Wednesday, October 09, 2019

St. Augustine commissioners to discuss how mayor’s seat is chosen

Ever since reformers started winning elections here, the enemies of democracy in St. Augustine, Florida have wanted to take away your right to vote for Mayor.  

Reformer George Gardner was elected Mayor in 2002 and reformer Nancy Shaver was elected Mayor in 2014.  

As FDR said, at Madison Square Garden on October 31, 1932, businesses "had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob."  And as FDR said in his 1941 State of the Union Address, "We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests.

One of those selfish men is controversial St. Augustine City Commissioner JOHN OTHA VALDES.  This ninny stated in a charter discussion that he wants to allow nonresident business owners to vote.  Illegal. Unseemly,  Dupily dopily JOHN VALDES.

Now, the Establishment wants to rob you of your right to vote for Mayor of St. Augustine. This is so wrong. They'd like to have an election for a referendum in March or August, without ever having enlisted a City Charter Commission.

Come speak out October 14, 2019. It is up to us,

From The St. Augustine Record:

St. Augustine commissioners to discuss how mayor’s seat is chosen

By Sheldon Gardner
Posted at 5:23 PM
St. Augustine Record

St. Augustine commissioners plan to discuss changing how the city’s mayor is chosen, a decision that would have to go to residents for a vote.

Residents elect the mayor for a two-year term. Commissioners plan to discuss having voters choose whether to make the mayor’s seat, Seat Three, a regular commissioner’s seat with a four-year term. If that were to happen, commissioners would select their own mayor and vice mayor. That’s what happens in the city of St. Augustine Beach, for example.

Commissioners are also expected to discuss requiring commissioners to have lived in the city for at least one year before qualifying for election or being appointed.

Both changes would require the approval of city residents.

If the Commission moves forward with the ideas, the votes could go to residents in the presidential preference election on March 17, the primary election on Aug. 18 or the general election on Nov. 3, 2020, according to a memo to the Commission from City Attorney Isabelle Lopez. Having the vote in March or August could save money on election costs.

If the vote is in March, anything that is approved would be in effect by the time Commission candidates qualify in June 2020, according to Lopez.

To place the questions on the March ballot, the Commission would need to formally decide by Dec. 9 whether to send the matter to voters.

In April, St. Augustine Commissioner John Valdes said the city should consider changing the role of mayor and eliminating the title.

Valdes said having an elected mayor is confusing for some residents who are familiar with other areas that give their mayors more power.

The mayor controls Commission meetings and is the ceremonial face of the city but doesn’t have any more voting power. The city manager handles the city’s daily operations and is responsible for implementing policies set by the Commission.

Valdes said that “sometimes having a mayor that puts on the cloak of a big-city mayor causes turbulence that wouldn’t necessarily be there.”

No comments: