Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We're Televising County Budget Hearings Today, Because County Administrator MICHAEL WANCHICK Refused to Do So

Sheriff DAVID SHOAR's crony, controversial St. Johns County Administrator MICHAEL WANCHICK rudely walked away when I spoke with him about televising the budget hearings on May 3, 2016.
St. Johns County Americans with Disabilities Coordinator KATIE DIAZ laughed in my ear when I responded to her impertinent letter on May 16th.
Secretive St. Johns County refused to televise today's budget hearings.  We, the People are doing it ourselves --- click on image here to watch on
Thanks to local hero Jeffrey Marcus Gray and Photography is Not a Crime, is televising today's hearings:

Ab initio, County Administrator MIKE WANCHICK showed his animus, and his lack of social and management skills, as I objected to his refusal to videotape these hearings and spoke of the need for an Inspector General, Ombuds and detailed Sheriff's line item budget.

WANCHICK repeatedly interrupted, stating, "we're not going to have this for three days."

I told WANCHICK not to condescend.

The podium in this room was hidden in a closet (along with the Administrator's ethics). WANCHICK said the Sheriff isn't submitting a budget until July 1, 2016 -- depriving the public of that information in time for the August 30 Sheriff's election.

The public is calling out questions from the back, with a loose-goosey format, except when I ask a question.

At 9:30, WANCHICK threatened to have me removed for asking whether the County follows zero-based budgeting, which Jimmy Carter instituted in Georgia as Governor in the 1970s. Dr. WILLIAM McCORMICK, Pharm. D., our St. Johns County Democratic State Committeeman, talked over me from the audience and attempted to browbeat me, saying, "Let's move on." I pointed out his organizational affiliation for the record, and noted that we are live-streaming. Later, after a break, a budget staffer corrected WANCHICK -- the County does follow Zero Based Budgeting.

At 9:37, Dr. Mary Kohnke, Ph.D. former County Commissioner, complimented the solid waste staff on telephone etiquette, saying that she wondered if it was because she was "so sweet" Everyone laughed and McCORMICK teased her.

I asked what the County's EMR rating was for worker's compensation. They will ask this afternoon.

I asked whether recycling materials sent to China are really recycled, or incinerated. They will inquire.

I asked how much is proposed to be spent on Roundup® or glyphosphate and whether that can be zeroed out due to environmental impacts. Staff will inquire.

WANCHICK admitted that "it's a misnomer to think that you can grow your way out of it," referring to infrastructure needs not funded by the CCounty's mismanaged growth management policies.

On the subject of impact fees, the County has a inter local agreement with the City of St. Augustine Beach, but not St. Augustine, refunding some of the impact fees. No good answer as to why. But obnoxious former County Commission Chairperson Mary Kohnke (R-Ponte Vedera Beach) purported to answer that it was because St. Augustine has no impact fees, and that St. Augustine allows residential annexations. I corrected her, pointing out that there had been no residential annexations since 2005, when we pointed out that they were violating the Fifteenth Amendment.

Discussion on beach renourishment revealed that the County is planning to borrow money -- "commercial paper" -- to pay for it. I asked whether the staff had explored the feasibility of supporting the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore,, to get money. WANCHICK said no, "We didn't do that, Ed." I asked why. He did not respond.

WANCHICK was insouciant about discriminatory Florida Power & Light power restoration after hurricanes. I pointed out that Flagler Estates waited two weeks for power restoration, Lincolnville waited one week, while Pelican Reef got its power up within a day or less. I asked about planning to require FPL to treat people equally. WANCHICK condescended to me, interrupting and refusing to let the Emergency Operations staff interrupt. I pointed out that WANCHICK "does not care about poor people."


St. Johns County's all-Republican Commissioners, Administrators and Sheriff "Spends-a-Lot" DAVID SHOAR with $140 pair of scissors at dedication of $16 million County Health and Human Services Building.

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