Thursday, November 05, 2015

HARB PICK: Federalist 10 and Judge Barrett Prettyman's Principle Should Govern HARB Member Selection

One of the less than charming "Anonymice" (below) just called me a "jackass" for questioning the wisdom of having two UF-affilliated HARB members.
Evidently a friend of Barbara [Wingo], who recently retired after "30+ years" as a University of Florida lawyer.
Here is our exchange:

Anonymous: "Barbara [Wingo] is a class act and has had a long and happy relationship with St. Augustine.
You are a jackass."
Ed Slavin said...
I'm sorry you're inarticulate. You're also anonymous, pejorative and ad hominem. UF graduate?

I am not intimidated by the "Anonymice."  Never have been.

First, Madison in The Federalist No. 10 warns of "factions," or special interests:

By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community…. 
No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation, but so many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens?...

UF is a "faction" or special interest here in St. Augustine, and not entitled to two out of five HARB votes.

UF is a difficult neighbor, as demonstrated by its ignoring historic concerns on its 450th exhibit, failure to follow competitive bidding for rentals, failure to assure equal employment by its tenants, and failure to make Pat Croce live up to his contractual obligations on the Colonial Quarter, where historic re-enactors and authenticity has gone out the window in favor of piratical fantasies and sports bars, complete with UF Gators and Pirate logos -- tacky and inauthentic in our Colonial Quarter. 

Second, Judge Barrett Prettyman in establishing the Administrative Conference of the United States in the 1960s had a basic principle: one lawyer per law firm.  Covington & Burling and Steptoe & Johnson and other D.C. law firms have many bright lawyers, but they didn't get to have excessive voting power.
UF has any number of bright people (except those deluded schoolmarms signing the dumb 'ole "Opinion Paper" in support of the DOW PUD, who are in need of ethics training).
UF already has a current employee on HARB: he's a nebbish who supported the CARPENTER"S HOUSE demolition and other ill-advised schemes -- he leaves all meetings promptly at 5:00 PM, though they may continue for three hours longer. What has he contributed to historic preservation here?
Having two out of five pro-UF votes on HARB would be as wrong as having two DAVID BARTON CORNEAL votes -- and we know what that produced -- destruction of the CARPENTER'S HOUSE and rubber-stamping the destruction of the DOW MUSEUM OF HISTORIC HOMES.

So to the "Anonymous" supporter of Barbara Wingo who just called me a "jackass," we forgive you.  Repent now.

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