Monday, March 19, 2018

The City of St. Augustine Beach needs another adult in the room: Rosetta Bailey, candidate for City Commissioner

Adult in the room

Lincoln's Birthday, February 12, 2018, St. Augustine Beach, Florida:  Commissioners illegally decided four issues without public comment. Commissioners ejected two citizens for protesting the injustice of slashing public comment time on agenda items.  

Three Commissioners voted to stifle criticism. Three successive mayors have violated citizens' public comment rights.   Sad. 

When Commissioners make a decision, they must allow the public to speak.  

On Lincoln's Birthday, Commissioners refused public comment before making decisions about: strategic planning, Pier Park, Wednesday Farmer's Market and sexual harassment (directing the City Attorney to write a policy for him to investigate harassment complaints involving the City Manager or Police Chief, instead of outsiders).   Never again!

We need access to government documents and answers to our questions.  What was discussed when touring our Pier Park by two successive St. Augustine Beach Mayors (Andrea Samuels and Richard O'Brien) and City Manager Max Royle, County Administrator Michael Wanchick and the Miami-based owners of the new Embassy Suites Hotel?  No documents. No answers.  Radio silence. Why? When Gary Snodgrass was Mayor, he sought staff answers to questions at City Commission meetings. Follow that precedent, please.  Respect citizens' rights.

We have a Right to Know about Pier Park, sexual harassment, retaliation, mismanagement, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.  

Secretive St. Augustine Beach is no "circus," as the Record editorial suggested in 2016, and I do not aspire to be its "ringmaster."  We need an "adult in the room."  

Preserve and protect our democratic republic, for which 1.2 million Americans died.  

When our Constitutional Convention ended, a Philadelphia woman asked Ben Franklin, what kind of government?  Franklin replied, "A Republic, if you can keep it."  RFK said that if our Bill of Rights were written in the style of St. Paul, it would have said, "But the most important of these is speech."  Let's restore free speech rights.  

Rosetta Bailey, candidate for City Commissioner

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