Saturday, August 05, 2017
VA HEALTH CLINIC: Will County Commission Rubber-stamp Secret "Unsolicited Proposal" Amidst Secretive, Stinky Process?
Five Republican St. Johns County Commissioners, voted in lockstep, unanimously, on August 1, 2017, without answering a single question, okayed proceeding with an "unsolicited proposal" on a "lease back" deal with an unnamed corporation, in a putative "public-private partnership" to build a VA Health Clinic adjoining the $16 million St. Johns County Health and Human services Building a/k/a "Gauze Mahal."
Come September 5, after pro forma advertising, seeking competing bids, there may be yet another crooked special interest deal for St. Johns County Commissioners to rubber-stamp.
Imbued with secrecy (thanks to an Open Records exemption, natch), conceived in secrecy, gestated in the febrile brain of County Amininistrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK, amidst Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR's corrupt political machine, dedicated to the proposition that influential corporations get crooked deals, our St. Johns County Commission is like a rotten mackerel by moonlight -- it both shines and stinks. (Thanks to John Randolph of Roanoke for the gnarly quote).
When it happens, we won't know who the secretive bidder's lobbyists are, St. Johns County Commissioners having long ignored the call for lobbyist registration, as in other counties.
Cronyism and corruption?
Quo vobis videtor?
(What do y'all reckon?)
Good people of St. Johns County, did you even know this was happening?
I asked a veterans leader after the meeting, and he knew nothing of the identity of the supposedly veteran-owned company that has done twelve of these lease-back deals.
The veterans clinic was well located across from Flagler Hospital. Then County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK decided to sell the County Health building property to Lowes, further exacerbating hideous traffic tie-ups on US 1, where he and the county long allowed every mini-mall to get a curb cut, without need for a collector or feeder road.
The county and VA have engaged in a mud wrestling match for years, blaming each other, while the old VA clinic was demolished and the new one is a trailer, assumedly without an x-ray machine, or unwilling to make it available to our veterans.
Disgraced former Assistant County Administrator and failed Commission candidate JERRY CAMERON was at the heart of politicizing the process, going to Washington, D.C. to testify before a Congressional subcommittee JERRY CAMERON is now a louche lobbyist for FLAGLER HOSPITAL, sans registration.
As to the quality of veterans health care, no thanks to Commissioners for ignoring the concerns of Hastings veteran Kenneth McClain, who had to go all the way to Jacksonville for an x-ray after an automobile wreck, because there's no empathy for veterans on the part of tatterdemalion County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK, a/k/a "MIKEY THE WEASEL."
Ask questions, demand answers, expect democracy. And don't let WANCHICK, SHOAR and JOHNS keep you in the dark.
Kt's our money.
Democracy dies in the darkness.
And don't worry if Commissioner JAMES K. JOHNS, a/k/a "JIMMY THE WEASEL" interrupts you for asking questions -- he works for us.
Be not afraid.
It's in the Bible at least 50 times.