also support him in his decision.
    I feel it’s also intrusive.
    Information of this kind is normally weaponized .
    I can’t remember your adversaries saying oh look ,so and so is worth $3 million and not question or give false accusations of its origin.
    Bill never took campaign money to run for office by the way.

    Merry Christmas yall
    Stop hating on people

  8. Anyone with a net valve of $500k is asking for a problem by making your personal wealth a public record. We all have rights and I agree that it is wrong even to ask for this kind of info.

  9. His publicly stated reason for resigning is likely truthful. He views the disclosure requirements as being invasive and too much so considering the paltry compensation they are paid for their service. Let’s not accuse him of malfeasance but instead just be happy that he is resigning.

    • Agreed 100% – Thank you for your service Bill.
      Ironic when a Big Govt guy complains and resigns because of Big Gov-
      Anyone who voted to close the PUBLIC Beaches is obviously someone who has no business on the Town Council of a Beach town –
      Ditto with someone who thinks local Govt should tell a business what type of straw to use-

  10. Thank you for your service, Mr Veach!
    Having been a Village President (not FMB) and getting paid a whopping sum of $80 per month, I totally understand your point. Particularly, with all what has been happening to my favorite place in the world, I know the hours and responsibilities you have incurred. Again, thank you and ignore the imbeciles who claim “about the money” $80!!! Really?

  11. I honestly don’t blame him. There’s no need for all that detail. That’s nobody’s business. And town councilmembers don’t exactly make a lot for that job, it’s practically volunteer work. I’m surprised and appalled by this new law. I can’t believe it passed. What happens if everyone quit? Will lawmakers change this law?

      • Stella, politicians don’t make a lot in their salaries but it’s the back room deals that are the problem. How do Senators or Reps. get filthy rich from their salaries?(Are you paying attention to the Biden’s pay for play?) So that is why the state came up with this new bill. With that said I am 100% against forcing people to disclose all their personal information/finances. I am no fan of Veach because of his Liberal/Progressive agenda but I do wish him well.

  12. The form is ridiculous. I don’t blame him at all. Most states require disclosure within certain ranges to give an office holder some privacy. The idea is to find conflicts of interests so there is no self-dealing or favoritism. This form completely strips an official bare financially and for no good reason. Why do we need to know his net worth? That’s no one’s business. It’s hard enough to get good people to run for office. This is one more reason why they won’t. We want successful people who have experience to be public officials. This form encourages losers to run for office who have nothing.

    • Your negativity is toxic. It has nothing to do with “hiding” stuff.

      I fully understand that many officials aren’t comfortable with having every asset and/or liability they have being made public. Futhermore, calculating the “net worth” that is asked for in the form is almost impossible to get right and opens them up for possible litigation or charges. This form should not have been made mandatory for “small time” officials such as town councilmembers.

      If you think different, why don’t you fill out the form, upload it somewhere and post the link to it here. Or do you have something to hide?

      • Timothy, I agree to a point. I do think home ownership should be a requirement.Town Council/Mayor make decisions that effect the value of our homes and yet they don’t have to be a home owner? If they are not a home owner then they have no skin in the game. It’s absurd that a renter can be on the council making decisions that effect the price of my home if I sell. Additionally, someone who can’t afford to own on the beach is supposed to be trusted with decisions on spending millions on projects for the beach?

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