Thursday, February 18, 2016

Patricia Reilly, R.I.P.

St. Augustine activist Patricia Bornadier Reilly lived on Carrera Street and was active in working to preserve and protect St. Augustine's history and nature and to clean up its malfeasant government.

Pat was often seen at City Commission meetings, sweetly speaking out against injustice, helping push for contract compliance audits, helping stop the misbegotten plan to build a 7-Eleven in the historic district, working to expose bad planning and zoning decisions, like the misbegotten plan Commissioners approved August 27, 2015 by 4-1 vote (Mayor Shaver dissenting) to convert the state-funded Dow Museum of Historic Homes into a fancy-bears $500/night hotel.   Pat was a strong supporter of neighborhood rights and Mayor Nancy Shaver.

Pat Reilly was a retired Allstate Insurance executive and dazzled with her data and analysis, never giving up on our causes.  She was a member of the City Visioning Committee.  In 2014, she called out Mayor JOE BOLES for misleading campaign tactics.

Pat succumbed to brain cancer last week.

She will be greatly missed.

She was a private person and asked that there be no service.

Last year, shortly after her diagnosis, she wrote in the St. Augustine Record:

Letter: Be part of the solution in St. Augustine, not the problem
Posted: May 6, 2015 - 8:52pm | Updated: May 6, 2015 - 11:20pm
By Patricia Reilly
Be part of the solution, not part of the problem

Editor: “The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other.” — Thomas Stallkamp

It would be nice to have The Record start advocating action instead of taking potshots from the sidelines. How about soliciting and promoting ideas or solutions to problems? Why the preemptive shot at an advisory group with no real power?

The city has five commissioners charged with creating policy for the city. This suggests proactive work on behalf of the city that they are supposed to serve.

Commissioners can gather information or seek input and ideas from groups, task forces or individuals. But then they have to submit an actionable item or solution for consensus or majority vote from the commission. They need to find common ground and then work together.

Discussion is great, but action is needed to get results. Back in 2012 during a commission meeting there was a discussion about regulating Segways. No commissioner has pushed for a solution, and so three years later none has been advanced and the issues remain. The commission has talked over time about a policy for the events held in public places. Just how many 5K runs and festivals can we absorb? We need a commission working together to advance a plan.

It is time to work together to make St. Augustine better and deal with the assault of changes coming our way. We have wonderful people in this city who are capable and caring. Challenge every commissioner with leading an advisory group to bring actionable items to the table for a vote.

We need our commission, all five of them, to work together for the benefit of this city.

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” — Henry Ford

Prior blog posts quoting Pat are here:

Patricia Reilly at St. Augustine Visioning Committee, fourth from left, speaks out

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