Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Mission Accomplished: No More Money-losing Fancy Galas For St. Augustine, Florida

Once upon a time there was an itty-bitty city in Florida with 14,000 residents, which had two (2) annual galas, without financial accountability, a money-losing embarrassment. We, the People paid for it -- a sin, a tort and a crime. No other city in Florida had even one gala, but St. Augustine had two.

Then, We, the People defeated corrupt St. Augustine Mayor JOE BOLES, rejecting all of his works and pomps, electing our beloved reform Mayor Nancy Shaver in 2014.

Thanks to Mayor Nancy Shaver for ending the annual Menéndez Noche de Gala "celebrations" of our Nation's Oldest City's founding murderer, Pedro Menéndez de Aviles.

The business of the City of St. Augustine, Florida is not holding parties for rich guys.

No more months of wasted City staff time on party planning.

No more money laundering and outlndish government subsidy for staff and Commissioners' private party, and otherwise shambolic "celebration" of Menendez's birthday.

No one in the private sector stepped up to hold this gala at their own expense.

Wonder why?

Rich guys throughout history want us peasants to pay for their parties and pleasures, I reckon.

But as economist Milton Friedman said, "There's no such thing as a 'free' lunch." Or free galas, for that matter.

The last City of St. Augustine taxpayer-subsidized soiree for City managers, City contractors and wealthy plutocrats subsidized by us peasants was on February 28, 2015.

Viva Mayor Nancy Shaver!

First, here's former Mayor George Gardner's March 1, 2017 St. Augustine Report:

Wreath, letters replace founder's birthday gala
It's been two years since the last Noche de Gala celebrating Founder Pedro Menendez' birthday, community activist Ed Slavin reminded city commissioners Monday, but the legendary Spanish admiral was not forgotten.
Commissioners held a brief ceremony at the Menendez statue in front of City Hall, and Commissioner Leanna Freeman read letters from Mayor Mariví Monteserín and former Commissioner of Culture Roman Alvarez of Aviles, Spain, where Menendez was born February 15 1519.
"Pedro Menéndez (is) the link between both cities, the cornerstone that supports this friendship and relation between people and institutions from both sides of the pond," Alvarez wrote. "It is a legacy that must be preserved and promoted both at political and grass-root level. It is our heritage."
Wrote the mayor, "When we look back and review the history of our peoples, we realize that the brotherly seed planted more than four centuries has not stopped growing and that trend will not stop in the future.

Here is a photo I took (the first one) and the rest are Historic City News' excellent photos for the February 28, 2015 Michelle O'Connell protest, coinciding with the last Menéndez gala, it turns out.
As the days-long rain halted for 90 minutes, as forecasters predicted and activists expected the murderous Menéndez statue and wreath were surrounded and occupied by the family, friends and supporters of the late Michelle O'Connell, shot to death in the home of Deputy JEREMY BANKS on September 2, 2010.

Sheriff DAVID SHOAR and his bullies, toadies, enablers, pals and those good people who have stayed silent about Michelle O'Connell since 2010 were shy.
They all diverted their procession around us from their planned route, moving along the sidewalk on Cordova St.
Only three gala attendees -- City Commissioner Leanna Freeman, Flagler College President William Abare and City civil rights hero Dr. Robert S. Hayling, D.D.S. walked by the Menéndez statue.
(Commissioner Freeman was quoted in The New York Times article about one of her clients, whom Sheriff SHOAR libeled in a 148 page report attacking FDLE Special Agent Rusty Ray Rodgers' handling of the O'Connell case). The article noted that Commissioner Freeman asked SHOAR to correct the report, but "he refused."
I saw Dr. Hayling, greeted him, shook his hand, and told him why we were there; he asked quietly, "Let me know what I can  do to help."
As Stanton said after Lincoln died, "Now he belongs to the ages."
Viva Dr. Hayling! (For whom the Robert Hayling Freedom Park in Lincolnville is now named).
Justice for Michelle O'Connell!
I shall always remember how we band of brothers and sisters gathered at the Menéndez statue and wreath, around which St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID SHOAR et pals diverted their fancy-bears gala procession.
Wonder why?

You can see the February 28, 2015 Menendez gala procession diverting around our protest in the background. How cool is that! (Ed Slavin photo)

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