Bros and Cons

A too-hip tree trimmer is the major contributor in a bizarre mayor's race

Against this bombardment, Mayor Marks stood by Squillace's side and publicly argued his case at City Hall meetings. Say what you will, but the man is loyal.

Squillace, for his part, turns the tables and accuses the city of corruption. He claims that Lauzier, who wouldn't comment to me on the matter, and other officials asked him to commit fraud on paperwork so that FEMA would pay the All Terrain bill rather than Parkland. "I wouldn't do it, bro," Squillace says. "I didn't want anything to do with these dirty scoundrels."

A bitter lawsuit ended last year with the city agreeing to pay All Terrain's bill in full. Yet in the scant newspaper coverage on the case, Marks' involvement — or lack thereof — was never mentioned. When I tried to talk to him about it, I lost him at hello. "I'm in the middle of something and can't talk to you," he said before hanging up the phone.

This happy group includes Bob Marks (third from right in back row) and Mike Squillace (second from right).
Parkland Life Magazine
This happy group includes Bob Marks (third from right in back row) and Mike Squillace (second from right).

This whole thing may have been forgotten except for one small fact: Squillace is now one of Marks' biggest campaign boosters. Or, according to the first campaign report Marks filed, All Terrain is really his only major contributor to date.

Through January 20, Marks had raised $2,525 in contributions. Most of it, however, came from Marks himself. Between the mayor's own bank account and his janitorial businesses, Marks gave himself $1,500. The other $1,000 came on January 19 from Squillace, $500 from his company and $500 from his wife, Darlene, who is also vice president of the firm.

Squillace, who arguably should be laying low during this campaign season after his notorious dance with the city, is also throwing a fundraiser for Marks at his home in the Ranches on February 24.

"Yeah, I'm throwing a party for him," the landscaper says. "Want to come?"

Wouldn't miss it for the world, bro.

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