Friday, March 19, 2021

Five Republican County Commissioners Man-splaining Mosquito Control

"And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?"

Matthew 7:3

St. Johns County Commissioners on May 16th goofily discussed our independent Mosquito Control Commission.  They sounded like chauvinistic, sexist, stunningly ignorant control freaks attacking an all-woman elected county board.

It was as almost as  bizarre as if County Commissioners read a news article and decided to question Flagler County's spending decisions. 

On the one hand, perhaps this bodes well that Commissioners finally care about spending.

Miracle of miracles.   Like a barber shop quintet, five Republican County Commissioners actually inquiring about possible government waste!  

As Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. would say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"

Bring it on.  

Do it every day.  

Examine every government expenditure with a gimlet eye,

Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living.:

The unexamined expenditure is not worth making.

What's going on here?

This is not the first time that St. Johns County Commissioners wasted our time talking about a county takeover of the Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County.  

Circa 2008-2010, then St Johns County Administrator Michael David Wanchick and Commissioners targeted Mosquito Control for hostile takeover.  Wanchick and Commissioner saw dollar signs in Mosquito Control's surplus, even getting financial advice from callow amateurs at PFM, ignorant of the fact that Mosquito Control funds could not be used for any other purpose. 

County Commission Chair Thomas G. Manuel wanted a county takeover of all independent special districts and municipalities, all to be run by five Commissioners.  Twice we, the people rejected his monarchical proposed County Charter, which rejected GLBTQ rights protections, contemplated takeovers of Mosquito Control, the Airport Authority, and local municipalities 

Chairman Manuel told me that if the County took over Mosquito Control, Commission would spend "maybe fifteen minutes a year" on it, leaving it to the tender mercies of the Road and Bridge Department. 

Under leadership of AMCD Chair Jeanne Moeller, a three-time cancer survivor, AMCD has become a world leader in the use of natural pesticides, reducing use of organophosphate poisons by 90%.  

Scientists from all over the world learn from AMCD.  

Florida has fifteen independent scientific and technical organizations for mosquito control for a reason: technical competence is vital in defeating mosquitos, the most dangerous animals on Earth -- some 700,000 people a year die from mosquito-borne diseases.  The next pandemic could be a mosquito-borne disease, 

There's little government oversight when Republicans are in power.  

In my experience St. Johns County Commissioners rarely do oversight. It is only after persistent concerns, like Sherrie Badgers' frequent non-agenda public comment testimony about flooding on West Collins Avenue.  

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners has violated the First Amendment, depriving us of a traditional public forum -- it has wrongfully moved non-agenda public comment to the end of meetings, suppressing concerns that blossom into actual oversight, 

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners is ineffectual, dithering and doesn't have a clue what it is doing. 

 Staff support is spotty.

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners rarely does oversight in their own jurisdiction, as established by the recent unanimous vote 5-0 to waste $786,305 on corporate welfare for ENCOMPASS, formerly HEALTHSOUTH, which paid $48 million to the Justice Department to settle fraud claims.

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners won't discuss embezzlement in the Sheriff's office or schedule an independent forensic audit 

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners won't require their favored lobbyists to register,

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners never investigated Open Records violations by County Attorney PATRICK FRANCIS McCORMACK, including the Johnson Controls, Inc. smart water meter hourly water use records for  the home of Deputy Jeremy Banks, the place where Michelle O'Connell was murdered on September 2, 2010.

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners actually have a McCORMACK-drafted  rule prohibiting you from speaking in public comment and "making a demand for immediate action," as revealing a wacky rule as ever written.  

Pompous pachyderms don't like uppity citizens asking them to do something. 

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners won't even exercise their power under Florida Statute 129.03 to require by May 1 that constitutional officers share their proposed budgets, to allow for informed discussion at the annual budget hearing in the week before Memorial Day,

But, based on tendentious reports undisclosed ex parte discussions, presumably with unnamed pachyderms,  responding to a newspaper article, the County Commission is sending a letter to an independent scientific and technical district, asking it to explained its planned mosquito museum. 

Inconsiderate Commissioners showed a lack of comity and courtesy for their elected members of another collegial governmental body in St. Johns County.  

Every single mosquito control commissioner is elected, county-wide, 

All five County Commissioners are white, male Republicans.

None of the non-partisan elected Mosquito Control Commissioners are Republican.

All five Mosquito Control Commissioners are women.

This looks like political sexist, misognyist man-spraining to me. 

Refusing to keep campaign promises about combating waste, fraud and abuse, refusing to appoint an Independent Inspector General, refusing to conduct regular oversight of county operations, these five Republican County Commissioners want to bully another collegial body?

Bring it on,.  AMCD has competent counsel, and articulate Board members.

But be a man, Chairman Blocker.

Request a joint meeting of the two boards.

Treat the AMCD Board ladies as your equals because they are..

Stop acting like a bunch of bitchy bellyaching borderline bullies  or  demagogues based on a newspaper article. 

Do your damn homework before burdening us with wordy and unworthy discussions about another government agency's business decisions.

In the words of the musical Hamilton

"Talk less, smile more."

Sit up straight, 

Restore our First Amendment right to the longtime public forum of non-agenda public comment at the beginning of our meetings.


Watch discussion, and my response, here:

(Commissioner reports and public comment in response)

Article from St. Augustine Record, inter alia giving me the last word:

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