Friday, October 16, 2015

County Proposes Sunshine Violation -- Illegal Meeting Location

On October 5, 2015, the St. Augustine Beach City Commission, complying with a 2014 state law limiting out-of-town meetings, enacted a resolution that the joint City-County meeting take place at the County Administration Building Auditorium, 500 Sebastian View, at 9 AM on October 26, 2015.   St. Johns County administration poohbahs have another idea -- they want the meeting hidden from public view on Government TV -- they want it in the Health and Human Services Building Muscovery Conference Room.  This is illegal, and would subject St. Johns County officials to a Sunshine lawsuit.

-----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
Sent: Fri, Oct 16, 2015 11:49 am
Subject: County Must Cease and Desist Sunshine and Constitutional Rights Violations: Joint County-City of SAB Meeting Must Be Televised In County Auditorium, Not Away From Cameras in Outbuilding Conference Room

Dear Chair Bennett, et al.:
1. Please cease and desist your tentative plans to hold the October 26, 2015 County-City of St. Augustine Beach joint meeting outside the Sunshine, in an out-building conference room, instead of televised on GTV, in the County Administration Building Auditorium, the only place where it is legal for St. Augustine Beach City Commission to meet with you under F.S. 166.0213 and SAB's October 5, 2015 resolution authorizing the joint meeting.  
2. Background: the City of St. Augustine Beach City Attorney, Mr. Douglas Nelson Burnett, researched my concerns about F.S. 286.  
3. Thus, Mr. Burnett prepared a responsive resolution, which was unanimously enacted with my support October 5, 2015 pursuant to a 2014 Florida statute governing out-of-town meetings: it states that the meeting will be in the Auditorium of the County Administration Building at 500 Sebastian View.  
4. You may view the proceedings one hour and twenty minutes into the October 5, 2015 SAB Commission meeting on the City of St. Augustine Beach website here:
5. The SAB resolution is mandatory under F.S. 166.0213; any deviation is unauthorized by statutory and constitutional law. Prior City and St. Augustine Beach and City of St. Augustine meetings outside City limits without such a resolution were illegal, ultra vires and unconstitutional. 
6. The County Auditorium was specified by the October 5, 2015 SAB Commission resolution. Any other proposed location is unauthorized by the resolution and violates the resolution and therefore F.S. 166.0213, F.S. 286, and Florida Const. Article VIII, 2c.
7. Commission Chairman PRISCILLA ("RACHAEL") BENNETT' (a/k/a "The Muse" on The St. Augustine Record website) reported alleged remarks about the Commission's meeting room being "too formal" for the joint meeting betray once again her desire to violate Sunshine laws and her attempt to inflict her corporate background upon our governments, to the detriment of transparency.
8.  Enough.  No more shady un-televised County Commission meetings are desired are required.  
9. The public interest in development decisions outweighs Ms. Bennett's desire for a "less formal" setting -- this is our government, not a St. Johns County Republican club social meeting or a tea for government contractors, developers  foreign investors,  secretive Limited Liability Companies, and their ilk.
10. In the words of my late Irish-Bavarian grandmother, kindly "drop the oyster and leave the wharf."  
Please govern yourselves accordingly and herein faileth not.
Thank you.
Ed Slavin

On Tuesday, October 13, 2015 4:39 PM, Patrick McCormack <> wrote:

Hi Tom,
The proposed date/location are:
Monday, October 26, 2015 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.
HHS Bldg (Health & Human Services) - Muscovy Conf Room (1st Floor)
Patrick F. McCormack
County Attorney
St. Johns County
500 San Sebastian View
St. Augustine, Florida 32084
(904)209-0805 office
(904)209-0806 fax

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