Commissioners approved a motion by Vice Mayor Todd Neville, seconded by Mayor Nancy Shaver and supported by Commissioner Roxanne Horvath not to explore litigation over the impending demolition of ECHO HOUSE, for which a demolition permit may now be issued to St. Paul A.M.E. Church "over the counter" on April 16, 2018 under to a June 2018 HARB order. Voting against were Commissioners Leanna Sophia Amaru Freeman and Nancy Sikes-Kline.
Though Rev. RON RAWLS has violated the June 15, 2017 Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) order allowing time for community involvement to save ECHO HOUSE at no cost to the church, there is nothing to be done.
The building will be torn down -- a monument in perpetuity to the ineptitude of the City of St. Augustine to protecting our history, a tribute to the power of schemers and conmen and their "snow jobs," as Commissioners belatedly recognized. Too late.
Leanna Freeman led the debate, pointing out that Rev. RONALD RAWLS, Jr. had fraudulently misrepresented facts to her to euchre her support for approving the transfer of ECHO HOUSE to his church. No one disagreed with her.
Four City Commissioners said they had been "betrayed" and fraudulently misled about Echo House by St. Paul A.M.E. Church pastor RONALD RAWLS, Jr. -- Leanna Sophia Amaru Freeman, Nancy Sikes-Kline, Roxanne Horvath and Mayor Nancy Shaver made it official. The only exception was Vice Mayor TODD DAVID NEVILLE, the lying outlier, sitting at the far northwest corner of the meeting room, scrunched defensively into the corner all night.
Discussion proved that the City quit claim deed's defective "right of reverter" clause was poorly drafted by RONALD WAYNE BROWN, under the malAdministration of WILLIAM BARRY HARRISS, City Manager (1998-2010), who now greases a chair and encumbers a position with corrupt St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR.
The "right of reverter" clause made no references to RAWLS' repeated promises he had the money to fix Echo House and would do so. It made no reference to the building at all. It merely said that if the "property" was no longer being used for a charitable purpose, the City of St. Augustine could take it back.
Was this ineptitude intentional? Or was it merely negligent? Legal malpractice?
BROWN was hired without advertising, first temporarily, then permanently, in twin Sunshine violations by the City of St. Augustine City Commission in 2006.
That was after resignation of City Attorney James Patrick Wilson, who quit, later explaining, "I worked there fourteen years. They dumped a landfill in a lake. They didn't ask me. They didn't tell me. And I figured it was time to move on."
HARRISS did not give a fig about Lincolnville, and was the understudy to former City Manager JOSEPH POMAR, who joked in 1998 that he wanted to have fourteen bulldozers line up and tear down Lincolnville. Racist POMAR's fatuous joke is today's directive, as gentrification afflicts Lincolnville, aided and abetted by Rev. RONALD RAWLS, JR.
In 2010, there were two (2) lawyers on City Commission who blessed BROWN's defective quitclaim deed "right of reverter language" -- Leanna Freeman and Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR.
BROWN's Assistant City Attorney at the time was CARLOS EDUARDO MENDOZA, now a United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida in Orlando.
So four (4) attorneys missed the defective quitclaim deed "right of reverter language" -- RONALD BROWN, CARLOS MENDOZA, JOE BOLES and LEANNA FREEMAN.
Has our City of St. Augustine repeatedly shown itself incapable and unfit to protect our history, again and again having suffered and permitted, privatizations, demolitions and tree killings at the behest of powerful special interests, including Flagler College, Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, Claude Leonard Weeks, Jr., David Barton Corneal, Robert Michael Graubard, St. Augustine Yacht Club, et al.?
Solution: St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore study and legislation.
From Historic City News: