Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fired St Augustine 450th Consultant CHARLES SERAPHIN Queried by TDC funding panel re: Spanish Wine Festival

Revenues don't match expenses in grant application -- he called it "an oversight!"
IRS took 2.5 years to approve 501c3.

From September 14, 2014 blog post:

Battalla de vino is invidious, conspicuous consumption

Yesterday, September 13, is a date that will live in infamy -- a day of conspicuous, invidious, wasteful consumption and exemplifies how mismanaged our 450th celebration has become under St. Augustine, Florida Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr.

Mayor BOLES' buddy, CHARLES SERAPHIN a/k/a GOOD-TIME "CHARLIE SERAPHIN," is a City Hall hanger-on. CHARLIE SERAPHIN is a dodgy $70,000/year City contractor employee, the failed 450th fundraising consultant, reborn as its marketing consultant.

CHARLIE SERAPHIN also heads the St. VINCENT de PAUL SOCIETY and misused its resources publicly: when the City's negligence caused a pickup truck to plunge into a Charlotte Street sinkhole in the historic area, caused by City neglect of infrastructure -- the City and its SERAPHIN League of Cities Insurance would not pay the claim. That was wrong. The claim should not have been denied. The City should have advocated for its payment by the Florida League of Cities. Instead, the St. VINCENT de PAUL SOCIETY, headed by CHARLES SERAPHIN, bailed out the City of St. Augustine and paid for the truck repair, matching community donations. That was so wrong -- those funds are intended for the poor, not to coverup bad city management and dodgy insurance adjusters. That was like burning money raised for charitable purposes.

That's CHARLES SERAPHIN for you -- a former sports marketer who masquerades as a city consultant, doing little of public benefit, a good-ole-boy on the government payroll, a hey-boy in the employ of Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR.

CHARLES SERAPHIN -- this frivol, this flop, this fop -- heads a group called the ST. AUGUSTINE SPANISH WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL, INC. At Fred Francis Field, sometimes called the Special Event Field, there was an event held by SERAPHIN and his ST. AUGUSTINE SPANISH WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL, INC., 44 Avenida Menendez a 501c3 charitable organization that also includes BOLES' cronies, including liquor store owner BARRY BROUDY, MICHAEL LUGO and JIM BABCOCK on its board).

Yesterday, CHARLES SERAPHIN's ST. AUGUSTINE SPANISH WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL, INC., held an event: it involved people running about, squirting wine on each other. It is called the "Batalla de vino" or "battle of wine."

Not tasting wine. Not enjoying wine. Not drinking it. Squirting it on each other. How bizarre. How wasteful.

Economist and sociologist Thorsten Veblen coined the term "conspicuous consumption." Wikipedia reports:
Conspicuous consumption is the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display economic power—either the buyer's income or the buyer's accumulated wealth. Sociologically, to the conspicuous consumer, such a public display of discretionary economic power is a means either of attaining or of maintaining a given social status.

Moreover, invidious consumption, a more specialized sociologic term, denotes the deliberate conspicuous consumption of goods and services intended to provoke the envy of other people, as a means of displaying the buyer’s superior socio-economic status.

St. Augustine Record Editor KATHY NELSON considers it front page news, and there were several lengthy stories about the ST. AUGUSTINE SPANISH WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL, INC. (while the Record refuses to cover local government waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, flummery, dupery, nincompoopery, potholes, red water and other issues that people care about, including waste by the 450th, and the preponderance of rich-guy events and the lack of free events for all of our people).

Snooty Ponte Vedra rich people (and poseurs and hangers-on) squirting wine on each other is by definition "conspicuous consumption" and may be considered "invidious consumption."

Wasting wine is like wasting food.

Wasting wine is like burning money.

It is in-your-face waste.

It is disgusting.

It promotes the idea that waste is okay.

It is contrary to the dignity and genius of a free people.

It is symbolic of waste by our City government on the 450th commemoration.

While some people don't have enough to eat, and more than 1200 are homeless in our county, and our Mayor said he did not want to be "crippled by compassion," our 450th celebration here in the City of St. Augustine is smeared, bleared and teared with a bunch of invitation-only, rich-guy events, including the conspicuous consumption and wasting of wine.

What immoral degeneracy.
What a waste of wine.
What a waste of time.
What a waste of government resources that CHARLIE SERAPHIN spends city time promoting wine waste to benefit liquor sellers.

Our 450th celebration is disorganized and poorly planned.

What a waste of an opportunity for our 450th celebration to leave lasting legacies, like the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore -- America's Best Idea.

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