Monday, December 14, 2015

Does "Sister Cities" Group Violate Sunshine Law?

ST. AUGUSTINE SISTER CITIES ASSOCIATION, INC. President LEN WEEKS a/k/a "CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.," ex-Mayor, ex-HARB Chair, destroy of 62A Spanish Street with permits, looking dapper with with sunglasses, third from right, behind ex-Mayor JOE BOLES (second from right), both beneficiaries of no-bid below-market commercial lease with City.

The St. Augustine Sister Cities group, incorporated as a non-profit corporation, has never advertised any public meetings even though it purports to be part of the St. Augustine City government and it is required to be such to participate in Sister Cities International.

The St. Augustine Sister Cities group has an all-white structure and promotes all-white delegations to Spain and elsewhere.

City funds are involved, as is our City's name and reputation, in a City attempting to recover from 1964, when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rightly wrote Rabbi Israel Dressner that St. Augustine was "the most lawless city in America."

The St. Augustine Sister Cities group is not listed on the City's website of City boards and advisory committees, here.

An unknown sponsor allowed ex-Mayor LEN WEEKS to speak for ten minutes at the November 9, 2015 meeting, click here, working to promote sales of a book in the City gift shop. WEEKS is under investigating for destroying 211-year old DON PEDRO FORNELLS HOUSE, working without permits.

The St. Augustine Sister Cities Association is an alter ego of the City, and must be held accountable: thus, I filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice.

I have today filed Open Records requests on Sunshine compliance and funding of this all-white Sister Cities group. I have found no meeting notices for Sister Cities group meetings, although the group purports to speak for our City and sends all-white delegations to Spain and other countries.

I have asked Ms. Mary D. Kane, Esquire, who is the Sister Cities International President in Washington, D.C. to investigate and ride herd on its local affiliate. No return call or e-mail yet. Here's her biography:

President and CEO
Mary D. Kane became President and CEO of Sister Cities International in October 2011. Ms. Kane leads the membership, youth and education, development, and advocacy programs to strengthen the sister city network around the world. Prior to joining Sister Cities International, she was an Executive Director with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for identifying and building business partnerships and strategic alliances for the Chamber. Before joining the Chamber, Ms. Kane was the Secretary of State in Maryland and a former Assistant State’s Attorney. She serves on several boards, including Suburban Hospital – a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine and Mount Saint Mary’s University. Ms. Kane is a graduate of the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. and earned a B.S. in business and finance at Mt. St. Mary’s University.

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