Satellite Beach Resident's Battle for Accountability: PFAS Contamination at Patrick Air Force Base

"On July 3, 2018, I appeared before the council and asked for leadership and results regarding possible cancer clusters and water concerns. The same day council told me they were looking into it and, more importantly, pointed out that IF anything was found, they would need to reach out for help because of limited resources and knowledge.

My organization and I reached out to experts across the country. We were fortunate enough to have Bob Bowcock and Erin Brockovich agree to visit at no cost to us. Mr. Bowcock came, and we met to discuss our concerns and possible solutions. Mr. Bowcock reached out to the city and offered to set up a meeting to discuss this. A meeting was set for mid-September. Upon arrival at this meeting, representatives from our environmental firm, Stel, and I was denied entrance. The evening news (channel 6) aired a letter from Mrs. Barker stating we were "combative and nonproductive." (See attached)

Our organization continued to work with experts locally and around the country. We use certified labs (science) to perform tests to help determine what may be occurring in our community. Our organization has been active in attending meetings and has met with other professionals and state representatives, and senators.

Over the course of the last several months, through our investigation and access to public records, we uncovered a relationship with Kathy Marler. This particular relationship is alarming to us as Mrs. Marler actively threatened and harassed me and my family, apparently with the knowledge of municipal leaders and possibly at their direction. Please see the following attachments:

Kathy Marler was invited to the meeting I was denied entrance into and identified as a Cancer Advocate and Parent of a cancer survivor.

-  Public records reveal several hundred emails have been exchanged with Mrs. Marler, City Manager Courtney Barker, and councilwoman Mindy Gibson. I have attached some examples of these emails and texts. One text identifies Mrs. Marler as your "water guru." (see attached)

A separate email identifies a discussion of our non-profit organization and a plan to mount a campaign of electronic surveillance against citizens with the city’s help.

- Other public records document the City Manager’s effort to orchestrate public comments opposing Fight For Zero’s concerns about contamination and safe drinking water. (see attached)

- An email was sent out by Courtney asking “friends” to appear at the following council meeting to speak against me, and our group as apparently investigating cancer and contamination is “silly,” as identified by Mrs. Barker.

- Other texts shared between Courtney, Devon, Jessica, and others show Mrs. Barker’s stating, "screenshot Jenna Swisher's comment. That one was awesome." All of Mrs. Swisher's comments are attached in reference to this and her apology and retraction of these comments, none of which were awesome or factual. For the record, to date, I have never met or personally spoken to Mrs. Swisher.

- Another email from Mrs. Gibson states: "Having them speak for 3 minutes at a council meeting gives good FaceTime for them but does not accomplish much." 

- Another from Mrs. Barker insinuating, "It is election time"... there for a lot of misinformation on Facebook right now 

- In fact, Mrs. Barker's conversations and targets are not just related to the citizens in Satellite Beach or South Patrick Shores, or Cocoa she includes sitting representatives; Bryan Lober 

This list could go on for hours, but that is not why I am here tonight.

Public records strongly suggest that Kathy Marler is an operative of the City Manager. At the very least, Kathy Marler’s harassment has been encouraged and facilitated by the City Manager along with Mindy Gibson. That should concern the citizens and leaders of the City because:

I received a letter from Kathy Marler on December 7, 2018. That letter, which is a public record:

  1. Compares my value to that of “butt-wipes.” 
  2. Says she will never leave me alone until I hand over data to the City of Satellite Beach. (Page 1)
  3. Since I cannot do this, this means she intends to stalk me forever.
  4. States “Off with their heads!” referring to me and other people affiliated with Florida Health Connection LLC. (page 3)
  5. Admits that she visited my home and blocked me in at Lowes. (page 6)
  6. Placed a picture of bloody hands with “HELP ME” written in apparent blood in reference to the incident where she blocked me in at Lowes. (page 6),/li>
  7. Stated in reference to me: “You have forever harmed my trust in people...made my anger for your  continued idiotic senseless actions spiral.”

In December of 2018, a court granted a temporary injunction protecting my family and me Mrs. Marler. (See attached). MOST Alarming was to discover Mrs. Marler’s harassment has been facilitated by the City. For example:

  1. Kathy Marler sent this packet to City Hall as a 5th draft to have it printed so she could mail it to my house. (See attached)
  2. City Hall has printed hundreds of pages of documents for Mrs. Marler and assisted her in crafting and editing letters over the past several months.
  3. It was sent to Julie Finch for printing which we know that Mrs. Barker also uses as her personal account. (See attached)
  4. Mrs. Barker issued a statement to Florida Health Connection from Julie Finch’s email stating the recently terminated Leonor Olexa was terminated for sending us "unnecessary volume of records" only to find out when questioned at the January 23rd council meeting that she was NOT fired for this, and through another public record request have found NO mention of this incident in her termination. (see attached)
  5. Now we have uncovered the city has used its time and resources to write to the judge overseeing the injunction to write on her behalf. (see attached)
  6. On January 23, 2019, the Mayor addressed the cities relationship with Mrs. Marler and stated she is "no one, just a resident."
  7. It is clear Mrs. Marler that though offered and encouraged to seek official board positions (See attached) she is an ex officio board member and an agent of the city.

Lastly, Mrs. Barker sent out a letter in February of this year and at the bottom, it states “We understand that some residents will want to continue to look for sources of environmental contamination regardless of the Department of Health report. The City will continue to assist these residents as much as possible".

Public records suggest people are being manipulated by the city as a means of intimidating citizens who simply want a safe environment and clean water."

To Download these Public Records: A Series of Mistakes

Stel Bailey

Stel Bailey, a cancer cluster survivor and environmental health advocate, is a researcher and journalist with more than two decades of multimedia experience, having been published globally.

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