Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ODD TODD NEVILLE, St. Augustine Vice Mayor, Wishes You a "Happy Christmas" With Goofy Display Some Call "Tacky"

VICE MAYOR ODD TODD NEVILLE'S RESIDENCE: Too tacky for words or none of our business?

An online publication, Historic City News, has blasted City Commissioner TODD NEVILLE's Xmas decorations.  On the one hand, I don't care what people do as long as they don't do it in the street and scare horses -- but this display might scare actual carriage horses.

But as Pope Francis once said of Gays, "Who am I to judge?"

I've been critical of ODD TODD NEVILLE's works and pomps. But his Christmas decorations? I would no more judge a politician based on the quality of their Christmas decorations than I would based upon their religion, or irreligion, Our Founders having provided in Article VI of the Constitution that "there shall be no religious test for public office." Thus, in the immortal words of Wm. F. Buckley, Jr., "To the Devil with the complaint."

Here's the HCN piece, complete with hyperbole:

Some Lincolnville residents say decorations “tacky”
Posted on December 13, 2016 by FJJohnson

Historic Lincolnville has made a concerted effort since 2014 to restore the proper respect and celebrate the authentic history of the residential neighborhood south of King Street. It is a source of great pride for residents and generations of their families.

Lincolnville is one of two Community Redevelopment Agencies in the city. Citizen organizations like Lift Up Lincolnville, the Lincolnville Community Garden, the Civil Rights Museum at the former Excelsior School, and Riberia Pointe, recently rededicated as the Hayling Freedom Park, are all evidence of a gentrified, historically black neighborhood trying to hold on to its roots.

Except for Martin Luther King Avenue (formerly Central Avenue) and Riberia Street facing the San Sebastian River, the city’s zoning codes have managed to protect the residential flavor of these historically significant city blocks from further intrusion by commercial developers with deep pockets and shallow concerns when it comes to historic preservation.

One local operator even offers free historic walking tours in Lincolnville, specifically to promote St. Augustine’s Black heritage and our community’s role in the Civil Rights movement. Improvements will continue to come for minority residents with continued investment and clear focus on Lincolnville’s authentic past.

Unfortunately, some new residents, those with either the money to buy or credit to mortgage their way into Lincolnville, appear not to see the opportunities or choose not to integrate themselves into what is arguably the city’s richest cultural neighborhood with centuries of marketable history.

Historic City News has already received written complaints questioning the judgement of one new resident who sprung an oversize blow-up dragon in their yard for Halloween and who has now replaced the creature with blow-up candy canes, a host of reindeer, Christmas presents, and other garish, over-the-top commercial decorations which many are saying do not represent Christmas in Lincolnville.

“A wooden fire in a pot-belly stove with children, parents and grandparents gathered for a family meal, Christmas caroling around the block after dinner, and a visit to a neighbor who otherwise might be alone — were it not for the good cheer spread by friends who care, all symbolize what Lincolnville Christmas traditions mean to me,” Historic City News editor Michael Gold responded to one reader’s complaint. Gold was born in St Augustine in the 1950’s and, having grown up here, witnessed all the changes that have led us to where we are today.

One reader, who did not realize whose home she was criticizing, spoke freely about the unsightly spectacle on Washington Street at Park. She said in an e-mail that we received this weekend, “It looks like Santa threw up in the front yard. Who wants to see that every day?”

The house is the new home of recently nominated vice-mayor Todd Neville, his wife Heather and their son. When complaints reached the actual mayor, Nancy Shaver, she went to the Planning and Building Department to ask if code enforcement had any experience or jurisdiction with this type situation. Director David Birchim responded that current zoning codes are not sufficient to identify the display as a code violation.

So, let’s understand this. You can’t paint an American flag on the side of your building on a commercial thoroughfare like King Street, you can’t (sic) paint your commercial building in art deco style on Anastasia Boulevard, even though it’s not in a historic district, but you can litter your front lawn in a historic residential neighborhood like it was a trailer park with dime store cutouts and Wal-Mart blow-up dolls?

Does that seem right?


Warren Celli said...

Perpetual conflict,
Rules the day,
Incentivized by clicks,
That make it pay,

How sad that they,
Who profess to enlighten,
Work their greed glands,
Alas, to frighten,

They close their missive,
For all the world to see.
With angry red type,
Bemoaning hypocrisy,

Tacky is,
As tacky does,
Cease the greedy,
Divisive buzz!

John R said...

I managed to get banned from the Historic City News Facebook page with some of my comments.

John R said...

Also I really like it when Michael Gold writes things like:

Historic City News editor Michael Gold responded to one reader’s complaint. if he's not the one writing the article? It's really bizarre.

Ed Slavin said...

I agree.
Forgive him.
He is a graduate of FLAGLER COLLEGE, which annually bestows the DAVID SHOAR AWARD.

John R said...

I'll forgive him when he issues a public apology for suggesting my dad should be put down like Old Yeller.

John R said...

That's what I ultimately want, is for Michael Gold to issue my dad and the rest of my family an apology for invoking imagery of an execution-style murder.

Until then, I'll continue letting his advertisers know what kind of person they're doing business with, and letting them decide if they want to continue funding hate speech.

Ed Slavin said...

My religious tradition, celebrated this time of year, teaches forgiveness.
Forgiveness is like a muscle -- if you do not exercise it, it atrophies.

John R said...

Also, just to not look like a Grinch - I'm often the one telling others to forgive people and forget past transgressions.

I consider this transgression a life/death situation, though - suggesting somebody be murdered is *not* something to joke about, and it's not something to be taken likely.