Thursday, March 17, 2016

Environmental Racism in Gov. Scott's Veto? NO on $200k for West Augustine Sewers, but YES on $2,885,005 for Summer Haven vacation home river dredging?

Updated: SCOTT vetoed the $200,000 for West Augustine on Thursday, March 17, 2016 after 8 PM. Despicable.

Florida Governor RICK SCOTT issued his ukase on March 17, 2016 after 8 PM: a line item veto a $200k for West Augustine sewers in African-American community, but lets stand $2.4 million for protecting wealthy Summer Haven beach residents from global ocean level rise (which he claims does not exist) the Summerhaven River Restoration Project, $2,885,005.

Florida Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT is a disgrace to the human race. Likely TRUMP VP nominee?

West Augustine has been without sewers, sequelae of invidious discrimination since Jim Crow days, a problem that local residents, the City of St. Augustine and St. Johns County focused on since Flagler College Jeremy Dean's 2005 film, "You'll Never Walk Alone" brought home environmental racism. E. coli contaminates wells, leaking from septic tanks. St. Augustine's Establishment did not start to care until 200, when first Jeremy Dean, and then former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young ("Crossing in St. Augustine") held up the searchlight of media exposure to the racist power structure here.

We've made so much progress here, and every single City and County Commissioner wants to do right.

But Republican Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT vetoed a mere $200,000 the legislature contributed to West Augustine.

Legislators also added $2,885,005 for river dredging at Summer Haven, an area of wealthy homes, many of them vacation homes, whose road keeps getting washed out by the Atlantic Ocean (global ocean rise, a fact of life Governor SCOTT orders FDEP not to acknowledge).

So Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT -- a wealthy man who endorsed racist billionaire DONALD J. TRUMP for President yesterday -- vetoes $200,000 for community development and quality of life in an entire African-American community, but does not touch the $2.4 million for protecting wealthy peoples' summer homes that the legislature inserted to solve a longstanding problem affecting a handful of rich people.

In the words of the late Senator Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.), "That dawg won't hunt."

This stinks.

Our estimable Governor SCOTT thinks only of running for U.S. Senate in 2018 or VP in 2016.

SCOTT stinketh on ice.

I hereby challenge Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT to come to West Augustine, to the Solomon Calhoun Community Center, and explain his actions.

Will "FIFTH AMENDMENT RICK" explain himself?

I have today (March 17, 2016) filed my Records Requests Nos. 2016-105, 2016-106, 2016-107, 2016-108 & 2016-109 with SCOTT's office. Will share the information with you when received.

UPDATE: no documents receive yet as of March 18, 2016.

Officials looking to change governor's mind on local projects
Posted: March 16, 2016 - 11:32pm | Updated: March 16, 2016 - 11:50pm
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While two city-of-St. Augustine-supported projects ended up on Gov. Rick Scott’s veto list, local officials aren’t quitting.

The governor announced Tuesday plans to strike more than $256 million from the $82.3 billion budget, and Scott usually waits until the budget is officially sent to him by lawmakers, according to the News Service of Florida. That hadn’t happened as of Wednesday.

The projected cuts include $200,000 related to West Augustine sewer expansion, and window replacement and restoration work at the Lightner building on King Street. That building used to be the Alcazar Hotel but now contains City Hall and other offices.

“We’re not giving up on West Augustine,” City Manager John Regan said. “We’re not really giving up on either project yet.”

The city plans to fight for the projects, via Mayor Nancy Shaver, before the budget is final. Shaver said she plans to speak with Scott, and she called the West Augustine project “vital.”

“Right now, time is of the essence,” Regan said.

Regan, who called the governor’s recommendations “a preliminary veto list,” said the city was working Wednesday morning with legislative consultants and the governor’s office to figure out why Scott made the decisions.

The West Augustine item was vetoed because the project, along with other water-related projects, didn’t “provide a clear return for the investment,” according to a news release from Scott’s office. The Lightner building project, along with other projects, was vetoed because it would “circumvent current established grant review processes, or funding is available through other sources,” according to the release.

The Lightner building project seeks to replace decades-old aluminum windows with historically accurate wooden windows, Regan said. The Alcazar Hotel was commissioned by Henry Flagler. Regan said the West Augustine project is a higher priority for the city.

In response to a question about whether the governor might change his mind on the local projects, Deputy Press Secretary Lauren Schenone sent an email to The Record on Wednesday that read, “Governor Scott will submit to the secretary of state the actions he outlined yesterday when he receives a final state budget.”

The West Augustine funding, which requires a $100,000 match from the city, would go toward engineering for new sewer systems in West Augustine, Regan said. The city planned to seek more funding in a later session for putting the infrastructure in the ground.

The project is important because, officials say, the area needs better infrastructure to bring in more commercial activity in the West King Street area.

“You don’t get economic vitality unless you have infrastructure that will support it,” Shaver said.

Sewer and water infrastructure improvements have been made over the years. But if completed, the project is expected to benefit 360 acres of service to general commercial, 88 acres of service to neighborhood commercial and 15 acres of service to workforce housing, according to a city document.

The project would be designed to “construct force mains, upgrade pumping systems and new gravity systems for commercial development and workforce housing,” according to the city. If funding is secured this July, the city would be on track to complete the design in December.

With additional construction funding in July 2017, the city expects to be able to complete the project in December 2017.

Whether the project gets funding from this session, officials will keep seeking funding, said Greg White, chair of the West Augustine Community Redevelopment Area Steering Committee.

He said the focus is on bringing in job opportunities for the community, and progress is being made — the new Family Dollar store should open soon, and a job event focused on local residents is scheduled this month.

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