Coronavirus has revealed a lack of leadership at every level of government, from the President to senators who allegedly illegally cashed in on stock to local officials spreading disinformation. Now, it appears that Florida city officials are the latest to be added to the bad actors list.
A member of the City Commission in Lake Worth Beach, Florida criticized the mayor and city manager, saying their lack of leadership in response to the pandemic can be likened to a “banana republic.” His comments came after the city officials decided to cut off vital utilities during the coronavirus outbreak.
"This is a banana republic, is what you're turning this place into with your so-called leadership," Commissioner Omari Hardy shouted at Mayor Pam Triolo at a meeting of the city commission on Thursday (March 19).
"We should have been talking about this last week. We cut off people's utilities this week and made them pay what could have been their last check to us to turn their lights on in a global health pandemic," he continued.
However, City Manager Michael Bornstein said that residents did not have their power turned off permanently, according to the report.
"During the COVID-19 crisis the City of Lake Worth Beach IS NOT DISCONNECTING UTILITY SERVICES for any utility accounts within the entire utility service area," Bornstein wrote in a notice that was distributed on Saturday (March 21.)
Commissioner Hardy also took issue with Bornstein since he did not close down local bars, restaurants and beaches despite social distancing precautions. He claims that the beaches get about 2,800 visitors daily. Newsweek reported that the beaches only closed after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order, following a video of the beach and it’s tightly-packed visitors going viral and drawing criticism from across the Internet.
After video of his stand-off with city officials went viral, Hardy took to Twitter to thank his supporters and promised to continue fighting for his city’s most vulnerable:
It's funny how things work. Today is the anniversary my start in public. Three years ago today, I took an oath to uphold the law and do the people's work. I've worked hard to keep my oath and put the people first. Can't get lost in the sauce. It's us, not me. #ForThePeople pic.twitter.com/qBkutp7Kl8— Commissioner Omari Hardy 🚶🏾♂️🚲 🛴 🚉 🌳 🏘 🌇 (@OmariJHardy) March 21, 2020