Tuesday, July 31, 2007


It's time to take back our Nation's Oldest City of St. Augustine, Florida from real estate speculators like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD and the peculators, energumen and the public officials who enable them, and all their works and pomps.

As President Reagan said, "politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often, and for the same reasons."

Enough. See below.



The roots of our Nation's Oldest City's illegal dumping scandal were rushing to start a $70 million public-private partnership built on contaminated land.

Our City of St. Augustine was rushing to complete en artificial wetland at a 4.3 acre site next to the city sewage treatment plant, "mitigation" for wetland destruction for the Sebastian Inner Harbor Project. City staff decided to save money by committing environmental crimes. City Mayor GEORGE GARDNER and City Commissioners looked the other way, still refusing to answer questions on illegal dumping.

Four years after the July 29, 2003 City workshop on the Sebastian Inner Harbor Project, there's no hotel. Below are minutes of the July 29, 2003 City Commission workshop, with statements by JAY CULBERTH, accused fraudfeasor ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD's partner in CONCH HOUSE BUILDERS, in bold below:

CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINECity Commission Workshop MeetingJuly 29, 2003

The City Commission met in a workshop session Thursday, July 29, 2003, at 4:00 p.m. in The Alcazar Room at City Hall. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Gardner, and the following were present:1. Roll Call:George Gardner, Mayor/City CommissionerSusan Burk, City CommissionerWilliam Lennon, City Commissioner Errol D. Jones, City CommissionerDonald A. Crichlow, City CommissionerWilliam B. Harriss, City ManagerJack E. Cubbedge, Assistant City ManagerMartha V. (Nell) Porter, City ClerkJohn Regan, Director, UtilitiesOrfeo Paolini, Sound TechnicianKaren Rogers, Recording Secretary ____________________________________________________________________________________2. Public comments on future uses of the San Sebastian site.Mayor Gardner stated that the purpose of the workshop was for public input regarding the Sebastian Inland Harbor project. He said that there would be a follow-up workshop on September 16, 2003 for the Commission to engage in discussion regarding the project. He said that some subjects considered were as follows:
Maximize parking
Residential development to increase tax base
Retail/commercial mix
Public Park
Public uses
Hotel with conference area Mayor Gardner opened the public hearing. The following people spoke regarding the San Sebastian site:
Peter Romano, 62 Sanford St.
Peter Imirie, 1300 Flagship Ct
John Marple, 314 St. George St.
Dennis Mooney, 159 Cordova St.
William Tinnerman, 5 Willard Dr.
Charles Cox, San Sebastian Winery
Lynn Gilchrist, 7 St. Andrews Ct.
Don Mergerner, 300 South Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Tammy Byer, 70 Washington St.
Peter Rumple, 133 Marine St.
Alan Crawford, 36_ Cordova St.
Doug Randall, 33 Comares Ave. Some comments regarding the San Sebastian site were as follows:
Recommended use of electrified trolleys similar to the ones used up until the late 1920’s
The Randall group had been the second choice in the previous RFP
The effect on tourism after 9/11 was not lasting
The Randall group had not pulled out of the project
The Randall group were primarily residents of the community
Do not bring outside developers into the process
New bidders would not be radically different or superior from what had already been presented
Rebidding the project would take too much time
The City should move forward with the project using the Randall group
A promenade access for water transport service should be included in the project
It would be smart to develop a public water taxi system that could handle large volumes of people and would include parking areas outside of downtown to relieve the traffic situation
The Commission, Parking Committee, Port Authority, Police Department, the press, developers, local business owners, and concerned residents were invited to schedule a site visit on Mr. Imirie’s 67 passenger vessel free of charge to gather information and plan for the future
Construction of the VIC parking garage from March 2004 until February 2005 would create a need for alternative parking for visitors making the addition of a San Sebastian parking lot crucial
The City owned the property and had funds from the failed Lightner Museum parking garage that could be used to construct a parking situation at the San Sebastian site
The need for parking for Flagler College was becoming more pressing and the San Sebastian site represented the only viable location for student parking
The City should assume permanent stewardship for a parking situation on the San Sebastian site at Riberia Street, which could be made useful in months, so the City would be guaranteed use of the space
The development would have to be beneficial to the City and the developer
In real estate timing was everything
The Doug Randall team had earned the projects approval and Vestcor had defaulted; therefore, the Randall team should be offered the opportunity to finalize their position
The Randall group had increased the price for the sale of the property
A time delay was not worth the potenital of more money for the property
Only the Doug Randall group had gone to the winery with a formal contract stating that they would take over the City’s contract responsibility for 56 parking spaces within 200-feet of the winery and water drainage associated with the business, and the existing parking lot would be taken over by the developer
The viability of a Civic Center on the site should be a serious consideration as it would sit empty most of the time
Build a garage with the maximum parking spaces and maintain control of one parking garage
The site was an eyesore; therefore, the sooner the development began the better
Low income citizens lived on boats in the area and the development would eventually drive them out as boat slip costs would increase
People supporting the tourist and construction industry would not be able to afford living on the site
There should be a series of illustrations demonstrating to the public how the project would develop architecturally along with the financial implications
The project must be viewed as a totality and not isolated parcels
The Commission had to commit to a team and get the process going as the process would take time
The development would be the most important building project since Henry Flagler built the hotel; therefore, they should use a local team Mayor Gardner clarified that the Commission had not decided to submit a new RFP for bids. Commissioner Crichlow suggested that a water taxi system would evolve naturally as a progression to development. He added that it would provide a wonderful venue for visitors to experience the City. Commissioner Crichlow questioned whether it would be better to include the City use in a parking facility at the San Sebastian site as an agreement in a sales contract or should the City not convey a piece of the property until 2005.Mr. Harriss said that question was foremost, as there was a timing problem regarding how to make the situation work. He said the City’s environmental attorney pointed out that the City could not install a coquina parking lot on the San Sebastian site, because it could create a contamination scenario when the site was currently under environmental scrutiny. He said that the City could construct a paved parking lot with enough landscaping to meet code, but Flagler College had offered to build something on the site for student parking. However, he said a potential developer would need some parking in the area also. He said the situation would create a three-way agreement, but he felt a solution could be achieved when they chose a developer. He said that unfortunately if a three-way agreement was formed, both garages would be under construction simultaneously. He said they could construct a surface lot and then tear it up to construct a parking garage, or start the garage with the theory that a developer would have to accept the City’s terms. He said that the City had not arrived at a solution to the situation.Commissioner Burk suggested building the garage at the San Sebastian site first, as there was a functional parking lot at the VIC.Mr. Harriss stated that if they could do that first, combined with a transit system, it could work. Mayor Gardner questioned whether the first floor of a garage on the San Sebastian site could be constructed below the surface.Mr. Harriss replied that he was not certain, but there was a requirement to build-up two feet before construction; therefore, it was not likely.Mayor Gardner questioned whether they could simply construct the first floor of a parking structure.Mr. Harriss replied that the garage could be constructed in phases; however, the foundation would require extensive construction; moreover, the contractor would no doubt object to that process. A brief discussion revealed that a developer would probably need some parking in the proposed Riberia Street garage; furthermore, they could probably come to an agreement. Mayor Gardner questioned whether they should be focusing on parking or residential/commercial development to increase the tax base. Commissioner Burk pointed out that there were discrepancies around the agreement with the winery, and she suggested that the new Commissioners make the time to talk with the City Attorney about the matter.

Jay Culberth, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, stated that he wanted to answer any questions the Commission might have regarding the hotel component within the Doug Randall group proposal. He added that he would be the funding partner of the hotel and specialty retail within the group. Mayor Gardner questioned whether Interstate built hotels and whether Interstate would guarantee a hotel on the site.Mr. Culberth said there absolutely would be a hotel on the site. He said that Interstate was a consultant partner during construction of the hotel. He explained that Interstate was the continuity that assured once the construction was completed the operation within the hotel and surrounding site ran well. He clarified that post construction Interstate would run and fill the hotel. Commissioner Burk questioned who owned the hotel.Mr. Culberth said that he would be the funding partner responsible for acquiring the funds to build the hotel.Commissioner Burk questioned whether he would own the hotel or sell it.Mr. Culberth replied that he had plans to own it and the operation facilities would be handled by the management company.Commissioner Burk questioned whether he would be buying a parcel of property from the person buying the site from the City.Mr. Culberth responded that it would depend on how the parcel was conveyed to the developer. He said that it could be a lease or purchase arrangement. He added that currently the timing was good as the interest rates were right and St. Augustine had not taken as much loss in tourism as some other cities in the U.S. after 9/11. Commissioner Jones noted that the Commission was getting off track, as the workshop had been advertised for the public to discuss concepts for the site. He added that it was not about people it was about concepts.A brief discussion revealed that the Commission did not adhere to a height of 35-feet for the hotel. Mr. Culbert concluded that he attended the meeting to reinforce a few of the points that had been mentioned in the previous presentation. He said that he wanted the Commission to be assured that meeting space was a viable option within the hotel, the architecture would be in excess of 35-feet and congruous with the City, and transportation would be a key element to move people from the hotel to downtown. He recommended a historic mode of transportation. Commissioner Lennon stated that the hotel should be a part of the first phase, as the need was apparent. Mr. Culberth stated that he would like to get started as soon as possible, primarily for economic purpose. He explained that if the interest rates went up, financing for the hotel would be difficult.

3. AdjournmentThere being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.     __________________________________MAYOR 

CITY MANAGER WILLIAM B. HARRISS and City Commissioners need to testify about these matters before a Federal Grand Jury, answering questionso about their agreements, understandings and relationships with the likes of speculator ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD, et al.


We're waiting to hear from City Commissioners SUSAN BURK, GEORGE GARDNER, ERROL JONES, DONALD CRICHLOW and MAYOR JOE BOLES in response to questions about our City's favors for, and understandings, agreements and relationships with ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD, speculator behind Conch House Marina, Red House Bluff (3000-4000 year old Indian village), and other controversial projects. GRAUBARD is the undeserving recipient of a City Commission motion forgiving a $15,000 tree-killing fine.

Now, the Ponce family has charged ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD with a fraudulent scheme. See below.

JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Conch House in foreclosure, lawsuit filed

Conch House in foreclosure, lawsuit filed
Jacksonville Business Journal - July 27, 2007by Christian ConteStaff Writer
Story Images
ST. AUGUSTINE -- After owning the Conch House Marina Resort for more than 60 years, members of the David M. Ponce Jr. family were ready to move on to other projects. So when Thomas E. Coghill Jr. agreed to buy the site and some adjacent vacant land for $27 million in October 2005, David M. Ponce Jr. considered it the perfect opportunity.

"He seemed to be a go-getter," Ponce said. "He seemed to ask all the right questions and say all the right things."

The Ponce family sold the local landmark in December 2005, lending Coghill and other buyers some of the purchase price as part of the transaction, according to documents.

Now the family is trying to prevent foreclosure, claiming its loan to the buyers was not repaid and that a bank is improperly foreclosing upon the family, according to a lawsuit filed against the bank that loaned Coghill and others money to buy the site at 57 Comares Ave., St. Augustine.

When the family agreed to sell the property to Conch House Builders LLC, it did not know that the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Virginia had indicted Coghill in November 2004 on six counts of fraud relating to his Virginia-based homebuilding business, Ponce said. Coghill was released from federal custody on a bond in December 2004 and allowed to return to Florida and help his family build two homes with the condition that he refrain from entering into any new financial responsibilities, according to court documents.

Coghill pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud in August 2005. Ponce said the family was not aware of the plea when it was negotiating with Coghill.

Between his indictment and the beginning of what was originally a 33-month prison sentence in May 2006, public records and other documents indicate that Coghill was involved in several real estate investments in Northeast Florida, including the acquisition of the Conch House.

Coghill denied a request for comment through a prison official for a previous story. Prison officials did not respond to requests for an interview relating to the Ponce family's recent filings.

The deal
The Ponce family entered into an agreement to sell the Conch House, which includes a 200-wet-slip marina, a 17-room motel, a restaurant and a dockside lounge, along with some adjoining property, to Conch House Builders LLC in October 2005, the claim states. The Riverfront Developement (sic) Revocable Trust, an entity Coghill created in September 2005, was an original member of Conch House Builders, according to its original operating agreement.

On Dec. 21, 2005, Conch House Builders LLC closed on a six-month, $17.5 million loan from Intervest National Bank, about 70 percent of the purchase price of the property.

To cover the rest of the price, the Ponce family agreed to merge the assets of the Ponce Family Limited Partnership into Conch House Builders LLC in return for $10 million, plus interest, Ponce said. The agreement also entitled the Ponce family to an interest in all properties owned by Coghill personally and through his trust, in the event of a default of the $10 million repayment, according to the lawsuit. Ponce became the managing member of the merged Conch House Builders LLC.

As part of the merger agreement, investors in the original Conch House Builders LLC were to buy back interest from the Ponce family, ultimately removing them as owners, Ponce said. The family never received that compensation and in addition is still owed $10 million from the sale, he said.

Coghill managed the Conch House for a short time, after the Intervest loan closed and before he began his prison sentence, Ponce said. After Coghill left, Ponce said he resumed managing the business, which employs about 200 workers, so it would not close.

The Ponce family claim states, in part, "Plaintiff Intervest National Bank assisted Thomas E. Coghill Jr., a convicted felon (bank fraud) in perpetuating a fraud upon the Ponce family."

Further, it states, "The Plaintiff either knew, or should have known of the criminal background of Thomas E. Coghill Jr. at the time a loan request was submitted to Intervest and at the time of the funding of the loan."

The 25-page lawsuit, which includes the Ponce family's answers and affirmative defenses to Intervest's attempt to foreclose on the property, was filed July 17 in the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in St. Johns County.

Intervest National, based in New York City, is a full-service commercial bank with a Florida division that includes six branches in Pinellas County, in the Tampa Bay area. The bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of New York-based Intervest Bancshares Corp. (NASDAQ: IBCA).

Intervest attorney Joshua Magidson, from the Clearwater law firm Macfarland, Ferguson & McMullen, declined to comment about the case. During a July 18 hearing, he said Intervest did not interact with Coghill and that the claim submitted by the Ponce family's attorney had no merit.

"There's nothing in this complaint, there's nothing anywhere that says what the bank did," Magidson said. "What the bank did was loan them $17.5 million. It's easy to smear the bank and say, 'Oh, a crook took my money.'

"What meat do they have on these affirmative defenses? They have nothing."

In a cross-claim filed July 17, the Ponce family is suing Robert Graubard, who signed documents as managing member of Conch House Builders LLC after the merger and as a guarantor of the $17.5 million loan, and Charles Kelly Smith, who also signed as a guarantor of that loan.

Graubard said he and Smith planned to file defenses and counter-claims against the Ponce family. Smith did not return phone calls seeking comment.

"We are taking appropriate legal actions," Graubard said. "We will defend the suit against these unfounded charges and we will set the appropriate counter-claims against the Ponces."

Graubard said he has documents that show the family's claim is not valid. As of press time, Graubard said he had not been served the lawsuit.

Also as of press time, Judge Michael Traynor had not ruled on whether to set a trial date.

cconte@bizjournals.com | 265-2227

Disinvestment in History and Destruction of Nature Proves That St. Augustine City Government Is NOT Run By Good-Ole-Boys

Disinvestment in History and Destruction of Nature Proves That St. Augustine City Government Is NOT Run By Good-Ole-Boys

Never again should anyone say that the City of St. Augustine is run by "good-ole-boys." That statement is a slap at "good ole boys" everywhere, an insult.

"Good-ole-boys" treasure our Florida history and nature and outdoor activities (hunting, fishing, boating).

City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS & Co. let historic buildings crumble.

Cost to repair them is $22 million -- triple the cost our State of Florida was told in giving them to the University of Florida. Was our legislature misinformed that badly -- by a factor of three? What's going on here?

Our City of St. Augustine is a badly-run political machine with a $51 annual budget for a town of some $13,000.

It wans't good-ole-boys who took the entire contents of an old city dump and put it into the Old City Reservoir -- good-ole boys don't pollute bass-fishing spots because they love to fish.

One must conclude that St. Augustine City Government is not run by good-ole-boys because they let our history crumble through disinvestment (see below) and put the contents of the old city dump into the Old City Reservoir.

So let's stop calling WILLIAM B. HARRISS and his hand-picked city staff and Commissioners "good ole boys."

Terms like "wastrels," "villains," '"Vandals," "Visigoths," "Philistines," "sycophants," "toadies," "incompetents," "miscreants," "fraudfeasors" and worse come to mind

City of St. Augustiine City Manager-for--life WILLIAM B. HARRISS's wrecking-crew approach to city government might lead to a county takeover, as the county is proposing to do to the Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County (AMCD).

Cost to repair city's state-owned properties: $22 million -- COST IS TRIPLE PRIOR ESTIMATES

Cost to repair city's state-owned properties: $22 million

UF assessment more than triples previous estimate

Publication Date: 07/31/07

An University of Florida report released Monday says it will need $22 million in state funds to repair St. Augustine's 34-state owned properties, a massive leap from a previous $7 million estimate.

In May, the Florida Senate and House of Representatives unanimously approved that the university take control of the properties.

But the bills did not include funding.

Rep. William Proctor, R-St. Augustine, who shepherded the bills, is "cautiously" optimistic that despite a tight budget year for the state the project will receive money.

"These are state properties and they're in pretty bad shape, and the state has to take responsibility," Proctor said.

In 1997, the state preservation board was dissolved, and cities, including St. Augustine, were left to manage the state properties on their own. Without state funding, St. Augustine had $500,000 each year to maintain the buildings, which consequently fell into disrepair.

A historic preservation task force, put together by Proctor, estimated the building repairs would total $7 million.

However, a team from UF spent 300 hours in the last month meticulously surveying the properties and found the price tag to be $22 million, said Ed Poppell, UF vice president for business affairs.

Poppell said the university also will ask the state to give $488,000 yearly to pay for operations and maintenance on the buildings. And UF wants $500,000 so a consultant can determine a master plan for the city that would include a detailed vision for its future.

Poppell met Monday with several people in the St. Augustine community, including Mayor Joe Boles, to show the university's assessment report on the properties.

Boles said he's "excited" that UF wants to bring academia and tourism to the city.

"They would bring both to the table," Boles said. "And I was happy to see they asked what they can do to make sure the public is excited and involved in this, too."

Poppell said the university will begin shopping the proposal to legislators in September in hopes they will gain early support for the funding.

Proctor said St. Augustine's 450th anniversary coming up in 2015 could be an incentive to legislators.

"(Restoring the properties) is something we need to get done before that time," he said.

Boles said if the funding doesn't come through, the city will continue to be stewards of the properties.

Proctor is not even considering the possibility the university will be turned down.

"We just have to keep going until we get it done," he said. "We may not get everything we want (this session), but I think we'll get enough to keep moving."

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© The St. Augustine Record

Anastasia Mosquito Control District (AMCD) and Its Helicopter Purchase Under Scrutiny, DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY AND KUNDID (DWAK) Answers Awaited

Anastasia Mosquito Control District (AMCD) and Its Helicopter Purchase Under Scrutiny, DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY AND KUNDID (DWAK) Answers Awaited

Government investigators are scrutinizing the behavior of Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County (AMCD) and AMCD's helicopter purchase, compared to an expert to equipping a Rolls Royce with a snowplow. AMCD has no plans for buying tanks or spraying equipment -- none have been let out for bid. Meanwhile, AMCD has no security plan for the helicopter, which could easily be stolen and used by Al Qaeda terrorists to spew poison gases over large population center (the Bell Jet Ranger helicopter has a radius of 500 miles on one tank of aviation fuel.

Meanwhile, still no answers from lawyers AUDRIE HARRIS and CAROLYN ANsAY of DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY AND KUNDID (DWAK) to the 13 questions (below). DWAK refuses to advise Commissioners on the legality of the helicopter purchase without a majority vote, meanwhile participating in videotaped Sunshine violations with CHAIR BARBARA BOSANKO and member LINDA WAMPLER. See below.

Come to the next Anastasia Mosquito Control District at 500 Old Beach Rd in St. Augusitne Beach at 4 PM on August 9th. It's democracy in action. We're going to clean up the Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County (AMCD) and we need your help.

TIMES-UNION: Former Army Captain and Pilot Don Girvan's Letter re: Anastasia Mosquito Control District Purchase of $1.8 Million Bell Jet Helicopter

Helicopter is over the top

I want to correct a detail that was in the July 23 Point of View column by St. Johns County Commissioner John Sundeman about mosquito control.

I spoke to Sundeman about a conversation that I had with an old Army friend, retired Col. Bob Gross, an aviation battalion commander, about the $1.8 million Bell Jet Long Ranger Helicopter that is being purchased by this independent taxing district.

Gross said, "That is a really nice helicopter, but for mosquito spraying it is about as smart as buying a new Rolls Royce to put a snow plow on it."

Sundeman and I attempted to advise the Times-Union about this before publication. The balance of the article covering squandering our taxpayer money was accurate.

DON GIRVAN, St. Augustine

Times-Union Letter re: Ancien Regime's Sunshine Violation Excuses

Obey the law
I read with interest the protests about enforcing Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law.

It seems that many do not want the law enforced when it comes to present day officeholders.

I think they need to be reminded of the "good old days" before consolidation.

Backroom meetings were held by the ruling party, and the decisions were made without public input and before the regular meeting of a public body.

The "good old boy" syndrome is part of what led to the Sunshine Law being enacted. And, like it or not, the majority party is now acting like those good old boys.

I disagree with a recent letter writer who said the law was "too broad."

To put the intent of the law in simple words: "No public business will be discussed outside of a properly scheduled meeting, which has been advertised to the public and the public invited to come forth and present their thoughts."

The only place to discuss the public's business is in the properly advertised location, at the appointed time and before the public.

Now what is so difficult about that? What do they have to hide?

Maybe we should include the Sunshine Law as the 11th commandment: Thou shall not meet to conduct public business at places or times not duly advertised and scheduled.

Maybe then they will heed and obey the law.

DONALD G. DISHMAN SR., Jacksonville

Monday, July 30, 2007

Videotaped Sunshine Violation by Mosquito Control Chair BARBARA BOSANKO, member LINDA WAMPLER & DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY & KUNDID (DWAK) PROBED

For more, see articles and editorials from St. Augustine Record last Thursday/Friday, reproduced below. Still no answers from AMCD and DWAK.

Obscenity Is In the Eye of the Beholder

Justice Potter Steward said he didn't know how to define obscenity, but he knew it when he saw it. Obscenity is:

Dumping the entire contents of the old city dump into the Old City Reservoir.

Violating First Amendment rights of citizens.

Wasting vast sums on unaccountable City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS, never giving him a performance appraisal in nine (9) years.

Refusing to talk about a living wage.

Refusing to talk about the proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and National Scenic Highway.

Allowing greedy real estate speculators (like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD and CHESTER STOKES) to destroy our history and beauty.

What a paradise our city will be when its government is faithful to the words of America's Founders (rather than a cross between Chicago and a banana republic).

The solution to to the Red Light District ordinance proposal

is to reserve the Sebastian Inner Harbor development for any "adult businesses" -- far away from the rest of us, but right next door to the St. Augustine Police HQ.

I suggested this idea to Chief Loren Lueders at the July 9 Commission meeting by passed note, and a lady who suggested it to Commissioners got the best applause of the evening. Unfortunately, at last Thursday's workshop, citizens were forbidden to talk. That's a pity. Last year, there was a workshop on history matters, and citizens were allowed to talk -- one of the better sessions I've ever attended at the City.

Unfortunately, our Mayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR. doesn't appreciate public debate and would rather act like Pedro Menendez than a leader of a free people.

Conventioneers are more likely to enjoy such services than the people in our Nation's Oldest City. Put the "adult business" zone next to the Police Dept instead of all over our beautiful city.

Adult trade site idea shelved

Adult trade site idea shelved

Seeking proactive approach, St. Augustine City Commission struggles with hot potato

Publication Date: 07/27/07

The city is no longer proposing to put adult entertainment in one area of the city, and under possible new restrictions the businesses could be located near residences.

The St. Augustine City Commission held a workshop on the topic Thursday. It was spurred by roughly 60 people who attended a city meeting to speak against putting the businesses in a defined section of St. Augustine.

City staff presented a plan Thursday in which adult businesses are only allowed in the city's most dense commercial zoning areas, and they would be prohibited within a certain range of schools, churches, parks and places that sell alcohol. But that doesn't exclude residential areas.

Mark Knight, city planning and building director, said the first area proposed, which flared controversy, is the only section of the city that is away from residences, churches, parks and places that sell alcohol.

The original proposed area is four parcels of land off Ponce de Leon Boulevard just north of State Road 16.

"We may get to a point where we bite the bullet and choose the area with the least amount of residents next to it and put it there," said Mayor Joe Boles.

The other commissioners said the city already tried that.

"We did that and look at the people who were against it," said Commissioner Errol Jones. "Everywhere you go it's going to be, 'Why mine versus yours?'

"We're going to expose all our residents to this, or we're going to expose none of them."

The 10 members of the public who attended the workshop applauded and cheered Jones' comments.

Previously, the city did not have regulations for adult businesses, including strip clubs, and they could have located in any commercial zone in the city. The commission tried to be proactive by creating the ordinances before the city faced that problem.

Commissioners have already approved two other ordinances that say how the businesses can operate, including their hours and alcohol sales.

The commission will discuss the issue at its regular meeting on Aug. 13.

Commissioners asked city staff to draft maps showing areas in the highest-density commercial zoning and are also either 500 or 200 feet from churches, schools, parks and places that sell alcohol.

Knight said the most dense commercial zoning is located on the north end of San Marco Avenue, U.S. 1 and Ponce de Leon Boulevard, West King Street and the State Road 312 area.

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© The St. Augustine Record

EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS WITH FREE SPEECH -- City Commissioners Uncomfortable With First Amendment and Flags?

The same City Commissioners who abuse freedom of speech at nearly every meeting, interrupting and insulting public speakers, have now shown their true colors regarding support for our troops until they come home.

The same City Commissionsers who were uncomfortable in 2005 with the Rainbow flags now have emotional problems with another First Amendment issue.

Why did St. Augustine abolish our "First Amendment forum" for local groups' flag-flying displays, after years of flag-flying on our Bridge of Lions and our Bayfront?

Why were seven Bayfront flagpoles removed in 2005?

Controlling, crabby officials punish free speech, whether by African-Americans, veterans, artists, entertainers or Gays/Lesbians.

Our flag-flying forum must be restored, whether honoring our troops, history, organizations or diversity.

As Ronald Reagan said, "politicians are like diapers -- they must be changed regularly and for the same reasons." As Robert Kennedy said in 1966 at Berkeley, "it is not enough to allow dissent, we must demand it, for there is much to dissent from;"

Let freedom ring in the Nation's Oldest City.

Guest Column: Yellow flag's creator calls city's rejection a disappointment

Guest Column: Yellow flag's creator calls city's rejection a disappointment

Artist International, Palm Coast
Publication Date: 07/29/07

There are seven cities waiting for the final design and production of "Our Yellow Flag."

My friends if you ever want to see community spirit in support of our armed forces you must have seen one of the seven city meetings where "Our Yellow Flag" was adopted as their own. The acceptance of "Our Yellow Flag" is never known until the vote. The burning question is, Will a community adopt or not adopt "Our Yellow Flag" as its own? That is a matter of conscience and city protocol. Each city should be respected, for or against.

If you were at one of those city council/commission meetings that did show support you would feel a sense of hope for those who serve and their families.

The question placed and the votes taken. Most wanted to make it very clear as to how quickly that support was given. One city did it in 10 seconds.

As for the question of "Our Yellow Flag" we are at seven cities for and one against. Our work goes on.

St. Augustine, on the other hand, was a great disappointment. This is our nation's oldest city and it should be first in everything, great or small. As a personal observation only, I have hope that one day St. Augustine's City Commission will change its mind.

I remember when St. Augustine was known for better days. When did St. Augustine die? Was it in the days of St. George Street protest? Was is when property values became more valuable then good conscience should allow? Did St. Augustine get too big for it britches?

"Our Yellow Flag" was not presented as a replacement for our national flag. Where did that come from?

"Our Yellow Flag" was offered in separate conversation, in a manner where it could become an official city flag and therefore flown from city flagpoles for its limited duration. How did that change?

"Our Yellow Flag" was never presented as a political statement for or against any war. Who is trying to make it so? And Why?

"Our Yellow Flag" is a community statement in support of our armed forces and their families. Who made it their effort to distort that message?

I have often wondered why and how good intentions fail. I now understand. I apologize to those who will die for me tomorrow. I apologize to those who will lose an arm or leg for me tomorrow. I apologize to the families who grieve today and so many tomorrows.

I allowed this message of goodwill toward those who fight for my freedom to get off message. I am to blame for "Our Yellow Flag" not flying over St. Augustine. As with all things there is tomorrow and other city commissions. There is hope after all.

Please understand that I receive nothing for "Our Yellow Flag." Not one dime. How could anyone seek to profit from the suffering of those who are fighting to protect us?

Please understand that the final design of "Our Yellow Flag" is a product of the people. Not this artist.

In closing, I do not agree with the caller who said our soldiers in Iraq are rapists, murderers and thugs. Say what you will about me but take your hands off those who stand the wall for my freedom.

Barry Barnett has a gallery in St. Augustine and is a resident of Palm Coast.

He recently asked the St. Augustine City Commission to fly a yellow Support Our Troops flag on city-owned flagpoles. The City Commission unanimously rejected the request on July 23.

Click here to return to story:

© The St. Augustine Record

The Florida Times-Union -- Commissioner John Sundeman column re: Mosquito Control District

The Florida Times-Union
July 23, 2007
Guest column: News story on mosquito control agency omitted some key facts
By John Sundeman

This is in response to a Times-Union news story on Saturday, July 14, "Mosquito control district battles insects, themselves."

The article is misleading journalism. It is misleading to the 125,000 registered voters of St. Johns County and to Times-Union readers.

Significant events that occurred at the Anastasia Mosquito Control District meetings of July 10 and July 12 were omitted that, when disclosed, show a 180-degree turn of events.

First, it was not disclosed that when Chairman Barbara Bosanko called the sheriff on July 10 to remove citizens exercising their constitutional right to speak, the deputy who responded did an onsite investigation and removed no one.

Reason: no grounds for calling the sheriff in the first place.

Second, the reporter failed to disclose what I believed to be the real reason that Bosanko called the sheriff - to keep a highly embarrassing issue from being disclosed on public TV.

Don Girvan, a retired U.S. Army colonel and veteran pilot, disclosed that the Mosquito Control District could have purchased a helicopter, made specifically for mosquito control, for $350,000 instead of the one purchased for $1.8 million - a $1,450,000 savings!

Prior to Girvan's attempt to speak, he had issued a "written memo" to the commissioners disclosing the huge savings. In an attempt to keep this disclosure from the public, Commissioner Linda Wampler attempted to stop Girvan from continuing.

She knew if he were to "spill the beans" it would further humiliate Mosquito Commissioners Bosanko, Linda Wampler and Emily Hummel - all supporters of the district's $1.8 million six-passenger-seat, luxury helicopter, to be used for treating swamps.

This helicopter is designed to carry executives for passenger transportation.

Commissioners Jeanne Moeller and I were against this helicopter purchase. This luxury helicopter purchase has made the Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County a laughingstock throughout the state of Florida.

Third, and a most serious omission by the Times-Union reporter - the "red meat" of the July 12 meeting: County Commissioner Thomas Manuel's appearance.

About two months earlier, Bosanko asked Manuel to appear before the Anastasia Mosquito Control Board to threaten to abolish the independent Mosquito Control District.

Most obvious question: Why would an elected Mosquito Control Board member solicit Manuel to abolish the Mosquito Control District?

Answer: Bosanko voted both to purchase the $1.8 million dollar luxury helicopter and a $1.2 million piece of property from a friend of former Mosquito Commissioner Mary Tarver Willis.

Both purchases have received critical press from the Times-Union and St. Augustine Record. Both purchases have outraged the public.

The Anastasia Mosquito Control District is sinking due to the votes of Bosanko, Hummel and Wampler.

If Bosanko could get a takeover of the Mosquito Control District by St. Johns County, it would get her and her cohorts off the hook for the direction in which they are leading the taxpayers of the Mosquito Control District.

What was Manuel's "real motivation" for attending the meeting to recommend abolishment of the Anastasia Mosquito Control District?

The small $3 million budget of the Mosquito Control District is "peanuts" in comparison to the $500 million budget of the county.

It is interesting to note that Manuel brought along St. Johns County Commission Chairman Ben Rich and Ken Bryant, an unsuccessful candidate for county commission.

The public should be able to trust the Times- Union to accurately and truthfully report in full the occurrences at public meetings.

John Sundeman is commissioner, Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County.

This story can be found on Jacksonville.com at http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/072307/opl_185901607.shtml.

Mosquito Control District's lawyers, DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY & KUNDID Subject" of FL. AG Investigation for Alleged "False Claims" to Town of Ponce Inlet


The State Attorney General's website reports the following data on the Daytona corporate law firm of DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY & KUNDID:

The case file cited below relates to a civil -- not a criminal -- investigation. The existence of an investigation does not constitute proof of any violation of law.

Case Number: L03-3-1311

Subject of investigation:
Doran, Wolfe, Rost & Ansay, P.A.

Subject's address:
P.O. Box 15110 Daytona Beach, FL 32115-5110

Subject's business:
Law Firm

Allegation or issue being investigated:
False claims made to the Town of Ponce Inlet.

AG unit handling case:
Economic Crimes Division in Tallahassee, Florida

View contact information for Tallahassee.


DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY & KUNDID gave uncandid answers after participating in Sunshine vioaltions with Anastasia Mosquito Control District Chair BARBARA BOSANKO and LINDA WAMPLER, which were videotaped and reported and editorialized on(below) by St. Augustine Record last week. Efforts to reach Ms. CAROLYN ANSAY and Ms. AUDRIE HARRIS on the Sunshine violations and sequeale have been unavailing since ANSAY admitted Ms. WOLFE participated in a videotaped Sunshine violation.

Response to Latest Uncandid Communique from DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY & KUNDID re: Mosquito Control Commission Sunshine Violations and Conflict of interest

My dear Ms. Ansay and Ms. Harris:
As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."
You neglected to answer a single question. I have not yet received a single document by fax.
Instead you make up facts, e.g., about my supposedly "screaming" and your supposedly "warning -- more materially false statements from your ciroirate law firm, which lied to Commissioner Sundeman about its participation in a videotaped
Again, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."
Will you promise me that, from this day forward, you will please cease and desist from lying about AMCD business and citizens concerned about waste, fraud and abuse? Will you kindly answer the 13 questions, including whether you billed for Sunshine violations? Please forward this message on to Commissioners.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
904-471-9918 (fax)

Subj: Open Records Request; 13 Questions re: AMCD SUNSHINE VIOLATIONS
Date: 7/30/07 12:58:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: cansay@doranlaw.com
To: EASlavin@aol.com, xueamcd@bellsouth.net
CC: LINDAWAMPLER@aol.com, renadeau@aug.com, hummelamcd@bellsouth.net, walkbeach2@bellsouth.net, bccd1@co.st-johns.fl.us, bccd2@co.st-johns.fl.us, bccd3@co.st-johns.fl.us, bccd4@co.st-johns.fl.us, bccd5@co.st-johns.fl.us, girvan@comcast.net, aharris@doranlaw.com, dwight.hines@gmail.com, jmoe01@gmail.com, sundeman@hotmail.com, rogervg@mac.com, margo.pope@staugustinerecord.com, peter.ellis@staugustinerecord.com, peter.guinta@staugustinerecord.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Mr. Slavin-

I just returned from vacation and have been provided a copy of the
email below. It appears you attempted to send it to me but there was a
typo in my email address so it was never delivered.

As you know, I represent the Anastasia Mosquito Control Board of St.
Johns County. I returned a call you made to my office out of courtesy
the week before last. After you became extremely irate (screaming (sic) "who
is your criminal defense attorney" multiple times, demanding I answer
questions about District contracts, etc.) and after several warnings by
me that I was going to end the communication, I indeed terminated the
call. While I understand you have vigorous interest in the District's
affairs, I do not represent you and cannot spend District resources to
help you. I also understand you have a strong desire to have the
District reconsider the legal issues related to the helicopter purchase;
however, the District Board specifically voted against authorizing me to
do the legal work related to rendering an opinion on the helicopter. As
a result of that direction provided by my client (sic), I do not have any

As for your email, by way of copy I am sending this response to Dr.
Xue. The records custodian of the District is charged with responding
to public records requests and will provide copies of all documents
responsive to your request. The District, of course, will coordinate
directly with you on the documents. I will double check my files to
ensure there is nothing not already in the custody of the District. If
there are any further documents, they will be provided. In the future,
please direct all public records requests to the District records
custodian to ensure the quickest response.

-Carolyn Ansay

Carolyn Ansay
Doran, Wolfe, Ansay & Kundid
Email: cansay@doranlaw.com
******This electronic communication transmission contains information
belonging to Doran, Wolfe, Ansay & Kundid which may be privileged,
confidential and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. The
information is intended only for the use of the addressee named above.
If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any
disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this
electronic communication information is strictly prohibited. If you
received this electronic communication in error, please notify me
immediately by e-mail reply. Thank you.

>>> 7/26/2007 3:32:17 PM >>>
My dear Ms. Ansay and Ms. Harris:

Ms. Ansay hung up the telephone abruptly last week after admitting the

videotaped Sunshine violation involving Ms. Harris. Efforts to reach
Ms. Harris today by telephone have been unavailging. Therefore, please answer the
following 13 questions and provide the documents requested below by fax today:

aid and abet Commissioners BOSANKO and WAMPLER in committing at least one crime
(Sunshine violations)?

Florida Bar Rules of Professional Conduct?

ANSAY apologize to AMCD Commissioner John Sundeman?

ANSAY apologize to the four citizens on whom BOSANKO called the Sheriff?
(Former Assistant Chase Manhattan Bank Vice President; current Citibank Vice
President; former Army Captain; and former Appalachian Observer Editor and
Government Accountability Project Legal Counsel for Constitutional Rights)?

ANSAY apologize to the people of St. Johns County?

ANSAY recuse themselves from giving further "legal advice" to AMCD pending
criminal investigations by FDLE and the office of State's Attorney John Tanner

ANSAY hire separate criminal defense lawyers from AMCD Commissioners BARBARA

ANSAY bill for their Sunshine violations?

ANSAY bill for criminal defense advice?

CAROL ANSAY resign as AMCD lawyers, effective immediately?

CAROL ANSAY refund the thousands of dollars they billed for travel and for
advice to only one segment of the AMCD Board -- the faction that insists on
insulting public questioners?

CAROL ANSAY come clean about their putative legal advice to public officials
engaging in lawbreaking?

CAROL ANSAY ever answer the questions about the purchase of a $1.8 million
helicopter asked by Commissioners John Sundeman and Jeanne Moeller?

Pursuant to the Open Records law, please fax me all documents regarding
your communications with and advice to any Commissioners or AMCD staffer on
any subject, and copies of all of your legal bills to AMCD.

I look forward to hearing from you by close of business today. I look
forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

With kindest regards, I am,

Sincerely yours,

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

500 Days of Coverups on City of St. Augustine Dumping Entire Contents of Illegal Old City Dump Into Our Old City Reservoir


Photo of unresponsive, irresponsible City Commissioners DONALD CRICHLOW, ERROL JONES, GEORGE GARDNER, SUSAN BURK and Mayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR. They're still not answering questions about dumping the contents of the old city dump into the OlD City Reservoir. They voted to honor our City Manager in the midst of a pending criminal investigation. In its putative first investigation, FDEP criminal law investigators didn't bother to interview City Commissioners DONALD CRICHLOW (now Vice Chair), ERROL JONES, then-Mayor GEORGE GARDNER, SUSAN BURK (then Vice Mayor) and Mayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR.

With your help, we're going to clean up the City of St. Augustine, Florida.

It takes a village -- we still believe in a place called Hope!

There have been 500 Days of Coverups on City of St. Augustine Dumping Entire Contents of Illegal Old City Dump Into Our Old City Reservoir

Some 500 days ago, we first started asking then-Mayor GEORGE GARDNER of the City of St. Augustine and other Commissioners about our City's illegal dumping of the entire contents of the old city dump into the Old City Reservoir.

Now, 500 days later, the coverup continues, with now final DEP order, no criminal prosecution, and no answers to dozens of questions asked in private and in public meetings since February 24, 2006.

On that date, Mayor GARDNER told us it was only "clean fill.":

Of course, as EPA expert John Marler established, "there are no bedsprings in clean fill..

Nor is there any reason to believe that the government of the City of St. Augustine is any better prepared to protect environment, safety, health and the public fisc today than it was 500 days ago.

We need and deserve thorough reforms, starting with a new St. Augustine City Manager picked through a national search, the same as the County Administrator.

What do y'all reckon?

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

Non-Denial Denial from DORAN, WOLFE, ANSAY & KUNDID

Mr. Slavin-

I just returned from vacation and have been provided a copy of the
email below. It appears you attempted to send it to me but there was a
typo in my email address so it was never delivered.

As you know, I represent the Anastasia Mosquito Control Board of St.
Johns County. I returned a call you made to my office out of courtesy
the week before last. After you became extremely irate (screaming "who
is your criminal defense attorney" multiple times, demanding I answer
questions about District contracts, etc.) and after several warnings by
me that I was going to end the communication, I indeed terminated the
call. While I understand you have vigorous interest in the District's
affairs, I do not represent you and cannot spend District resources to
help you. I also understand you have a strong desire to have the
District reconsider the legal issues related to the helicopter purchase;
however, the District Board specifically voted against authorizing me to
do the legal work related to rendering an opinion on the helicopter. As
a result of that direction provided by my client, I do not have any

As for your email, by way of copy I am sending this response to Dr.
Xue. The records custodian of the District is charged with responding
to public records requests and will provide copies of all documents
responsive to your request. The District, of course, will coordinate
directly with you on the documents. I will double check my files to
ensure there is nothing not already in the custody of the District. If
there are any further documents, they will be provided. In the future,
please direct all public records requests to the District records
custodian to ensure the quickest response.

-Carolyn Ansay

Carolyn Ansay
Doran, Wolfe, Ansay & Kundid
Email: cansay@doranlaw.com
******This electronic communication transmission contains information
belonging to Doran, Wolfe, Ansay & Kundid which may be privileged,
confidential and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. The
information is intended only for the use of the addressee named above.
If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any
disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this
electronic communication information is strictly prohibited. If you
received this electronic communication in error, please notify me
immediately by e-mail reply. Thank you.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

St. Augustine's City Motto Must Not Be "Take the Contents of the Old Illegal City Dump and Put It in the Old City Reservoir" While No One's Watching!

Mediocrity and mendacity set their own levels. While Mr. Harriss promised to protect history at his coronation as City Managerr (see below), the ancien regime is destroying our nature, archaeology and history.

Let it not be said that the Ancient City's motto is "destroy the history, destroy the marshes, let the developers reign, and while you're at it, go ahead and dump the contents of the old illegal city dump into the Old City Reservoir, because no one's watching us, even in Tallahassee.

Help Is On the Way -- Criminal Investigations Underway

We've lost count of the number of possible environmental crimes and related anti-social behavior that are under criminal investigation at this moment.

Suffice it to say that Thomas Jefferson said that "a public office is a public trust" and that we're working to restore that trust. Day and night.

We're going to clean up the City of St. Augustine and St. Johns County, including the Mosquito Control District. Wheher it is officials buying $1.8 million flubdubs without competitive bidding, holding Sunshine violations to plot against First Amendment rights, calling the Sheriff or police when people criticize our government, voting to let speculators to destroy a 3000-4000 year old Indian village, forgiving a speculator's $15,000 tree killing fine or putting the entire contents of the old city dump into the Old City Reservoir -- the truth is being told.

Answers are being given. The truth will set us free. Let those officials who break the law answer questions from state and federal Grand Juries.

You have the right to remain silent, but we wish you wouldn't.

Accountability is awesome.

Speaking of "Speculators," The Nation's Oldest City Has Mollycoddled Speculators Long Enough, While Gulling and Diddling St. Augustine, Florida

Speaking of speculators, our City Commissioners and officials must come clean about their understandings, agreements and relationships with speculators like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD, who have been busily destroying our nature and history, while being held to a looser standard of regulation than anywhere on Earth.

While they're at it, let the St. Augustine City Commissioners kindly apologize to our City for being rubberstamps, guilty f tolerating possible misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance. We need an independent audit and Inspector General.

No more excuses for speculators.

Official intolerance of speaking out against "speculators" is so bad that when citizens have spoken to City Commission and at least one other boards, they were discouraged from using the word "speculator," in favor of the more approving "developer."

Don't presume to give us a script again. That's "landraping, history-destroying, nature-erasing, uglifying irresponsible speculators" to you.

We know who all too well who the speculators are and what they are, so don't presume to discourage us from speaking out again.

Citizens concerned about lawbreaking have been interrupted, threatened, halted and discouraged from speaking. Never again. Let everyone speak his/her truth.


St. Augustine City Manager since April 13, 1998, he was responsible for the Nation's Oldest European-founded city dumping the contents of our old city dump into our Old City Reservoir (see below); for violation of First Amendment rights of St. George Street artists and entertainers; violation of Firsdt Amendment rights of Gay and Lesbian people on Rainbow flags (defeated in federal court); and desecretion of historic and environmental beauty.

HARRISS has never had a performance appraisal in over nine years.

HARRISS' reign started to totter with the Ponce family's fraudulent scheme lawsuit against developer ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD, one of a horde of locusts whom St. John COunty Commission Chair Ben Rich has said were "worse than any carpetbaggers."

(see below).

April 14, 1998 and May 23, 1998 St. Augustine Record article by T. Merlo re: City Manager HARRIS hiring w/o national search or Sunshine compliance

April 14, 1998
Harriss named city manager
Staff Writer

St. Augustine city commissioners didn’t have to look far Monday night for their new city manager.

By a unanimous vote, Assistant City Manager Bill Harriss was appointed to the position during the commission’s regular meeting.

Harriss fills the shoes of Joe Pomar, who resigned as city manager March 31.

‘‘I very much appreciate the honor the City Commission has bestowed upon me, and hope I will be able to live up to their expectations,’’ Harriss said after the meeting.

During the meeting, commissioners expressed confidence in Harriss.

‘‘He’s got the skills. I’ve seen him in action. I’ve watched him work,’’ said Commissioner Mark Alexander.

Commissioner Bill Lennon agreed.

‘‘We all have had an opportunity to work with him. We all know he can do the job,’’ said Lennon.

Commissioner John Reardon wanted a wider search. He suggested that the city advertise the position in trade magazines. All responses would go to a citizens’ board that would select five to seven candidates and forward them to the commission, he said.

‘‘Why choose from one when you could choose from 100?’’ asked Reardon. ‘‘It’s by no means reflecting on anyone locally in a negative way at all.’’

Reardon added that no set requirements existed for the city manager’s position — something he thinks the commission should create. For example, he said a bachelor’s or master’s degree in public administration should be essential.

Even though he wanted the hiring process to be revised, Reardon said he would support Harriss for the job.

‘‘I’m not at odds with hiring Bill Harriss,’’ he said.

Commissioner Susan Burk said a search could not render someone as prepared for the job as Harriss. She also said hiring from within boosts morale among city staff.

‘‘We will never know anyone as well as we know Bill Harriss ... I don’t like going through an exercise just for the sake of going through an exercise,’’ she said.

Commissioners also decided to wait until their April 27 regular meeting to approve Harriss’ contract and set a salary. Because the city will wait two weeks to determine the salary, that pay will be retroactive.

Pomar left the city payroll while making about $93,000.

Reardon said he felt the position’s salary should be re-evaluated.

Harriss has been with the city for 13 years. Harriss began with the city as the director of finance and was later promoted to director of general services. In 1991, he held the dual title of director of general services and assistant city manager. Soon after, he took the sole title of assistant city manager.

‘‘I believe St. Augustine is the crown jewel in this country’s history, and we must constantly work to preserve historical resources that have been left to us,’’ said Harriss. ‘‘My intentions are to provide an atmosphere within city government that not only listens but accepts new or alternative ideas to accomplish these goals.’’

(c) St. Augustine Record

HARRISS broke that promise. Here's another interesting story:

May 23, 1998
Bill Harriss is finding his way as city manager
Staff Writer

It only takes one glance at Bill Harriss’ desk to know what he’s been doing during his first few weeks as St. Augustine city manager.

Almost every inch of his desk is covered with piles of paper. Each stack represents an ongoing project or issue that Harriss is in the process of solving.

Ask him to locate documents from past City Commission meetings and that will require help from his assistant.

‘‘It would be great if I could just focus on one thing at a time. I have at least five projects to handle at once,’’ he said.

Harriss was appointed city manager April 13, filling the position left by Joe Pomar who retired March 31.

Ask Harriss what his goals are as city manager and he’ll list three items: stabilize personnel issues, identify significant issues and then prioritize.

Personnel changes include Public Works Director Jack Cubbedge’s appointment as assistant city manager while waiting for the public works and utilities directors to assure their duties.

This means that Harriss and Cubbedge are working double duty.

Meantime, Harriss said he has confidence in the department heads to keep city business intact.

When Harriss took the position, he said Pomar gave him some advice.

‘‘He told me that there would come a time when I would feel comfortable and could say ‘I can handle it,’ ’’ he said.

Harriss said he got that feeling about two weeks ago.

‘‘It was just a matter of putting things in the right places and slots,’’ he said.

As far as identifying long-term goals, Harriss said that’s something he won’t do.

‘‘It’s my job to take the five commissioners’ wishes and philosophies and put that into a cohesive operating system,’’ he said. ‘‘I want to create an environment where the commission can bring those wishes up.’’

Harriss described himself as very conservative and as employee- and people-oriented.

‘‘I like people. I’m a problem solver. I eliminate bottlenecks and get things done,’’ he said.

That’s a description Mayor Len Weeks finds accurate.

Weeks said Harriss is making the city more user-friendly, eliminating any negative public perceptions about city government.

‘‘Bill will be very open ... I really do believe that he is qualified to do the job,’’ said Weeks.

Harriss began with the city as the director of finance and was later promoted to director of general services. In 1991, he held the dual title of director of general services and assistant city manager. Soon after, he took the sole title of assistant city manager.

Friendly? That's not the word for HARRISS, unless you're a speculator like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD. HARRISS and other city officials may have threatened and intimidated citizens for the last time. Their chickens are coming home to roost.
See below and above. In Churchill's words, we've entered an era of consequences. .

LAUGHING AT ILLEGAL DUMPING PROBE?: City Commissioners Gave City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS An Award in Midst of Pending Criminal Investigation

City Commissioners DONALD CRICHLOW, ERROL JONES, GEORGE GARDNER, SUSAN BURK and Mayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR. -- they vote favors for specualtors like land speculator and accused fraudfeasor ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD and often undisclosed domestic and "investors" -- while voting in the midst of a pending criminal investigation of illegal dumping last year 5-0 to give an award and placque for City Manager WILLIAM B> HARRISS, who has gone nine years without a performance appraisal.

With your help, we're going to clean up the City of St. Augustine, Florida.

It takes a village -- we still believe in a place called Hope!

Ed Slavin

The Shame of Our City

Not one St. Augustine City Commissioner represents the people.

All of them represent speculators, peculators and developers like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD, see below.

One of them even dated GRAUBARD. He kisssed her on June 11, 2007 in the City COMMISSION Meet room, during a recess.

From allowing location of condos and a stripmaill by a 3000-4000 year old Indian village (Red House Bluff) to forving a $15,000 treekilling fine to failing to ask questions about Conch House Marina and Sebarsian Inner Harbor -- our City Commissioners have been unjust stewards, resembling 1890s U.S. Senators who represented not states, but trusts (monopolists).

As a result of the fraudulent scheme charges filed against ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD by the Ponce family -- and federal bank and mail fraud convictions of one of his "investors" -- the truth on all these projects will emerge.

To those city officials and developers and mouthpieces who threatened, interrupted, intimidated, coerced and restrained citizens speaking out against zoning corruption: your chickens are coming home to roost.

To those who destroyed nature in the name of profit for themselves and their political machine: God is not mocked.

To those who courageously exposed the ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARDS of the world for a decade -- blessed are we to have listened to you speak your truth.

We;re going to clean up the city of St. Augustine (and surrounding communities).

The whole world is watching, and our 500th/450th anniversaries of our state and city and staet in 2013 and 2015 promise that we'll have public officials worthy of honor, rather than those who have made our city a laughingstock, complete with puting the contents of the old city dump into the Old City Reservoir. See below.

Residents Draw Line Against Developers

Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Staff Writer
Diane Mills has spent 35 years living on her Lewis Speedway property, and now spends most of her days looking for ways to protect it from developers.
The latest threat to her land comes from the St. Augustine Planning and Zoning Board’s approval of Tide Water Development’s plan to build 100 homes near Lewis Speedway across the street from Mills.

Known as Old Sebastian Point, the residential single-family development is located on DOT Road on 34 acres. Mills, knowing the sensitivity of the surrounding marshland and fearing flooding problems, questioned how four homes could be allowed on 1 acre of land.

Red House Branch Creek easily overflows during bad storms, and more houses will cause excessive overflow, she said.

But that project is just one of several approved by county and city officials that frighten Mills.

Also nearby, on Woodlawn Road, is the North Florida Commerce Center, another Tide Water Development project. It is a 200,000-square-foot professional office complex.

And then there is the Heritage Planned Unit Development on North Woodlawn Road, which includes 774 homes on 392 acres of land. That will be in Mills’ backyard. Heritage’s western neighbor is expected to be Legends, a proposed sports-themed development.

In addition, there are several smaller subdivisions being built in the area.

What strikes Mills as ominous about all the commercial growth, aside from the disturbance it causes to residential property owners, are the names backing the projects. The same names keep appearing, and in some cases, the names of the corporation and development change and get reworked until finally meeting approval from government officials, she said.

For example, she said Heritage was once known as Plantation Point, owned by Tide Water. Tide Water unsuccessfully tried to annex it into the city in 1997. The name of the corporation changed to Woodlawn Road LLC, and Heritage was named as the development in the county.

Kelly Smith was in on the Plantation Point proposal, the Woodlawn Road development and on Old Sebastian Point.

Mills has also noticed that Robert Graubard, a principal of Woodlawn properties, was also involved with the Heritage development. He and his partner, Robert Laurence, also have ties to Sportstown USA Development Inc. and Lorrington Development Group Inc. — corporations linked to NFL Legends.

Mills most recently spotted a zoning sign at the northwest corner of Woodlawn Road and State Road 16 for the construction of Woodlawn Gas & Go, listing Woodlawn Road LLC as the property owner. Woodlawn Road LLC lists Michael Heffron and Kelly Smith as two of the five partners in the deal.

All of this appears to Mills as a way for developers to get projects approved separately, and avoid a Development of Regional Impact classification and subsequent growth management guidelines.

‘‘I question why we even have zoning at all. It appears the only ones that have to abide by it are the little people,’’ she said.

Heffron and Smith didn’t return phone calls seeking comment. Graubard referred calls to his attorney, Babette Ashley, who was not available for comment.

Mills said she isn’t against development, but wants to level the playing field. She said she will continue to fight what she sees as unfair tactics by developers.

She remembers when Lewis Speedway was completely undeveloped and sparse. Mills said although the area isn’t exclusively residential, it was open rural and most who have chosen to develop built homes.

Mark Cooksey, a Woodlawn Road property owner, has concerns about the damage being done to the land. He thinks many of the projects place too many homes close together on the sensitive areas.

‘‘How can they put a 200,000 square foot building in what in the past has been a residential zone?’’ asked Mills.

Mark Knight, city planning and building director, said in the case of Old Sebastian Point and the North Florida Commerce Center, a development of regional impact isn’t necessary because it is not the same piece of property.

‘‘It is not a common plan of development,’’ he said.

Also, he said, one portion of the North Florida Commerce Center was also approved by the county because of its location.

Sonya Doerr, county principal planner, said the Heritage Planned Unit Development was approved by the county and the appeals period has expired. She said it is not the county’s responsibility to determine if the development is a Development of Regional Impact.

However, Doerr said the county did require that the developers receive a ‘‘binding letter’’ from the Department of Community Affairs prior to beginning development. The letter will state whether or not Heritage is a unified plan of development.

Doerr said it may take months for that to happen, but that the developers agreed to the condition.

Bob Cambric, Department of Community Affairs growth management administrator, said his agency has not received an application for the ‘‘binding letter.’’

Once the application is made, Cambric said his agency has to make sure all the sufficient information is supplied and then will determine if several developments need to be considered as one.

For example, Department of Community Affairs will look to see if the property is owned by the same person, has a common management plan, its physical proximity and shared infrastructure.

Ed Lehman, growth management director with the Northeast Regional Planning Council, said a Development of Regional Impact is based on population figures and the number of units in a plan. For example, a development can have 800 units, which is 80 percent before tripping the 1,000 unit threshold for a Development of Regional Impact.

In the case of the Heritage Planned Unit Development, it has 774 units.

Lehman said if the Department of Community Affairs decides Heritage is a Development of Regional Impact because of neighboring projects, owned by the same developer, then its plans will be reviewed by his agency first and later undergo a regional review.

For now, Mills said she continues to collect documentation that overflows from her office closet. She watches as developers’ ribbons mark surrounding property to ensure they do not encroach on her property, her home.

Hastings project on hold

Hastings project on hold

Publication Date: 02/22/05

People went to the Hastings Town Council meeting Monday expecting to hear who wanted to build a 7,000-unit development about 2 miles south of this longtime farming community in west St. Johns County.

Instead, they were told by Town Attorney Ron Brown that the "project is on hold indefinitely." He said he had spoken earlier with the developers' representative, St. Augustine attorney George McClure.

Asked after the meeting who the developers were, Brown wouldn't say. "I can tell you they were developers apparently from Palm Beach County who were interested in acquiring some land and bringing it into the town, and they had a proposal for about 7,000 homes."

Brown said the town had been waiting for a proposed annexation agreement and ordinance. "They sent by a draft but never submitted the formal ordinance.

"I just checked on it and I was told by Mr. McClure that it was on hold for the time being. He didn't elaborate on that," said Brown.

The announcement ended weeks of speculation about the developers. Rumors have ranged from an Interlachen man planning to put in mobile homes to a ploy by area farmers to hike up prices and sell to speculators. One rumor had included a development company from Palm Beach County.

Even without the 7,000 unit development, the council had a lengthy meeting where the word annexation figured prominently.

The council approved first reading of ordinances that if passed will bring in two tracts of land. One is for 39 acres belonging to Charles and Barbara Burrell. The other annexes 380 acres belonging to Thomas R. Lee. None of the owners are asking for their land designation to be changed from agriculture.

If the council gives final approval, the annexations would bring in 400 more acres to a town that is slightly more than 640 acres in size.

Reubin Carter also was there to talk about annexation of the north side of Hastings.

He said the council and the citizens needed to "sit down and try to get us annexed into the town. We've been kept out of there for 100 years. It's time for that to subside," said Carter.

Mayor Tom Ward said there had been repeated efforts to do that. "It appears the county has more to offer you than you know we do," said Ward.

Residents who come into the town must go on city sewer and water, and that is too expensive for poor residents, Carter said.

St. Johns County Commission Chairman Karen Stern spoke up, saying, "The county stands ready to help in any way we can." She said the county did have a number of resources and suggested sitting down with U.S. Rep. John Mica's staff to look at ways of obtaining grants for water and sewer.

"That's the type of thing where we can work together well," said Ward.

In a third annexation issue, builder Wayne Cope told the council (after they agreed to designate 35 sewer and water hookups for a 72-unit single family residential townhouse complex) that they had basically put an end to development in Hastings. The 35 hookups are the last currently available until sewer and water facilities can be expanded. The expansion may be 18-24 months down the road.

"So basically we're shutting down Hastings as a development for now," said Cope.

The council said their rule was to take requests on a first-come, first-serve basis and developer Robert Graubard had come to them first. Ward said Graubard had been working on the project some five years.

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City OKs development near St. Augustine High

City OKs development near St. Augustine High

Publication Date: 01/11/06

A development that includes 104 condominiums and 20,000 square feet of commercial space will be built near St. Augustine High School.

The Planned Unit Development, which the City Commission approved late Monday, also will include 13 units of affordable housing that will be less than $140,000, said attorney George McClure, representing property owner Robert Graubard of St. Augustine.

The vote was 4-1, with Mayor George Gardner dissenting.

The property is located on the west side of Lewis Speedway, near St. Augustine High School. The development will be called Whispering Creek Town Center.

Attorney Deborah Andrews spoke on behalf of the Mills family, who own 5 acres adjacent to the planned development, and who oppose it. Andrews said the city does not have an affordable housing program, and therefore the city shouldn't take on the responsibility overseeing it in the project.

"... The city will be taking on the (St. Johns) county program with no interlocal agreement to make them comply," Andrews said.

Commissioner Joe Boles said he "didn't have a problem with the county overseeing the affordable housing" in the city.

The PUD was originally approved in 1999 to be a 200,000 square-foot commerce center. In 2004, developers reapplied for a new PUD, which has not expired, McClure said.

The commissioners approved the PUD with conditions that include no archaeological site is disturbed, the city does not maintain the affordable housing and the city and developer have three years to decide on a plan for a public park that will be outside of the residential area.

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Conch House sold, condos could be built

Conch House sold, condos could be built

Restaurant, tiki bar, marina expected to continue operations

Publication Date: 01/01/06

The Conch House, a family-owned St. Augustine restaurant and marina long popular for its party-down Reggae Sundays and annual Great Chowder Debate, was sold to a group of local investors who plan to build condominiums there.

David Ponce, whose family has owned the property since 1946, confirmed the sale Saturday and said he would release details about the purchase this week.

"I'm sure it will be a shocker and one of the biggest land deals anyone has ever seen in St. Augustine," Ponce said.

Sold were the Conch House Restaurant at 57 Comares Ave., the 200-slip marina behind the restaurant, three residential parcels across the street, the antique store at Comares and Anastasia Boulevard and Salt Run Tavern on Anastasia Boulevard.

Ponce said 2005 had been good to his business.

"Even with all the storms, it was the best year we ever had," he said. "But it's time to move on and enjoy myself. All I've ever done is work."

Ponce would not say how much the investors paid for the property or reveal their corporate name.

Mayor George Gardner said the group is represented by one of its members, Robert Graubard of St. Augustine, developer and owner of Westcott House and Villa de Marin bed-and-breakfasts on the bayfront.

Graubard could not be reached for comment Saturday.

However, Gardner said the city will closely watch any development planned for the Conch House property.

"The commercial aspect of that business, which impacted (Davis Shores) negatively, may now be a thing of the past," Gardner said. "What we have to worry about now is what replaces it."

Ponce said his family would relinquish control of the property on Jan. 31, but that the restaurant, tiki bar and marina would continue operations.

"We worked with the new owners and I don't think any one of our 250 employees will lose their job. I don't think they will ever shut it all down. They'll just build around it," Ponce said.

Though the selling price was not announced, participants in a previous sale attempt said the price on the table then was $20 million.

Told that, Ponce said that it was much more than that.

Gardner said Graubard and representatives of the investor group intend to discuss their building plans with city officials this week.

Gardner said the new owners likely will propose a planned unit development (PUD).

"Over the past several years we've learned to use PUD zoning as the effective control tool that it is, giving our city a say in every detail of a project," Gardner said.

This sale, he said, is another example of the continuing strong real estate market in St. Augustine.

Over the years, neighbors of the Conch House have complained to police and City Hall about heavy traffic, speeders, loud music, customers parking on private property, intoxicated individuals near their homes and alcohol-related litter that followed nearly every weekend.

The Ponces hired off-duty St. Augustine police officers to patrol surrounding streets.

One Davis Shores neighbor, Dan Alexander, of 311 Ribault St., said he'd learned to live with the disruptions. But he couldn't say if he's happy about the purchase.

"I suppose it depends on what they're going to do with the property," Alexander said. "Things may not change too much at all."

Doug Ferrell, also a Ribault Street resident, ran for City Commission in 2002 because he was so irate at Conch House intrusion into the surrounding residential streets. He lost that race in the primary, but says now that the Conch House hasn't been bothersome recently.

"I'd be glad if they would put a condominium there and toned down all the drinking," Ferrell said Saturday. "I've always wanted them to be less commercial and more residential."

Ponce said the new "security team" really knew their business.

"They were able to maintain a level of quiet and tranquility in the neighborhood," he said.

His family first landed in St. Augustine in the 1590s, he said. His parents, James and Jacqueline Ponce, began with only four motel units in 1946.

By the time it closed, the Conch House was paying $250,000 a year in property taxes.

Ponce said he and his sons and brother will continue to dabble in real estate. They still own 206 acres on Black Creek in Green Cove Springs, which has more than a mile of waterfront.

"We're in the process of doing something with that," Ponce said.

Gardner said there were two ways of looking at the Conch House sale.

"(Events) like the Great Chowder Debate and Reggae Sunday did bring a lot of money into the city. But then there's a side that says we don't need disruption of our neighborhoods," Gardner said. "That's a hard call. We'll be getting together to work out something in the interest for everyone."

Ponce said he will miss the property he's managed since 1977.

"I was born and raised there," he said. "It'll remain a part of me for the rest of my life."

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Letter: Is St. Augustine Tree City USA designation a farce?

Letter: Is St. Augustine Tree City USA designation a farce?

Gina Burrell
St. Augustine
Publication Date: 09/08/03

Editor: I just heard that at the city of St. Augustine's Code Enforcement and Appeals Board Meeting on Aug. 12, Jim Wilson, city attorney, persuaded the board to rescind its May 13 decision to fine and put a $15,000 lien for trees illegally destroyed without a permit, on the PUD property known as Old Sebastian LLC, located on DOT Road, which is off Lewis Speedway. Property is owned by Robert Graubard.

Photos of the destroyed trees are documented and can be seen at City Hall. Graubard's attorney, George McClure, and Wilson persuaded the Code Enforcement Board to remove the $15,000 lien because Graubard threatened to sue the city in Circuit Court.

I heard that ... it would probably cost the city about $8,000 to defend in court.

Well, if this is the reason for the city not to go to court, the city should cancel the contract they have for leasing Oxford shirts/Polo shirts, with the city logo, at a cost of $237 a week ($12,324 a year), which some employees at City Hall wear. I feel it is much more important to defend the trees, than to make employees, I have been told, feel a sense of pride in working for the city. (When I worked for the State of Florida for 23 years, we wore a badge with our name and photo for identification, which sufficed for us.)

Also, why is it going to cost the city $8,000 to defend in court, when we have a city attorney who we are paying a grand enough salary to have him represent us in court.

We did some research and found a 2002 Florida Attorney General's opinion and I quote: "A code enforcement board is not authorized to reduce a fine for noncompliance with an order of the board after that order has been recorded pursuant to section 162.09(3) FL statutes. Rather, upon being recorded, such an order becomes a lien that may only be compromised, satisfied or released by the local governing body."

The governing body is the City Commission, not the Code Enforcement Board or Jim Wilson. I feel that Wilson overstepped his authority in this case.

I think this decision sets a dangerous precedent. The new replacement tree plan is not a better feel for the city, since what was offered in the new plan, was a bunch of 5-foot sticks, instead of the code required, minimum of 10-foot high and 2-inch caliper tree. Now, all the developers have to do is take down all the trees they want illegally, be fined, threaten to take the city to court, and then the city attorney and the code enforcement board will let them off the hook.

I feel I am an advocate for the trees in the city, because they don't have a voice.

The city of St. Augustine was recently honored as recipient of "2003 Florida Tree City of the Year in recognition of its effort to plan, plant and protect Florida's urban trees."

If this decision is allowed to stand, then this award the city received is a farce. When this $15,000 fine/lien was imposed in May, I was very excited.

I thought, well, the city is finally administering strong penalties when trees are illegally destroyed.

Developers might think twice about taking down large trees illegally.

To me, this idea has now been shattered. I hope other city residents will be as outraged as I am in this matter, and call our mayor and city commissioners.

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Letter: Tree mitigation should offset the loss

Letter: Tree mitigation should offset the loss

Rocky Thompson and Linda Ratz-Broudy
St. Augustine
Publication Date: 09/17/03

Editor: Thank you Gina Burrell. We were waiting for an opportunity to put in our 2 cents worth. Your comments regarding the city attorney's persuasive efforts to rescind the fine and lien of $15,000 against the developer Robert Graubard are well stated. It is interesting that on the very day of your letter, there were six petitions to the Architectural Review Board in the paper, indicating that some feel that it is proper to ask for permission.

We have seen time and time again developers feign ignorance and take the approach that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. When the outcome is such as this case, who can blame them? Lest we not forget such lessons from our county such as Cedar Ridge, which after it was originally cleared was "cedar-less" and "ridge-less." When the punishment for violations is as minor as this "mitigation," developers can just chock it up to the cost of "doing business." Mr. Graubard should be held accountable for his actions. After all, if development is his "business" he should know what is required of him. That is simply good business sense.

The bottom line is that any mitigation for the loss of the trees should sufficiently offset the loss and be independent of any other requirements for vegetation in the final development.

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Developer is fined $15,000

Developer is fined $15,000

Senior Writer
Publication Date: 05/16/03

Developer Robert Graubard has been assessed a $15,000 fine by St. Augustine Code Enforcement Board for cutting down three trees without a permit.

Graubard, of St. Augustine, owns the property off D.O.T. Road and Lewis Speedway where Phase I of the 85-home Old Sebastian Pointe planned unit development is being built.

According to city records, the site contractor, Bentley Development of Farmington, Conn., also illegally removed another 29 native loblolly and slash pine trees while cleaning and shaping a stormwater pond on the property.

A neighbor complained and Senior Code Enforcement Officer Darryl Paolini checked and determined that the trees had been cut illegally.

"We had an old site plan and aerial for that property, as well as measurements of the trees that were out there," Paolini said. "When we got there, we found stumps and tree debris pushed up into piles."

As owner, Graubard is responsible for what is done on his property.

He could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

John Valdes, a builder and member of the code board, said this case ended with a two-part resolution.

First, Graubard is required to plant 234 mature live oak and Southern red cedar as mitigation for the loss of the pines.

This number is derived from adding twice the number of pines removed to 170 -- which comes from two trees for each of Old Sebastian's 85 lots.

Six of those trees must be at least 15 feet tall and 6-to-8 inches thick. The rest must be at least 5 feet tall and 1 inch thick.

There are also requirements about where they will go on the property. About 48 must be sited in the recreation area, for example.

Second, Graubard must pay a fine of $15,000. That figure comes from $5,000 for each of three removed trees that were larger than 30 inches in diameter.

The board's vote Tuesday for this punishment was 4 to 2, with Valdes and David Chatterton dissenting.

"The contractor needed working room for his equipment. No one ever told this guy he needed a permit," Valdes said. "But the responsibility stops at the property owner's desk."

He added that he believes there is a growing movement in St. Johns County against development.

"People here are resistant to change, and development is change," he said.

Board member Cathy DuPont suggested that Graubard be forced to accept mitigation and pay a fine of $100 for each tree cut down, or $3,200. But her motion failed.

Vernon Davis suggested the current penalty.

Valdes said the fine was unusual because the board rarely imposes fines.

"I thought the mitigation offer was generous," he said. "I'd rather see the cash be spent on more trees. This is about trees. It's not about collecting money."

Paolini, who reviews tree permits for the city as part of his duties, said all young trees planted in mitigation must be maintained and kept alive for three years.

But no one checks to see if developers obey that requirement, he said.

"The rule is part of the city code," he said. "But we don't have any ongoing programs to monitor that right now."

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