FMB Town Councilman Bill Veach Officially Resigns

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It was a shocker of an announcement at the end of the Town Council meeting last week. Councilman Bill Veach said he was most likely be attending his last meeting after stating he would not be filling out a new state-mandated ethics and financial-disclosure form. He kept his word and officially quit today.

Veach dropped off the resignation letter and his town-issued laptop and phone to Town Hall today. Now the Town Council could fill the seat by appointment. The council next meets on January 8th at 9AM. The seat will be up for election in 2024 no matter what the council chooses to do. 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.

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.

You can check out the controversial Form 6 HERE.

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. I believe this is something he would have come up for others to have to do except for himself. I don’t agree with Veach’s agenda and politics. I don’t agree with government digging into peoples personal finances but makes sense when elected officials are in office with power to some degree it should be disclosed. All elected leaders should have to do this. It’s not asking for account numbers or statements, so him saying it opens up to hackers is just a cop out excuse. Now he should know how it feels for gov overreach into personal lives.

    Just look at the Biden crime family, how did a life long politician come up with the money for the assets they have on the salary he had? Insider trading? Pay to play? Shell companies? Art sales? Come on man!

  2. Bill is a Liberal and has a very progressive agenda with the plans for work for housing for our island, which I don’t agree with that at all. But this is nothing but a “big brother” over-reach into town council’s personal business. I want town council members that are successful because that proves they know how to manage money and make good financial decisions but I don’t need to see what is in their accounts. I do want all of town council to be home owners that are paying property taxes. These council members vote on things that effect our taxes and the values of our property. They should have skin in the game.

  3. I did not agree with any of his political stances but I don’t question his reasons for resigning. Bill was always friendly and like many of us, he suffered hardships from Hurricane Ian including the loss of their beach house. It’s been a tough 15 months.

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