Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NO 2016 Noche de Gala for Pedro Menendez de Aviles Birthday

The City of St. Augustine is the only City in the State of Florida that had galas, according to the Florida League of Cities.
Once it had two galas per year.
The Casa Monica Hotel Sales Department and the City of St. Augustine report that there are no plans to hold a Noche de Gala in honor of Pedro Menendez's birthday in 2016.
The money-losing fancy, $195/ticket Noche de Gala "benefit" was supposed to fund historic preservation, but lately has not done so.
City managers and Commissioners got free tickets.
Casa Monica Hotel got a no-bid contract.
Read Sheldon Gardner's excellent St. Augustine Record investigation here.
Financial records on hundreds of thousands of dollars of spending are still missing, apparently.
Commissioner NANCY SIKES-KLINE lamented the lack of opportunities for ex parte interaction at the $1000/hour training by ROBERT E. LEE, mentioning the free dinners Commissioners once enjoyed in the middle of Commission meetings, while Sunshine violations would occur.
SIKES-KLINE works for land planner KAREN TAYLOR and has not disclosed which of a 13-page list of TAYLOR's developer projects were projects on which SIKES-KLINE worked.
Some ethically challenged businesses paid $10,000 each to belong to a South Carolina hunt club founded, run and solicited by former County Administrator BEN ADAMS using county time and equipment, with the promise they would have access to the "movers and shakers" in St. Johns County.
ADAMS' county employment ended in 2008.
The end of Noche de Gala ends yet another opportunity for lobbyists and public officials to consort in secret as "movers and shakers."
No word as to whether Florida Power & Light and other corporations will be requesting refunds for money paid to sponsor Noche de Gala.
Now we know what NANCY SIKES-KLINE was whining about -- no more free parties for her and Roger at our expense.
Once there were two galas per year.
Now there are none.
Good news for the New Year.
We're saving money and slamming the door at subsidizing the one percent and their lavish parties.
Thanks to Mayor Nancy Shaver for exposing this outrageous waste of public funds and staff time.
We SHALL overcome!
Justice for Michelle O'Connell picketing at the last gala on February 28, 2015, with Dr. Robert S. Hayling, D.D.S. asking me if there was anything he could do.

"Conspicuous invidious consumption," in Thorstein Veblen's words
Ex-Mayor JOE BOLES a/k/a JOSEPH LESTER BLES, JR. at Noche de Gala, where free $195 tickets were given out to City managers and other rich guys -- won't be held this year?

Photo by Linda L. Anderson of Joyce Peterson at Michelle O'Connell protest at February 28, 2015 Noche de Gala -- no Noche de Gala will be held in 2016.
-----Original Message-----
From: easlavin
To: recordsrequest ; pwilliamson ; wbray
Sent: Tue, Dec 29, 2015 10:59 am
Subject: Re: Request No. 2015-480: Status of Noche de Gala, 2016


-----Original Message-----
From: St. Augustine Public Records <recordsrequest@citystaug.com>
To: easlavin <easlavin@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, Dec 29, 2015 10:38 am
Subject: RE: Request No. 2015-480: Status of Noche de Gala, 2016

After inquiry and search, the City of St. Augustine, through its public officials and employees, does not possess public records responsive to your request.
From: easlavin@aol.com [mailto:easlavin@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 10:13 AM
To: Paul Williamson; Wanda Bray
Cc: St. Augustine Public Records
Subject: Request No. 2015-480: Status of Noche de Gala, 2016
Please send documents.  Thank you.

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