Tuesday, July 05, 2016
LOBBYING REGISTRATION URGENTLY REQUIRED IN ST. AUGUSTINE AND ST. JOHNS COUNTY
Construction company magnate, radio broadcaster and former state legislature candidate MICHAEL DAVIS is not registered as a lobbyist by the City of St. Augustine.
That's because unlike other Florida cities, the City of St. Augustine does not require lobbyist registration.
Today, July 5, 2016 MIKE DAVIS's dodgy clients -- who were demanding some sort of zoning change for the historic preservation districts -- were allowed to talk a lot of mumbo jumbo to the Planning and Zoning Board.
PZB members earlier tabled a proposal for the same parcel that would have erected a beer and wine bar and patio without restrooms.
Not on the agenda. Why?
Because St. Augustine Planning and Building Director DAVID BIRCHIM was cowed by the power of MIKE DAVIS.
You see, MIKE DAVIS is:
o a known Republican,
o one of Bolesian mayoral candidate KRISTENE PHILLIPS' WFOY (Rush Limbaugh radio) pay-to-play broadcasters (a practice under FCC investigation),
o third generation construction company owner,
o campaign contributor,
o Flagler College Chancellor and ex-State Representative WILLIAM L. PROCTOR's heir apparent, and
o reputedly kin to the late louche KKK Sheriff of St. Johns County, LAWRENCE O. DAVIS
So, estimable, other-directed Planning and Building Director DAVID BIRCHIM said he was afraid of turning down an application for a project in the historic preservation district on St. George Street because it could not come to the PZB until August.
Someone lit a fire under this developer hey-boy, apparently.
So, hesto presto, without putting it on the printed agenda, DAVID BIRCHIM pulled a fast one and asked PZB members to weigh in.
No time limit for DAVIS's clients. Why?
No documents shared with the residents in advance on the City website.
But, fortunately, there were no takers -- no one on PZB wants to revise our historic district zoning to accommodate some "customer reaction business" entrepreneur with money to spend who wants to make St. Augustine's government an "adjunct to his own affairs," in FDR's words.
We don't want our historic preservation district to be turned into Disney World.
We don't want our historic preservation district to be degraded, with uses currently forbidden there.
We don't want gaming in our historic preservation district.
No electronic entertainment in our historic preservation district.
No non-museum museums in our historic preservation district.
No fake paranormal ghostly animatronics in our historic preservation district.
No bumper cars or rides in our historic preservation district.
Thanks to St. Augustine Planning Board Chair Susan Agresta, Vice Chair Matthew Shaffer, members Cathy Brown, Sarah Ryan, Jerry Dixon and Carl Blow.
No thanks to MIKE DAVIS, whose porcine clients could be heard muttering pejoratives at activists after the meeting.
Outside the City Commission meeting room, MIKE DAVIS gave the Orlando developers some sage advice -- build outside the historic preservation districts.
Meanwhile, ask your City Commission to require lobbyists to register.
Say no to creeping Disneyfying of our historic 451 year old city.
Say no to inauthentic and inappropriate uses in our historic preservation district.
In the words of my grandmother, "Drop the oyster and leave the wharf."
P.S. After the PZB meeting, MIKE DAVIS boldly called in to his own pay-to-play program on KRIS PHILLIPS' WFOY Radio, talking about the PZB meeting. I am requesting the tape recording, if any.
Like they say in East Tennessee, "He bears watchin'!"