Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Susan Rathbone Running Against Comm'r LSA Freeman: HCN

As a City Commissioner, Davis Shores neighborhood association president Ms. Susan W. Rathbone will make us all proud.

 Enough coverups and louche loutish behavior from the likes of pouty, petty, mean-spirited Commissioner LEANNA SOPHIA AMARU FREEMAN.

LEANNA SOPHIA AMARU FREEMAN has turned into an angry, depressed, boring, spoiled, emotional, mean defender of the status quo, no-bid 450th contracts, special interest zoning favors and her proposed anti-compettivie monopolistic taxicab regulator scheme to benefit James Howard and Sax Taxi.

(Folio Weekly)


Nothing in The St. Augustine Record about Ms Rathbone's Monday, April 18 filing until Friday, April 21, 2016. Wonder why? The Record underpays its young reporters, refuses to pay overtime and infamously fired its older, more knowledgeable ones -- it is still paying the price for the days of inept KATHY NELSON (2013-2014), as inept an excuse for an editor as ever presided over a newsroom.

SANDS president Susan Rathbone seeks commission seat

Posted on April 20, 2016

North Davis Shores resident Susan W. Rathbone officially made her bid for a seat on the St Augustine City Commission Monday afternoon, telling Historic City News reporters that residents and local businesses are ready for improvements in the way the city and its commissioners communicate with each other.

Rathbone, who is 53-years-old, was raised an Army brat, she says she moved every year and was in 14 different schools. She did have ties to the area, though. Her grandmother had a fish camp and marina in Jacksonville’s Riverside where she would come for summer vacations. She attended 8th grade in Ponte Vedra Beach and graduated high school from The Bol[l]es School.

Over thirty-three years ago she moved to historic St. Augustine where her father was working as an attorney in the office of the Public Defender. For six years she helped the Gonzmart family during the opening years of the Columbia Restaurant.

“We didn’t face a fraction of the challenges we do today,” Rathbone said, comparing the 1980’s Spanish Quarter to what we currently have downtown. “I have seen the pendulum swing to an extreme. We have long past a healthy balance. Now, business needs have overtaken the needs of our residents.”

She told Historic City News editor Michael Gold that she returned to school, earning her undergraduate degree from University of North Florida and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University.

Rathbone made her career in education. She has held several administrative and teaching credentials. She was employed as an area support coordinator for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District in Charlotte, North Carolina when her father became ill and she returned to St Augustine for good. She was employed as a third and fourth grade teacher in Ponte Vedra Beach for the Saint Johns County School District until 2012. She has been a full-time caregiver for her father ever since.

Her opponent, St Augustine Commissioner Leanna S. A. Freeman, has declared that she will seek a third, four-year term. “What would any incumbent think that they could accomplish in twelve years that they weren’t able to accomplish in eight?” Rathbone asked; confessing that she feels commissioners should consider term limits to prevent them from becoming ineffective.

“Traffic congestion and parking have created an unstable situation for our city. Deferred maintenance of our crucial infrastructure has reached a turning point,” Rathbone said. “This did not happen overnight. Because many of our problems occurred under their watch, I do not have confidence in the current commission to handle these issues now.”

Candidates file to run against St. Augustine mayor, commissioners
Posted: April 20, 2016 - 9:21pm | Updated: April 20, 2016 - 10:29pm

St. Augustine’s mayor and a commissioner are no longer running unopposed.

Kris Phillips, president of WFOY radio, and Susan Rathbone, a neighborhood association president, recently filed to run for the City Commission seats.

Phillips filed to run against Mayor Nancy Shaver, and Rathbone is running against Commissioner Leanna Freeman.

Phillips is president of Phillips Broadcasting, which owns radio stations Newstalk 102.1 WFOY and 96.5 WAOC.

Issues like traffic and congestion, and making the city more pedestrian-friendly are among her concerns, as well as making improvements in those areas from tourist dollars instead of asking residents to pay more.

“I think we have some really tough issues that we need to tackle,” Phillips said.

Building consensus in the city and the City Commission is also a priority, she said. While she hasn’t served before in an elected office, Phillips serves on boards for the Arc of the St. Johns and the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce.

Shaver said she wants to continue working on zoning, transparency, mobility and infrastructure. Those were focuses of her 2014 campaign in which she topped Joe Boles, who had served as mayor for eight years.

“These are all big things,” Shaver said. “And they need a continued effort, and I feel, quite frankly, to deliver on the promise I made, that running for another term is the right thing to do.”

Shaver said the city has made “incredible progress” and she has a long list of accomplishments. Her other priorities include building relationships between the city and county and Tallahassee officials.

Three City Commission seats are up for re-election in November, the mayor’s seat and two commission seats that are held by Freeman and Roxanne Horvath.

The mayor serves a two-year term, and other commissioners serve four-year terms.

Ronald Stafford and Sandra Flowers have filed to run against Horvath, but Flowers said she plans to withdraw from that race and to run against Freeman.

Qualifying for local offices begins in June, so there’s still time for more candidates to file.

Rathbone is president of the St. Augustine North Davis Shores Neighborhood Association, and part of what she said prompted her to run was what she sees as division in the community.

“I’ve witnessed just a growing chasm in the city ... not only government, but I think residents are now angry and frustrated,” Rathbone said.

Infrastructure, traffic, congestion and parking are among her concerns, she said. Rathbone’s background is in school administration. Before moving to Davis Shores, she worked with low-performing schools to help them improve, she said.

Freeman, Rathbone’s opponent, has been a commissioner for several years and served during the recession and during the 450th commemoration in September.

“Now I’m looking forward to resolving some of the issues that are before us such as mobility and pedestrian safety,” Freeman said in a previous interview.

Freeman added that she brings experience as an attorney that would be missing on the commission without her, and she said has a history of asking tough questions on important issues.

In the race for Horvath’s seat, Stafford said his top concerns for St. Augustine include parking and the city’s drainage system.

“We talk about it quite a bit, but yet no one is bringing together the people that are needed to get it accomplished,” said Stafford, a pastor at New Mt. Moriah Christian Ministry.

Horvath said she is running for re-election to finish some of the initiatives she started, including the St. Augustine Vision Plan. A committee led by Horvath and a facilitator finished the 11-page document in 2015 after more than a year of work.

The document sets the city’s focus on four main areas: livability, authenticity, character and vitality. Horvath said she wants to help see more of the vision plan implemented.

She said she is also focused on parking issues, seeing the completion of the bayfront park renovations near the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, and helping with upgrades to the May Street and San Marco Avenue area.


Anonymous said...

wow what a pout on the face of that sourpuss

Ed Slavin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Slavin said...

I know. Both the Folio and HCN photos capture FREEMAN's essence --in a few short years, she's gone from cool to cruel, even as our City goes from cruel to cool. I always liked FREEMAN, and I am sad to see her personality and political principles deteriorate. I don't envy her legal work. I feel sorry she has been so manipulated by one percenters. She reminds me of Hillary Clinton, down to the scowl and the unpleasant voice.