Saturday, October 26, 2019

City burghers want to erase your vested right to vote for Mayor of St. Augustine, Florida. (St. Augustine Report, by former Mayor George Gardner)

As my friend J.D. Pleasant first told me years ago, St. Augustine City burghers "will say and do anything."  

Thanks to Mayor Tracy Upchurch for exposing this canard, surely and suavely, October 14th.

Thanks to former Mayor George Gardner for succinctly reporting it.  

He's a much better writer than me, having worked for GANNETT and learning how to write short stories.  For my part, I sometimes resemble  the story that Abraham Lincoln told about the Illinois country preacher who wrote longwinded sermons, explaining, "once I get started I'm too lazy to stop."

From former Mayor George Gardner's St. Augustine Report:

Mayor election process 
back on agenda Monday    
   The question of whether the mayor should be elected by commissioners or public vote returns to the City Commission agenda Monday with a public comment period.

   The regular commission meeting begins at 5 pm in the Alcazar Room at City Hall and is live streamed on CoSA.TV.
   Two weeks ago three speakers rejected the idea of mayor election by fellow commissioners.
   Judith Fox Fliesser said, "Having the mayor elected by the commissioners rather than directly by the people would be a way of limiting public participation. I understand there has been friction in recent years between the mayor and commissioners but I think friction is part of what democracy is."
   Ed Slavin noted, "The charter was amended to provide for direct election of the mayor. Those are vested rights. Are you going to take away our right to vote for mayor because you didn't like (a) Mayor?" 
   And B.J. Kalaidi suggested, "It is not in the best interests of the public health, welfare and safety to have four politicians decide who will be mayor."
  The idea was originally aired by first term Commissioner John Valdes, who said separate election of mayor, "makes it appear we have a strong mayor (form of government)."
   A second election process amendment, requiring a year's residency to qualify to run for City Commission, was advanced to ordinance form for commission action Monday.
   Any amendments to the election process would go to public referendum.

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