Monday, December 31, 2007

E-Mail to City of St. Augustine's Defense Lawyer on Illegal Dumping re: City's Environmental Racism and Dumping Public Questions for 20 Monnths

Environmental Racism by the City of St. Augustine, Florida -- Lincolnville and West Augustine Communities as Dumping Grounds

E-mail to William L. Pence, Esquire with Akerman Senterfitt in Orlando, Florida

Dear Mr. Pence:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that St. Augustine was the "most lawless" city in America.
Exactly what has changed? Institutional racism thrives and is now enshrined in a Consent Order on illegal dumping -- one you pushed for 20 months because the City refuses to dispose of solid waste in a Class I landfill, insisting on shipping it back to Linconville.
At the suggestion of John Regan, P.E. from the City of St. Augustine (and more recently Gregory J. Strong, Regional Director of FDEP), I have been attempting to reach you for 20 months. I first tried to reach you on or about February 27, 2006 regarding environmental crimes by the City fo St. Augustine. I reached you at FDEP before one of your meetings there, but you hung up the telehone without speaking.
If you had ever spoken with me, you might have learned something, e.g., information that might have prevented your proposing sending the solid waste from the Old City Reservoir into the Lincolnville community.
Adopted in secrecy and hostility -- rubberstamped outside the ordinary course of business, with the public denied the right to speak -- your Consent Decree is an embarassment to oru Nation's Oldest City. It is frankly an embarassment to Akerman Senterfitt and all of its lawyers.
Since you or someone in your firm apparently did a Yahoo! search on me this morning, perhaps you're ready to have a conversation after 20 months.
It's time for the City of St. Augustine to answer questions in public -- after 20 months of your billing our City for defense of the indefensible -- a pattern of deplorable environmental racism that has adversely affected two (2) Environmental Justice communities.
Kindly advise the City that the Consent Order is a non-starter and that we expect the City to comply with the March 15, 2006 order to remove all of the contaminants from the Old City Reservoir and place them in a Class I landfill.
I have taken the liberty of calling your ill-advised, controversial Consent Order to the attention of Judge Joseph Hatchett of your firm. May I suggest that you and Judge Hatchett (chair of the Akerman Senterfitt Diversity Committee and Appellate Practice) attend the January 10, 2008 meeting?
I hope that Judge Hatchett and you might both attend the meeting with FDEP in Lincolnville on January 10, 2008 at St. Paul's A.M.E. Church, 85 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Augustine, Florida, at 6 PM.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you and Happy New Year.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
904-471-9918 (fax)

FDEP Has No Agenda Yet for January 10, 2008 Meeting at St. Paul's A.M.E. Church at 85 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. on City's illegal Dumping

Friday's Florida Administrative Weekly noticed the meeting and said to contact Michael Fitzsimmons for the agenda. No agenda is available yet.

State officials did not attend the November 13 City Commission meeting where a controversial Consent Order sending solid waste back to Linconville was rubber-stamped.

State officials refused to speak at the December 13 meeting, claiming they had to give one week's notice in the Florida Administrative Register weekly. State officials never gave any notice of their secret meetings with City officials.

State and city officials tried to force the December 13 and January 10 meetings to take place in City Hall, an unfriendly place where they've removed half the chairs from the City Commission meeting room -- a place where dissenting citizens are regularly scorned by lugubrious goobers who know not that they know not that they know not.

Now FDEP has given one week's notice, inviting people to contact it for an agenda that does not exist yet. These other-directed state officials are evidently waiting for AKERMAN SENTERFITT lawyer William Pence and St. Augustine City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS to give them their marching orders.

Is this any way to run a railroad?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Said St. Augustine, Florida Was the "Most Lawless" City in America -- See Below -- Stop Environnmetnal Crimes Now
was enacted.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Knig, Jr. in St. Augustine, Florida City Jail -- in response to how St. Augustine treated civil rights demonstrators, the 1964 Civil Rights Act

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Environmental Crimes Unit Needs to Prosecute City of St. Augustine and City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS

Sunday, December 02, 2007 at 09:22 PM EST

St. Johns County Sherrif's Office Detective Tom Simpson is in charge of environmental crime detection for the county.

Keeping it clean
Simpson hunts down environmental lawbreakers

Staff Writer

A dump truck motoring down a county road is not an unusual sight, but it's enough to raise the eyebrows of Detective Tom Simpson, especially if the truck is on its way to a place it's not supposed to be.

Simpson gets angry when he discovers illegally dumped hazardous materials. ''It infuriates me, and I'm in a position where I can do something,'' he said.

Simpson, 58, works for the Sheriff Department's Environmental Crimes Unit -- a program still in its infancy that investigates, among other things, people who illegally dump hazardous waste.

''Environmental crimes only occur for one reason and one reason only: Money,'' he said. ''It's an economic crime is what it is. That's the only reason for it.''

Instead of spending thousands to properly dispose of certain materials, some people take the cheap way out and spend $50 to dump something on someone else's property. Hazardous chemicals leach into the ground and can hurt the environment as well as make people sick.

Federal and state agencies have guidelines that can impose civil penalties on people. Simpson can even take people to jail and seize property. Many illegal dumping crimes are third-degree felonies, he said.

And it's not just chemicals Simpson is worried about. Vegetative waste, construction materials, old tires with standing water providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes and any other improperly disposed of material.

''Everything he finds, it's just one less problem for the future,'' said Michael Cochran, director of administration for the Sheriff's Department.

The unit was created July 1, 2000, because Sheriff Neil Perry wanted to be pro-active and respond quicker to environmental crimes, Simpson said. The unit is not the answer to dumping problems but rather another resource that can be used.

''We don't want to be the quarterback,'' he said. ''We want to be part of the team.''

For example, if the Department of Environmental Protection has problems getting someone to comply, the threat of time in the county jail might help.

But not everyone with illegal dump sites is arrested, Simpson said. Often, the Sheriff's Department is satisfied if the site is cleaned up.

Simpson -- who had worked for the Marine Patrol for 31 years -- is now teaching deputies how to spot environmental crimes.

Deputies are the eyes and ears of the department, and the program is doomed to fail if they don't participate, Simpson said.

Simpson trains deputies to know where dump sites are and what to look for. Cochran said the thought process is similar to other criminal investigations: ''You have to look for the right clues and what can give you the answer,'' he said.

Simpson wants residents to keep an eye out for illegal activity as well. He can be contacted at 810-6767.

''If you see something that's out of the ordinary or it seems like it shouldn't be there, give me a call,'' he said.

(c) St. Augustine Record


AKERMAN SENTERFITT lawyer WILLIAM PENCE (wearing hat) convinced FDEP to allow the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE to ship back 40,000 cubic yards of solid waste -- dumped into our Old City Resevoir in the low-income and minority community of West Augustine -- back into the low-income and minority community of Linconville. Environmental racism?

FLORIDA LAB MANAGER FILES WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT — State Terminated Scientist After He Disclosed Problems to the Inspector General

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility News Release (

For Immediate Release: March 5, 2007
Contact: Carol Goldberg (202) 265-7337

FLORIDA LAB MANAGER FILES WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT — State Terminated Scientist After He Disclosed Problems to the Inspector General

Tallahassee — The state scientist in the middle of controversy about how polluted the waters of South Florida are today filed a whistleblower complaint, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The action will likely set up a court battle that will delve into the murky world of how Florida measures water quality as well as how it certifies water bodies as “impaired” by pollution under the federal Clean Water Act.

Thomas R. White, a scientist with almost twenty years of experience with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) filed a formal “Whistleblower Complaint” with the state Commission on Human Relations. White’s complaint charges DEP with terminating him on February 16, 2007 because he had earlier informed DEP management, including the Office of Inspector General, about embarrassing problems with improper management oversight of laboratory and field operations and the data entry system (Laboratory Information Management System) used by the state laboratory.

White, a senior chemist in the DEP’s Port St. Lucie laboratory was terminated by Acting District Director Timothy Rach after White attended a predetermination hearing on January 30, 2007. White’s removal letter does not address any of the issues raised by White at the hearing. Initially charging White with data fraud, DEP changed the basis of termination to falsification of state documents but did not specify which particular documents were allegedly altered or how. White adamantly denies that he falsified any records.

Ironically, DEP has now indicated it intends to use the lab data White generated to identify impaired waters in Florida, a process for which the agency will receive federal grant money.

“The DEP has sunk to a new low with this twisted action against Tom White,” stated Florida PEER Director Jerry Phillips, a former DEP enforcement attorney who is leading White’s legal team. “DEP has yet to release the documents that spell out exactly what Tom White is supposed to have done.”

In May 2006, White provided information to the DEP Inspector General’s Office about problems within the laboratory, including violations of lab protocols and harassment. That IG investigation was about allegations by co-workers against White’s supervisor, who resigned before the investigation concluded.

Simultaneous with that investigation, DEP initiated an internal audit of the Port St. Lucie lab. The audit found problems, the bulk of which occurred during the time when White’s former supervisor had been in charge of the lab. When White responded to the internal audit by notifying Tallahassee’s Central Lab that his superiors had known of the deficiencies all along he was ordered to rewrite his response so that the allegation was removed.

Shortly thereafter, DEP placed White on paid administrative leave and three months later terminated him.
“This case will be the first test for the Crist administration as to how it handles inconvenient truths,” added Phillips.

It will now be up to the Commission on Human Relations to investigate the matter. If the Commission does not act on the complaint or rejects it, White may file a lawsuit in circuit court and seek a jury trial. White is seeking reinstatement and back pay from the DEP as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.

In 1964, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Knig, Jr. Wrote This Letter from the St. Augustine, Florida City Jail

On June 12, 1964, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sent a letter to Rabbi Isreal S. Dresner at Temple Sharey Shalom, South Springfield Avenue and Shunpike Road,n Sprnigfield, N.J., stating:
Dear Sy:
I am dictating this letter from the St. Augustine City Jail. It is apparent to you what has been going on here for the past several days. This is the most lawless community in which we have worked. Wyatt Walker informed me that he had brought you up to date on the shootings, the beatings and the burning down of our house here. I undersand that last night was the first instance of any semblance of law and order being maintained by the local and state police.
I am writing to you, Say, because you have been so close to our movement and Wyatt metnioend that you woudl be attending our Rabbinical assembly next week. I am very much inerested in having a task force from the Reform movement to come to St. Augustine and witness with us for self-respect and human dignity. It would do much to buttress our efforts here and across the nation.
As you know, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the nation and is on the eve of its Quadricentennial Celebration. Ironically enough, it is 99% segregated and its main industry is tourism. The Quadricentennial Commission is now seeking a Federal grant for the celebration. We are determined that the celebration should not take place with the city segregated and not a single penny of Federal monies should be used until the city is opened to all alike.
The local Negro community has been voicing its grievances for nearly two years without any respite whatever. The attached memo indicates the specific requests that have been made
Perhaps if this letter could be read to your brethren next eek, it might be considered a “call” to St. Augustine. I would imagine that some 30 or so rabbis would make a tremendous impact on this commmunity and the nation. We would hope that some would submit to arrest. At the outside, five days would be required. Please get word to Wyatt or Andy Young as soon as possible.
Faithfully yours,

Martin Luther King, Jr.


FOLIO WEEKL:Y: dept. of flummery, dupery & numskullery

dept. of flummery, dupery & numskullery
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

The St. Augustine City Commission distanced itself from one of its most zealous critics last week — by legislating him out of the city.

City boundaries now exclude the home of activist Ed Slavin (pictured), who has made a vocation out of criticizing both the St. Augustine City Commission and the board of the Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County. Mayor Joseph Boles and Vice Mayor Don Crichlow both say the purpose of the resolution is to “clarify” city boundaries, and was not intended to target Slavin. But Slavin believes the action — what he labels “flummery, dupery, numskullery and malfeasance” — is retaliation for his role in exposing illegal dumping by the city and the dubious $1.8 million helicopter purchase by the Mosquito Control District. What’s more, Slavin says the city changed its boundaries without notifying homeowners affected by the change, and without recognizing his legitimacy as a resident. (He’s voted in every municipal election since 2000.)

Slavin intends to fight what he calls “banishment.” He says he will apply to have his Casanova Road property annexed by the city. Both Boles and Crichlow say he can do this, but Crichlow notes the city will annex only properties that add value to the city.

Slavin, who is known for his confrontational style and long and bullying e-mails, doubts that most commissioners think he meets that test, but he doesn’t believe it should be necessary for him to prove his worth. He contends a survey done when he bought the home in 2002 and a survey done by St. Johns County when he tried to run for the City Commission last year both showed his house within the city limits. (His backyard, however, is in the county.)

“We are in the city and we are in it for good,” says Slavin. “They are not going to run me out of town.”

The issue arose previously, in 2006, when Slavin turned in his paperwork to run for the seat that Crichlow now holds. At the time, he says a Supervisor of Elections employee questioned whether he was, in fact, a city resident. He recalls, “They didn’t even want to take my paperwork.” In the end, Slavin says, a county survey determined he was a city resident and the Supervisor of Elections assigned him to a city precinct.

Crichlow’s memory is a little different. He says that the supervisor couldn’t decide where the boundaries were, so it became the city’s responsibility to do a survey to determine the county boundary. “If the county did a survey, the county did not provide the city with the information,” says Boles. “And anyway, the county is not going to do a survey that is definitive about the city borders. It is the city’s responsibility to convey that to the county.”

Anytime there is a dispute about a boundary, it is the city’s duty to hire a surveyor and an attorney to review the survey to determine the city limits, says Boles. But Slavin points out that the attorney the city hired may have a bone to pick with him over his criticisms of the Mosquito Control District. Geoffrey Dobson was the attorney for the Mosquito Control District until he resigned abruptly in January, saying he refused to be insulted any longer — by Ed Slavin. The activist frequently criticized Dobson on his blog.

Vice mayor Crichlow insists the survey wasn’t intended to silence Slavin. If it was, it probably wouldn’t work anyway, he says. “I don’t think it will make any difference to Mr. Slavin whether he is in the city or not,” says Crichlow. “It’s not going to change his opinion of how the city is run — and you don’t have to be a citizen to speak at meetings.”

FIRST COAST NEWS: Neighbors Upset Over Bringing Solid Waste Back To Community

Neighbors Upset Over Bringing Solid Waste Back To Community
By Jessica Clark
First Coast News

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL -- A St. Augustine community voiced their concerns about a dumping dispute in their neighborhood Thursday night.

A state investigation found the City of St. Augustine was taking waste from an old dumping ground in Lincolnville at the end of Riberia Street and illegally moved it a few miles away to a pit on Holmes Boulevard.

Now, the clean-up plan could bring the waste back to the original site. It’s an idea that is not sitting well with neighbors like Judith Seraphin.

“I don't want that dirt being brought back here. I'm worried about pollution. I'm worried about toxins,” Seraphin told First Coast News.

St. Augustine and the Department of Environmental Protection have negotiated a deal that would allow the city to bring some of the old household garbage and construction debris back to the site on the San Sebastian River and build a park on top of it.

City Chief Operations Officer, John Regan, said it would be done in an environmentally safe way.

“We'll have a two foot soil cap that has sloped conditions to prevent rain water intrusion into the material,” Regan said. He added the material would also have a vegetative cover, “and all these things prevent pollution migration.”

The city moved the material about two years ago to create three and a half acres of wetlands -- in exchange to build a marina development about a mile away.

Some neighbors like Seraphin don’t want the material returned but taken to a landfill instead.

However, Regan said, “The amount of money it would take to put this material in a landfill is the amount of money we would need to rehabilitate the property and solve the problem. So it's the lowest cost financial answer, and that's good for the community.”

But Seraphin said, “The city's trying to find the cheap way out by saying, ‘oh we'll just dump it in Lincolnville.’”

A neighborhood meeting took place Thursday night at a local church. A city meeting will take place in January.

First Coast News

Friday, December 28, 2007

January 10, 2008 FDEP meeting at St. Paul's A.M.E. Church, 85 Rev.Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. re: Environmental Racism and Illegal Dumping Here

IN HAEC VERBA: Seven Local Citizens Ask FDEP to Order Prompt Cleanup Old City Reservoir, Stop Trashing Lincolnville, West Augustine

This is the petition filed with FDEP to challenge the City of St. Augustine's approval of a Consent Order without public hearing or Environmental Justice concsideration on the effects upon two (2) African-American and low-income communities - Lincolnville and West Augustine:



v. Office of General Counsel (OGC) FILE NO. 06-2179



Petitioners hereby Petition for Review pending further information awaited from the Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE (COSA), and the FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (FDEP). See ¶ 14 of the proposed Consent Order. Petitioners respectfully request that the individuals responsible for the illegal dumping be named as respondents and be held responsible in their individual capacities for cleanup costs, namely WILLIAM B. HARRISS and the CITY COMMISSIONERS. Petitioners respectfully request that other Petitioners be recognized at later dates, within 30 days.

(a) PETITIONERS. Your Petitioners Judith and Anthony Seraphin reside at 102 South Street, St. Augustine, Florida. Your petitioners Diane and Jerry Mills, P.O. Box 3767, St. Augustine, Florida, 32085-3767, reside outside St. Augustine city limits but own a coquina lake across the street from the Holmes Blvd. property in quo. Your Petitioner Ed Slavin, Box 3084, St. Augustine, Florida, reported the city's illegal dumping to the National Response Center. Your Petitioners Slavin, Dr. Dwight Hines, Ph.D.,150 Nesmith Avenue, St. Augustine, Florida 32084 and David Thundershield Queen, 165 Twine Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084 asked questions about the dumping in public meetings, and Dr. Hines filed an Open Records lawsuit regarding the Respondent’s refusal to provide truck records related to the illegal dumping. Respondents refused to allow anyone (including Mr. Seraphin, Mr. Slavin, Dr. Hines and Mr. Queen) to speak at the November 13, 2007, City Commission meeting when they approved the Consent Order, outside the ordinary course of business and with minimal advance public notice.

(b) NOTICE. Petitioners Judith and Anthony Seraphin (the Seraphins) and Diane and Gerald Mills (the Mills), Ed Slavin, Dr. Dwight Hines and David Thundershield Queen all received notice of the Consent Order in the December 8, 2007 St. Augustine Record, which is less than 21 days before receipt of this Petition by FDEP.

(c) STANDING. The Seraphins and the Mills own their own separate properties and businesses in and around St. Augustine. The Seraphins and the Mills breathe the air, drink the water, drive the roads and pay property taxes in St. Augustine and St. Johns County. The Seraphins own a house zoned as commercial directly on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. next to the St. Augustine Post Office, and a rental house on Twine Street, one half block from the Riberia Street Route, which would be directly exposed again to contaminant and diesel pollution from the unspecified, unplanned number of trucks returning to Lincolnville with toxic materials. Petitioners reside at a restored home located only one block from the Riberia Street route over which the contaminants were hauled and only one block from the proposed Riberia Street route of the trucks carrying contaminants back into the Lincolnville community. The Seraphins are active in the Lincolnville Neighborhood Association and Judith Seraphin chaired the December 13, 2007 neighborhood protest meeting of “Stop the Dump.”
Petitioners and all other persons similarly situated were forbidden to speak by the Board of Commissioners of the Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE at its November 13, 2007, meeting, which was held outside the ordinary course of business at 8 A.M. to deter community members from attending the meeting on the Consent Order.
Your petitioners Diane and Gerald Mills reside just outside the St. Augustine city limits; however, own a coquina “lake” to be used for their water company -- near the Old City Reservoir on Holmes Blvd.
Your petitioner, Ed Slavin, reported the illegal dumping to the National Response Center in 2006, and has written about it in columns and articles published in The St. Augustine Record, The Collective Press, Out in the City, Indymedia and on his blog, which FDEP officials have often read, at, which he began as a result of the CITY's illegal dumping and refusal to answer questions, orally or in writing.
Your petitioner, Dr. Dwight Hines, Ph.D., 150 Nesmith Avenue, St. Augustine, Florida, 32084 helped expose illegal dumping by several Florida jurisdictions and litigated an Open Records lawsuit regarding St. Augustine’s attempted coverup on records of trucks carrying the illegally dumped materials to the Old City Reservoir.
Your petitioner, David Thundershield Queen, 165 Twine Street, St. Augustine, Florida, 32084 is an environmental activist, writer, and community organizer.
Your petitioners, the Seraphins and the Mills, would suffer irreparable harm to their businesses and/or properties if the Consent Order were allowed to stand. The Seraphins, the Mills, Dr. Hines, Mr. Slavin, and Mr. Queen all have rights under the U.S. and Florida Constitutions, and Federal and State environmental and criminal laws to open, honest government – rights that have been violated by the secrecy of COSA and FDEP in adopting the Consent Order without any public hearing or opportunity for public comment – a meeting that commenced at 8 A.M. November 13, 2007, the day after Veteran’s Day (a holiday), outside the ordinary course of business, with minimal notice the preceding Friday (November 9, 2007) – and no public right to speak on the Consent Order, despite information given by the Assistant City Manager ,JOHN REGAN, to the Opinion Editor of the St. Augustine Record, Ms. Margo Pope.

(d) DISPUTED FACTS AND ASSUMPTIONS:. Petitioners dispute and question the Consent Order's asserted facts and assumptions, including numerous material facts that have not been answered yet after 18 months of legal legerdemain. Petitioners respectfully request that the Administrative Law Judge make Findings of Fact and Conclusions of law, including but not limited to the following:


1. The Consent Order inadequately describes and does not come close to remedying the admittedly serious CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE environmental violations that have affected two historically African-American low income and minority communities -- Lincolnville and West Augustine. FDEP ordered the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE to remove waste that was illegally dumped in our Old City Reservoir and place it in a Class 1 landfill. St. Augustine's response was -- with no direction from the City Commission -- to tell FDEP that St. Augustine would not comply with FDEP's orders:
Under no circumstances, except for a final non-appealable court order, will the City agree to remove the fill (sic) material to a Class 1 landfill.
January 17, 2007 Basic Outline of City's Settlement Proposal at 1, ¶ 4. Petitioner’s Exhibit No. 1 (PX-1). "Saving money" is the only reason given for the City's Boulwareism (“take-it-or-leave it stance of bad faith refusal to negotiate”)..

2. By accepting the City's demand -- without Environmental Justice considerations or community meetings -- FDEP has rewarded the lawbreakers.

3. President Bill Clinton said, "A right without a remedy is simply a suggestion."


4. The Consent Order errs by failing to discuss bioindicators and human health effects, including the additive effects of multiple sources of environmental contaminants.


5. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE placed its solid wastes in Lincolnville, the oldest African-American community in America, without protecting public health and water supplies.

6. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE moved a portion of its illegal dump to West Augustine, another historically African-American community, without protecting public health and water supplies.

7. Both Lincolnville and West Augustine are Environmental Justice communities with elevated infant mortality rates.

8. The elevated infant mortality rates have not been adequately studied or explained.

9. The Consent Order errs as it was drafted without an Environmental Justice review by FDEP or EPA.

10. EPA Region 4 Environmental Justice director, Cynthia Peurifoy, was never consulted by FDEP.

11. FDEP has no Environmental Justice person working for it in Northeast Florida.

12. FDEP did not consult any other Environmental Justice person in Florida government or academia.

13. FDEP did not base its evaluation upon sound science.

14. These omissions violated the civil rights of African-Americans and of other low-income residents of Lincolnville and West Augustine, violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (a law that was adopted because of events in Lincolnville and St. Augustine during 1964).


15. St. Augustine's Old City Reservoir until 1988 must be described as the "Old City Reservoir," not a "borrow pit."

16. FDEP erred by adopting the Respondent City's "borrow pit" semantics when the City, including Assistant Manager, JOHN REGAN,, have used the more descriptive term "Old City Reservoir and “lakes.” JOHN REGAN used the terms “Old City Reservoir” and “lake” in discussions with FDEP and in the December 13, 2007 “Stop the Dump” meeting in Lincolnville, which was videotaped and court-reported.

17. All but one initial reference (e.g., parenthetical or a/k/a) to "borrow pit" must be deleted from the Consent Order, substituting the phrase "Old City Reservoir."

18. No Orwellian substitution of the term"borrow pit" for "Old City Reservoir” should be allowed by FDEP because it is unscientific, undescriptive and misleading.

19. The term "Old City Reservoir" must be used in all documents on this Consent Order due to the serious nature of the City's intentional pollution of its own backup water source, which was used as the City Reservoir until ca. 1998.


20. Scientific knowledge must no longer be sacrificed on the altar of expediency. City officials and FDEP must no longer patronize citizens by palaver about "pingpong balls" where the dangerous chemicals and substances in quo are more like spinning razor blades, whose combinatory effects are unknown.

21. Decisionmaking must be based upon sound science at both EJ sites.


22. The Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE's Old City Reservoir illegal dumping location is a coquina pit “lake,” a place that long enjoyed pristine water, where people fished and swam for decades and utilized it as potable water.

23. A nearby coquina pit “lake” is to be used for a water utility and was found to have diverse aquatic life (including apple snails) living in a very pure environment.

24. FDEP did not obtain historical data from the nearby coquina pit to determine whether the pristine water had been degraded by Respondents' illegal dumping of contaminants in the Old City Reservoir.

25. That coquina pit “lake” is properly described as "an open sore going right down to the aquifer and groundwater" by Mr. John Henry Hankinson, former EPA Regional Administrator.

26. In March 2006, FDEP ordered the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE to remove the pollution immediately.

27. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE's leadership delayed any action from March, 2006 to date.

28. Our Nation's Oldest City's leadership never answered public questions or considered or debated any alternatives prior to our Nation's Oldest City's Manager, WILLIAM B. HARRISS, telling FDEP it would never agree to move the Old City Reservoir contaminants to a Class 1 landfill without a binding final court order. Exhibit PX-1.
29. In November, 2007, FDEP agreed to a Consent Order that gives our Respondent City another 475 days to remove the contaminants, based on inadequate scientific support, without justifying the prolonged delays or failure to dispose of materials properly in a Class 1 landfill.

30. "Justice delayed is justice denied," as Oliver Wendell Holmes said.

31. The contaminants must be removed as swiftly as possible, and be disposed of in a Class I landfill, as FDEP ordered in March, 2006.

32. Pollution of the Old City Reservoir suggests the need for an overall environmental audit and impact statement for all operations of the Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE, which does not use life cycle costs in purchasing and has not adopted remedies for Global Warming.

33. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE fails to adhere to mandatory Florida Secretary of State Rule 1B regarding recordkeeping and computer records.

34. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE annually certifies compliance with Florida’s Rule 1B.

35. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE's annual Rule 1B certifications appear to be untrustworthy or untrue.

36. The staff and counsel of the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE have filed misleading or inaccurate affidavits in response to an Open Records lawsuit filed by Dr. Dwight Hines, Ph.D.

37. The Consent Order inadequately protects the public interest and does not take steps to restore the environmentally sensitive dumping locations – by its 475 day timetable two (2) years after illegal dumping commenced, the Consent Order unfortunately takes an "all deliberate speed" attitude to what is indisputably an "open sore going straight down to the aquifer and groundwater," as Mr. John Henry Hankinson has stated.


38. St. Augustine is the oldest European-founded city in America (1565).

39. St. Augustine's Lincolnville community is the oldest free black community in America founded after the Civil War.

40. St. Augustine's Fort Mosé community was the oldest free black community in North America.

41. Henry Flagler, a Standard Oil cofounder and antitrust codefendant, dredged most of the remains of Fort Mosé and used it as fill under what is now St. Augustine City Hall and Flagler College.

42. Lincolnville was founded by freed slaves in 1866.

43. Lincolnville has numerous historic structures and places, including churches where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. prayed and spoke and in houses where he stayed during 1964.

44. For centuries, Respondents' preferred dumping location was in Lincolnville and West Augustine -- both African-American and low-income communities.

45. The extent and history of the dumping are poorly documented and described in the Consent Order, which does not provide a sound basis for FDEP decisionmaking.

46. No epidemiological or health studies have been published for these communities or for the 157 dumps that JOHN REGAN asserts exist in St. Johns County.

47. Respondents' de facto and/or de jure discriminatory disposal practice was "Place in Blacks' Back Yards," or "PIBBY"

48. Respondents illegally used and maintained an enormous mound on the south side of Lincolnville, used for decades by the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE as a dump for disposal.

49. The Consent Order does not address or enumerate what was or may have been dumped on the Riberia Street site, which included industrial boat-making paint, solvent waste, coal pile runoff, incinerator waste containing dioxin and furans, solid and human waste (sludge) from septic tank service companies (a/k/a "honey wagons.").

50. The Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE has never remedied its pollution at the South side of Lincolnville.

51. On its western side, Lincolnville is lined by boatyards along the Sebastian River, traditionally the source of pollution from paint and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

52. Lincolnville is directly under the plume of the Luhrs boatbuilding industrial plant, which has reported to EPA emitting as much or more than 50 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) annually.

53. Many African-Americans work in the Luhrs plant, breathing VOC fumes.

54. Lincolnville is east of Maria Sanchez Lake, into which unknown quantities of heavy metals may have been dumped by a former newspaper printing building and illegal dumping into the artificial “lake” (created by dredging and fill by Henry Flagler, which include parts of historic Fort Mosé, an African-American fort).

55. The EJ community of Lincolnville was south of the Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) coal-to-gas plant that was remedied as part of the Sebastian Inner Harbor Project.

56. Lincolnville and West Augustine are Environmental Justice Communities that have never been treated as such by EPA, the State of Florida or the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE.

57. Some sixteen years after the Environmental Justice movement began, the first Federal or State official has not yet stood up and identified himself/herself at a public meeting and offered to answer questions.

58. Low-income and minority residents have been unequally attacked with waste disposal for decades and require sensitivity and protection by the Administrative Law Judge.

59. From this day forward in environmental and land use decisionmaking, Lincolnville's and West Augustine's concerns must be respected and not neglected.

60. Never again must the communities be blindsided by unjust attitudes and legal interpretations.

61. St. Augustine was named for Saint Augustine of Hippo, who said, "An unjust law is no law at all."

62. History and the elders of Lincolnville and West Augustine teach that property values and community morale will suffer if thousands of truckloads of illegally dumped materials are now returned to Lincolnville (or kept in the Old City Reservoir), where they should never have been from the beginning.

63. The return of the contaminated materials would set a dangerous precedent for allowing an historic EJ community to be trashed for the sake of expediency, after secret meetings between City and state officials, without considering the needs of the community.

64. St. Augustine's worldwide image and reputation would continue to suffer by polluting an African-American community to "save money" on cleanup costs.

65. The 450th anniversary of St. Augustine (2015) and of Florida (2013) would be adversely affected by the colossal error of sending waste back to Lincolnville over the community's express objections.


66. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE's illegal dumping was intentional and not a "mistake."

67. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE wrongfully withheld from Dr. Dwight Hines, Ph.D. documents relating to truck hauling, including trucks hauling the illegally dumped materials.

68. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE filed in a state court at least one materially false and misleading affidavit in response to Dr. Hines' litigation.

69. The Mayor and Commissioners City of St. Augustine threatened Dr. Hines with "sanctions" for seeking documents it claimed did not exist.

70. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE produced 45 pounds of documents it claimed did not exist, and many more on computer disk.

71. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE claimed to Dr. Hines that it was unable to printout information on its city computer systems relating to trucks involved in the illegal dumping.

72. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE has dishonored its settlement agreement, in which it promised Dr. Hines that it would provide electronic documents.

73. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1964 that the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE was the "most lawless" city in America.

74. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE, by and through City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS, was in a "hurry" to complete remediation, e.g., artificial wetlands, required as a precursor for the Sebastian Inner Harbor Project, for which the City was paid $3.5 million by speculators/developers.

75. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE was in such a "hurry" to complete the artificial wetland that it did not secure proper St. Johns River Water Management District or FDEP permits.

76. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE did not ask Mr. William Pence, partner in AKERMAN SENTERIFITT, whether it was legal.

77. JOHN REGAN admits that if the city had contacted Mr. Pence, it would have cost $75 and the City would have learned that the dumping was illegal.

78. Competent St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) government officials ordered the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE verbally (December 2005) and by certified letter (January 2006) that it must not dump in the Old City Reservoir.

79. Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE dumped in the Old City Reservoir anyway, despite receiving unambiguous orders.

80. CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS authorized the spending of $200,000 for the illegal dumping in the Old City Reservoir for the express purpose of saving money and to "hurry" the Sebastian Inner Harbor Project.

81. The Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE and City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS had untrained truck drivers drive unlined trucks without GPS monitoring and no guarantee as to where the contaminants were dumped.

82. As of today, the Sebastian Inner Harbor Project remains a controversial White Elephant which remains dormant, having taken longer than it took to build the Pentagon to remain flat.

83. City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS misled then-Mayor GEORGE GARDNER, whom HARRISS told he was dumping "clean fill."

84. Under environmental law, "there are no bedsprings in clean fill," as EPA Region 4 regulator John Marler has stated.

85. Nor is there human sludge, toilets, arsenic, thallium, volatile organic compounds or vinyl chloride in "clean fill."

86. City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS well knew that permits were required.

87. Mr. HARRISS stated after the dumping took place that he "would" get a permit.

88. It is unknown which other City Commissioners or public officials Mr. HARRISS may have misled, e.g., by telling them he was dumping "clean fill" into the Old City Reservoir
89. City Manager HARRISS and Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE continued illegally dumping at the Old City Reservoir two (2) days after the EPA/CID and FDEP criminal investigators arrived.

90. Respondents continued dumping two (2) days after the City's dumping was reported to the St. Augustine City Commission at its February 27, 2007 meeting.

91. This March 1, 2006, dumping after criminal investigators arrived further shows criminal intent -- this was not a “mistake.”

92. FDEP investigator, Mr. Brian Durden, photographed the City's illegal dumping on March 1, 2006.

93. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE had no good faith basis to dump without a permit, after being told it could not dump without permits, and after Federal and Sstate criminal investigators arrived.

94. The Respondent CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE committed environmental crimes, by and through its City Manager, WILLIAM B. HARRISS.

95. These environmental crimes all took place after widespread publicity to illegal dumping by the government of Clay County, Florida.

96. City Commissioners are guilty of "willful blindness," ignoring information that placed them on notice that illegal dumping had taken place.

97. City Commissioners, including Mayor GEORGE GARDNER, promised answers to questions commencing February 27, 2006, which have still not been provided.

98. WILLIAM B. HARRISS proclaimed November 13, 2007, that he did "nothing wrong," earlier telling a newspaper reporter for the St. Augustine Record that two "incompetent" Professional Engineers in the city were responsible for giving him incorrect legal advice.

99. Mr. HARRISS “scapegoated” the two Professional Engineers, who were not lawyers.

100. The two professional engineers in quo are Messrs. ROBERT LEETCH, P.E. (formerly Utilities Director) and WILLIAM HARDING, P.E. (formerly Public Works Director). Both are essential witnesses entitled to a clear public record and to clear their name from Mr. HARRISS' newspaper attack, which was but a desperate effort to save his own job by avoiding personal responsibility for his own actions.

101. The City's longtime City Attorney, Mr. JAMES PATRICK WILSON, has information pertinent to this case and must be heard as a witness at trial.

102. AKERMAN SENTERFITT lawyer, WILLIAM PENCE, is a percipient witness to the fact that the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE never contacted him prior to dumping contaminants in the Old City Reservoir.

103. The current City Attorney, Mr. RONALD BROWN, has information pertinent to this case and must be heard as a witness at trial.

104. There is no attorney-client or work product privilege applicable under federal precedents and as Blackstone said, "the law is entitled to every person's evidence."

105. Assistant City Manager JOHN REGAN apologized at the December 13, 2007, community meeting for the City's illegal dumping. The apology binds the city and is a declaration against interest and party opponent admission admissible in this or future precedings as a full admission of liability for response costs.

106. No such apology has yet been made by City Commissioners or City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS.


107. Under our "strong city manager" form of government, Mr. HARRISS directed the illegal dumping, which continued after the criminal investigators arrived.

108. No office, person or organization dared disagree with Mr. HARRISS.

109. No city office or employee has the title "environmental," just as no county office has the title "environmental." The government of St. Augustine is anti-environmental, having approved forgiveness of a $15,000 tree-killing fine outside the ordinary course of business and routinely allowing speculators and developers to commit other crimes against nature, including the willful destruction of Red House Bluff, a 3000-4000 year old indigenous Native American village.

110. Mr. HARRISS and the Respondent City of St. Augustine did not cooperate with FDEP's investigation.

111. City records suggest that for at least a time in 2006, FDEP may not have been allowed at the Old City Reservoir site, and a search warrant was either discussed or obtained by FDEP.

112. Subpoenas may have been required in order for FDEP to visit the site or obtain some truck records.

113. There may have been one or more obstructions of justice by the RESPONDENT, CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE.

114. City Commissioners voted 5-0 to give Mr. HARRISS a plaque and an award in the midst of FDEP's criminal investigation, publicly stating their "confidence" in HARRISS.

115. At a time when FDEP was investigating, and the City's environmental lawyer was conducting employee interviews, this gratuitous award to Mr. HARRISS. an intentional wrongdoer, rocked the ability of COSA’s outside counsel and FDEP to obtain cooperation from city employees.

116. The Administrative Law Judge is respectfully requested to find that the award was an obstruction of justice and to refer this matter to the United States Attorney and Federal Bureau of Investigation for possible criminal prosecution.

117. Giving an award to CITY MANAGER WILLIAM HARRISS and expressing City Commissioners’ full “confidence” in HARRISS in the midst of a pending environmental crimes investigation had deleterious effects on the ability of the public to learn the truth and the ability of civil and criminal investigators to do their job and obtain cooperation from City employees and contractor employees.

118. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE's $50 million, 350-employee city government committed environmental crimes in secret.

119. This secrecy festered for decades due to COSA’s flawed, authoritarian, hierarchical management structure (strong City Manager by charter).

120. This structure is exacerbated by:
a. lack of effective oversight by City Commissioners,
b. lack of internal controls; and
c. lack of any protection for City employee whistleblower rights.

121. It must be the purpose of the Consent Order to remedy the violations and the root causes that led to them.

122. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE is a place that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the "most lawless" city in America.

123. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE has a long custom, usage, practice and procedure of violating the rights of African-American and low-income residents and violating citizens' free speech rights, as demonstrated by federal court decisions.

124. The Consent Order was adopted without any community or civil rights group whatever being involved, violating Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

125. Meetings were held between the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE and FDEP on more than one occasion, with the public not notified of such meetings.

126. These meetings resulted in changing FDEP's order from removal from the Old City Reservoir to a Class 1 landfill to an order to remove the waste to Lincolnville.

127. This secrecy discriminated against African-American and low-income residents of Lincolnville and West Augustine, who were not represented by either FDEP or the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE.

128. In contrast, FDEP refused to speak at the December 13, 2007 Stop the Dump meeting because there was not one week’s notice in the Florida Administrative Weekly.

129. The Consent Order is a stench in the nostrils of the Nation and must be rejected.

130. There is a large discrepancy -- 75% between the past and the present estimates of the volume of illegal dumped materials.

131. There is no discussion in the Consent Order of how much of the 35,000 cubic yards was actually moved by the city in 2005-2006.

132. The amount of material was previously estimated at 20,000 cubic yards and is now stated to be 35,000 cubic yards.

133. A hearing is required to determine the extent to which the discrepancy is due to prior dumping at the Old City Reservoir.

134. There is no environmental impact analysis or traffic engineering study on the effects of trucking 35,000 cubic yards of contaminants -- putting volatile organic compounds, vinyl chloride, thallium and arsenic - onto the streets of Lincolnville.

135. There is no laboratory work by EPA, but only by contractor laboratories purporting to meet EPA standards, which were selected by the Respondent's defense lawyers at AKERMAN, SENTERFITT, Florida's largest corporate law firm.

136. Such data can be unreliable and our CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE now concedes that it must be verified -- per Assistant City Manager JOHN REGAN at the December 13th “Stop the Dump” meeting, our City has agreed to "split samples," which must be taken by the EPA SESD laboratory in Athens, Georgia, maintaining the chain of custody.

137. There is an unverified assumption of small health effects without studying the most likely exposure pathway -- trucking of contaminants twice through Lincolnville in trucks, with inadequate standards set for the trucks.

138. There is no reference to EPA's 2007 research findings on toxic diesel exhausts.


139. There is no evidence of testing of Lincolnville and West Augustine properties and residents.


140. Dozens of questions have been unanswered by the city since February 2006.

141. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE had a hostile attitude toward public questions from the start. See Petitioners’ Exhibit PX-2, the February 27, 2007 E-mail from ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER JOHN REGAN to City of ST. AUGUSTINE PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER PAUL WILLIAMSON, inter alia using pejoratives about questions being asked on COSA’s illegal dumping..


142. Petitioners reserve the right to insist on strict proof of the Consent Order contentions, including any inference or implication that:
a. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE supposedly acted in good faith before being caught February 27, 2006 when FDEP’s initial fine was based on lack of good faith;
b. The engineering investigation was somehow independent or adequate;
c. Our state and federal governments acted reasonably and adequately performed their duties; or
d. The proposed remedy in the Consent Order adequately protects the people of St. Augustine and Florida from future recurrences of intentional government pollution of our aquifer and communities.

143. Sworn testimony under oath before an ALJ is required to resolve questions that have not been answered sine February 2006.


144. The CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE violated the U.S. and Florida Constitution and Sunshine law when it voted to adopt the Consent Order without allowing the public to speak at the 8 AM City Commission meeting held on November 13, 2007.

145. FDEP's Consent Order was adopted after months of delay by the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE, during a time when it refused to answer any questions. See Petitioners’ Exhibit PX-2.

146. The self-confessed principle purpose of the Consent Order is to "save money," as announced by Assistant City Manager JOHN REGAN -- not to right a wrong.

147. The Consent Order and Respondents violates free speech rights, violating the First, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and due process rights and Florida's Sunshine Law.

148. The City's adoption of the Consent Order was an ultra vires act and void or voidable by the Administrative Law Judge.

149. Efforts to express public opinion on the Consent Order were rudely rebuffed, rejected and refused by City Commissioners and Mayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR., despite the City’s published promise to St. Augustine Record Opinion Editor Ms. Margo Pope that the public could speak.

150. Assistant City Manager JOHN. REGAN’s promise of public participation at the November 13, 2007 Commission meeting was duly published in a November 11, 2007 editorial in the St. Augustine Record.

151. Previous CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE decisions on environmental cleanups have involved public meetings and a right of the public to speak.

152. Two recent projects where the public was allowed to speak before remedies were approved include:
a. the Sebastian Inland Harbor Project (where AKERMAN SENTERFITT represented the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE);
b. the former Ponce de León Golf Course, including its annexation and its being afforded brownfield status under Florida law.

153. Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Environmental justice principles were violated when FDEP and COSA adopted a Consent Order in secret negotiations, without allowing the public to speak on this vital issue before approving the Consent Order.

154. FDEP and COSA have not taken steps to avoid the "disproportionate siting of hazardous waste facilities" in the majority "minority and low-income" Lincolnville community, an historically African-American community that dates back to the 1860s, when it was founded by freed slaves.

155. FDEP and COSA have not implemented principles of environmental justice (EJ) in this case.

156. Assistant CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE CITY MANAGER JOHN REGAN now admits that COSA’s proposed “remedy” – moving the contaminants back to Lincolnville – seems “a little bizarre.” See Mr. REGAN’s December 13, 2007 statement to Stop the Dump meeting, which was videotaped and transcribed by a court reporter.

157. No presumption of correctness can be afforded to a Consent Decree whose principle feature is admittedly “bizarre” and which was adopted in violation of the U.S and Florida Constitutions and the Florida Sunshine Law.

158. Your Petitioners agree that returning the contaminants to Lincolnville is “bizarre.”

159. Neither the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE nor the FDEP should undertake to return any contaminants to an Environmental Justice community.

160. The contaminants in the Old City Reservoir must be removed immediately and placed in a Class I landfill, despite the City’s refusal to do so since ordered to do so in March 2006. See PX-1 at ¶ 4.


161. The Administrative Law Judge is asked to order Respondents CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE, City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS, Assistant City Manager JOHN REGAN, Chief Administrative Officer TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD, MAYOR JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, EX-MAYOR GEORGE GARDNER, EX-VICE-MAYOR SUSAN BURK , VICE MAYOR DONALD CRICHLOW, COMMISSIONER ERROL JONES and other percipient witnesses to testify in Petitioners’ case-in-chief as adverse witnesses.

162. The ALJ and FDEP must order broader and deeper remedies than were adopted by FDEP and COSA in their secret meetings, including but not limited to:
a. Requiring COSA immediately commence removing the solid waste from the Old City Reservoir to a Class I landfill pending development of other remedies.
b. Rejecting the notion that the contaminants be relocated back to Lincolnville and requiring them to be placed in a proper landfill, as FDEP ordered March 15, 2006.
c. Requiring training of City employees in a stand-down on safety, health and environmental protection and whistleblower rights secured by federal environmental whistleblower laws.
d. Making findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE's custom, usage, practice and procedure of locating dumpsites in low-income areas and its lack of candor with citizens and with federal and state officials.
e. Ordering In-Kind Prevention Projects (IPPs), Pollution Prevention Projects (PPPs) or Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) to remedy past pollution in Lincolnville and West Augustine.
f. Remedying the City's impact on the Lincolnville and West Augustine communities by establishing a Community Health Program and Community Health Advisory Board, with peer-reviewed epidemiological studies of the effect of all dumping and pollution on Lincolnville and West Augustine. F.S. §§ 381.1013, 381.1015.
g. Remedying the City's massive environmental lawbreaking by mandating:
i. Grand jury testimony;
ii. Management reforms;
iii. Firing the City Manager and suing him (and/or others) to recover sums expended on the cleanup and associated professional fees for legal and engineering work;
iv. Rewriting job descriptions to provide protection under federal environmental whistleblower laws;
v. An affirmative direct duty to blow the whistle and stop illegal activities to be adopted by all city employees.
vi. Preserving, protecting and defending citizens' rights to:
(1) Report environmental crimes and violations;
(2) Speak at public meetings without being molested, harassed or intimidated by City officials;
(3) Require City officials to observe Environmental Justice principles.
h. Assuring transparency by, among other reforms requiring:
i. The City to post a performance bond for completion of the remedies required and to be forfeited in the event of violations.
ii. The City Manager, Mayor, Commissioner and all Department heads to post performance bonds, to be forfeited in the event of any violations.
iii. All environmental documents, including those relating to this action and the related criminal case to be posted upon the City's website in perpetuity.
iv. All trucks moving contaminants to be equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices, to be posted on the City's website.
v. Automatic 24/7 live web camera coverage of all activities at the Riberia Street site and whatever site that is finally chosen for disposal.
vi. Rigorous standards for training city employees and contractor employees, sealing the trucks and monitoring their effects.

163. Remedying the City's use of untrained workers to sort through 35,000 cubic yards of contaminated solid waste by requiring training and continuing medical monitoring of all workers so exposed to the 35,000 cubic yards of contaminants, subject of findings by FDEP but not part of the consent order.

164. Petitioners respectfully request immediate disclosure of all documents to Petitioners on the City's website and an expedited hearing, open to the public, to be held in the Lincolnville community, with an opportunity for the public to speak out and have questions answered on the issue, opportunities that were denied us for two years.


165. Petitioners decline to agree to any form of mediation at this time, e.g., any form of “mediation” before anyone lacking independence.

Respectfully submitted,


102 South Street
St. Augustine, Florida
(904) 829-0808

P.O. Box 3767
St. Augusitne, Florida 32085-3767

Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
904 471-9918 (fax)

150 Nesmith Avenue
St. Augustine, Florida 32084

165 Twine Street
St. Augustine, Florida 32084

December 27, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Does Edvard Munch's "Silent Scream" Capture the Mood at St. Augustine's Embattled City Hall for Caudillo WILLIAM B. HARRISS, City Mangler (Manager)?

Does Edvard Munch's "Silent Scream" Capture the Mood at St. Augustine's Embattled City Hall for Caudillo WILLIAM B. HARRISS, City Mangler (Manager)?


Letter: Reducing precincts wrong in growing county

Gina Burrell
St. Augustine
Publication Date: 12/16/07

Editor: I have learned that the St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections is reducing the number of precincts in our county from 63 to 46, effective for the Jan. 29 Presidential Primary.

In fact, eight new precinct locations will be in churches and fewer schools will be used.

We will get new Voter Information Cards to be mailed after Jan. 3, with the precinct numbers and precinct locations.

Early voting starts Jan. 14. Voters need to pay attention, because probably their precinct information will be changed. I was told by the supervisor of election's office that these reductions will save money.

So far, we are the only county in the state decreasing our precincts.

In doing research, I learned from Clay County's Supervisor of Elections office, it is not decreasing its precincts at all.

Clay is thinking of increasing them, because it is fast-growing. According to the 2006 U.S. Census, Clay County's population was 178,899. St. Johns County, with a population of 169,224, is also a fast-growing county.

I think we should be increasing, not decreasing, our precincts to make it easier for people to vote. I can envison long lines on Election Day and a lot of confusion, with all the new changes. Ten of the precincts have more than 4,000 registered voters.

I question why our Supervisor of Elections decided to choose this presidential election year of 2008, the most important election of our lifetime, to make monumental changes to our precincts. I feel there are many unanswered questions.

Also, take note. If voters haven't voted in 2006 and 2004 (federal election years), they will be taken off the voting rolls. They will have to register again.

Get out and vote.

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Letter: City's parking meters are not visitor friendly

Letter: City's parking meters are not visitor friendly

Capt. Norman Dean
St. Augustine
Publication Date: 12/16/07

Editor: Residents of St. Augustine please take note. On a November "road trip" to California and back my wife and I made a point to see as many "tourist sites" as we could, towns, parks, historic sites, etc. A common theme was observed; no parking meters.

Old towns had a mix of local and tourist traffic (look at license plates). The centers of most of these towns were alive with gift shops for the tourists and other stores for the locals.

St. Augustine city government and the St. George Street merchants seem to be doing their level best to make downtown St. Augustine as difficult as possible with their parking attitude. The Castillo de San Marcos staff as well. Why close that parking just because the fort is closed?

When we have out-of-town guests we give a driving tour and take our guests out of town for dining and suggest shopping elsewhere.

A great deal of tax money is spent to promote St. Augustine. For a large number of visitors it will be a one-time visit due to the attitude of the city.

The street entertainment is gone, street artists are gone, downtown is not fun. A T-shirt can be purchased at an outlet mall. These people will tell others back home. City officials are killing the Golden Goose.

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© The St. Augustine Record

Friday, December 14, 2007

Landfill plan draws fire

Landfill plan draws fire

St. Augustine residents voice opposition

Publication Date: 12/14/07

St. Augustine's agreement with the state to fix the city's illegal dumping of landfill material into a borrow pit could be put on hold.

On Thursday, Lincolnville neighborhood resident Tony Seraphim said he was going to file a petition against St. Augustine's consent order with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Because the landfill is in Seraphim's neighborhood, he can petition the city's agreement, which would freeze the contract while the petition was investigated, said John Regan, city chief operations officer.

"As far as I'm concerned, indictments are not out of the question," he said Thursday night at a Lincolnville Neighborhood Association meeting on the topic.

In 2005, city staff took dirt from an old landfill site on Riberia Street, in Lincolnville, and dumped it into a water-filled borrow pit on Holmes Boulevard.

To fix the massive mistake, the city struck an agreement with the state to put the materials back on the landfill site and form a 19-foot mound that's monitored to prevent groundwater intrusion.

But, at the meeting Thursday, residents said they were against that plan.

Ed Slavin, one of the speakers at the meeting, said dumping the material back into Lincolnville, a predominately black neighborhood, would be a case of "PIBBY, Place In Blacks Backyard."

"(Martin Luther King Jr.) said St. Augustine was the most lawless city in America," Slavin said. "We're here to tell you that's going to stop."

Slavin, and others at the meeting, wants the waste taken to a landfill.

The city scrapped that option because tipping fees alone could cost the city $1 million-$2 million. And putting the material back on the original site would cost about $800,000.

There were also very low traces of arsenic and other toxins found in the material, according to studies by laboratories paid by the city. Slavin wants an independent source to sample the material.

Regan said he would be happy to see that happen and would supply city funding for the sampling.

Among the roughly 50 people who attended the meeting were City Commissioners George Gardner and Errol Jones and several city employees. Members of DEP were also in the audience but did not speak at the meeting.

Regan said the city will host an informational public meeting on Jan. 10. Seraphim requested it be held, not at City Hall, but at the St. Paul AME church, site of Thursday's meeting.

"We want it in our neighborhood," Seraphim said. "We don't trust you."

Regan agreed with the request.

Carrie Johnson, a well-known resident who has lived in Lincolnville for years, said the city plan's for the landfill "is frightening to me."

"I have always felt like Lincolnville is the stepchild. We're the last ones to get any attention," she said. "I want to see Lincolnville be what it is, a great place."

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You've got to hand it to the ancien regime in St. Augustine, Florida. Whether cutting down a bald eagle nest tree (Pierre Thompson, below) .....

You've got to hand it to the ancien regime in St. Augustine, Florida. Whether cutting down a bald eagle nest tree (Pierre Thompson, below) or taking the contents of the old city dump and putting it in the Old City Reservoir, the Establishment in these parts is pure brass, with no class. They have
contempt for Mother Nature, law and the will of the people. We're cleaning up our city of St. Augustine and St. Johns County and with your help we'll continue doing so. Celebrate diversity and democracy.


Company pleads guilty to disturbing bald eagle

The Florida Times-Union
Publication Date: 12/14/07

A St. Johns County real estate company pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing a bald eagle.

Thompson Bros. Realty admitted it cut down a pine tree where a bald eagle pair was nesting in October 2001 on Fish Island in St. Augustine.

According to the plea agreement with prosecutors, the company said it would donate 15 acres of wetlands on Fish Island for conservation in lieu of fines, which can have been as high as $200,000. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 6, so the agreement is not final until approved by a judge, who could decide to impose lesser or stiffer penalties.

Thompson and his attorney declined to comment.

Christine Gilman, who originally complained about the incident and photographed the eagles circling the felled tree, called it good news.

"I am really happy to hear that finally there's closure," she said.

Steve Cole, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Tampa, said he hoped it would send a message to developers and property owners that there are consequences for tampering with bald eagles and their nests.

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© The St. Augustine Record

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Mr. John Regan is the heir apparent to controversial City of St. Augustine City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS.
This is what apparatchik Regan wrote to City of St. Augustine Public Relations Director Paul Williamson on February 27, 2006 in response to our initial questions on the illegal dumping by our City of St. Augustine in our Old City Reservoir:
"Suggested RESPONSE: 'Your request for information
has been forwarded to the City Attorney for response.' THE END. - And do not respond to anymore (sic) of his E- mails unless the above is the response.' Any further attempt to 'answer' any of his outlandish (sic) and absurd (sic) questions and accusations only serves to fuel his misguided (sic) filibustering (sic) and empty (sic) threats (sic). He has nothing (sic) else (sic) to do with his life and his only (sic) 'contact' with the outside world is through emails (sic). Suggest allowing Wilson to "handle" the responses.


Costs and Causes of Illegal Dumping by City of St. Augustine in Our Old City Reservoir -- Letter to Mr. John Regan

Dear John:
1. Please fax us a printout showing all expenditures on legal and technical work on the Holmes Blvd and Riberia Street site environmental issues. If any have been paid by insurance, please provide the documentation. If not, we assume that the pollution exclusion means all costs of our City's intentional dumping will be paid by the people.
2. Please ask Mr. William Pence and the law firm of Akerman, Senterfitt to preserve and provide for inspection all paper and electronic documents not already in city files, including but not limited to all employee interviews and documents on the search warrant and criminal issues.
3. Please ask Geosyntec and other contractors to provide for inspection and copying all paper and electronic documents on the two sites for inspection and copying, including QA/QC and TQM data, the curriculum vitae of all persons working on the project and all discussions with DEP, the City and Akerman, Senterfitt.
4. I look forward to seeing you at tonight's Lincolnville Neighborhood Association meeting. We expect that you will kindly answer our questions at tonight's meeting -- questions that we've been respectfully and pateintly asking since February 24, 2006. You will find the questions in your file, the first of which located under your February 27, 2006 E-mail to City of St. Augustine Public Relations Director Paul Williamson, stating inter alia regarding our initial February 24, 2006 questions on the illegal dumping by our City of St. Augustine in our Old City Reservoir:
"Suggested RESPONSE: 'Your request for information has been forwarded to the City Attorney for response.' THE END. - And do not respond to anymore (sic) of his E- mails unless the above is the response.' Any further attempt to 'answer' any of his outlandish (sic) and absurd (sic) questions and accusations only serves to fuel his misguided (sic) filibustering (sic) and empty (sic) threats (sic). He has nothing (sic) else (sic) to do with his life and his only (sic) 'contact' with the outside world is through emails (sic). Suggest allowing Wilson to "handle" the responses.
Thank you, "JR," in advance for your kind cooperation. We expect that our questions will be answered and that public rights will be respected and not neglected from this day forward.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Clean Up City of St. Augustine
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
904-471-9918 (fax)

Florida Times-Union: Lincolnville residents wary over landfill plan

December 13, 2007

Lincolnville residents wary over landfill plan

The Times-Union

A plan to clean up after an illegal dumping scandal in St. Augustine is drawing the ire of residents in the city's Lincolnville neighborhood.

The city is preparing to bring solid waste back to the site of the Riberia Street landfill, then smooth it over and cover it with 2 feet of clean dirt.

The plan is part of a settlement the city made with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection last month. A department investigation had found the city was removing waste and lime sludge from the Riberia Street landfill and dumping it in a water-filled pit on city property on Holmes Boulevard, contaminating the groundwater. The city was digging a hole at the Holmes site for another project and moved soil from the landfill to fill it in.

The department fined the city more than $33,000 and required it to clean up the Holmes site. The city also is proposing to eventually turn the Riberia site into a public park.

But the clean-up agreement is angering residents in Lincolnville, a historic area that has recently begun to gentrify.

Judith Seraphim is organizing a meeting for this evening so neighborhood residents can speak out about the matter, because public comment was not allowed at the Nov. 13 meeting where the City Commission approved the final settlement. She called the plan for the Riberia Street site environmental racism, especially in light of the historically black area's struggle for civil rights.

Seraphim said the waste should be taken to a specially lined, Class I landfill, something the city had protested because of the expense. She's worried that residents will be exposed to pollution when the waste is dumped and spread out over the entire 8 acres, and has vowed to stop the plan.

"The city could have kept their costs down by doing it the right way in the first place," she said.

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, 85 Martin Luther King Ave. Afterward, Seraphim said, "we're going to be talking to legal [advisers] and we're going to see what happens and what the neighborhood wants."

City and DEP representatives, however, said the plan will benefit the neighborhood.

John Regan, the city's chief operations officer, said the project will "basically make lemonade out of a lemon" by turning the site into a recreation area.

"This is a chance to build a very needed park," Regan said. "The site has excellent birding and wildlife viewing opportunities."

Mike Fitzsimmons, the Northeast District Waste Program administrator, said the Department of Environmental Protection was willing to allow the waste to return to the Riberia Street landfill because it would bring the site under the department's control for the first time. The dump is so old that it predated the department, and therefore wasn't monitored, he said. Now the city will be required to do semiannual groundwater testing and seal the landfill with clean dirt.

"We think that's a significant environmental improvement," Fitzsimmons said.

Because testing at the Riberia Street site has never been done before, the city will have to install wells to monitor the groundwater there. Contamination from arsenic, thallium and vinyl chloride is present in the groundwater at the Holmes Boulevard site, but Riberia won't be tested for months. It's not yet clear what will happen if significant pollution is present.

Remediation could run the gamut from pumping and treating groundwater to possible excavation, Fitzsimmons said.

The department advertised the settlement Saturday, which gives residents until Dec. 29 to formally object to it., (904) 359-4504

This story can be found on at

Letter: DEP meeting's tonight on Lincolnville dump

Letter: DEP meeting's tonight on Lincolnville dump

Judith Seraphin
Lincolnville, St. Augustine
Publication Date: 12/13/07

Editor: The St. Augustine City Commissioners and City Manager Bill Harriss have a special Christmas present for Lincolnville: a new park. But we don't want it.

The proposed park will be eight acres wide and 18 feet high. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) told us it was "potentially hazardous" material. It was illegally dumped, without a permit, into the Old City Reservoir in West Augustine. This goes directly to the aquifer, and to Florida's drinking water.

The DEP caught the city, fined them $33,000 and ruled that the potentially hazardous waste must be removed, and put into the state-approved Class 1 Landfill, where it should have been put in the first place. The city has decided to try to save money, and do it the cheaper way, and is going to dump this waste into Lincolnville, cover it with a few feet of dirt, and call it a park.

Wrong. Lincolnville has been the city's dumping grounds in the past but no more. The dumping days are over.

Come out to a meeting and give city officials your views. City Commissioners and Harris have been invited. Tell these officials, "no more dumping."

If you did it right the first time, you wouldn't be in this mess now.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. tonight at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 85 Martin Luther King Ave. This meeting is being sponsored by the Lincolnville Neighborhood Association.

Come out and make your voice heard.

Judith Seraphin


St. Augustine

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© The St. Augustine Record

Letter: Don't dump in Lincolnville

Letter: Don't dump in Lincolnville

David Thundershield Queen
St. Augustine
Publication Date: 12/13/07

Editor: City officials will participate in an important community meeting tonight on the Lincolnville dump site and proposed park at 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 85 M.L. King Ave.

Controversial City Manager William Harriss earlier ordered 10 percent of the waste from the old Riberia Street dump to be removed and illegally dumped in the Old City Reservoir in West Augustine. Now, they want to return material back to Lincolnville. Lincolnville residents/concerned citizens should push for all debris which may include toxic materials such as arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, and dioxins to be taken to a proper disposal site.

Capping old toxic sites is in vogue at the federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and is often allowed by Florida Department of Environmental Protection because both agencies were earlier ransacked by the George W./Jeb Bush administrations.

These agencies under GOP control violate or ignore their own laws while endangering public health and safety. Their departments are headed by managers chosen for their "friendliness" to corporate interests, polluters and developers. DEP's acronym has become "Don't Expect Protection."

"Capping" isn't the best cleanup practice but is the cheapest. It saves corporate polluters and municipalities money but doesn't adequately address potential Floridan Aquifer contamination.

You wouldn't see capping in a wealthy white community where the dump wouldn't have been sited in the first place. It's called environmental racism.

The environmental justice movement sprang up in the 1990s to counter landfills, toxic waste dumps, fuel "tank farms" and major highway sitings which selectively target economically disadvantaged communities. Three out of five blacks in the United States live in communities with uncontrolled waste sites.

The right thing must be done. The dump site must be cleaned up and trucked off to a state-approved, Class 1 (or higher) disposal site.

Then parks would be welcomed in West Augustine and Lincolnville.

David Thundershield Queen

St. Augustine

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© The St. Augustine Record

Saturday, December 08, 2007

SAINT AUGUSTINE said, :An unjust law is no law at all."



PUBLIC MEETING 6:30 PM, Thursday, December 13, 85 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd, St. Paul's African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church

Florida Department of Environmental Protection regulators and the City of St. Augustine have -- without public hearings -- made a deal to return 35,000 cubic yards of contaminants including thallium, arsenic and volatile organic comoounds (VOCs) -- back to Lincolnville, where the city illegally dumped (South end of Riberia Street). Ask questions. Demand answers.

The waste disposal of the City of St. Augustine long resembled that of Houston, Texas -- PIBBY -- Put in Blacks' Back Yards. Enough.

Letter: Return public comment to start of city meeting

Letter: Return public comment to start of city meeting

Patricia Lowe-Parets
St. Augustine
Publication Date: 12/07/07

Editor: The St. Augustine City Commission recently voted 3-2 to discontinue the practice of allowing the public to speak at the beginning of each regular commission meeting, citing violation of the three-minute time allotment per speaker as the reason. The problem is not with the speakers but with the chair (mayor) who is responsible for controlling the meetings to assure the 30 minutes allotted for public discourse is not exceeded.

Their "solution" is to only allow the public to speak at the end of the regular agenda, which may make sense if you are a commissioner and you have already made up your mind and do not want to be confused by your constituents. But if the commissioners truly want to represent the people, they will welcome public discourse before taking action, even if it is an item that does not require public hearing.

Example: You read in Monday morning's St. Augustine Record that the commissioners will be voting on an issue that same afternoon, an issue about which you have some pertinent knowledge and/or concern. You can attend the meeting, but unless it is an advertised public hearing you cannot speak until the meeting's conclusion and the vote has already been taken.

A better solution? At regular business meetings the mayor should select the first seven or eight people who sign up to speak or select only one speaker per topic and then enforce the three-minute rule. Three minutes is enough time to state your case. If you want to elaborate, stay until the end of the meeting. At least, the commissioners will be aware of your concern prior to voting. By their votes, Commissioners Don Crichlow and George Gardner indicated they want to hear you. Hopefully the commission will reconsider this bad decision.

Patricia Lowe-Parets

St. Augustine

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© The St. Augustine Record

Editorial: Open Government Bill of Rights is best for all

Editorial: Open Government Bill of Rights is best for all

Publication Date: 12/07/07

In his first year in office, Gov. Charlie Crist's track record on open government attests to his belief, "the people of Florida are the boss."

The first day Crist was in office last January, he created the Office of Open Government within the governor's office.

All who work in his office and those in agencies within his purview have to make their offices fully accessible under Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine (open meetings) and Public Records laws and Article 1, Section 24, of the state's constitution.

Within months, Crist issued another executive order creating the Commission on Open Government. That commission is holding meetings statewide to hear concerns from the public about access. The commission meetings are not just for news media complaints. They are for all the public.

The commission is expected to make recommendations to Crist by the end of 2008 on any changes to the state's open meetings and records laws. Access laws also provide for exemptions throughout state government to protect certain documents and meetings from public scrutiny.

That's understandable to a degree but those laws require that the exemptions be cited in writing if the requester asks for a written explanation. It's always best to get turndowns in writing.

Less than a month ago, Crist put forth a new executive order creating an Open Government Bill of Rights. This one grew out of the hearings before the Commission on Open Government.

Crist's Bill of Rights requires that all state agencies under his purview, such as the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Children and Families, adopt a bill of rights.

His executive order spells out what the bill of rights must say. For example, an agency shall post a statement on its Web site and in its agency headquarters that says "the public is entitled to be treated with respect, courtesy and professionalism." That's the first of several requirements.

The others cited in the order focus on smoother access to public records by the public.

It's all about the culture, Crist said recently. "By creating a culture that fosters public trust and confidence, we become a government truly operating in the sunshine."

Florida's Open Government Bill of Rights does not extend to any of our local governments but it should. Our local governments should move forward in that direction.

We the people decide who sits in those big government chairs anyway.

We should know as much as we can about all of our governments from the inside out.

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© The St. Augustine Record

Sunday, December 02, 2007

"Be Not Afraid."

--- Pope John Paul II, in the first words of his first homily as Pope.


Charles Dickens' Ebenezeer Scrooge, unlike St. Augustine City Commissioners, had his epiphany. Our St. Augustine City Commissioners have not repented yet.

For a look at what your City is doing to you, sit in front of a cable TV Monday night, December 3 from 7-10:45 PM and watch what our City did at 8 AM on November 13th. They thought you'd never get the chance. Sorry -- I did not take no for an answer and the tape is being shown tomorrow night, Monday, December 3 at 7 PM.
Watch Commissioner BURK skewer MAYOR JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR. for privatizing the Nights of Lights and tree-lighting celebration for his own political agenda.
Watch Commissioners kick the artists out of the Plaza de la Consttucion, breaking their previous promises by city government.
Watch Commissioners (only three left) rubberstamp a controversial settlement with the Florida DEP on illegal dumping, denying the public the right to speak after the City's Chief Operating Office, John Regan, told St. Augustine Record Opinion Editor Margo Pope that the public would be welcome to speak on the settlement.
As TV programs go, it's not as warm as the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, which airs opposite. But you need to watch to see the screwy, skeweed, discouraging Scrooge mentality that has our city of St. Augustine in a death group.
Just say no to governmental groupthink and mediocrity.
City Manager WILLIAM HARRISS must resign for his environmental crimes, including dumping the contents of our old city dump into the Old City Reservoir and blaming his subordinates. It's time for him to go.

Environmental Justice, Injustice and Racism in St. Augustine, Florida, Nation's Oldest (European-Founded) City

Imagine dumping in a minority community illegally for decades, then finally removing the dump without required permits and secretly putting 30,000,000 pounds of contaminants in the Old City Reservoir, an open sore going straight down to the qauifer and groundwater according to former EPA Region 4 Regional Administrator John Henry Hankinson.
Our City of St. Augustine city government must have influence with the State of FLorida.
Anyone else would be in jail. Our City of St. Augustine has been slapped with a small fine and is being allowed to put the contaminants back by the ill-advised power of the State of Florida.
Enough environmental racism and environmental injustice.
We need just environmental stewards, not polluters, in city government.
See below.

Guest Column: Lincolnville deserves better treatment from city

Guest Column: Lincolnville deserves better treatment from city

By Anthony Seraphin  
St. Augustine  
Posted: Sunday, December 2, 2007
Updated: 8:31 AM on Sunday, December 2, 2007

I want to thank the John Regan, chief of operations for St. Augustine, for meeting with myself and others on Nov. 13 about the illegal dumping and the heavy repercussions in West St. Augustine that followed.

I have been discussing this issue with residents of Lincolnville. The impact on Lincolnville is obvious from the growth in membership in our Neighborhood Association.

Let's remedy this breach of trust and confidence in our local government by the following. The true costs and there will be overruns, are already more than $1 million and growing.

We request:

1. City Commissioners and City Manager Bill Harriss to attend an open public hearing in Lincolnville to discuss the plans to bring 20,000 cubic yards of contaminants back into our neighborhood.

2. Publication of all documents and data on the illegal dumping on the city Web site for the public to see.

3. Independent epidemiological studies on the health of Lincolnville residents and possible health effects from the dumping and other pollution sources.

4. Alternative plans for the disposal of the contaminates.

5. Discussion on environmental racism stemming from the illegal dumping.

6. Public involvement to monitor the cleanup, including a fairly balanced advisory committee to oversee this major project that will impact Lincolnville the most, as well as the entire taxpaying public of the city.

7. Installing real-time Internet Web cams at the Holmes Boulevard and Lincolnville sites to assure full compliance and total quality management.

8. Global positioning systems in all trucks involved in the cleanup to monitor locations of said trucks to be viewed on Web site.

9. Reparations to Lincolnville neighborhood due to decades of illegal dumping.

10. The true costs of the cleanup, which is already more than $1 million, including the initial $200,000 spent on the illegal dumping, the $33,000-plus state fine, continuing legal and engineering fees and for sure the cost overruns on the cleanup.

While I was moved by his (Regan's) offer to put me in charge of a committee to build a park at the proposed dump site, I cannot accept this unauthorized offer, unless we meet the needs of the residents and protect their health.

If indeed we, as a neighborhood, can overcome the vast differences imposed arbitrarily on Lincolnville, I would be more than happy to assist in the reallocation of the $3.6 million made by the city on the sale of city property (Sebastian Inland Harbor) to design and build the park and sculpture garden you and I were so enthusiastic about.

If indeed Lincolnville is going to be dumped on again (as is the history of the city's dealings with our neighborhood for more than 140 years) and the state condones it, then a grand jury must investigate the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and irresponsible city officials.

Wrong doers must be indicted or at the least removed from office.

Otherwise, the largest voting segment in the city will not forget the gross treatment meted out by these officials on Lincolnville.

While we are on the subject of Lincolnville, I constantly hear about:

1. The inequality of city spending on Lincolnville vs. other neighborhoods.

2. Equalizing city spending, investments and employment opportunities.

3. No one in City Hall listens to or cares what happens to or in Lincolnville, other than at election time when the "glad-handing hypocrites come through."

4. Flagler College growing their business at the expense of the taxpayers.

5. Boarded-up speculators' shacks that attract drug dealers and derision from visitors.

Anthony Seraphin is a businessman who has lived in St. Augustine in Lincolnville for the past 2 years. He is a member of the Lincolnville Neighborhood Association.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Watch Comcast Cable Channel 3 (Government TV) at 7 PM, Monday for Replay of November Meeting Meeting (re: Plaza Vendors, Illegal Dumping Settlement

Watch Comcast Cable Channel 3 (Government TV) at 7 PM, Monday for Replay of November 13, 2007 City Commission Meeting (re: Plaza Vendors, City's Illegal Dumping Settlement)

City Commission held a meeting at 8 AM on November 13, depriving the public of the right to attend or watch it at the regular time.

This is one of seven un-televised meetings City Commission held in the last two years. The others were two Sunshine violations where Ron Brown was hired as City Attorney and four Budget meetings where our City's budget was rubberstamped while the public was treated rudely, with questions never answered.

At the November 13th meeting, SUSAN BURK complained about Mayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR. privatizing the tree-lighting ceremony for a charity, leaving Commissioners out of it. Priceless. Then Commissioners had a dog-and-pony show, finally allowed public testimony and voted 5-0 to kick artists out of the Plaza.

Then they approved the supposed "settlement" of their illegal dumping (Commissioners GEORGE GARDNER, ex- Mayor and SUSAN BURK, ex-Vice-Mayor, both having left the meeting), with no public comment allowed. See below. Tune in at 7 PM on Monday and sit down for 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Watch these Scrooges with your family and friends -- watch for yourself government cloddishness at its very worst and despicable. Then think about who needs to run for City Commission next year. How about you?

Then contemplate who needs to resign. See below.