Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why would government pay for government land transfer?

Why would one government want to pay another government for public land?

The Anastasia Mosquito Control Commission has vacated its former headquarters at 500 Old Beach Road.

AMCD cannot sell it to anyone.

By "right of reverter, the land automatically reverts back to the City of St. Augustine if it is not used for a public purpose.

It is no longer being used for a public purpose -- it is vacant, unused and surplus. Now.

Controversial AMCD member Vivian Browning, retiring this year, feeling her oats, wearing her Realtor® hat, says she wants to sell the land for $700,000 to the City of St. Augustine Beach for a park.

Is Mosquito Control looking to SAB to balance its budget, with one taxing authority making another taxing authority pay up for government land?

That's immoral and illegal -- it would be a breach of fiduciary duty for one government to pay another government for public land.

St. Augustine Beach City Attorney James Patrick Wilson and City Commissioners, including Sherman Gary Snodgrass, shared this view on July 11, 2016 at their monthly meeting.

AMCD cannot sell the land.

Period. If it's not used for a public purpose, it automatically reverts to the City of St. Augustine.

I have a better idea: graciously give it away, to the City of St. Augustine Beach, for a park.

AMCD gave away land to the County for its Emergency Operations Center -- it refused to sell it. Thus, there is precedent.

Otherwise, AMCD is incurring maintenance and insurance costs for a property no longer fulfilling any "public purpose."

In the words of the great American diplomat Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, "NOT ONE PENNY FOR TRIBUTE."

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