Good news. Eighteen-year no-bid contract for St. Augustine Beach Wednesday morning Farmer's Market is about to change hands. St. Johns County Commission is expected to vote on July 17 or August 1 to award a new management contract. The St. Augustine Beach Civic Association was rated dead last -- fourth of four qualified bidders in response to the County's Request for Proposals. Every single evaluator rated SABCA last.
Before the reading of the ratings, five people spoke:
- Thomas F. Reynolds, Jr., local government watchdog;
- Dr. Edward Fleming, Ph.D., former SABCA volunteer, 2005-2017;
- Merrill Paul Roland, disability rights activist;
- William Jones, SABCA President and errant Sheriff's employee; and
- Ed Slavin (that would be me).
Unrebutted testimony by Messrs. Reynolds, Fleming, Roland and Slavin established SABCA's long train of abuses:
- Violation of free speech rights
- False arrests of people engaged in First Amendment protected activity.
- Violation of disability rights
- Parking vendor vehicles in disabled parking spaces
- Refusal to accept EBT cards for SNAP (food stamps)
- Functioning as a de facto political action committee, endorsing candidates and acting as a cat's paw for developers.
WILLIAM JONES rebutted nothing. WILLIAM JONES did not apologize. He did mention that he works for the Sheriff, trying to "pull rank," a rank obscenity all ignored.
Then the ratings were read aloud.
Not one of the raters gave any hope to SABCA.
All rated it fourth of four qualified bidders.
The highest-rated bidder was Salt Air Farmer's Market, which runs the Farmer's Market at Marineland.
It's a great day for democracy at St. Augustine Beach.
SABCA's arrogant reign of ruin is ending.
SABCA'a days of hick hackery, flummery, dupery and nincompoopery will soon end.
Will ANDREA and ROBERT SAMUELS, WILLIAM JONES file a bid protest?
If so, they have exactly two chances of prevailing (Slim and None).
Their cloying, annoying manipulation and falsehoods will NOT change the outcome.
Three cheers for our St. Johns County Commission Chairman I. Henry Dean, County Commissioners Paul Waldron, James K. Johns, Jeb Smith and John H. "Jay" Morris, and to the County parks, beach, legal and purchasing staff.
The decision is being made on the merits.
How refreshing. It's a new day in St. Johns County.
The whole world is watching.