A city councilman in Florida was chastised and eventually had to apologize for showing up uninvited to a groundbreaking in which he photobombed ceremonial pictures taken at the event. WOFL Fox 35 reported on the strange and comical behavior of Eatonville Councilman Alvin Moore, which began with him showing up at the A-FIRST project construction launch. The project will divert water from Altamonte Springs to Apopka, doing away with retention ponds, and according to Altamonte Springs Mayor Pat Bates, is “a first of its kind stormwater project in the state.” The two cities, along with the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the St. Johns River Water Management District, were funding partners.
Apparently the town of Eatonville had no involvement with the project but Moore decided to crash the event attended by area leaders who were part of A-FIRST, as well as a photographer who captured the highlights. When the moment came for the funding partners to gather for a traditional photo opportunity, posed with shovels marking the groundbreaking, Councilman Moore, who is currently running for Orange County District 2 Commissioner, decided to take part. "They asked for all the elected officials to come up,” Moore told WOFL. “I'm an elected official. I went up like all of the rest of the elected officials."
Moore’s behavior after that was quite amusing. The councilman is seen in photos on one side of the group holding an imaginary shovel, pretending to dig and break ground. Another photo shows Moore on the other side of the group after he found a shovel, with a man next to him looking at the councilman with a confused expression. That man was Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz, who told Moore to get out of the photo. "He starts talking to me at the same time the photographer is talking to me,” Moore said, attempting to explain his actions. “And I'm like, 'Who am I supposed to be listening to here?' So I took the directions of the photographer."
Mayor Pat Bates was not amused and wrote a scathing letter (pdf) to the mayor of Eatonville expressing her dissatisfaction with Councilman Moore’s behavior saying she did not appreciate that Moore used the landmark event “as a cheap photo-op.” Moore is running for commissioner of District 2, which includes Apopka. Bates added that Councilman Moore’s behavior “diminished the otherwise proud traditions of the Town of Eatonville.” Eatonville Mayor Bruce Mount agreed with Mayor Bates.
After the incident with City Manager Frank Martz, Councilman Moore said, "I didn't know who you were, and I apologize profusely." He also apologized to the Altamonte Springs mayor and anyone he offended. WOFL notes that Mayor Bates told them, “apology accepted.”