Commentary from the other “disqualified” City Council candidate



Editor’s note: Brian Heady, along with Linda Hillman, was disqualified as a candidate for City Council back in September. He appealed the decision along with Hillman at the September 20 Canvassing Board hearing and was subsequently reinstated as a candidate for the upcoming February 26 special election. Here he voices his support for Tammy Bursick.

Things are not always as black and white as we would like.

Brian Heady

First let me state; Tammy did her job. Her job is to receive documents from potential candidates. She has no obligation to scrutinize the required documents for 100% accuracy. She has no authority or obligation to candidates as to how or if they complete those documents. She does however help anyone who asks for help or direction in properly completing the required forms. And as a matter of law the documents on file on September 11, 2018 met the test of law and the principle of law, “substantial compliance.” It should not go unnoticed that both the city clerk and the assistant city attorney signed a document on September 7th attesting to the fact that six individuals had qualified to be candidates in the November 6th city election. Those six individuals included Linda Hillman and Brian Heady.

On September 11th an issue of qualifications and missing signatures was brought to the attention of the city clerk. The “missing” signatures (if in fact they were missing and not stolen from the files) on the residency form don’t change or alter the residency requirement. The simple requirement is candidates be a resident of Vero Beach.

Linda Hillman is and has been a resident of Vero Beach for almost 20 years. She had signed several forms which are on file in City Hall attesting to her residency. These forms were signed prior to the September 7th qualifying deadline.

The exact form claimed as missing signatures and not signed by Brian Heady can be found signed in city elections files. In fact, there are multiple examples over many years of that exact form signed by Brian Heady. More than one is notarized.

Apparently, the assistant city attorney failed to do adequate research when she authored a memo stating forms on file lacked signatures before the qualifying deadline and writing her opinion that Heady and Hillman were not qualified.  I believe we have here in Vero Beach an election tampering case which should be investigated by the State Attorney. The evidence of a felony election fraud is compelling.

In the 30 years I’ve known Tammy she has always been helpful and accommodating. She manages a department which is often the first stop where citizens go for information and help with regard to city business. With Tammy and her staff they are greeted with a smile and a friendly “how can I help you” attitude.

I am in my seventies. I’ve been around for a while. I have found in life workers are often a reflection of the boss. As the boss of the City Clerk’s office Tammy’s warm and welcoming demeanor is reflected in her capable and helpful staff. City residents have much to be thankful for and should be proud of the excellent job Tammy does in her capacity as City Clerk.

Mr. Val Zudans ran for and was successful in winning a seat on city council. One of his first actions was to change the meeting times to accommodate his schedule. It is fair to assume he knew the requirements and meeting times when decided to run for public office. But Mr. Zudans it is not about public service. With Val it is all about Val. He is not a public servant. He is a bully and both uses and abuses his position of authority. If anyone should be fired it is Val together with any council member who supports his efforts to fire Tammy. Hopefully his reign of terror will end sooner rather than later.

I appreciate Tammy and my thanks to her for her interest and support of our city. Help support her, our city, and equal justice under the law. Be at the Vero Beach City Council meeting Tuesday December 112018. Let your voice be heard.

Brian Heady


  1. Well said, Mr. Heady. I have maintained all along that both Brian Heady and Linda Hillman (particularly Brian as he has completed many qualifying papers) correctly completed their paperwork. Brian makes an excellent point in suggesting an investigation by the State’s Attorney.

  2. Some interesting questions that need answering— Who had access to the election forms in addition to Tammy?—Who stood to gain if Ms Hillman and Brian Heady did not qualify as candidates? Why were the so called discrepancies only discovered after the closing date for filing? Why did council persons vote to have, or not have a new election when there were real concerns about CONFLICTS OF INTEREST? And last, Should there be a criminal investigation?

  3. I would love to see an investigation. I would love to have the judge rule, but both sides short-circuited that. The problem is that there is absolutely no proof (other than the candidates uncorroborated testimony) that there was any wrongdoing other than the lack of signatures and maybe some already admitted to failure to follow (questionable) procedures. So, then the problem becomes finding someone to investigate it, The State Attorney, nor any other law enforcement agency would touch it because there is no evidence. Do you want to pay for a private attorney or investigator to tell you the same thing? I don’t!

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