Thursday, November 27, 2008

Letter: City still riding roughshod on rights

Letter: City still riding roughshod on rights

Edward A. Slavin Jr.
St. Augustine
Publication Date: 07/08/05

Editor: Hold controversial City Manager Bill Harriss accountable for:

1. $8,188.65 wasted on 12-person NYC junket (The Record reported faxes achieved even higher bond ratings) - Commissioners violated Florida's Sunshine Law?

2. Stalling/sabotaging a neighborhood's "speed hump" application, stealthily raising longtime speed limit from 15 to 20 m.p.h.

3. Dividing our city, attacking First Amendment rights (artists/entertainers; thrice unconstitutionally rejecting Gay Rainbow flag flying).

Justice prevailed in Federal Court. Reporter Charles Gordon ("Jacksonville Free-Press") proudly called it "democracy in action" - "the system worked" - regarding bigots, "that's their problem." Paul Folger (CBS 47) satirized the city's inconsistent "history" requirements. Mary Moewe ("Jax Biz-Journal") said most thought the "colors are very pretty."

49 Rainbow Flags proved we can "fight City Hall." Rainbow Flags were a stunning, beautiful constitutional/community victory - honoring 10,000 years of Gays in St. Augustine history - one murdered in 1566 on Governor Menendez' orders. See "Now It Can Be Told," June "Collective Press" (CP) monthly. Over 10 percent of city residents attended Gay Pride Day.

Who's afraid of Rainbow Flags? "Dividers, not uniters" like David Duke, who sold his KKK mailing-list for $82,500 in 1996 to anti-Gay "Family Research Council." Former City Commissioner Bill Lennon candidly told CP of terrorist group KKK's threats to him on Bridge of Lions flags. We pity Commissioners Crichlow, Gardner and Jones for twice surrendering to KKK threats. They lack independence. Thanks to Commissioners Boles and Burke for supporting equality and First Amendment values.

Crichlow has testified for his paying architectural clients before HARB as "expert witness." (Commissioners hear HARB appeals). Crichlow got his own "speed hump" without delays. Banning non-government flag-flying, angry Crichlow complained June 13, "I'm tired of all this rights stuff," earlier tactlessly comparing Gays to dogs/birds. ("FOLIO Weekly" 5/31).

Time to retire "tired" politicians? Let's investigate - activating, educating and registering voters - elect community-minded reformers in 2006.
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