Some of the same people attended, including the City of St. Augustine Beach's freeloading disgraced ex-MAYOR ANDREA SAMUELS a/k/a "ANGRY ANDREA," and her husband, ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH CIVIC ASSOCIATION EVP ROBERT SAMUELS, and a host of upscale swells and family member of self-serving City contractors, franchisees, lesses, and the frontmen for the Civic Association's www.staugustinebeachpier.com website.
Why not a family-friendly First Night with fireworks (but no alcohol sales) on New Year's Eve?
Let's end blatant Beach Blast's "VIP Tent," where SABCA, FPL, Advanced Disposal (among other vendors, franchisees and lessees) paid thousands of dollars to quaff New Year's Champagne with SAB Mayor UNDINE CELESTE PAWLOWSKI GEORGE, Vice Mayor MARGARET ENGLAND, new Commissioner DONALD SAMORA and City Attorney JAMES PATRICK WILSON.
An appearance of impropriety?
You tell me.
Three wastrel Republican St. Augustine Beach City Commissioners UNDINE GEORGE, MARGARET ENGLAND and DONALD SAMORA -- three cognitive misers who were in the VIP Tent -- failed and refused to ask tough questions. They need to do their jobs, witout fear or favor to the swells who paid thousands to swill Champagne with them.
They must discuss ending Beach Blast as we know it -- a noisome, noisy carnival subsidized by multiple law enforcement agencies and the salary of a half-time, half-baked "Event Planner" who could not or would not answer basic questions (like the budget).
Freeloading, campagna-swilling VIP Tent attendees included:
- Mayor UNDINE GEORGE
- Vice Mayor MARGARET ENGLAND
- Commissioner DONALD SAMORA, appointed to fill Gary Snodgrass' seat
- City Attorney JAMES PATRICK WILSON, all of whom seem hell-bent on ignoring alleged wrongdoing and keeping the Beach Blast going for another year, with alcohol.
- ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH CIVIC ASSOCIATION frontman, El Presidente WILLIAM JONES
- ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH CIVIC ASSOCIATION EVP ROBERT SAMUELS
- ANDREA SAMUELS, disgraced ex-Mayor.
- BURKHARDT family, millionaire beer distributors whose daughters run the Dance Studio encumbering the former City Hall.
- FLORIDA POWER & LIGHAT (winner of 30-year franchisee renewal -- including PZB Chair JANE WEST, married to an FPL solar energy manager -- who knew?).
Neither Commissioner Maggie Kostka nor Commissioner RICHARD BURTT O'BRIEN was present.
No law enforcement officer was present.
Even though SABPD officers were working overtime, their families weren't invited to the VIP Tent.
No real community activists were present.
This was a pay-to-play VIP Tent. Access to City officials was sold.
When you're City of St. Augustine City Commissioners swilling Champagne with monopolists, oligopolists, SABCA, FPL, Advanced Disposal (among other vendors, franchisees and lessees, and other City officials, you don't invite anyone who might ask questions, demand answers or expect democracy.
At the December 31, 2016 Beach Blast, VIP Tent attendees observed outgoing Commissioner and ex-Mayor ANDREA SAMUELS, during her last hours in office, collecting the champagne bottles from surround tables.
ALL-WHITE "VIP TENT" at St. Augustine's 450th celebration:
Here's a list of the people inside the St. Augusttne Beach Blast "VIP Tent" on December 31, 2017:
Guest Name Organization
Bill Downey RS&H inc.
Kim Smith Jerome Properties
Bill Smith Jerome Properties
Taylor Smith Jerome Properties
Wayne Reyes St. Johns COA
Judy Reyes St. Johns COA
Dave Chatterton Old Town Trolley
Melissa Chatterton Old Town Trolley
Evan Chatterton Old Town Trolley
Jocelyn Chatterton Old Town Trolley
Debby Murphy SchoolWheels Direct
April Murphy SchoolWheels Direct
Deb Rabideau SchoolWheels Direct
Tom Burns TDC
Dr. Ryan Smith Money Pages
Chere’ Smith Money Pages
Siena Smith Money Pages
Anderson Smith Money Pages
Karli Vazquez-Mendez Money Pages
Jon Hipp Advanced Disposal
Mary Hipp Advanced Disposal
Ray Mazzaferro Advanced Disposal
Susan MazzaferroAdvanced Disposal
Danny Jones Burkhardt-1
Thomas Nibbe Burkhardt-2
Peter Burkhardt Burkhardt-3
Geoffrey West FPL
Jane West FPL
Sawyer West FPL
Wyatt West FPL
Charlene Gatchel FPL
Andrea Samuels St. Augustine Civic Association
Bob Samuels St. Augustine Civic Association
Bill Jones St. Augustine Civic Association
Gayle Jones St. Augustine Civic Association
Mandy Kendell Signs Now
Eric Kendell Signs Now
Commissioner Don Samora City Commission
Ashley Samora City Commission
Jane Vavrick Saltlife Seafood Shack
Bob Vavrick Saltlife Seafood Shack
Victoria Fisher Saltlife Seafood Shack
Patrick Fisher Saltlife Seafood Shack
Jennifer Reed Avid Design
Tom Reed Avid Design
Austin Reed Avid Design
Brooke Reed Avid Design
John Merriam (JT) 105.5 The Beach
Karolynne Merriam (Kari)105.5 The Beach
Joseph B Roose 105.5 The Beach
Kandia Suzanne Lowe (Kandi Lowe) 105.5 The Beach
Mary Adams 105.5 The Beach
Mayor- Undine George City Commission
Mr. Greorge City Commissioner guest
Jan Thomas City Commissioner guest
Michel Pawlowski City Commissioner guest
Sandra Kremapsky City Commissioner guest
Jeffrey Raddatz City Hall
Ralph Raddatz City Hall
Anthony Larizza VyStar
Elizabeth Thomas VyStar
Lori Brandel VyStar
John Brandel VyStar
Katie Kurek City Commissioner guest
Ramona Novak City Commissioner guest
Amelia Key City Commissioner guest
Commissioner England City Commissioner
Jim Wilson City Attorney
Jeremiah Underhill City Attorney guest
Aubrey Underhill. City Attorney guest
Mulligan Underhill City Attorney guest
Ashby Underhill City Attorney guest
Ken Blydenburg Holiday Isles
Tanya Blydenburg Holiday Isles
Brittany Anderson Land Title
Mark Anderson. Land Title
Brandy Studley Andys Taylor
Tom Lane Andys Taylor
Rick Maulvin Public Works
Mrs. Maulvin Public Works
Joe Howell Public Works
James Jaudon Heath Electric
Celinda Godby Heath Electric
Lisa Whitaker Signs Now
Brad Brown Signs Now
Doug Roddy WDR ATM Counselting
Bruna Roddy WDR ATM Counselting
St. Augustine Beach hires part-time events coordinator
By JENNA CARPENTER JENNA.CARPENTER@STAUGUSTINE.COM
Posted Jan 22, 2015 at 11:54 PM
St. Augustine Record
For Hala Laquidara, planning events for St. Augustine Beach is one way of giving back to the community she has lived in for 14 years.
Laquidara is the new part-time event coordinator for St. Augustine Beach.
“I want to make events available to residents,” said Laquidara. “The city has so much to offer, and somebody has to make it available.”
Laquidara, 43, replaces Michael Cunningham, who resigned in October after the Commission voted against making the job a full-time position.
According to City Manager Max Royle, there were 31 applicants to fill the position, and six people were interviewed.
“It was highly competitive,” he said. “All applicants needed experience in the planning and production of events.”
Laquidara, who will be paid $18,000 annually, was the first person to be interviewed.
“I was afraid they’d forget about me,” she said. “But I kept calling them, and I think they liked my persistence.”
St. Augustine Beach Mayor Andrea Samuels said the position was created because there was a need for someone to act as a liaison between the city and residents.
“I was tasked to plan for economic development,” she said. “So I formed a committee of business owners and residents to talk about economic development and growth.
“We realized St. Augustine Beach didn’t really have a Parks and Recreation Department, so we needed a liaison between the city and the residents.”
Samuels said the coordinator also will be responsible for helping to handle the influx of tourists to the Beach.
“Our economy is based on tourism, and we need to be prepared,” she said. “We need a system in place to manage the amount of people coming into the city.”
As coordinator, Laquidara’s main duties are securing sponsors and planning Arbor Day, Veterans Day and the Beach Blast-Off.
In the three weeks she been working, Laquidara has been able to tie down Salt Life as a sponsor for all three events in 2015.
“They wanted to sponsor us because the events touch a wide variety of people,” she said. “We cater to not just children and families, but tourists as well.”
Of the three events, Laquidara said she is looking forward to planning Arbor Day the most.
“I have the chance to expand it, and there’s so much to offer,” she said. “I want to bring in a butterfly expert and have a display of live bees so people can learn how to raise bees.”
She also said she wants to incorporate the ocean, so she’s been in contact with Whitney Labs to bring in a touch tank and a shell expert who will be bringing a display of shells.
However, she said Veterans Day presents a new challenge for her because it’s a ceremony rather than a festival or party.
“I want to do something fantastic to make sure our veterans get the recognition they deserve,” she said. “Nothing we do for them is enough, but I’m going to look back at what’s been done in the past.”
Laquidara said while she isn’t worried about planning the Beach Blast-Off, she wants to try to develop a more efficient way of getting people in and out.
“I want the bus systems to work like clockwork,” she said.
She will also be responsible for updating the city’s social media sites and developing an e-newsletter of events that will then be sent out to the community.
In addition to her job with the city, Laquidara also is the Director of the Florida Endowment Foundation for North Florida.
She oversees and helps conduct five programs that offer education enrichment programs to Florida students. During her time as director, Laquidara wrote a grant to help fund a program that was dedicated to drop-out prevention.
Laquidara said among the reasons she sought the job as the events coordinator was for its interaction with others.
“I have a degree in business and a sales background, so I enjoy getting out and meeting people,” she said. “This job gives me the chance to get back to that.
“Planning and coordinating events is something I really like doing. Everyone has their calling, and this is mine.”
Article re: HALA LAQUIDARA's husband, JAMES LAQUIDARA, re: appeal by St. Johns County in 2011 -- by the way, she gets full health care benefits as a part-time employee.
Bar’s appeal denied by commission
By PETER GUINTA
Posted Apr 6, 2011 at 12:01 AM
St. Augustine Record
The owners of a rural St. Johns County bar left County Auditorium disappointed Tuesday after the County Commission unanimously rejected their petition to close a private club that’s permitted to serve “hard liquor” in Colee Cove.
Jack McCarthy and Velisha Sleap, partners in the beer-and-wine bar Sam’s Boondocks on County Road 13 North and Colee Cove Road, filed an appeal in February to protest a Planning & Zoning Agency decision in December that granted a special use permit to the Fraternal Order of Orioles Nest 324.
The permit allows the Orioles to sell beer, wine and spirits to members of its club, which sits across the street from Sam’s.
The potential competition between the two has fostered bad blood.
Sam’s supporters said the Orioles stay open after hours and serve non-members, a permit violation. Oriole membership is obtained by paying a one-time $10 fee.
If state beverage agents determine that the public -- and not just members -- is being served, they could force the Orioles to obtain a liquor license or close.
In Sam’s appeal application, it said, “It is our opinion that the $10 fee is a sham and amounts to no more than a cover charge.”
Oriole supporters said Sam’s serves underage drinkers and their customers harass them with pranks such as spinning donuts in the parking lot and throwing beer cans from their car windows.
Pamela Hill, a bartender for the Orioles, said some of Sam’s customers come in and want to buy drinks.
“But they’re not there to join or to support our cause. They’re there to shut us down,” Hill said.
During the hours-long hearing, the commission heard conflicting accusations and testimony, noting that much of it was hearsay or testimony from family, friends or employees.
Colee Cove residents gathered 160 signatures opposing the club’s presence.
But even that became controversial as accusations were made that signatures had been secured under false pretenses, such as scaring people by saying bikers would gather at the club, and it would also feature strippers.
George Boatwright of Orangedale, owner of Orangedale Liquors at State Road 13 and County Road 16A, said he’d signed the petition, though Commissioner Cyndi Stevenson couldn’t find his name on it anywhere.
Boatwright said, “The (Orioles claims) are a total misrepresentation, If that’s a private club, then I’m a chartered helicopter pilot with a fleet of Chinese helicopters.”
St. Augustine businessman Jim Laquidara, who runs one established Oriole nest in St. Augustine and opened the Colee Cove nest in January, said he’d restored at great expense a building that had been a run-down bar.
“The previous owner of the bar (Sleap) is one of the people who is trying to get this shut down,” Laquidara said.
Brenna Malouf Durden, an attorney with Lewis, Longman & Walker of Jacksonville, said Sam’s “doesn’t want another (bar) in the area. The Orioles are a charitable organization that focuses on education. There is (also) an issue of veracity of that petition. The state Department of Business and Professional Regulation said this club is bona fide.”
Isabel Lopez, an attorney with Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, Jacksonville, represented Sam’s and said corporate bylaws are required by law and that Orioles hadn’t produced them.
“Is this truly a private club that meets state requirements?” she said. “It clearly does not. The facts are what they are. They’re not simply about competition or character. This just doesn’t comply with special use.”
On a motion by Commissioner Ron Sanchez to deny the appeal and uphold the PZA’s granting of the permit, the measure passed 5-0