Saturday, May 23, 2015


UPDATE: No response to me, but caterwauling e-mails from Chairwoman Bennett to Tom Reynolds (see below)

Please cancel illegal joint City-County meeting set for Tuesday, May 26 on short notice, at inaccessible location, untelevised, in daytime, in violation of Florida Sunshine Law and Americans with Disabilities Act

Dear Messrs. Wanchick and Regan, et al:
Please cancel and reschedule the secretive meeting of the St. Augustine City COmmission and St. Johns County Commission you two have set for May 26, 2015 for a remote Airport conference room or else face possible civil, criminal and administrative complaints -- including ethics, Sunshine and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaints -- as:
1. The meeting is on too-short notice, which is not "reasonable notice."
2. The meeting is in an inaccessible location for people taking our maladroit almost non-existent system of public transportation.
3. The meeting is in a location without streaming video or cable tv coverage, and past County meetings there were never broadcast, either live or on tape delay -- shut-ins and disabled people will never be able to view the meeting. This is part of a pattern and practice of SJCBCC violations of ADA by holding untelevised meetings shut-ins cannot view.
4. The meeting is in the daytime, when most working people, students and teachers have difficult attending (all City meetings begin at 5 PM).
5. The meeting is an "appearance of impropriety" -- why are you again seeking to avoid and evade our Florida Sunshine law, Article I, Section 24 of our Florida Constitution, enacted in 1992 with the votes of 3.8 million people (82%).
6. The two of you with your history of Sunshine and Open Records compliance problems embarrass local residents.
7. Now you plan to hold a "retreat" meet-and-greet away from public scrutiny, off-camera, on short notice -- a secretive meeting, embroiling and involving ten (10) of our City and County elected officials in your secrecy.
8. Enough.
9. This ill-advised meeting is contrary to the genius of a free people, as we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, honoring generations of Americans who sacrificed their lives and limbs for our freedoms.
10. Due to our imminent 450th anniversary of St. Augustine, the whole world is watching, as the Michelle O'Connell shooting case has proved, with coverage by The New York Times, PBS Frontline, Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Folio Weekly, First Coast News and the Guardian, among others. The whole world is watching St. Augustine and St. Johns County governments. You both lack sufficient respect for and appreciation of First Amendment protected activity, you both lack a welcoming spirit, and you both must cease and desist from all lawbreaking. Now, please. The ball is in your court.
11. This ill-advised, poorly-planned, no-agenda, inaccessible, short-notice joint meeting is an outrage, deeply insensitive, and repeats longstanding County Administrator misconduct in scheduling meetings at the same Airport conference room whenever the County Administrator seeks to avoid public scrutiny.
12. This is not "transparency" and it does not pass either the laugh test or the smell test.
13. Please cancel and reschedule the illegal May 26, 2015 joint City-County meeting. Herein faileth not. Please govern yourselves accordingly.
14. Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation from this day forward.
15. Please call to discuss. I am available to take your calls at your earliest convenience this weekend.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

Update: Second e-mail (May 24, 2014)
Dear John and Mike, et al.:
1. No response from anyone -- that acts as an "adoptive admission" and "admission by silence" under the Federal Rules of Evidence.
2. Chairwoman wrote several e-mails to Mr. Reynolds which constitute "non-denials" in the immortal words of Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee, Washington Post Editor, during Watergate.
3. You are both maladroit managers and both deeply insensitive to First Amendment rights and Sunshine and Open Records rights and the appearance of impropriety.
4. Please cease and desist from any and all Sunshine and Open Records violations, from this day forward.
5. Your actions demand creation of independent Inspectors General.
Thank you in advance for canceling the illegal meeting set for May 26.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

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