The Roman Catholic World

The JAX -Files

November 19, 2010


On October 11, 2010, John Lundin– a Naples resident, filed a lawsuit against the Collier County Board of County Commissioners, based on Sunshine Law violations.   

Lundin is an experienced observer of the political process, and an opponent of the Jackson Lab deal.  He smelled a rat when he examined a photograph that appeared in the Naples Daily News, taken at the Jackson Lab  facility in Bar Harbor.  It  appears that Commissioner Fiala was inspecting mouse cages, while Commissioner Coletta was in the same room, along with Jeff Klatzkow, the attorney for Collier County. 

They were all there to see the wonders of the modern mutant mouse.  

Standing in the middle of it all, with a smirk on his face, was the president of Ave Maria University.  

The following is an excerpt from the Naples Daily News, October 11, 2010:

“…John Lundin has filed a lawsuit against the Collier County Commission for allowing two commissioners to travel to Maine this past summer to tour the genetics research laboratory which may have been a violation of the state’s Sunshine Law.

If the court decides the state’s public meetings’ law was violated, the lawsuit seeks to have any board vote on the Jackson project declared void while the lawsuit is ongoing, according to the complaint filed by Fort Myers attorney Steve Carta.

While John Lundin’s case looms over the heads of the  commissioners,  two more cases have been filed with the Collier County Court, directly aimed at actions which may be unconstitutional and illegal– and which could put a stop to the Ave Maria-Jackson Lab deal.

The first case was filed on Wednesday, on behalf of three Collier County citizens, who will appear and intervene in the validation of $130,000,000 in bonds: 

The second case was filed today by Arthrex, Inc., (a manufacturer of medical devices) in order to stop an arbitration process that could change the supermajority  law  (4/1 vote)  for rezoning of the proposed Jackson Lab site in Ave Maria.   The landowners claim they only need a simple majority, further explained below. 

Barron Collier Companies is concerned that the new commissioner, Georgia Hiller, will ’rock the boat’ along with Commissioner Henning, who, until Hiller’s arrival, was the lone dissenting voice against the Jackson Lab deal.  

This is why, during the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on November 9, pressure was exerted to complete an arbitration process before December 14– when Commissioner Hiller will cast her vote for the first time.  This aggressive move is seen with suspicion by many, and as a way for the powerful landowners to circumvent the supermajority law.  It also lends more credence to the opinion that the Jackson Lab deal is a taxpayer bailout of Tom Monaghan and Barron Collier’s Ave Maria real estate experiment. 

In a public poll conducted by the Naples Daily News, 84% of responders said no to ANY taxpayer funding of the Jackson Lab project.  The letters to the editor of the Naples Daily News stand as another example of the overwhelming opposition to the Jackson Lab deal.   This is supported by thousands of petitions.

Meanwhile, the arbitration is to be conducted by Judge Kenneth Bell, on Saturday, December 11, at 9:00am, and could continue on Monday, December 13.  But this may all change, now that legal action has commenced.

On November 16, the Naples Daily News published the following commentary by Janet Vasey, an experienced financial analyst and member of the Productivity Committee for Collier County:

Last week, the Eastern Collier County Property Owners (ECCPO), which controls 200,000 acres including Ave Maria, told the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) that because of decisions made eight years ago to protect large tracts of environmentally sensitive land, all their future zoning requests only need a simple majority (3–2) vote.

State law and county ordinance are very clear that zoning issues are so important to protect the public interest that they should be decided by a supermajority vote — which is even required to put something as minor as a daycare center in the basement of a church.

But control, power and greed do not go along with public interest:

Obviously, because Tom [Monaghan] is our partner, when this opportunity [the Jackson Lab] was brought to our attention last year, we went to our partner and said, ‘This is what we want to do, is it something you’re comfortable with?’” Gable said. “He [Monaghan] went and did his due diligence, researched it, and said, ‘Go ahead with it.” — Blake Gable, President of Real Estate Development for Barron Collier Companies, Naples Daily News, April 10, 2010. 

Michigan denied Monaghan his real estate dreams of expansion.  So, he came down to Collier County and couldn’t resist Barron Collier’s offer of free land.  Lots of it.  Then, he jumped into an investment partnership,  in what he thought would be a great money-making deal.  

Even a special law was created just for Tom Monaghan and Barron Collier, called House Bill 1625 (the Ave Maria Special District Law) where Monaghan and the giant  developer can rule as kings– and control the election of the governing board. 

This medieval arrangement is called the  Ave Maria Stewardship Community District government.  A modern day “taxation without representation”– to say the least.  That is why it is called “A Town Without a Vote, Now and Forever” .

Monaghan had the nerve to promote this controlled set up as a ”City  of God”. 

So, in another clever move, Monaghan approved the sale and subsequent donation of 50 acres of land  by Barron Collier Companies for the location of the Jackson Lab project – which Ave Maria University officials welcome and embrace.   Indeed, without Monaghan’s approval, Barron Collier Companies would probably not have moved forward with the Jackson Lab deal in Ave Maria. 

Collier County citizens must never forget this.

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You may read Marielena Montesino de Stuart’s observations and opinions through: 

RenewAmerica, USAToday, U.S. Politics Today (a EIN News Service for Political Professionals) Poynter Online, Spero News, The New Liturgical Movement-Poland, The Naples Daily News, Les Femmes-The Truth, Culture War Notes,  ProLife Blogs, The Wanderer, etc.

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:  Ave Maria, Florida + The Chronicles of Ave Maria© + Corruption in Florida + Ave Maria University + The Jackson Laboratory + Charles “Chuck” E. Hewett + Collier County Board of County Commissioners + Commissioner Tom Henning + Commissioner Georgia Hiller + Workshops and Resources for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research + Eugenics + Margaret Sanger + Tom Monaghan + Tom Golisano +  Nick Healy + Nicholas J. Healy Jr., President of AMU + Barron Collier Companies + The Ave Maria Stewardship Community District + Bishop Frank J. Dewane.

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