Thursday, September 24, 2015
Feckless City Management's Lost Opportunity on Papal Visit to St. Augustine
Last year, our City Manager, JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E. and others were about to go for yet another taxpayer-funded visit to Spain. I asked REGAN and ex-Vice Mayor DONALD CRICHLOW to consider a short side trip to Vatican City to explore the possibility of a papal visit. REGAN, then-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. (R-PROCTORVILLE) and CRICHLOW (R-CORNEALVILLE) and their entourage did not do so.
Background: CRICHLOW rightly suggested inviting the Pope circa 2006. The detail is lost to inaccurate data and records destruction by TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD a/k/a "Sunshine violator" and his entourage -- it cannot be found yet in City minutes and ex-Clerk ALYSON RATKOVIC (REGAN's former secretary) attempted to charge me money to answer the question -- suffice it to say that CRICHLOW deserved full credit for the inspiration, never adequately followed up on by the inept City staff.
Further background: I called REGAN at 6:05 PM on March 13, 2013, the evening that Pope Francis was selected, to encourage the City to invite the Pope for our 450th. REGAN promised to get on it.
It took a year and lots of prodding, before Mayor JOE BOLES signed a letter to the Papal Nuncio, inviting the Pope, on March 13, 2014.
Why the delay: ineptitude.
In March 2014, before the letter was finally sent, 450th Director DANA STE. CLAIRE told me that because it was "a church, we have to go through the church." PRIMA DANA was wrong: the Holy See is a nation-state, and Vatican City has a U.S. Ambassador and a Papal Nuncio in Washington D.C. PRIMA DANA's lack of knowledge and research let us down.
Likewise, no Presidential or Vice Presidential visit for the 450th.
Seems like our City leaders were more interested in no-bid contracts than a Papal or Presidential visit to observe the 450th anniversary of the first Roman Catholic Mass in what is now the USA.
All hacks, off the stage.