Great news, ending 18-year no-bid contract sweetheart arrangement with controversial "non-profit," the St. Augustine Beach Civic Association
I reported this story on this blog ten (10) days ago, with more facts and less spin. Who knew that only a "vocal minority" favors competitive bidding in government procurement?
What errant nonsense from the St. Augustine Beach Civic Association and "President*" WILLIAM JONES.
This vapid, shallow, 685-word, page one St. Augustine Record article leaves much to be desired -- journalistic malpractice?
Do grifters, like SABCA, have undue influence withYe Olde Mullet Wrapper?
SAB farmers market could get new leadership
By Sheldon Gardner
Posted at 6:16 AM
Updated at 6:16 AM
June 10, 2018
St. Augustine Record
The St. Augustine Beach Wednesday farmers markets, held near the pier, could soon come under new management.
The St. Augustine Beach Civic Association currently runs the markets, which help fund Music by the Sea concerts and other events.
St. Johns County owns the beach pier park property, including the parking lot and pavilion. Recently, the St. Johns County Commission decided to put out a request for proposals to allow other businesses the chance to run the market.
Four groups applied, including the Civic Association. The county’s ranking committee recently met and ranked the Civic Association’s application last among the four applicants, according to a document provided by St. Johns County. The top-ranked was Salt Air Farmers Market. The other firms are Handmade St. Augustine and Media Systems Productions.
The county Parks and Recreation Department is reviewing the rankings, said Michael Ryan, county spokesman. Once the department makes its selection, the County Commission will decide whether to approve the contract. That matter could go before before the Commission this summer, Ryan said.
Bill Jones, president of the Civic Association, said his group won’t be able to fund the Music By the Sea if it loses the market and loses the revenue that comes with it. The Civic Association charges vendor fees for farmers market participants. The association also won’t be able to make as many community donations, he said.
County commissioners unanimously voted in February to put out a request for proposals for management of the market that would allow the county to make money from it — instead of letting the Civic Association use the space without paying rent. County Commission Chair Henry Dean made the motion and said he supported keeping the market at the pier park but that it was time to open the door for others to apply to run the market after nearly 20 years with the same management.
The county’s request for proposals asks for a market with “a local focus (grown or made within 100 miles of the market), offering fresh local produce, dairy, meats, local/artisan prepared foods such as baked and pickled goods, fresh squeezed juices, locally sourced artisan seasonings, teas, hand-made crafts, plants, and other local or artisan non-food items.” The market will be from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays.
For use of the pier park area, the contractor will have to pay the county $250 plus 5.8 percent sales tax each month for each market. They’ll also pay the county a percentage of revenue from the vendor fees. Vendor fees will be capped at $40 per spot.
One of the county’s concerns about the Civic Association’s management of the market is complaints such as possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which have cost the county thousands of dollars to deal with, County Administrator Michael Wanchick said in December. The request for proposals requires the contractor to “ensure ADA compliant access to all portions of the market intended for public access.”
Parking is also a concern, and the request for proposals says that all parking areas outside of the designated market area have to be open to the public and not blocked. The county will review the contractor’s market layout for approval.
The contract will be for one year at a time. The contractor will also be responsible for conducting background checks on vendors before allowing them to participate at a market.
Jones blamed the county’s request for proposals in part on what he described as a vocal minority who have targeted him and the Civic Association with criticism and complaints to the county. He also said the issue is about money.
Jones said the Civic Association started the market about 20 years ago to provide a benefit to the community. He also said the Civic Association is not willing to pay as much rent as the county wanted.
“What [the county] has done is they’ve gone away from the initial philosophy that they had from the establishment of farmers markets in the county by nonprofits, and they’re basically selling out the public to increase the ... direct revenue to the county,” he said.
Edward Adelbert Slavin
1. Thanks to County Commission Chairman I. Henry Dean, Vice Chair Paul Waldron, Commrs Jay Morris, Jeb Smith & Jimmy Johns, County Administrator Mike Wanchick, County attorneys Regina Ross & Patrick McCormack, and purchasing, parks & legal staff for their work on the RFP and evaluation processes. And I salute you!!
2. RFK said, "It is not enough to allow dissent, we must demand it, for there is much to dissent from." He said in South Africa: "'Give me a place to stand,' said Archimedes,'and I will move the world.' These men moved the world, and so can we all. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers are making a difference in isolated villages and city slums in dozens of countries. Thousands of unknown men and women in Europe resisted the occupation of the Nazis and many died, but all added to the ultimate strength and freedom of their countries. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." 'If Athens shall appear great to you,' said Pericles, 'consider then that her glories were purchased by valiant men, and by men who learned their duty.' That is the source of all greatness in all societies, and it is the key to progress in our time."
3. We in the "reality-based community" are helping to end corruption. Yes we can!
To me this is about my community`s Farmers Market and the very popular Music by the Sea. You want any non profits financials, simple matter of guidestar.org. The Civic Association does not SELL anything, the vendors do and each vendor accepts different forms of payment. If a vendor does not accept food stamps your gripe is with the vendor not the Civic Association. I am not opposed to a bid process. But what do we know about it? Who specifically were the County STAFF who voted? What were the rankings based on. Looking at the 4 entities and basic research on the 3 other than SABCA, to me, there were only 2 with any qualifications and that's SABCA and salt air farmers market who currently run a Sunday market at Marineland. Handmade St Augustine seems to have limited experience and with artisans not local farmers. The last entry, Media Systems Productions is owned and operated by SAB Mayor George's father Michel Pawlowski and has no experience with farmers markets.
Don't let this be about anything other than what's the best market and concert for US.« less
Edward Adelbert Slavin
1. On March 12, 2018, I requested the check registers; ledger journal entries; balance sheets; tax returns and matching financial statements, balance sheets and profit and loss statements, for St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, Inc., for 1999-2018. Guidestar has 990s: just a tax return. Unilluminating.
2. What does SABCA have to hide from its own members, vendors and customers?
3. Bigoted, racist SABCA oligarchs allegedly told vendors not to take SNAP, saying it did not want people from "West Augustine" attending Wednesday markets.
4. Market is required to require vendors to take SNAP. New RFP requires.
5. County was rightly concerned with lawbreaking.
6. Kudos to County Commission Chairman Henry Dean and colleagues.
7. As LBJ said to Congress after Selma, "We SHALL overcome!"
8. Salt Air was highest rated bidder. They will do a good job.
9. Farmer's Market is being liberated from SABCA's tyranny.
Edward Adelbert Slavin
1. Did SABCA EVER provide the Record with its financial records? We've been seeking them for months. SABCA met with three (3) Record reporters (Sheldon Gardner, Jake Martin and editor Craig Richardson) for two hours and 30 minutes some three (3) months ago. I met with y'all for one hour and fifteen minutes. With what result(s)?
2. Has SABCA shared ANY financial records, as treasurer Frank Ward promised? ___ Yes ___ No. What's the status of the SABCA audit that the Record was willing to commission and pay for? As General George Washington wrote the Continental Congress in the musical "1776": "Is anybody there? Does anybody care?" ___ Yes ___ No.
3. Is SABCA a satrapy centered on SAB ex-Mayor ANDREA SAMUELS, husband ROBERT SAMUELS and Sheriff's civilian employee WILLIAM JONES? Yes.
4. Is SABCA a de facto political action committee (PAC). which supports developer-coddling causes and other-directed Manchurian candidates, not unlike the old "Issues Group," founded by Syd Perry, wife of the late St. Johns County Sheriff and political boss Neil Perry?" Yes.
5. Is SABCA discriminatory? Yes. It's irrefragable.
6. So why does the Record continue to quote tired trite "spin" from SABCA, unadorned by critical analysis or investigative reporting? Why did the Record print NO response to SABCA;s animus and animadversions directs against persons engaged in First Amendments protected activity? One-sided article does not do the subject justice. Pitiful.
7. So why does the Record omit material facts, empowering slights at unnamed "vocal minority?" Is "minority" supposed to be a slur?
8. Nice that the Record FINALLY ran an article on a bid process it did not attend last month. When the evaluations were done in an open public meeting at the County Administration Building on May 31, 2018, EVERY single one of SJC professional staff evaluators present rated SABCA fourth -- dead LAST of four (4) applicants. Did The Record review and report the data?
9. You can read what I published on May 31, the day it happened.: http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2018/05/st-augustine-beach-farmers-market.html
10. Record readers deserve investigative reporting, not more dull handouts.
11. Do you agree that dodgy officials and developers, including SJC's "sacred cows," like political boss,/Sheriff DAVID SHOAR. and SABCA, are worthy of greater scrutiny, not more fawning obeisance?
____ Yes ____ No
12. In the immortal words of Florida Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT, "Let's get to work!"
Well, this is a BREATH of FRESH AIR ...
After YEARS and YEARS of the St Augustine Beach Civic Association DISCRIMINATING against Low Income Elderly, Low-income DISABLED VETS, Low-Income Children, Low-income Widowers with Children, all LOW INCOME PEOPLE, and the Blocking of Handicapped Spots to DISCOURAGE the Handicapped from coming to the FM, the COUNTY HAS TAKEN CORRECTIVE ACTION!
LONG OVERDUE ... BUT THE TRAINS of JUSTICE TEND TO MOVE SLOW ... BUT ALWAYS ARRIVE AT THE CORRECT DESTINATION!
THANK YOU TO County Commissioners HENRY DEAN, Jeb Smith, James Johns, Jay Morris, and Paul Waldron for STOPPING THIS COMPLETELY BAD ORGANIZATION called the St Augustine Beach Civic Association!
THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE SABCA are IGNORANT, DISHONEST, DISCRIMINATORS, THIEVES, and SERIOUSLY BAD HOMBRES!
I'll PROVE EVERYTHING I WRITE ABOUT THE SABCA!
YES, I, Tom Reynolds, AM THE LOUD MINORITY THAT Mr. JONES speaks/writes about in this article and other articles.
and YES, I, Tom Reynolds,
WILL NEVER LOOK THE OTHER WAY or REMAIN SILENT when I see or hear of the LESS FORTUNATE BEING WRONGED PERIOD!
YES, I AM LOUD and YES I AM ONE OF THE FOLKS WHO HAS BEEN WRONGED by the ACTIONS OF THIS CROOKED SABCA GROUP.
and TO QUOTE THE LATE GREAT and MY FAVORITE MUSICIAN Tom Petty,
" You can stand me up at the GATES of HELL, BUT I WON'T BACK DOWN"! ... no matter WHO is BEING WRONGED!« less
Edward Adelbert Slavin
@ReynoldsRanting I agree.
Plus let us NOT forget about the Electric bill that the SABCA was supposed to pay under the last contract and DID NOT PAY the COUNTY for OVER A DOZEN YEARS.
and I must MENTION the thefts from the City of St Augustine Beach Government that were committed by SABCA. Yes, the Trash Pick-ups of the Seventy Vendors by City of St Augustine Beach Public Works Department WERE NOT PAID FOR ... WERE NOT PAID FOR by SABCA, and were supposed to be. This TOTALED OVER THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of DOLLARS STOLEN FROM the City of St Augustine Beach city government by SABCA.
Then when SABCA got caught after over a dozen years, City Manager Bruce Max Royle DOUBLE DOWN on this WRONG/THEFT of services and ONLY STARTED to CHARGE SABCA 41 cents a week. THAT IS CORRECT,, 41 cents a week, and I CAN or WILL PROVE at any time REQUESTED by the State Attorney s OFFICE.
YES City Manager Bruce Max Royle is GOOD FRIENDS with the CROOKS that run SABCA. Mr. Royle had allowed the SABCA people to Party and Alcohol Consumption in the City Commission meeting room for YEARS and YEARS.
After my COMPLAINT to Chief Robert Hardwick, THAT STUPID on STERIODS STOPED! Just think about PEOPLE LEAVING CITY HALL DRUNK DRIVING and under 21-year-olds participating in this CRAZY with SABCA!« less
Now for SOME GREAT NEWS ...
The St Johns County Cultural Council will be taking over the Summer Concerts!
GET READY FOR SOME REAL CLASSY MUSIC by the SEA instead of SABCA s DRUNK FEST w/ A Band.
As WE County Residents KNOW VERY WELL, St Johns County Cultural Council is a TOP NOTCH GROUP of PEOPLE who will MAKE the Concerts by THE SEA a SUPER CLASSY EVENT EVERY SUMMER
and THEY WILL NEVER HURT or HARM any DISABLED FOLKS like SABCA has done for YEARS!
Tom Reynolds, a Ten Commandment Christian« less