On December 5, 2016, City Commissioners voted to elect TODD NEVILLE the Vice Mayor.
Commissioners resisted Mayor Shaver's nomination of Nancy Sikes-Kline.
So Mayor Shaver asked our newly appointed Vice Mayor, TODD NEVILLE, to perform a public ceremonial function, while she travels and enjoys the holidays with her children and grandchildren.
Vice Mayor NEVILLE agreed to attend the menorah lighting on December 26th.
In fact, Vice Mayor NEVILLE bailed.
Cocked a snoot and flew the coop.
Left the Jewish celebration behind.
NEVILLE flunked the test of leadership and diversity.
I was there. Vice Mayor NEVILLE and wife arrived at the band gazebo at about 5:15 on December 26, 2016 and stayed but a few minutes, never speaking, enlightening no one and not or lighting anything.
How gauche and louche. How rude.
Overdressed and ill at ease in their skins, Vice Mayor NEVILLE and his wife, HEATHER, looked at the menorah, looked at the crowd, looked uncomfortable and left.
St. Augustine Mayor Shaver and former Mayor Joe Boles have attended menorah lightings, as have former St. Augustine Beach Mayor Andrea Samuels and St. Augustine Commissioners Roxanne Horvath, Nancy Sikes-Kline and Leanna Freeman have all attended over the past years, lighting the menorah, lighting candles and sharing inspirational messages appropriate to the holiday season. Those moments promote healing in a place only a few steps from the Slave Market, where KKK once rallied and the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history occurred only a few blocks away in support of MLK.
Mayors Shaver and Boles in particular were eloquent, with Boles sometimes having a prepared text, while Mayor Shaver speaks from the heart.
Not TODD NEVILLE, a/k/a "ODD TODD," one of our most notorious local Scrooges.
TODD and HEATHER remained silent and exited, apparently dressed for dinner and cocktails elsewhere.
Pray for ODD TODD"s cold little heart to swell up to the size of a june pea.
Pray for ODD TODD to learn and grow and to "try tolerance" (in the immortal words of the D.C. appellate judge to lawyers for then-anti-Gay Georgetown University, my alma mater, ca. 1988).