Monday, August 24, 2015

UF PRESIDENT FUCHS: Please Withdraw UF "Opinion Paper," Which Contaminates City of St. Augustine Process

Date: August 24, 2015 1:32:50 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Proposed DOW PUD (Cordova Inn) -- Please Withdraw UF "Opinion Paper," Which Contaminates City of St. Augustine Process; Disclosure of requested data urgently required today to protect due process.

Re: Proposed DOW PUD (Cordova Inn) -- Please Withdraw Unscholarly, Biased UF "Opinion Paper," Which Contaminates City of St. Augustine Process; Disclosure of requested data urgently required today to protect Due Process.

Dear President Fuchs, et al.:
1. Five UF academics issued an August 19, 2015 "Opinion Paper," named "Identifiable Benefits of the Proposed Cordova Inn," on University of Florida letterhead, and unadorned by footnotes or any indicia of any legal scholarly research, endorsing a controversial project up for a vote in St. Augustine City Commission tonight.
2. The meeting begins at 5 PM, less than three (3) hours and 30 minutes from now.
3. The five professors and UF Assistant VP have not provided any requested documents. Why?
4. Not one (1) shred of underlying data or other information has yet been provided -- for lack of scholarship and peer review.
5. Five UF professors violated scholarship standards and have contaminated our City's legislative process with last minute sandbagging and flummery.
6. Our State of Florida Secretary of State invested some $2.1 million preserving the Dow Museum of Historic Homes. Philanthropist Kenneth Worcester Dow spent 62 years (1939-2002) buying and maintaining the homes and donated them to the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences for use as a museum, which our City approved as a special exception for HP-1.
7. Now developer DAVID BARTON CORNEAL and his OLD ISLAND HOTEL, INC. demands to turn the Dow Museum of Historic Homes into $500/night hotel suites, disturbing the peaceful quiet enjoyment of the historic Old City South neighborhood with parties, weddings and a bar located only 164 feet from an elementary school (Cathedral Parish School), in possible violation of state liquor laws.
8. The developer has already demolished one of the nine (9) historic homes (Carpenter's House) not even waiting for time to expire for appeal of his demolition permit.
9. Our former St. Augustine Vice Mayor, our fired Former Planning and Building Director and two (2) members of the Historic Architecture Review Board and the granddaughter of the former Police Chief have been hired by the developer, who has repeatedly made materially false and misleading statements in his dealing with the City and bragged (on WFOY radio 102.1 on August 16th) of having support of the "Minorcan Mafia."
10. Now UF takes this developer's side, without peer review or footnotes or disclosure of underlying data, interviewing only four (4) people. Why?
11. Is t his a stench in the nostrils of the University of Florida, her faculty, staff, students and alumni/ae, and of all of the people of Florida? Is it contrary to the genius of a free people?
12. The "Opinion Paper" claims there is no other way to support preservation of the buildings, exaggerating their condition, not discussing the status of archaeology, while omitting any discussion of federal funds (thus not addressing the proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore, first proposed 76 years by St. Augustine Mayor Walter Fraser, U.S. Senator Claude Pepper, et al., ).
13. Any reliance on this UF "Opinion Paper" violates St. Augustine residents' Due Process rights; our City Manager improvidently distributed it to all Commissioners.
14. Such abuse of UF's letterhead and reputation to support such a questionable project is indefensible and must be ended at once.
15. It's our money.
16. I hereby respectfully request that UF President Dr. Kent Fuchs, Ph.D kindly restore honor and dignity to UF and out of an abundance of caution order withdrawal of this controversial "Opinion Paper." See annotated "Opinion Paper" text below.
Please call to discuss.
Thank you.
Ed Slavin

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