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DRAFT Minutes – July 12, 2010 meeting
The July 12, 2010 meeting of the Republican Club of Greater St. Augustine was called to order by President Gary Bruce at 7:06 p.m. at the Special Events Center at the St. Augustine Airport.
The invocation was given by Bob Veit, and the pledge was led by Gary Howell.
Gary Howell introduced the elected officials present. (See article below)
The Secretary called the roll of Officers and those present were: President Bruce; 2nd Vice Chair, Gary Howell; Pat Greenfield, Secretary; and Cheryl Howell, Treasurer.
The minutes were approved as distributed by a motion from Cheryl Howell and seconded by Ed DuPont. The motion carried. Cheryl Howell gave the treasurer’s report and the balance was $1178.68. She spoke of the need for members to join the $10 a month club to help offset the costs of the meeting room and thanked those who have already joined.
President Bruce then introduced the new Media and Communications Chairman for that committee, Mike Gold. Mr. Gold will be updating the webpage and assisting with PR. The Executive Committee of officers approved Mr. Gold’s appointment with a motion from Cheryl Howell and a second from Pat Greenfield and a unanimous vote of approval.
Cheryl Howell then spoke about the August 9th monthly meeting. It will be a “Get Out the Vote Rally and BBQ” and everyone is encouraged to wear red, white and blue. The guest speaker for the night will be Congressman John Mica. The 9th of August is the first day of Early Voting for the Primary Election. All members and guests were urged to go vote and come to the Rally/BBQ. This will be a joint meeting with the Young Republicans and the Federated Republican Women’s Club. More information on menu and items which might be needed will be forwarded shortly.
Mr. Perniciaro was given the floor to speak and then Senator Thrasher’s assistant spoke.
At this time, President Bruce introduced our guest speakers, Bill Proctor, State Representative from District 20 and Mike Weinstein State Representative from District 19.
Each representative spoke about the legislative session coming and the difficulties that will be forthcoming due to the economic downturn and the shortfall of revenue for the State. (See covering article below)
A question period followed their talks and questions were fielded regarding how to bring new business to our area, tort reform, the huge increase in the State college pre-pay plan and a question about how to contain the python population in our area.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:18 p.m.
Historic City News article about our meeting:
Proctor and Weinstein bring GOP club up-to-date
July 14, 2010
State Representative Bill Proctor and Mike Weinstein were the guest speakers at Monday night’s meeting of the Republican Club of Greater St. Augustine; and local Historic City News reporters were there.
During the brief business meeting, Club President, Gary E. Bruce, told those attending that it is the mission of the organization “to inform the citizens and active voters of our community who help to shape our government.”
Bruce announced that on August 9th, there will be a jointly sponsored “Get out the vote” rally and barbecue held at the Special Events Center of the Northeast Florida Regional Airport at St. Augustine, located at 4730 Casa Cola Way.
“Show up at 5:00 p.m.,” Bruce said. “We’ll need volunteers to help set up and we’re counting on your help.” St. Johns County Young Republicans are participating in this informal, indoor-outdoor event being held on the first day early voting.
United States Congressman John L. Mica, representing the 7th Congressional District of Florida, is scheduled to attend and participate in the evening’s activities.
Elected officials in attendance in Monday’s meeting included Ron Radford, Harry Warner, Carla Wright, Bill Proctor, Mike Weinstein, Cyndi Stevenson and Carl Blow. Candidates for election, or re-election, were also recognized: for State Senate District 8 – Charles Perniciaro, for St. Augustine City Commission Seat 4 – Michael Gold , State Representative District 20 – Bill Proctor, State Representative District 19 – Mike Weinstein and Port and Waterway member Carl Blow.
The President explained the format for the evening’s presentation and questions from the floor then introduced Representative Proctor – who opened by saying that he really doesn’t like forums where people ask you to “get up and give your opinions on how to achieve world peace, and you have three minutes.”
Unlike recent GOP forums, the Board did not pose prepared questions to the candidates – they gave their own impressions of Tallahassee, the legislature and what it means to citizens back home.
Highlights of the presentations included a discussion of the new state budget, the cost of the oil spill in the Gulf, the state’s acceptance of Federal stimulus money, Medicaid and other entitlements and basic public school funding.
Proctor told the audience that 40.5% of the state’s budget goes to Health and Human Services – supporting about 54 agencies. “Add to that a 32% commitment to education and another 7.1% for public safety and you have a very small amount left for the administration of all the other functions of government.”
Weinstein will return to office – originally with four opponents who each dropped out of the race leaving him unopposed. Proctor, who faces opposition from Alan Kelso in his bid for re-election, grumbled that freshmen (referring to Weinstein who is serving his first term in office) aren’t supposed to be that lucky.
Weinstein explained how, in the legislature, lots of things are decided by a very few people.
“Home rule is an issue close to me,” Weinstein said. “How do I keep Tallahassee out of my back yard?” Although he opposed SB-6, against Proctor, Senator Thrasher and the Republican leadership, he said he’s not completely against the idea of “pay for performance for our teachers.” Weinstein explained that his objection was that he saw it as a move for the state Department of Education to take over the local school boards and his constituents were calling him asking him to oppose the measure.
The once Jacksonville prosecutor explained that if you attend a legislative session, you will see someone rise to speak while groups of 8 – 10 others are huddling around in groups on the house or senate floor. “They are always working each other to get their bills passed.” Weinstein pointed out that, of course, the legislators are exempt from the requirements of Florida’s sunshine laws that restrict local politicians from discussing issues that will come before their boards except in open meetings.
The Republican Club of Greater St. Augustine meets monthly – complimentary refreshments are served during the social beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting concludes at 8:00 p.m. “We welcome all registered Republicans and there is no charge for attending,” Bruce said. For more information, visit stauggop.com.