So the place of artists and musicians in St. Augustine has been taken by panhandlers. Wonder why?
Ask SCROOGE-like City burghers like disgraced former City Manager WILLIAM BARRY HARRISS and ex-Mayors JOE BOLES and LEN WEEKS, who worked with ROBERT "MAC" McLEOD, II (JEREMY BANKS' lawyer) the Chamber of Commerce for years to oppress artists and musicians on St. George Street, wasting millions on legal fees and City government workers' times. Federal courts have repeatedly struck down aspects of the laws, but the prohibition on St. George Street performers remains.
Now, businessmen claim a "crisis" with panhandling, partly the result of not rigorously enforcing existing laws.
So, hesto presto, the City has decided to "do something," which includes hiring a conflicted lawyer and possibly giving "significant encouragement" to vigilantism. That's so wrong.
First mistake: Self-promoting, self-aggrandizing First Amendment "expert" MICHAEL KAHN conned the City of St. Augustine to hire him to write a panhandling ordinance. Commissioners ignored KAHN's conflicts of interest in having written the "great victory" anti-artist, anti-musician ordinances that freed up space on St. George Street, now taken over by panhandlers.
Second mistake: the City and KAHN have announced that a Facebook group, "ST. AUGUSTINE VAGRANT (sic) WATCH GROUP," would be developing "the record" for the City's eventual ordinance.
Is that group degenerating into an angry mob of misguided people, inveighing against individuals they do not know, making false statements, bragging about gun-toting and intimidation. This could be stalking. It could also be seen as unChristian, unkind, uncouth, uncool, counterproductive.
Dickensian Scrooge-like behavior ("Are there no workhouses? No jails?")
I've asked the City for records and to disavow the actions of a few vigilantes:
From: Ed Slavin
Sent: Mon, Dec 18, 2017 1:11 pm
Subject: Request No. 2017-695: Stalking by members of St. Augustine Vagrant Watch Group page on Facebook; stalking, gun-carrying, threatening behavior
1. Please send me the City of St. Augustine's screenshots and downloads of the "St. Augustine Vagrant Watch Group" Facebook page. This is the very Facebook page to which the City has delegated responsibility for gathering information and creating a "record" for lawmaking, which the City has stated it is "monitoring."
Here's the Historic City News coverage on the hiring decision and Facebook group:
From Historic City News: