Sunday, June 04, 2017

Is Beach Commission really undercompensated?

Again, Florida's Constitution Revision Commission needs to propose a statewide version of the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. First proposed in 1789, finally ratified in 1992, the 27th Amendment provides that if Congress votes a pay raise, it can't take effect until after the next election. Restore Madisonian democratic republican principles. No more self-awarded, effective-immediately pay raises for public officials.

Here's a self-serving column by Sheriff DAVID SHOAR's henchman and civil process supervisor, St. Augustine Beach arachnid apparatchik WILLIAM JONES, the bumptious bully who heads the St. Augustine Civic Association. A 501c4 de facto PAC -- what Madison would call a "faction" -- controversial SABCA's in-your-face, abusive, abrasive me-first ME-Publican misconduct includes:
1. JONES tearing up signs,
2. SABCA threatening people engaged in First Amendment protected activity,
3. SABCA pushing for an illegal, restrictive"First Amendment zone" at our Pier Park, ultimately rejected by the St. Johns County Commission
4. JONES slandering people for raising concerns about apparent violations of public policy,
5. SABCA $1/year no-bid lease of a City garage,
6. SABCA longstanding violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (SABCA's finally being ordered to provide portable toilets, required by its contract),
7. SABCA failing to provide off-duty police until recently (also required by contract),
8. SABCA flouting of alcohol laws without permits and
9. SABCA receiving free garbage pickup after SABCA concerts and farmer's markets. (SABCA's finally getting a bill for the grand amount of 41 cents a week -- what flummery).
10. SABCA backing questionable proposals, including massive hotel projects, insucfficiently vetted FPL franchise renewal (see his guest column below) and no-bid assignment of the lease on the former City Hall to a dance company staffed by ringers (Ringhaver family members, apparently using a 501c3 to benefit one family, a possible violation of IRS 501c3 personal benefit and inurement rules)(see his column below).

JONES, SABCA EVP ROBERT SAMUELS and disgraced ex-Mayor ANDREA SAMUELS deserve investigation for their maladministration of SABCA. Inquiring SABCA members and board members should ask questions and demand answers. It's their money.

Left to right: SABCA President WILLIAM JONES, Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS, et ux, SABCA VP ROBERT SAMUELS, tedious tendentious serial First Amendment violators.

This tedious tyrant bears watchin', as they say in East Tennessee. His wife has announced her intention to run against Commissioner Undine Pawlowski George. As they say in the Navy, "any port in a storm." And no, Mr. WILLIAM JONES, "it's" is not the possessive for it -- "it's" is the contraction for "it is." (Something I learned from my high school English teacher, Wayne Swanson, a coach who jumped up and down when he expressed frustration with Americans who misspelled a simple three letter word.

Posted June 4, 2017 12:02 am
Is Beach Commission really undercompensated?
William Jones
St. Augustine Beach

Last month the Commissioners in the City of St. Augustine Beach voted to give themselves health insurance coverage. The measure meant a 109 percent increase in compensation for any commissioner that signed up. The increase was even greater if a spouse or dependents were included. Many are asking how this came about. The answer is — for a while now.

A quick search of past minute meetings show multiple requests starting in 2013 by Commissioner Undine Pawlowski-George. Commissioner George is quoted in minutes stating “a higher salary would encourage more qualified candidates to seek office.” The same commissioner is quoted in other meeting minutes, trying to convince her fellow commissioners that the job should be compensated as a full-time position. Minutes show that former Mayor Andrea Samuels, along with current Commissioner England and Mayor O’Brien, objected to a pay increase.

This matter somehow found its way onto the agenda last month, and the appeal for insurance and a pay increase actually started in public comment. If you review the tape you’ll find the father of Commissioner Pawlowski-George speaking about how dedicated the commission members are. Michel Pawlowski further stated the commissioners “were on duty “24 – 7.” Mr. Pawlowski was a longtime government employee in Washington, D.C. His words appeared to be scripted, well-rehearsed and chosen carefully. His remarks did not include the words insurance or compensation, but the father of Commissioner Pawlowski-George’s did set the table in true Washington fashion for what was to come later.

Are the commissioners undercompensated? We live in a city of less than 6,500 residents with a fulltime city manager, building official, public works director, chief financial officer and police chief — all supported by great staff. Three of our commissioners own businesses. The other two work and, depending upon age, may be covered by Medicare. Do the citizens need to provide health insurance for part-time commission members?

What is most troubling is the speed of this decision versus other matters. For nearly half a year the renewal of the contract with FPL has been bantered around. Is the city ready to operate it’s (sic) own utility? Of course not, but the matter is still unsettled.

The Dance Company has been trying for six months to take over the lease of the old City Hall from the Cultural Council. The Dance Company occupies space in the building. TDC has spent thousands to renovate the space and they have the desire and resources to assume the lease. Why has this decision taken six months, but a 109 percent raise for the Commissioners took only 15 minutes?

Monday night’s meeting should be lively and the community deserves some answers to the questions above and more.

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