Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reinventing Government




Photo credit: GREG TRAVOUS & HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER


Our Founders taught us to "Reinvent Government"
Let's "Reinvent Government."
Here.
Now.
Enough crony contracts and leases -- Mayor BOLES and ex-Mayor WEEKS have made some $2-3 million on their no-bid lease of 81 St. George Street over the past 25 years. Enough flummery, dupery and nincompoopery.
Let's elect a new Mayor, open to new ideas -- one who will NEVER say, "we don't want to re-invent the wheel."
Why?
Mayor BOLES has said dozens of times, "We don't want to re-invent the wheel."
Who is "we?"
Why would we not want to "reinvent" government?
To whom does BOLES think he's talking.
"I hate that cliche," in the words of Harvey Korman's Wyoming Attorney General character in Mel Brooks' comedy, "Blazing Saddles."
This is America in 2014.
We're constantly "reinventing" the wheel -- more than 500,000 patents on wheels on the USPTO TTAB website.
We're constantly "reinventing" everything.
We're also constantly reinventing government. Al Gore wrote a book about it -- "Reinventing Government." It's what do here.
It's the American way.
It's what our Founders had in mind for us. It's even carved in marble on the Jefferson Monument, about not wearing either the clothes you wore as a child or following the institutional choices of "our barbarous ancestors."
If we don't "reinvent" government, we have corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.
Not to mention flummery, dupery and nincompoopery.
Not to mention cognitive misers -- overpaid officials who know not that they know not.
Our City government needs workers, not shirkers.
Our City government needs creative innovators reinventing government, not dullards who waste our dollars.
Our City government needs more activists and fewer faceless bureaucrats waiting for their pensions
Our City government needs more inspiration and perspiration.
Our City government needs a climate of openness and candor.
We must end forever the climate of fear and repression.
City founder Pedro Menendez de Aviles is dead.
Former City Manager WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS is gone.
We're all proud of the progress St. Augustine is making -- two civil rights monuments in our Slave Market Square, a new civil rights museum at Dr. Hayling's former office, an honest City Manager, a Fair Housing ordinance that includes "sexual orientation" as a protected class.
But there is much still to be done.
We can do better.
We must do better.
We will do better.
St. Augustine must slash water rates for residents and raise them for businesses -- its time large water users pay fair rates -- residents pay double what they do elsewhere, due to the undue influence of large water users like Northrop Grumman, Flagler College, Flagler Hospital, hotel and motel owners, bars and restaurants who don't conserve water and have no economic incentives to do so.
St. Augustine must fix our aging streets and water and sewer pipes.
St. Augustine must solve traffic tie-ups and parking problems.
St. Augustine must have easy bicycling, walking and public transportation -- trolleys for all.
St. Augustine must solve long Bridge of Lions openings, which waste gasoline and frustrate residents and visitors.
St. Augustine deserves an employment nondiscrimination ordinance, applicable to all employers, like St. Augustine Beach adopted last year, unanimously, 5-0.
St. Augustine deserves a whistleblower protection policy second to none, like the Anastasia Mosquito Control Commission of St. Johns County adopted five years ago, unanimously.
St. Augustine still has racial and income divisions that must be healed.
There's not even a water fountain on our Slave Market Square -- it was renewed sometime in or after 1964.
We must promote equality in employment, services, water, sewer and public accommodations.
We must end racism and classism in all their forms.
Some St. Augustine employees and residents are still afraid to speak their minds for fear of retaliation.
Some are threatened by employers, including the county and city.
Enough.
Amid our rising expectations, Mayor BOLES has not done nearly enough to bring about change and healing.
Mayor BOLES' trite, tired, tiresome mantra is "we don't want to reinvent the wheel."
Really?
Tired of that dumb 'ole cliche? Me too!.
Ancient Athenians likewise eventually grew tired of hearing the name of "Aristides the Just."
They sent him packing.
Modern St. Augustinians have grown tired of hearing "Mayor Joe Boles" say "we don't want to reinvent the wheel."
Yes we do!
Yes we can!
We get to overthrow our government every two years.
This is America.
It's our country.
Absentee ballots may be cast now.
Early voting begins July 15th.
The primary is July 26th.




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ALL THE NOISOME NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT: Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR ELECTED PRESIDENT OF FLORIDA SHERIFFS ASSOCIATION FOR SECOND TIME -- JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE O'CONNEL. NOW.


noi·some

ˈnoisəm/
adjective literary
having an extremely offensive smell.
"noisome vapors from the smoldering waste"
disagreeable; unpleasant.
"noisome scandals"



SHERIFF DAVID BERNARD SHOAR was just elected President of the FLORIDA SHERIFF's ASSOCIATION for the second time.
http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2014-07-29/shoar-takes-lead-sheriffs-association#.U9hz6hawhhA
That's okay, Anderson County Sheriff DENNIS O. TROTTER was twice Tennessee Sheriff of the Year (before he went to federal prison in 1984.
SHOAR being elected by his fellow Florida Sheriffs is revealing. We live in a coverup prone state full of rebarbative lawmen.
Just ask the alleged rape victim of the Heisman Trophy winning FSU football player (never interviewed by Tallahassee Police). http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/16/sports/errors-in-inquiry-on-rape-allegations-against-fsu-jameis-winston.html
Read that and more by the New York Times reporter, Walt Bogdanich, who wrote 14,000 words on the September 2, 2010 shooting death of Michelle O'Connell, the girlfriend of a St. Johns County, Sheriff's Deputy JEREMY BANKS, now on the SWAT team. The deputy has never been charged with the shooting. See the New York Times investigation and the PBS Frontline and NBC Dateline investigations at:
http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/two-gunshots/ "Two Gunshots on a Summer Night," by Walt Bogdanich and Glenn Silber
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-in-st-augustine/ PBS Frontline documentary, "A Death in St. Augustine"
http://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/full-episode-two-shots-fired-n84816 NBC News Dateline documentary, "Two Shots Fired"
You can sign petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/florida-governor-order-a-coroner-s-inquest-into-the-death-of-michelle-o-connell
For more on Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR and his record of violating citizens' constitutional rights, please consult the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Gennusa v. Canova case: http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/201213871.pdf

Our City of St. Augustine must stop harassing City employees for First Amendment protected activity

Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. and his minions must stop harassing City of St. Augustine, Florida employees in a vain effort to win an unprecedented fifth term by chilling, restraining and intimidating free speech rights.
As United States Supreme Curt Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote, “government employees are often in the best position to know what ails the agencies for which they work; public debate may gain much from their informed opinions.” Waters v. Churchill, 511 U.S. 661, 674 (1994).
Mayor BOLES, hands off our civil servants.
Enough!



http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/madison/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/FirstReport.PublicEmployees.pdf


OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY CANCELS BIGOTED CLASS ON REDUCING SOUTHERN ACCENTS

Oak Ridge, Tennessee is a scary place, one where 900 Ph.Ds look down their noses at Appalachian people. It is a place where weddings between scientists and engineers and local women were called "mixed marriages." It is a place where environmental crimes were committed by our government and Union Carbide in secrecy, and never punished. It is a place where workers raising environmental, safety and health concerns are exposed intentionally to toxic materials and otherwise retaliated against. And it is a place where a government-paid $805/person course in "SOUTHERN ACCENT REDUCTION" was scheduled, but rightly cancelled. They need a course in "ENERGUMEN IDENTIFICATION."


KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL
BY FRANK MUNGER

Are y’all listening? ORNL cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ class after employee outcry


It’s OK to speak Southern and work at a national lab — after all.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has cancelled plans for a “Southern Accent Reduction” class because of objections from lab staff members, some of whom said they were offended by the training opportunity.

ORNL’s human resources department early last week distributed a registration notice for the six-week course to be taught by Lisa Scott, “a nationally certified speech pathologist and accent reduction trainer.”

Here was the e-mail pitch for the speech rehab program: “Feel confident in a meeting when you need to speak with a more neutral American accent, and be remembered for what you say and not how you say it.”
The email said the class would cover “some of the most common pronunciation and grammatical differences between Southern dialects and Standard American English.”

Here’s more: “In this course you will learn to recognize the pronunciation and grammar differences that make your speech sound Southern, and learn what to do so you can neutralize it through a technique called code-switching.”

Carolyn Ward of ORNL’s Learning and Development Services, said the lab simply offerd the class in response to a request. “We try to provide whatever requests we have,” she said.

ORNL spokesman David Keim said managers quickly cancelled the class after some staff members complained.

“Given the way that it came across, they decided to cancel it,” Keim said. “It probably wasn’t presented in the right way and made it look like ORNL had some problem with having a Southern accent, which of course we don’t. That was not the intent at all.”

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has one of the region’s most diverse work populations, with employees from across the United States and many different countries of origin, as well as visiting scientists from around the globe.

“We’ve offered accent reduction training to foreign nationals for years,” Keim said. “But this one obviously surprised some folks.”

If the training class had proceeded as planned, it would have cost $805 per person. Keim said the lab would have paid the fee if an employee’s supervisor approved participation. The course was scheduled to meet for an hour and a half, one day per week, for six weeks.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

WATCH KEN BURNS' SERiES, "AMERICA'S BEST IDEA -- OUR NATIONAL PARKS," September 2-7, 9PM ON PBS

http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/

The Last Junket: Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. Valedictory Trip to Spain?


Controversial St. Augustine, Florida Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. has invited his fellow Commissioners to violate Sunshine laws by traveling to Spain with him for a meeting of the U.S.-Spain Council in September 5-7.
At the June 23, 2014 City Commission meeting, BOLES breathlessly announced that former Senator Robert Graham had contacted the U.S.-Spain Council in hopes of inviting the new King of Spain, Felipe VI.
You would have thought BOLES had just hung the moon.
He did so on the first day of qualifying for the 2014 elections, when two opponents filed to run against him.
As you can see on the videotape, available here: www.cosatvcom (July 23, 2014item 2, 0:57),
Mayor BOLES announced that he is going to Spain at his "own expense," inviting others to do the same.
He did not ask for guidance.
I gently questioned the expenditure and the Sunshine violation. www.cosatvcom(July 23, 2014item 4, 15:00)
No one responded.
No one.
No one ever voted to authorize the trip.
Mayor BOLES just announced it.
As Mayor, BOLES occupies a ceremonial position as meeting chair under Florida law and our City Charter.
He is not a "strong mayor," as in larger Florida cities (or Chicago).
But BOLES did not respect his colleagues.
He presented them with a fait accompli.
L'etat c'est moi?
"It's nice to be the King," in Mel Brooks' words ("History of the World, Part II).
It's nice to be the Mayor.
BOLES further announced that he would like all of his fellow Commissioners to to with him.
He invited them to violate our Florida Sunshine laws.
If they do, they my face prosecution, removal and a Sunshine lawsuit.
In 2010, Mayor BOLES and three other City Commissioners planned to go to Spain for a "business meeting."
The law firm of Holland & Knight, representing eighteen (18) of us, pro bono, made an Open Records request.
The Mayor dropped out, as did every single other City Commissioner (other than one, who was defeated for re-election two years later, coming in fourth in a four-way race, with some 12% of the vote).
Our State's Attorney, Ralph Joseph Larizza, sponsored a Sunshine and Open Records continuing legal education program in 2011, conducted by a law professor, captured the mood of the legal community: laughter erupted at the aborted Spanish trip by the city of St. Augustine. YOU CAN'T GO TO SPAIN AND AVOID AND EVADE THE SUNSHINE LAWS. (Two of 32 slides resulted in laughter at our City -- the other was about the First America Foundation, which BOLES proposed be an end-run around the Sunshine and Open Records laws for the 450th -- it received $275,000 in City money, fizzed, returning some $175,000 after wasting $100,000 and raising not one dime of private money).
Despite the history of lawbreaking, Mayor BOLES must think short memories.
Mayor BOLES thinks he can invite Commissioners to violate Sunshine laws with immunity and impunity.
Mayor BOLES thinks going to Spain with this lobbyist's group may result in the King of Spain coming, and so misled the St. Augustine Record: http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2014-06-24/king-spain-expected-st-augustine#.U9QQqxawhhA
Well, perhaps.
The prior King of Spain once visited here. But that was before the Spanish economy tanked.
Rather than dealing with the Spanish Embassy or the State Department, BOLES is believing in the U.S.-Spain Council.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
In fact, the U.S.-Spain Council is headquartered in a lobbyist's residence in Falls Church, Virginia.
http://usspaincouncil.org/index.php
Closely connected is D&P Creative Strategies and Poder PAC, a political action committee that raises funds for Latinas, Hispanic Democratic women.
http://dpcreativestrategies.com/about/team/
The U.S.-Spain Council is nominally chaired by a politician, with the current chair being U.S. Senator Timothy Kaine (D-Va.) and past Chairs including former Governor and Senator Robert Graham (D-Florida) and disgraced Senator Mel Martinez a/k/a "Melquíades Rafael Martínez Ruíz"(R-Florida).
http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2009/08/senator-mel-martinez-resigns-why-who.html
The U.S. Spain Council claims several dozen corporate members, to wit:
AES Corporation
Airbnb
Amrop Seeliger y Conde
AT&T
The Boeing Company
CA Missions Foundation
Citigroup
Coca-Cola Company
Deloitte & Touche
Dentons, LLP
DLA Piper
EADS CASA North America
Goldman Sachs
Greenberg Traurig
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
Herbalife, Ltd.
Hogan Lovells
Hunton & Williams LLP
Hewlett Packard
Johnson & Johnson
MasTec
McLarty Associates
Medtronic
Microsoft
Talgo, Inc.
TotalBank
Walmart
Western Union
Not clear what the dues for or what the purpose of the U.S.-Spain Council might be.
See link below for photo of the private residence where the U.S.-Spain Council is located.http://www.trulia.com/homes/Virginia/Falls_Church/sold/1000363829-3520-Maple-Ct-Falls-Church-VA-22041
Mayor BOLES candidly said he "had never heard" of the U.S.-Spain Council before.
Neither had anyone else in this town.
Mayor BOLES said in baby-talk that it is "a big convention" with "lots of families" and that Senator Timothy Kane (D-Va.), "the Chairman … is the chair this year."
Oh, bother.
Here we go again.
To get Felipe VI, the new King of Spain to visit, save money. Call US Ambassador James Costos and his partner, Michael Smith. (34)-91-587-2240; Fax: 91-587-2303. http://elpais.com/elpais/2014/06/30/inenglish/1404129631_938515.html

The U.S-Spain Council is Headquartered in a Private Home in Falls Church, Virginia

http://www.trulia.com/homes/Virginia/Falls_Church/sold/1000363829-3520-Maple-Ct-Falls-Church-VA-22041

Enough secrecy on 450th

Federal ST. AUGUSTINE 450TH COMMEMORATION COMMISSION still holding closed meetings and conference calls, violating Federal Advisory Committee Act. Why won't Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. et al. stand up for our rights to open meetings under federal law? What is the 450th Commission doing? It's our money. It's our town and our time. The ancien regime needs to learn some manners.

St. Augustine Record letter: 450th Commission meetings must be open
Letter: Meetings must be open

Posted: June 6, 2013 - 12:08am
By ED SLAVIN
St. Augustine
Letter: Meetings must be open
St. Augustine Record


Copyright 2013 St. Augustine Record.

Editor: On March 30, 2009, Congress and the president enacted a St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission. On April 14, 2011, Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar appointed the Commissioners: former Senator/Governor Robert Graham; former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young; Cathedral Parish pastor Fr. Thomas Willis; St. Augustine Mayor Joseph Boles; billionaire-philanthropist Jay Kislak, Miami-Dade College President Eduardo Padron; historic preservationist Katherine H. Dickenson; Miami State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle; former Florida Secretary of State Bruce Smathers; former National Park Service Director Robert Stanton; Castillo de San Marco Monument Superintendent Gordon Wilson; and Professors Michael Gannon and Michael Francis. This is a diverse and well-qualified Commission – exactly what StAugustgreen requested the Secretary to do (by July 15, 2009 letter, objecting to the then city manager’s demand for “affluent” members).

Hundreds attended the federal 450th Commission’s one public meeting in St. Augustine on July 18, 2011. There was applause when I called for creation of a St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore to preserve and protect what we love, including current state parks, forests and water management district lands. Last month, St. Johns County Visitor and Convention Bureau’s consultant, MMGY Global Vice Chairman Peter Yesawich, said that a St. Augustine National Park and Seashore would have a positive impact on our economy. The 450th Commission must hold open meetings to discuss the National Historical Park and National Seashore concept.

But sadly, Congress has still not authorized funds for the 450th Commission, which conducts secret meetings/calls in probable violation of the sunshine requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. A maladroit federal attorney once opined the Commission was “exempt” from sunshine as an “operational committee.” It’s not “operating” anything. Meetings must be open. The people must be heard. It’s our town, our time and our money. Congress must act.

Friday, July 25, 2014

UPDATE: No-bid lease for 81 St. George Street, HARB disclosure, FBI

No word from the City of St. Augustine on whether the $1332.21/month lease for 81 St. George Street was renewed or not.
One member of HARB (Historic Architectural Review Board (Jeremy Marquis) has filed a financial disclosure; waiting on four others
Due to our City's unanswered questions, I have referred both matters to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I have requested our City to preserve all paper and electronic documents, including hard drives.
See letter below.

IN HAEC VERBA: FBI; preservation of evidence re: 81 St. George Street lease and sublease, HARB Chair's failure to file financial disclosures, and other potential local corruption issues

Dear Chairman Weeks, Mayor Boles, Vice Mayor Sikes-Kline, City Commissioners and HARB members:
1. I appreciate one City of St. Augustine, Florida Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) member filing financial disclosure forms. Thank you, Jeremy Marquis, for promptly complying with the reasonable expectations of probity, filing a disclosure form earlier this week with our City Clerk's office (not yet received by the Supervisor of Elections office as of 3:25 PM). Four HARB colleagues must also file disclosures.
2. Unfortunately, ISABELLE LOPEZ (Assistant City Attorney), responded as requested to RONALD WAYNE BROWN (City Attorney) in his improper written request for "some protection" from the Florida Ethics Commission, to wit by making one telephone call. "Protection?" For whom, from whom? As directed by CA BROWN, ACA LOPEZ made a brief telephone call to the Florida Ethics Commission. She states she took no notes, received no written "opinion," but then extravagantly proceeded to misrepresent matters today to our City Manager, JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., to the materially false and misleading effect that the Florida Ethics Commission gave an oral "opinion" that no disclosures are required from HARB members. In the word of Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, this reflects, at best, "terminological inexactitude."
3. The Florida Ethics Commission does not give oral "opinions" and did not give one on HARB. In fact, in a 31-minute conversation yesterday, Florida Ethics Commission General Counsel Chris Anderson confirmed the Ethics Commission has not issued an "opinion

" on HARB, but that a 1979 "opinion" under the prior statute requires disclosures for a similar board.
4. The Florida Ethics Commission does not issue oral "opinions." Hence, ACA LOPEZ' statements to CM REGAN today are "inoperative," in the infamous words of Ronald Louis Ziegler, President Richard Milhous Nixon's press secretary. ACA LOPEZ, the new City Attorney-designate, is an embarrassment to our City of St. Augustine and all of its residents.
5. In some fifty (50) years, there is no evidence that any City Attorney ever researched this issue. HARB members have the power to accept or reject building demolition and decide what colors are painted, what kind of pavers are used, what type of balconies may be erected, etc. They are plainly covered by the plain meaning of the statute.
6. Rote, reflexive resistance to public requests for ethical disclosures of financial interests are beyond the pale of our Nation's Oldest City. Reliance on governmental guesswork to excuse nondisclosure is unacceptable. Such low-quality legal work is beneath the standard of care, and must be ended at once.
7. Do ACA LOPEZ's material misrepresentations of both law and fact to our City Manager violate both federal and state laws? Is this what we expect from a City Attorney ? "Counting to three" may have been the standard under Messrs. GEOFFREY DOBSON and RONALD WAYNE BROWN. It is no longer acceptable and will not be tolerated. Legal scholarship and independent legal advice is both desired and required. Now.
8. The questionable no-bid lease with the City of St. Augustine, Florida for commercial property at 81 St. George Street, and the nondisclosure of financial interests by HARB Chairman CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, Jr., have both been referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Why? Because you, Mayor, ex-Mayor, current City Commissioners and HARB members gave us no other choice.
9. The City Commission ignored, flouted and disrespected my respectful written requests for a public hearing before renewing the lease of valuable City-owned property to Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. and former Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.
10. Not one Commissioner asked a question or made a motion or showed any interest in the BOLES-WEEKS deal, which is estimated to have profited them some $2-3 million since July 25, 1989.
11. The City has stonewalled some requests for information. Messrs. BOLES and WEEKS refused to provide a copy of their sublease. Mayor BOLES publicly stated at the City Commission meeting on July 14, 2014 that this is the best-ever public-private partnership.
12. The two inept City Attorneys in quo have been diffident and uncommunicative, refusing to obtain the sublease.
13. The FBI will review these matters pursuant to federal criminal law, since you have all refused to engage citizens asking questions, which continue with the possible renewal of the no-bid lease today, for another five (5) years.
14. Please preserve all paper, electronic and physical evidence, including computer evidence on your hard drives, E-mail, PDAs, and otherwise, both at the City, private offices, homes, cars, boats and the offices of your respective counsel, partners and consultants.
Herein faileth not. Govern yourselves accordingly.

Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
904-377-4998



ISABELLE LOPEZ
(Historic City News)


RONALD WAYNE BROWN, ST. AUGUSTINE CITY ATTORNEY, WANTS "PROTECTION" FROM FLORIDA ETHICS COMMISSION FOR CALLS FOR DISCLOSURE BY HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD MEMBERS FROM WHOM FOR WHOM?

PHOTO CREDIT: 1565TODAY.COM/BRIAN JAMES NELSON


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Manipulative Mayor Under Scrutiny

See below.

DOES MAYOR'S FALSE CAMPAIGN CLAIM OF CATHEDRAL PARISH PRIEST'S "ENDORSEMENT" AMOUNT TO FRAUD BY BOLES, IMPLYING VIOLATION OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE? YOU DECIDE.






Never before in St. Augustine history has an elected mayor implied an endorsement from the Roman Catholic Church.
In seeking an unprecedented fifth term, eight-year Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. has offended the laws of God and man with his deceptive, materially false and misleading website and his campaign flyer.
See correspondence, below.

-----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
To: bishopsoffice ; frtomstaug
Sent: Thu, Jul 24, 2014 2:55 pm
Subject: Fwd: Endorsement of Mayor Boles?

Any precedent for such an action since 1565 reflected in archives? Any documents reflecting permission for Fr. Tom to do this? Any letter to Mayor Boles advising him to cease and desist? Please send. Please let me hear from you by 5 PM today. Thank you.


-----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
To: easlavin ; bishopsoffice
Cc: frtomstaug
Sent: Thu, Jul 24, 2014 12:33 pm
Subject: Re: Endorsement of Mayor Boles?

Please respond. I need a copy of the policy and an explanation, today, please. Has anyone written Mayor Boles about his material misrepresentation?


-----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
To: bishopsoffice
Cc: frtomstaug
Sent: Wed, Jul 23, 2014 4:51 pm
Subject: Re: Endorsement of Mayor Boles?

Please respond. Thank you.


-----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
To: bishopsoffice
Cc: frtomstaug
Sent: Wed, Jul 23, 2014 1:21 pm
Subject: Re: Endorsement of Mayor Boles?

Dear Bishop Estevez:
1. Would you please send me a copy of the policy on political endorsements by parish priests?
2. The campaign website of St. Augustine, Florida Mayor Joseph Lester Boles, Jr. still describes Fr. Thomas Willis' statement as an "endorsement." See below.
3. It has been a fortnight since I raised concerns about the ethics of this page with Fr. Willis, pastor of Cathedral Basilica Parish.
4. While not intended as an "endorsement," the Church's allowing it to remain described as such furthers a false impression. In the words of St. Thomas More, the ancient equitable maxim is "silence gives consent." This endorsement is now in the U.S. Mail and is appearing our mailboxes.
5. Please contact the Mayor and explain that Fr. Willis' letter should not be listed as an "endorsement."
6. Please read Article VI, cl. 3 of our U.S. Constitution, which forbids any "religious test" for public office.
7. By the way, Mr. J. Kenneth Bryan, who is running for Mayor, is an African-American and a Roman Catholic. If elected, he would be the first African American ever to serve as Mayor of St. Augustine. Ms. Nancy Shaver, who is also running, would be the first woman Mayor elected by the people of St. Augustine as such. Mayor Boles is a Presbyterian and has held the job for eight years. The "endorsement" is an embarrassment to our City and our Church. Please correct the record.
8. As a graduate of the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University, I believe that the Roman Catholic Church should not give the appearance of endorsing anyone. This is for reasons that JFK, RFK, EMK, Al Smith and Joe Biden well understood in their careers, as did Fr. Robert Drinan, S.J., a former Congressman, who was one of my mentors, with whom I served when he chaired the Council of our American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities.
9. As JFK said during the Cuban Missile Crisis, "there's always some poor (so-and-so) who doesn't get the word."
10. Please send me a copy of your letter to Mayor Boles on his false defamatory report of an "endorsement" by Fr. Willis.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
904-377-4998



-----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
To: frtomstaug
Sent: Thu, Jul 10, 2014 11:24 am
Subject: Re: Endorsement of Mayor Boles?

Thank you.


-----Original Message-----
From: Fr. Tom Willis
To: easlavin
Sent: Thu, Jul 10, 2014 11:13 am
Subject: Re: Endorsement of Mayor Boles?

This is not an endorsement, rather it is a statement of a working relationship between him and me. You will note that no where do I say, "Re-elect Mayor Boles," or "Elect Joe Boles for Mayor," nor do I say "I endorse Joe Boles."

My statement has been cleared by my superiors as being totally in line with what a Catholic minister in my position may say (or not say) involving a political election.

Fr. Tom Willis

On Thursday, July 10, 2014, wrote:
Dear Fr. Willis:
Mayor Boles has a website that reports you have endorsed him for re-election?
http://www.joeboles.com/#!endorsements/c129n
Is this true?
Thank you for all you do.
WIth kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
904-377-4998




Here’s what active, civic-minded citizens of our community have to say about re-electing Joe Boles for Mayor…….


I enjoy working with Mayor Boles for the betterment of life in our beloved city. He understands what it takes to get the job fully done.
- Rev. Tom Willis



--
Fr. Thomas S. Willis
Pastor/Rector
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine
35 Treasury Street
Saint Augustine, FL 32084
(904) 824-2806, ext. 303


Like the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine on FaceBook --
facebook.com/thefirstparish

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord makes His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you
and give you peace.
[Numbers 6: 24-26]














LIGHTHOUSE SEEKS MARITIME USE DESIGNATION

Lighthouse seeking Maritime use district designation, but willing to limit it to item 7 (lighthouse)

Sec. 28-311. Maritime use districts: MUD.permanent link to this piece of content

(a)
Permitted uses and structures:
(1)
Marinas.
(2)
Restaurants, including restaurants with lounge, but not fast food.
(3)
Ship's stores; ship's chandleries; boatyards; seafood houses, but not scallop processing plants; and businesses engaged in provisioning or supplying of ships, boats and other vessels, including ice, fuel, victuals, rigging and tackle.
(4)
Warehouse and storage of marine-oriented merchandise.
(5)
Wholesale and distribution of marine-oriented merchandise.
(6)
Light manufacturing of marine-oriented products.
(7)
Maritime museums.
(b)
Permitted accessory uses:
(1)
As authorized by section 28-348 hereof.
(c)
Permitted uses by exception:
(1)
As provided in section 28-347 hereof.
(d)
Minimum lot requirements; width and area:
(1)
Minimum width, none.
(2)
Minimum lot area, none.
(e)
Maximum lot coverage of all buildings. Seventy (70) percent.
(f)
Minimum yard requirements:
(1)
Front, zero.
(2)
Side, five (5) feet.
(3)
Rear, five (5) feet; provided, however, that any structure shall comply with conservation zone ordinances otherwise adopted by the city.
(g)
Maximum height of structures: Thirty-five (35) feet.
(Code 1964, § 33-84; Ord. No. 00-04, § 1, 4-10-00)
Secs. 28-312—28-319. Reserved.permanent link to this piece of content

Thank you, Jeremy Marquis, apparently first Historic Archictural Review Board member in history to file a financial disclosure

Yesterday, local award-winning landscape architect Jeremy Marquis (Marquis Halback) became apparently the first HARB member in history (fifty years of history) to file a financial disclosure report with the City of St. Augustine.
Good man!
We're waiting on the other four, including former Mayor of St. Augustine CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.
The City never asked HARB members to file financial disclosures. City Attorney RONALD WAYNE BROWN wants "protection."
If St. Augustine didn't have such noisome City Attorneys, the disclosures would have been filed for fifty years.

Thank God! Pat Croce has dropped plans for "Raw Bar" ("Eat it Raw") on our Bayfront at Santa Maria Restaurant (Key West branch has half naked lady)

Three cheers!
Former Mayor George Gardner's newsletter just announced bar owner PAT CROCE has dropped his application.
Viva!
Three cheers for St. Augustine PZB Chair Sue Agresta, who rightly excoriated PAT CROCE's sexist, misogynistic intellectual property for the proposed redevelopment of the Santa Maria Restaurant. She looked at the double entendre for CROCE's Key West bar and blasted it as "offensive." Who among us could disagree? It is three blocks from the St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica.
Architect Jerry Dixon and the proprietors of the Black Raven and Victory III tour boats rightly excoriated the dangers to safe navigation of a new dock behind the place.
Three cheers for the PZB for holding PAT CROCE and his controversial land planner, KAREN TAYLOR, accountable. Our City is not a doormat for bar owners from Key West, Philadelphia, or anywhere else. TAYLOR actually tried to say that "day use" meant "night use" She is at sea now that GEORGE MORRIS McCLURE is gone.
CROCE looked unhappy. His Planned Unit Development (PUD) was tabled due to unrebutted testimony and videos from boat owners and boat captains of the Black Raven and Victory III.
CROCE did not get is way, so he bolted.
How cool is that!
The 1% and their lawyers no longer boss and bully our town, as they did in recent years. Authenticity, not assininity, please!
With GEORGE MORRIS McCLURE gone to his grave, bad taste is in decline. Historic values are being reaffirmed.
Three cheers.
Viva!

P.S. 15 U.S.C. 1052(a): PAT CROCE's IP -- "Eat it raw," misogynist, sexist as it is -- "consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter" and may not be trademarked under the Lanham Act. Hence, based upon PZB Chair Sue Agresta's concerns, any t-shirt seller may sell PAT CROCE's "Eat it raw" intellectual property without fear of a a trademark lawsuit, and the USPTO TTAB might be asked to cancel any PAT CROCE registration of "Eat it raw" logo with the nearly bare naked lady as "immoral" or "scandalous matter." Thank you, Chairwoman Agresta! You raised a very good issue. At your first meeting as PZB chair, you halted an abortion on our Bayfront. Viva!







PZB Chair SUE AGRESTA helped win this victory!

RONALD WAYNE BROWN, OUTGOING CITY ATTORNEY, WANTS "PROTECTION" FROM HARB FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE



RONALD WAYNE BROWN, ST. AUGUSTINE CITY ATTORNEY, WANTS "PROTECTION" FROM FLORIDA ETHICS COMMISSION FOR CALLS FOR DISCLOSURE BY HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD MEMBERS FROM WHOM FOR WHOM?

PHOTO CREDIT: 1565TODAY.COM/BRIAN JAMES NELSON

HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD (HARB) members must disclose financial interests under Florida law, but have apparently not done so in the 50 years that HARB has existed.
Why?

I asked yesterday. No disclosures. No apology. No explanation. It is as if WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS and JOSEPH POMAR were in charge. Why?

Recently resigned, lame-duck City Attorney RONALD WAYNE BROWN wants "protection" for HARB members from mandatory financial disclosures under Florida law. For whom, from whom? Tomorrow, ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR., HARB Chairman, and Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR., are expected to renew for five more years their lease of the City's lucrative commercial property at 81 St. George Street, for five more years.

Coverup-prone city attorneys want to charge ME money to tell me if there is anything in writing from any prior City Attorney supporting such an extravagant proposition. In the words of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the great American diplomat, "Not one penny for tribute."

See my correspondence with Ms. Isabelle Lopez, recently duked in by unanimous vote as our New City Attorney, without putting it on the agenda or announcing the vacancy in the Florida Bar Journal:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: ilopez
Sent: Thu, Jul 24, 2014 2:21 pm
Subject: Re: HARB members must file financial disclosure. Now.

Your memo admits 1979 opinion. Your memo is unscholarly, unconvincing and unworthy of you. Comply now, please or you, City and HARB will face strict scrutiny. Do not delay, deny, avoid or evade disclosure requirements any longer.
Thank you.


On Jul 24, 2014, at 2:04 PM, Ed Slavin wrote:

Where are your manners? To whom do you think you're talking? Enough.

On Jul 24, 2014, at 1:37 PM, Ed Slavin wrote:

False.
Did you look in file and ask Debra?
Look in city attorney files under HARB and financial disclosure?
Did you call ethics commission? Take notes?
When are HARB members filing disclosures today?
Thank you.

On Jul 24, 2014, at 1:15 PM, Isabelle Lopez wrote:

To restate and confirm my response dated July 23, 2014, a review of my readily available documents found no other document responsive to your request. Should you wish to have the City research all electronic, filed and archived documents for “HARB financial disclosure communications and opinions,” that research would trigger the statutory fee for extensive research as follows:
Pursuant to Ch. 119.07(4)(d) and consistent with Highlands County v. Colby, 976 So.2d 31 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008) and AGOs 92-38 and 90-07, our information technology staff estimates that it would take approximately 1-2 hours to activate archived databases to produce an approximate estimate of time required to search for each term itemized. In addition, each archived database stores approximately 3 months of email data, and searching each 3 month interval for each of the itemized terms would require between 5 to 6 hours. Our information technology research costs are $35.28 per hour.
In addition, a manual search of all paper documents in the City compliant with your search terms, including archived storage boxes, would take an estimate of 10 hours of clerical research at a cost of $15.12 per hour. Pursuant to Ch. 119.07(4), Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, 995 So.2d 1027 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004) and Malone v. City of Satellite Beach, 687 So.2d 252 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997) due to the extensive research costs for information technology and clerical time necessitated by your public records request, the City will require a deposit of 8 hours of extensive information technology research time ($282.24) and 5 hours of extensive clerical research time ($75.60) to be paid prior to commencing the requested searches. You may pay the deposit at the City's Financial Services office during regular office hours. In addition, consistent with AGO 05-28, the City will bill you for any shortfall between the deposit and actual cost of the extensive research costs associated with responding to your public records request.


From: Ed Slavin [mailto:easlavin@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:30 PM
To: Debra Gibson
Cc: Isabelle Lopez; Alison Ratkovic; John Regan; Lucy Fountain; Ron Brown; Debra Gibson
Subject: Re: HARB members must file financial disclosure. Now.

Please respond.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 23, 2014, at 3:23 PM, Ed Slavin wrote:

Coverup. Open the filing cabinet. I will help you look.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 23, 2014, at 2:55 PM, Isabelle Lopez wrote:

I checked my current inbox/send which contain emails back from the last few months, and I did not find any other documents other than this chain.
An exhaustive search of all archived material (electronic and hard copy) would require extensive research time for which we would charge the statutory rate.

From: Ed Slavin [mailto:easlavin@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:12 PM
To: Isabelle Lopez
Cc: Alison Ratkovic; John Regan; Lucy Fountain
Subject: Re: HARB members must file financial disclosure. Now.

Did any City Attorney office or designee write on this before today?
Please send. Thank you.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 23, 2014, at 11:39 AM, Isabelle Lopez wrote:

Please find below the public record responsive to your request placed today at 11:31 a.m. titled “HARB financial disclosure communications and opinions”.

From: Ron Brown
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:35 AM
To: Isabelle Lopez
Subject: RE: HARB members must file financial disclosure. Now.

Thanks. I think this analysis is consistent with how we have viewed it. I agree that some protection from the ethics commission would help. Nicely done, as always.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Isabelle Lopez
Date:07/23/2014 10:25 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: Ron Brown
Subject: RE: HARB members must file financial disclosure. Now.

The issue is complex (sic) and has changed as the statutory language has changed.

There is a 1979 Commission on Ethics opinion that found that a “Landmarks Preservation Commission” that issued certificates of appropriateness had to report, but that was based on the 1979 version of the statute that said, in part, that a “local officer” was defined as “a governmental body with land planning, zoning or natural resources responsibilities.”
The current statute makes a muddle (sic) of things (yes, not very surprising) because it defines a “local officer” as Mr. Slevin mentioned below, which is:
112.3145 Disclosure of financial interests and clients represented before agencies.—
(1) For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:
(a) “Local officer” means:
1. Every person who is elected to office in any political subdivision of the state, and every person who is appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term in such an elective office.
2. Any appointed member of any of the following boards, councils, commissions, authorities, or other bodies of any county, municipality, school district, independent special district, or other political subdivision of the state:
a. The governing body of the political subdivision, if appointed;
b. A community college or junior college district board of trustees;
c. A board having the power to enforce local code provisions; --not the case, that is Code Enforcement Board
d. A planning or zoning board—not the case, that is PZB, board of adjustment, --not the case, that is Code Enforcement, Appeals and Adjustment Bd., board of appeals, --not the case, same reason, community redevelopment agency board,-- not the case, that is CRA, or other board having the power to recommend, create, or modify land planning or zoning within the political subdivision (– herein is the problem, HARB does not recommend create or modify the comp plan (“land planning”) nor does it recommend create or modify the land development regulations or rezonings (“zoning”); it really doesn’t recommend create or modify anything, HARB approves or disapproves by quasi-judicial order land development permits; PZB is per the Growth Management Act the planning agency for the city that has the power to recommend the creation or modification of our comp plan, zoning and land development regulations), except for citizen advisory committees, technical coordinating committees, and such other groups who only have the power to make recommendations to planning or zoning boards;
e. A pension board or retirement board having the power to invest pension or retirement funds or the power to make a binding determination of one’s entitlement to or amount of a pension or other retirement benefit; or
f. Any other appointed member of a local government board who is required to file a statement of financial interests by the appointing authority or the enabling legislation, ordinance, or resolution creating the board.

Once upon a time, the statute had different language that made it more clear that anyone who issued development permits (as that term is defined in the Growth Management Act) had to report. Even the 1979 language was more (sic) clear, because it said that anyone who had “land planning, natural resource or zoning responsibilities” had to file. The final phrase in the statue above just adds to the confusion, because it excepts advisory boards that only make recommendations. HARB has power to issue a final order, it actually doesn’t (sic) make recommendations to PZB or anyone else, so it clearly isn’t only an advisory committee, but it isn’t really an “other board having the power to recommend, create or modify” as that’s not what it does. It makes final decisions.

I will put in a call to the Ethics Commission and get their take on the role of our HARB board and the current iteration of the statute.

From: Ron Brown
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 5:57 PM
To: Isabelle Lopez
Cc: Debra Gibson
Subject: Fwd: HARB members must file financial disclosure. Now.

I don't believe HARB has been deemed to meet the threshold definition nor has the Supervisor of Elections sent them disclosure forms.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: easlavin@aol.com
Date:07/22/2014 4:44 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: clweeks@aug.com,jeremy@halback.com,hpa007@aol.com,randallroark@bellsouth.net,ab_wallace@bellsouth.net,mayorboles@comcast.com,NancySikesKline@aol.com,Roxanne Horvath ,Don Crichlow ,cityfreeman@yahoo.com
Subject: HARB members must file financial disclosure. Now.

Dear Chairman Weeks, Mayor Boles, Vice Mayor Sikes-Kline, City Commissioners and HARB members:
1. Upon consulting with our St. Johns County Election Supervisor, St. Augustine City Clerk and Florida Commission on Ethics, it appears that:
(a) Our City of St. Augustine, Florida Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) members are not filing financial disclosures;
(b) It appears HARB members are required to file financial disclosures pursuant to F.S. 112.3145, as HARB is "A planning or zoning board, board of adjustment, board of appeals, community redevelopment agency board, or other board having the power to recommend, create, or modify land planning or zoning within the political subdivision, except for citizen advisory committees, technical coordinating committees, and such other groups who only have the power to make recommendations to planning or zoning boards." F.S. 112.3145(2)(d). Who among us would disagree?
2. Thus, I request that HARB members file financial disclosures instanter, nunc pro tunc, before close of business on July 23, 2014.
3. Disclosures were required to be filed on July 1, 2014.
4. Time is of the essence -- Chairman Weeks' no-bid lease for 81 St. George Street is set for five year renewal on July 25, 2014. See prior correspondence. Questions have been asked about his income stream from the City of St. Augustine, in partnership with Mayor Boles (some $2-3 million over 25 years on a property now being rented to the owners of Florida Cracker Cafe and Savannah Sweets) . Chairman' Weeks failure to file required disclosures as HARB Chair, and involvement in at least one proposed demolition (requiring his recusal), embarrass our City and its residents and contribute to a perception that corrupt exists.
5. Our City's longtime failure to include HARB and HARB members' addresses on the list of officials requiring disclosure requires an explanation before the next Commission meeting. Please do not make such omissions in the future.
6. The urgency of protecting the historic architecture of our Nation's Oldest City, including pending matters -- e.g., the proposed illegal demolition of Echo House by St. Paul. A.M.E. Church -- urgently require that HARB members be above reproach and make full disclosures. Now.

Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
904-377-4998

St. Johns and Jacksonville national parks create economic benefit of $145 million

St. Johns and Jacksonville national parks create economic benefit of $145 million
Posted: July 24, 2014 - 9:59am
By THE RECORD
There are four National Parks within Northeast Florida. According to a Timucuan Preserve news release, a recent National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,640,577 people visited these sites during 2013. National Park Service

reports that these visitors spent $145 million in the communities near the parks and that spending supported

2,050 jobs in the local area. The four parks are Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Fort Caroline

National Memorial, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, and Fort Matanzas National Monument.

“These four National Parks offer visitors a diversity of experiences and draw visitors from around the world”

said Barbara Goodman, superintendent of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and Fort Caroline

National Memorial, in Jacksonville. “We are delighted to share the stories of these places and provide

recreational experiences for our visitors.” National park tourism is a significant driver in the national

economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service - and it’s a big factor in our local

economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give

back by helping to sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine

Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows

$14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national

park. This spending supported 197,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway

communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by

food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and

souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent). The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were

restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To download the report visit nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. To learn more about national parks in

Florida and how the National Park Service works with Florida communities to help preserve local history,

conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to nps.gov/Florida.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eleven Florida Lawmakers Urge President Obama to Reconsider Seismic Airgun Proposal for Offshore Oil Drilling

http://oceana.org/en/blog/2014/07/eleven-florida-lawmakers-urge-president-obama-to-reconsider-approval-for-seismic-airgun-testing\

Hate radio irrationality

There's more than one hate radio station in our area, blabcasting faux Fox News. You can take your pick of multiple frequencies to find the same rants, on one of which our Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. has advertised his law practice extensively, and expensively.
Rush Limbaugh just accused the Palestinian terrorists of being "anti-Semites." Israel's UN Ambassador, Abba Eban, once made the same error.
Both Jews and Arabs are Semites.
Energumen Rush Limbaugh, whom I consider to be a racist, sexist, misogyist, homophobic Jew-hater, gets a three hour radio program and $50,000,000/year to blast his ignorance. Why do local businesses and politicians buy air time to sponsor hate?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Historic home found to have historic cistern from Thomas Jefferson's great-granddaughter (developer was allowed to avoid and evade archaelogical fee after Sunshine violation by Mayor BOLES, et pals, and threat not to close on sale of real estate).

http://m.staugustine.com/news/local-news/2014-07-22/cistern-found-st-augustine-property
uhttp://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2014/05/in-haec-verba-my-e-mail-to-mayor-and.htmu
u
http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2014/03/organized-crime-and-disorganized.html

IN HAEC VERBA: St. Johns County Election Supervisor Apparatchik Arachnid Tries to Charge $12 for search time to find Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr. disclosure forms

Dear Wayne:
Dr. King said this was the "most lawless" community in America. We have made great strides, but not in compliance by the SoE.
Don't be silly. Thirty minutes for copying a few two page records is by definition NOT "EXTENSIVE." F.S.. 119(4)(d)
Should be free. Please send PDFs. Now.
Stop trying to inflict fees on voters as a tax on knowledge, as on your no-bid contracts, which you have not even listed.
The School Board sent me all of its no-bid contracts, without charge.
By contrast, you look like an anti-literate energumen.
Thank you.
With kindest regards,
Ed Slavin
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
904-377-4998

-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne Fusco
To: Ed Slavin
Sent: Tue, Jul 22, 2014 4:47 pm
Subject: RE: Mayor Boles financial disclosure

Good Afternoon Ed,

I have determined that it will take 30 minutes or so to pull, print and then
re-file the paperwork you requested. The administrative cost associated with
your request will be
$ 12.00.

Let me know if you want to move forward..


Wayne E. Fusco
Assistant Supervisor of Elections
St Johns County Supervisor of Elections
4455 Avenue A - Suite 101
St. Augustine, FL. 32095
(m) 904.460.3435
(f) 904.823.2249
(d) 904.342.5866



IN HAEC VERBA: City of St. Augustine Historic Architectural Review Board members must file financial disclosures. Now.

Dear Chairman Weeks, Mayor Boles, Vice Mayor Sikes-Kline, City Commissioners and HARB members:
1. Upon consulting with our St. Johns County Election Supervisor, St. Augustine City Clerk and Florida Commission on Ethics, it appears that:
(a) Our City of St. Augustine, Florida Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) members are not filing financial disclosures;
(b) HARB members are required to file financial disclosures pursuant to F.S. 112.3145, as HARB is "A planning or zoning board, board of adjustment, board of appeals, community redevelopment agency board, or other board having the power to recommend, create, or modify land planning or zoning within the political subdivision, except for citizen advisory committees, technical coordinating committees, and such other groups who only have the power to make recommendations to planning or zoning boards." F.S. 112.3145(2)(d). Who among us would disagree?
2. Thus, I request that HARB members file financial disclosures instanter, nunc pro tunc, before close of business on July 23, 2014.
3. Disclosures were required to be filed on July 1, 2014.
4. Time is of the essence -- Chairman Weeks' no-bid lease for 81 St. George Street is set for five year renewal on July 25, 2014. See prior correspondence. Questions have been asked about his income stream from the City of St. Augustine, in partnership with Mayor Boles (some $2-3 million over 25 years on a property now being rented to the owners of Florida Cracker Cafe and Savannah Sweets) . Chairman' Weeks failure to file required disclosures as HARB Chair, and involvement in at least one proposed demolition (requiring his recusal), embarrass our City and its residents and contribute to a perception that corrupt exists.
5. Our City's longtime failure to include HARB and HARB members' addresses on the list of officials requiring disclosure requires an explanation before the next Commission meeting. Please do not make such omissions in the future.
6. The urgency of protecting the historic architecture of our Nation's Oldest City, including pending matters -- e.g., the proposed illegal demolition of Echo House by St. Paul. A.M.E. Church -- urgently require that HARB members be above reproach and make full disclosures. Now.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com
904-377-4998

Sweet Deal for Mayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR. et pal.







On July 25, 2014, the 25-year old lease between the City of St. Augustine and Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. and ex-Mayor LEONARD CLAUDE WEEKS, JR. gets renewed for another five years. No disclosures of how much money they're making on the sublease to FLORIDA CRACKER CAFE and SAVANNAH SWEETS. No apology for conflict of interests. Only patronizing statements from BOLES, to the effect that this is the best "public-private partnership" ever. As former Mayor George Gardner wrote in St. Augustine Report: "Sweet deal."BOLES and WEEKS have made $2-3 million from this crony capitalist deal, forged under a former City Manager who was married to then Election Supervisor Penny Halyburton.
This stinks.
WEEKS and BOLES are business partners.
WEEKS is appointed by BOLES to serve as chair two (2) city boards -- Parking and Traffic Committee and Historic Architectural Review Board.
WEEKS long chaired the Historic Area component of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce.
WEEKS is a contractor and developer, involved in the proposed demolition of 80 Markland Place.
WEEKS is also one of BOLES' appointees to the Visioning Committee, who left yesterday's meeting early to attend to business.
In effect, WEEKS is a lobbyist.
WEEKS is business partner of the Mayor in a lucrative lease from the City of St. Augustine, one that they sublease to the actual owners of The Cracker Cafe and Savannah Sweets.
The lease is poorly drafted, with no remedies for the City. It is the worst commercial lease ever, favoring the favored tenants -- the Mayor and ex-Mayor, who have refused to answer questions or provide their sublease.
This subtle corruption of our government by self-seeking public officials and their "insider" deals is indefensible: it must be ended at once.
Enough.
Ask Messrs. WEEKS and BOLES to disclose their sublease terms.
Ask them to end the lease.
Now.
Otherwise, their $1332.21/month lease will continue for another five (5) years.
To Messrs BOLES and WEEKS: you have made $2-3 million from this unseemly "public-private partnership" deal to provide bathrooms.
George Gardner calls it a "sweet deal."
May we have it back, please?

Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell: Special elections, punishment needed in redistricting scandal

Special elections, punishment needed in redistricting scandal
Scott Maxwell
Taking Names
1:57 p.m. EDT, July 19, 2014

If you caught your child throwing rocks at other kids, you'd reprimand him.

If he threw rocks again, you might ground him.

If he threw rocks yet again, would you hand him a fresh bag of rocks?

Only if you were an idiot.

Well, Florida legislators think you're an idiot.

Pictures: Orange County Jail mug shots

That is why — after being caught breaking the law and gerrymandering political districts — they are asking for permission to draw them again.

Don't be an idiot.

And I mean that with all due respect to hizzoner, Judge Terry Lewis — the guy who will decide what do to with Florida's blatantly gerrymandered districts.

Florida legislators already hoped Judge Lewis would be an idiot once.

They were sorely disappointed.

Lewis' ruling was the equivalent of bare-bottom spanking for the entire gang of Republican rock-throwers.

Lewis used phrases such as "cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men."

He said some of the operatives involved "made a mockery of the Legislature's proclaimed open and transparent process." And he said the entire case "goes to the very foundation of our representative democracy."

Basically, Lewis said what anyone with one good eye already knew: that the zigzagging, racially unbalanced congressional districts were a politically rigged farce.

The ruling was particularly amusing because GOP legislators had taken the stand with dramatically feigned indignation about how their honor and dignity were on the line.

They went so far as to say the only way the judge could rule against them was to accuse the entire legislative leadership team of being a bunch of liars — that "every single witness, including two speakers of the House ... lied under oath …."

Um, OK, the judge essentially said with his ruling that you're all a bunch of liars.

The judge ruled that legislators had politically manipulated the process.

For instance, they took Democrat Corrine Brown's district and crammed every black face they could find inside it.

Brown happily played the stooge because she got a district so Democratic and black that she was all but guaranteed re-election. But it pleased the Republicans even more, because it meant all of the surrounding districts were whiter and more conservative.

Brown got her one Democratic district.

Republicans, including Dan Webster and John Mica, got three.

And voters got hosed.

That last part is important — because a whopping 63 percent of Floridians voted for Fair Districts, mandating in the state constitution that legislators had to stop drawing districts for political reasons.

Yet that's just what Judge Lewis said they did.

It must be fixed. Here's a two-part plan:

1) Keep legislators far away from these maps. They have proved themselves unworthy of trust. The judge should either draw new districts himself — or perhaps impanel a bipartisan commission to do so. (That was actually the original Fair Districts proposal of the late GOP patriarch Thom Rumberger, who knew the legislative-controlled system was sick beyond repair.)

2) Call for special elections. I agree that it would be chaotic to redraw the districts for this fall's elections. After all, the primaries are next month. But these seats and districts should not be allowed to stand. The judge has ruled them unconstitutional. So it makes no sense to reward bad behavior. The upcoming elections should be temporary until special ones in properly drawn districts can be held next year.

This system is sick. And so am I — of politicians breaking the rules and getting away with it.

In this country, you can steal a loaf of bread and go to jail. But if you're a politician who violates the Constitution — something you swore to uphold — you get a leadership position.

Why? Because the ethics laws are weak.

And why is that? Because the rule-breaking legislators write them. (Also because, in this case, the judge didn't finger a specific legislator — rather saying their collective process was improper.)

This state needs stiffer ethics penalties.

But for now, we need to make sure the result of these improper actions don't stand — and that the voters' will is carried out.

Otherwise, you just reward the rock-throwers.

smaxwell@tribune.com or 407-420-6141

Copyright © 2014, Orlando Sentinel

Saturday, July 19, 2014

$23.6 billion Northwest Florida jury verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for death of 36 year old Kool smoker

Three cheers for legendary Stuart, Florida trial lawyer Willie Gary! He just won a $23.6 billion tobacco products liability verdict against R.J. Reynolds. Mr. Gary spoke here in St. Augustine at an ACCORD luncheon in 2011.
His $23.6 jury verdict was more than twice the ad damnum clause in a bogus harassing SLAPP libel lawsuit that R.J. Reynolds filed two decades ago against investigative reporter Walt Bogdanich for libel ($10 billion lawsuit).
Mr. Bogdanich, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, is the hero who nailed our corrupt Sheriff, State's Attorney and Medical Examiner on the Michelle O'Connell shooting case, earning an Emmy nomination for PBS on his work at The New York Times. See Mr. Bogdanich talk about Big Tobacco here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGEIftdKwpA
Justice has been done. Of course, R.J. Reynolds will appeal immediately. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/business/jury-awards-23-6-billion-in-florida-smoking-case.html

St. Augustine Record: "Obama opens Eastern seaboard to oil exploration, environmentalists concerned"

http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2014-07-18/obama-opens-eastern-seaboard-oil-exploration

Front page banner headline that it deserves. As Sir Winston Spencer Churchill said, "we shall fight them on the beaches." www.staugustgreen.com

NEW YORK TIMES: White House Opens Door to Exploring Atlantic for Oil

White House Opens Door to Exploring Atlantic for Oil
By MICHAEL WINESJULY 18, 2014

The Obama administration approved guidelines on Friday for seismic searches for oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean, handing the petroleum industry a significant victory in a bitter dispute with environmental groups over the searches’ impact on marine life.

The decision opens the way for companies to seek permits to look for oil in a stretch of the Atlantic from Delaware to Florida, using compressed-air guns that blast the ocean bottom with thousands of sound pulses as loud as a howitzer. The pulses bounce off geologic formations deep in the earth, giving geologists hints of where oil and gas deposits may lie.

The new rules do not permit actual drilling for oil, and the only previous exploration in the area produced 51 dry holes before ending in the 1980s. But experts have said that a decision to allow exploration sends a clear signal that allowing offshore drilling rigs would be approved as well.

A congressional ban on offshore Atlantic production expires in 2017. The oil industry is pressing for exploration to begin as soon as next year.

The Interior Department, which issued the new guidelines, has said that as much as 4.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil could lie beneath the seabed, but the lack of actual exploration data puts that estimate in doubt.

Environmental groups say the seismic pulses will destroy some marine creatures and disrupt feeding, migration and other crucial habits of whales and dolphins, some of them already endangered species. The oil exploration industry argues that years of seismic exploration elsewhere have produced little if any evidence that the technique causes serious harm.

Given three proposed sets of guidelines, Interior Department analysts chose the one with the strictest environmental safeguards. That alternative would probably eliminate any deaths of sea life and sharply reduce the chance of injuries but would in some cases cause changes in behaviors like mating, migrating and searching for food.





How do we stop offshore oil drilling from destroying St. Augustine's tourist economy, beautiful beaches and natural environment?

Florida's beautiful coast is threatened by global ocean rise and by the announcement yesterday that offshore oil exploration --using what the New York Times calls "compressed-air guns that blast the ocean bottom with thousands of sound pulses as loud as a howitzer" -- will be renewed off our coasts.
This will likely kill ocean creatures and lead to renewed offshore oil drilling.
This would destroy our coast here in St. Augustine and St. Johns County, Florida.
No way!
Our St. Johns County Commission and City Commissions in St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach all oppose this outrage.
St. Augustine and Northeast Florida is ground zero for Big Oil's attack on our environment -- the North Atlantic right whales have their babies -- there are only some 350 right whales left. Endangered sea turtles their eggs here and return here. They are among the oldest and grandest species on this planet, a joy to behold. Let's not let Big Oil kill them. Public protest is essential.
Two strategies -- litigation and legislation:
1. Federal court litigation must be commenced challenging offshore oil drilling here, grounded in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
2. We must rededicate ourselves to enacting the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore Act. www.staugustgreen.com
In any Environmental Impact Statement under NEPA, the Interior Department would have to say this is a "sensitive area" because of the St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore!
Thus, we preserve our coast, protect endangered wildlife, protect our economy, and attract historic and environmental tourists who spend more time and money here. As Wallace Stegner said, our national parks are "America's Best Idea."
Voila!
Viva!
Otherwise, we're looking at massive oil spills, preceded by compressed air guns blasting noise "as loud as a howitzer" and dead right whales, loggerhead, leatherback, Kemp's Ridley, green and hawksbill sea turtles and other sea critters dying (along with our tourist economy). We don't want to destroy this paradise thattaway.
No "using compressed-air guns that blast the ocean bottom with thousands of sound pulses as loud as a howitzer," thank you.
No offshore oil drilling off Florida's coast, please.
As Sir Winston Spencer Churchill said, "We shall fight them on the beaches.







































































WITH YOUR HELP, IN THE WORDS OF LBJ TO CONGRESS AFTER SELMA, "WE SHALL OVERCOME!"

Work tirelessly for the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. www.staugustgreen.com