Friday, October 09, 2015

HARB's JOSEPH CRONK: Please Resign!

Update: Mr. Cronk called me shortly before 11 PM 10/9 and stated he was resigning from HARB.

An application for demolition and certificate of appropriateness for the Santa Maria Restaurant has been postponed from October 15, 2015 to November 19, 2015 because there will not be a quorum.
Because new member JOSEPH CRONK is representing the applicant (and two other board members won't be able to make the meeting, meaning no quorum)
CRONK has been associated with the project in association with several clients for a year and a half. CRONK's office is in Jacksonville, but he has an office at 24 Cathedral Place, in a suite apparently associated with the Rumrell law firm.
Because of his representing a client before HARB he had when he applied to HARB -- I have asked architect JOSEPH CRONK to resign from HARB.
CRONK refused to resign.
I have asked JOSEPH CRONK to provide a client list.
CRONK refused.
I attempted to explain to CRONK the history of HARB sell-outs, self-dealing and conflict of interest.
CRONK refused to listen.
CRONK said his representation was "legal."
CRONK said he was "not interested in history," or "the past," e.g., destruction of 62A Spanish Street by ex-Mayor LEN WEEKS, or destruction of Carpenter's House by DAVID BARTON CORNEAL, or the constant conflicted representation of clients before HARB by HARB members (including two of five members representing CORNEAL, who demolished Carpenter's House).
Supposed expert CRONK was hazy and disinterested in the details of the privatization of the DOW MUSEUM OF HISTORIC HOMES based on flummery and dupery.
Lacking emotional intelligence, CRONK was demeaning, provocative, insulting and rude: he has contempt for democracy and St. Augustine.
What insensitivity to public interest and governmental ethics.
The angry, opinionated, coin-operated CRONK proceeded to inform me that he has a "right" to represent applicants before HARB, does not "read newspapers," does not care about "your agenda, or "your little politics," that he has a number of projects in St. Augustine, has been working with "various clients on the Santa Maria Restaurant for about "a year and a half," was recruited for the job by St. Augustine officials because he is a "professional," and seedily challenged me to get the City Attorney to "change the law."
CRONK kept interrupting, raising his voice, and seemed indignant that anyone would questions his "professional" ethics.
CRONK stated that I "had nothing better to do" than "sit around and criticize the Establishment."
CRONK stated that he took "ethics training" from the City Attorney and took a test.
After perseverating and perspiring and and engaging in animadversions, CRONK said to "have a nice day," I told him to have as "Wonderful Life" and he hung up the telephone, presumably going back to hatching plans to destroy old buildings in St. Augustine, our Nation's Oldest City. What a lugubrious goober.
Waiting for a response from the City.
Angry, cranky socialite-architectect JOSEPH CRONK should resign from HARB.
Otherwise, perhaps someone will file complaints against CRONK with state licensing and ethics boards.

----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
Sent: Fri, Oct 9, 2015 4:38 pm
Subject: Request No. 2015-388: JOSEPH CRONK Ethics issue -- Membership on St. Augustine HARB; Date of hiring for Santa Maria restaurant work
Dear Mr. Cronk, et al.:
1. Do I understand correctly that:
A. you are a nonresident of St. Augustine; and
B. one of your first official acts as a new St. Augustine Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) member was to recuse yourself (you are asking your new colleagues permission to demolish a 100+ year old building, the Santa Maria Restaurant)?
2. On what date were you first approached or hired to work on the Santa Maria restaurant project? Please provide documents.
3. What ethics training (if any) has the City of St. Augustine provided you? Please provide documents.
4. Will you please consider resigning as St. Augustine HARB member due to:
A. the appearance of impropriety in your illegal, ultra vires appointment (City staff wrongly disqualified a qualified city applicant, Melinda Rakoncay); and
B. your seemingly "selling your wares" as a HARB member at your first opportunity?
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin


Joseph Stephen Cronk, AIA Assoc. experienced the traditional architecture of the south from the work of Classicists Phillip Schutze, Neil Reed, and Edward Vason Jones while growing up in Atlanta. This exposure grew into a passion for architecture leading to formal training at the University of Florida. Within this modernist curriculum, he expanded his architectural spectrum but also continued to study the traditional language, focusing on historical preservation. After graduation, Cronk learned the design-build philosophy at The Haskell Company were he held positions in both the architectural and construction divisions participating in their cross training program. It was there that he collaborated with his business/design partner Clifford Duch. They shared a passion for traditional architecture and created several projects together throughout the southeast. This work led Cronk to complete a Masters of Architecture at The University of Florida with a focus on Historical Preservation. There he developed his interest in Caribbean vernacular architecture and its influences on building and place. Cronk has participated as a juror at the University of Florida, the University of Miami and the University of Notre Dame and is an instructor with The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art's Palladio Program traveling with students and professionals throughout the Veneto region of northern Italy. He is a member the Classical Caribbean committee of the ICAA which is currently studying the architecture of Havana, Cuba and other colonial cities of the Caribbean.

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