Tuesday, February 15, 2022

I have nominated former Mayor Nancy Shaver for JFK "Profiles in Courage" Award

Elected Mayor of St. Augustine, Florida in 2014 and re-elected in 2016 and 2018, Mayor Nancy Shaver helped to transform our Nation's Oldest City. 

St. Augustine, Florida is a small corrupt Southern town, one that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called "the most lawless" in America.   

Corrupt longtime St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar and henchmen dropped a "money bomb" on her in retaliation for her writing a letter and speaking out about the September 2, 2010 murder of Michelle O'Connell in the home of Deputy Jeremy Banks, using Banks' service weapon, with law enforcement coverup documented in detail by The New York Times, PBS Frontline, et al. 

Nancy Shaver succeeded in efforts to help heal ancient wounds of slavery, "Jim Crow" segregation and endemic political corruption in a place that has been described as "Chicago writ small." 

She excelled at research, investigation and listening to and meeting with diverse citizens. As Mayor, she exceeded locals' low expectations of their government,  presiding with class and panache, as during the contretemps over Confederate monuments. She asked for audits her colleagues blocked.

Amidst pressures from developers and politicians, Mayor Shaver assured for the first time full and fair hearings on development applications in a place where developers and undisclosed foreign investors long controlled local governments.  

She was an early leader on sea level rise locally and nationally much to the anger and chagrin of some politicians and allied real estate and development interests. 

She used her superior knowledge of statistics and data analysis to reform inefficient 

She used her superior knowledge of statistics and data analysis to reform inefficient government operations.  

She was always resisted by four fellow Commissioners and entrenched one-party political machine. 

She suffered a stroke and resigned effective February 28, 2019, after 1550 days of courageous public service. 

She was swiftly replaced by remaining four Commissioners, who picked scion of local law firm and political dynasty, ending reforms.  Citizens were never informed who applied before Commission meeting and were sandbagged by phony legal opinion ruling the four Commissioners ineligible to apply, misinterpreting resign-to-run law as applying to appointments to fill vacancies. 

Prior to being elected, Nancy Shaver had never run for office before (except in her senior year in high school in the Panama Canal Zone).  She and her husband moved her after buying a house, sight unseen.  He died of cancer. The she became active in our community, running for Mayor and accomplishing so much, ignoring threats and outperforming her predecessors.

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