Saturday, July 08, 2017

Beach officials to revamp employee policies; mayor’s setback issue settled (SAR)

Secrecy and wrongdoing is being exposed and extirpated at St. Augustine Beach City Hall.

Thanks to Commissioner Maggie Kostka and to Vice Mayor Undine George and Commissioners Gary Snodgrass and Margaret England for asking questions and demanding answers from tatterdemalion St. Augustine Beach City "Manager" BRUCE MAX ROYLE, an antediluvian, angry, ethically-impaired energumen who will say and do anything, even ignoring sexual harassment allegations and refusing to investigate them.

No thanks to soon-to-be-ex-Mayor RICHARD BURTT O'BRIEN, who came late and acted surly, trying to run interference for ROYLE and failing to show courtesy to Commissioners and citizens.

No thanks to St. Augustine Beach's maladroit, mendacious, triple-dipping building official, GARY RAYMOND LARSON, for his sua sponte, premediatated, televised, ungracious attack on government watchdog Thomas F. Reynolds for "this triple-dipping crap."  No thanks to Mayor O'BRIEN for not gaveling this feckless thug, or for The St. Augustine Record for so often ignoring boorish behavior at the Beach's City Hall.

No thanks to St. Augustine Beach's City Attorney JAMES PATICK WILSON for his flummery, including the assertion that citizens lack "standing" to file criminal complaints about sexual harassment coverups at City Hall -- also claiming that because the alleged victim signed a "release," that this would somehow bar criminal prosecution.  Has anyone requested his law school transcript from Florida State University, to see what grades he got in law school classes on employment law, criminal law and legal research and writing?  I recommended Mr. Wilson for his job, but I am disappointed.

But thanks to The St.Augustine Record for reporting our constructive suggestion that St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Robert Hardwick be named the Interim CIty Manager pending a national search.  Treat St. Augustine Beach to an Interim City Manager who will promote healing, preserve evidence and reform procedures -- too often ignored by gooberish good-ole-boys who know not that they know not that they know not," in the words of my friend and former client, Senior Special Agent Robert E. Tyndall (Ret. FBI, HUD and EPA Inspector General criminal investigator). St. Augustine Beach City Hall under rotten ROYLE has elements of a crime scene, and must be treated as such.

St. Augustine Beach Reform Commissioner Maggie Kostka -- thank you!

Posted July 8, 2017 12:02 am
Beach officials to revamp employee policies; mayor’s setback issue settled

St. Augustine Beach commissioners supported a series of changes to the city’s employee management policies following a special meeting held on Thursday evening.

Vice Mayor Undine George called for the discussion on succession planning.

“We’ve … had quite a lot of look backs and passing the buck. … As the Commission, the people look to us to be the ones to oversee the city to make sure everyone’s job is done properly,” George said.

After the discussion, City Manager Max Royle said he plans to follow up on a number of issues, including updating the city’s sexual harassment policies. At the meeting, some commissioners raised concerns about how a sexual harassment allegation from several years ago had been handled.


St. Augustine Beach commissioners vote to allow mayor to amend conditional use permit for his properties
Beach official eyes changes to oversight of city manager, other employees
Other initiatives include sensitivity training for employees, creating an investigation plan for employee grievances, having annual employee surveys, having an outside law firm on tap to investigate employee complaints, and allowing employees to weigh in on changing the personnel manual, Royle said.

The meeting also included discussion about how to plan for Royle’s eventual exit. Some suggested that St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Robert Hardwick serve as interim city manager if Royle has to leave abruptly.

Commissioners also discussed how to handle the retirement of Building Official Gary Larson, which is expected soon. One idea, suggested by Larson, is for the city to move to a part-time building official and a part-time planner instead of a full-time building official.

Setback problems

Earlier this week, commissioners voted 3-1 to allow Mayor Rich O’Brien and his wife, Lauren Ringhaver, via their business 810 Beach Inc., to modify a conditional use permit granted for their F Street properties. But commissioners also voted to require his team to pay $25,000 to reimburse the city for time involved in addressing the issue.

Also, his team agreed to correct a cantilever that was also found to be against city regulations, a correction expected to cost thousands of additional dollars.

The conditional use permit, granted by the commission in 2016, allowed O’Brien and his wife to build two houses on F Street. One condition of the permit was that the western setback would be 15 feet, but it was built with a setback of about 12 feet instead.

The commission’s decision allows the setback to stay as built.

Sid Ansbacher, attorney for 810 Beach Inc., said that the order was never delivered to the applicant. Also, a representative of the builder said they were under the impression that the setback was supposed to be 12 feet.

Several people spoke at the meeting, both in support of O’Brien and the amendment and those against it.

O’Brien recused himself from the vote. Commissioner Maggie Kostka voted against the amendment.

George said she felt that $20,000 might not be enough to set a precedent to keep a similar mistake from happening. She changed a previous motion to adjust the penalty from $20,000 to $25,000. She also said later that she believes it is a fair solution that recognizes both sides, the city and O’Brien and his team, contributed to the error.

“I feel very unsettled about this entire situation. … There is no easy answer, but I do think that there would be some good healing in the community to be able to move forward,” George said.


Tom Reynolds
There needs to be a drug testing policy for the Commission. The Mayor was late for the meeting and looked odd at best. The City Manager was clueless and it is not right that he is still City Manager. Especially after all that came to light recently about a woman employee of 14 years being sexual battered. For no firing of the City Manager and the Building Official, this is a case of .........

.......................................NO JUSTICE FOR THE WICKED.! ...........................................

The CRIMINAL CONDUCT that has been taking place in St Augustine Beach City Hall makes it even more outrageous NO ONE WAS FIRED !

Just another day at City Hall St Augustine Beach Floor A DUH ....aka ...................

........................................Dysfunction Junction 32080 ! ......................................................

Tom Reynolds
“I feel very unsettled about this entire situation. … There is no easy answer, but I do think that there would be some good healing in the community to be able to move forward,” George said.

The HEALING will begin when Token Mayor O'Brien , City Manager Royle, and Building Official Gary Larson ALL RESIGN !


........HIGHLY UNETHICAL ..........and ................Completely Incompetent !

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