Thursday, January 03, 2019


From this week's Folio Weekly Magazine, my nominations for the best and worst of St. Augustine and St. Johns County, Florida, including elected officials, lawyers, developers, non-profits.  What do you think?

Augustine” readers’ poll (online now). Please do better
next year.
The list of faux pas is longer than the list of Sheriff
David Shoar’s sins, torts and crimes:
Misspelling local beloved guitarist-songwriter-wit
Sam Pacetti’s name. Listing Patrick Canan’s law firm
TWICE in several categories. Allowing business owners
to nominate themselves. Listing “Seaside Villas” in
several categories, despite massive code violations
reported by the St. Augustine Record for several years,
and under administrative adjudication before St.
Augustine Beach Code Enforcement Board.
Just five or fewer options, the wrong ones, in some
cases (and no write-ins allowed–how bossy is that?).
You can vote every day?
Contrary to Folio Weekly’s history and tradition,
the categories don’t make waves with the local
Establishment. There are a few serious categories, like
environmental activists, with only two (2) options (no
write-ins allowed)–HARRUMPH, how haughty!
As Gertrude Stein said, there’s “no there there”
in the nominations’ approach to St. Augustine. The
character of our town, our people, history and nature
and businesses are barely hinted at by this first effort.
Most of the nominations involve places to spend
your money, of which there is no shortage here.
Folio Weekly’s nomination categories are far more
intriguing than The St. Augustine Record’s dull “Best
of St. Augustine” list, which was unadorned by any
categories not involving sales of goods or services.
Good start! Let’s do better next year, please.
Here are my nominations, FYI:
Best Mayor
Nancy Shaver, St. Augustine
Worst Mayor
Undine George, St. Augustine Beach
Best First Amendment Lawyer
• Thomas Elihah Cushman • William Sheppard
• Bryan DiMaggio
Best Public Interest Lawyer
• Megan Wall • William Sheppard • Tom Cushman
Best City Manager
John Patrick Regan, P.E., St. Augustine
Worst City Manager
Bruce Max Royle, St. Augustine Beach (falls asleep in
Best Investigative Reporter
on St. Augustine & St. Johns County
• Anne Schindler, First Coast News (ex-Folio Weekly)
• Walt Bogdanich, The New York Times
• Susan Cooper Eastman (ex-Folio Weekly)
• Jared Keever, The St. Augustine Record
• Jake Martin, ex-St. Augustine Record
Best Lawman
• Robert Hardwick, St. Augustine Beach Police Chief
• Barry Fox, St. Augustine Police Chief
Worst Lawman
• St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar
• Deputy Jeremy Banks • Undersheriff & General
Counsel Matthew Cline • James Parker, ex-St.
Augustine Beach Police Commander, now at State’s
Attorney Office
Best Whistleblower–Conscience of Our Community
• Ex-Deputy Debra Maynard • Jeffrey Marcus Gray
• Capt. Lee Geanuleas, U.S.N. (Ret.) • Tom Reynolds
• B.J. Kalaidi • Kenneth McClain
Best Elected Official
• Jeanne Moeller, Anastasia Mosquito Control
District of St. Johns County • Mayor Nancy Shaver,
St. Augustine • Vice Mayor Margaret England,
St. Augustine Beach • Commissioner Maggie
Kostka, St. Augustine Beach • County
Commissioner Henry Dean • County Commissioner
Jeb Smith
Best Former Elected Official
• Sherman Gary Snodgrass, ex-St. Augustine Beach
• Ben Rich Sr., ex-County Commission Chair
• Joseph Kenneth Bryan, ex-County Commission Chair
Worst Current Elected Official
• Sheriff David Shoar • Richard Burtt O’Brien,
St. Augustine Beach City Commission
Best Nonprofit Group
St. Augustine Historical Society (and Research
Worst Putative Nonprofit Group
• St. Augustine Beach Civic Association Inc. (dodgy
501c4 that once ran Wednesday Farmer’s Market)
• St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Four Star
Association Inc. 501c3
Worst Developments
• Antigua • Madeira • Fish Island (proposed)
• The Collector Hotel (once Dow Museum of Historic
Homes) • Embassy Suites Hotel, St. Augustine
Beach • Nocatee (another Leviathan Levittown)
Dodgiest Developer
• David Barton Corneal • Hutson
• D.R. Horton • PARC Group
Most Ineffectual Trade Association
• Chamber of Commerce • Board of
Best Local TV News
• News4Jax • First Coast News
Most Promising Local Newspaper
Folio Weekly
Worst Local Newspaper
• St. Augustine Record • St. Augustine
Beaches News Journal • The Florida Times-Union
Worst Local Employer
• Sheriff David Shoar • St. Johns County School
Board • Flagler Hospital • City of St. Augustine
Beach • Tourist traps underpaying workers,
sometimes in cash under the table. • A potato
farmer whose crew leaders were convicted of
enslaving workers.
Worst Radio News on Local Issues
• WFOY (ex-mayoral candidate Kris Phillips’
Limbaugh-loving Hate Radio hobby)
• WFCF (Flagler College “Radio With a Reason,”
which has no news but carries a 15-minute city of
St. Augustine weekly PR program)
• WJCT (Jacksonville NPR affiliate neglects St.
Augustine and St. Johns County news. During
December 2018 partial government shutdown, it
read a press release about Jacksonville National
Park Service facilities being closed, never
mentioning St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos
and Fort Matanzas were closed. Ouch.)
Biggest disappointments
• University of Florida management of state-owned
Colonial Quarter with contract to Pirate Museum
owner Pat Croce
• Sheriff David Shoar
• St. Augustine Beach Mayor Undine Celeste
Pawlowski George
• League of Women Voters–no public local candidate
election forum in 2018
• St. Augustine Record (and its new oligopolistic
corporate master, GateHouse Media, neglecting
its watchdog function since it was founded by
Henry Flagler’s frontman in 1895.)
Ed Slavin

via emai

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