The New York Times and PBS Frontline exposed Sheriff DAVID SHOAR's coverup of the Michelle O'Connell case in 2013.
St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID SHOAR (right) with one of his enablers, controversial fired County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK (2007-2019)
"I have a degree in diplomacy."
-- Perhaps the biggest laugh line I ever uttered as a public comment speaker, 2005-date.
"Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."
-- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961 Inaugural Address.
The People have spoken. We're done with overdevelopment in St. Johns County.
Structural-functional changes are required.
St. Johns County has no charter.
We need one.
There are twenty (20) charter counties in Florida, protecting 75 of the population.
Charters can rein in government abuser of power, increase transparency, increase ethics regulations, require lobbyist registration, protect the environment and outlaw discrimination.
St. Johns County has no charter because voters wisely rejected a bad one, a starter charter, which would have required signatures of 20% of voters just to amend it. Arrogant County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK and County Commissioners twice but the bad starter charter on the ballot in 2008. Voters rejected it, twice.
The Charter lacked an Inspector General, an Ombudsman, or any concept of checks and balances.
While then-Chairman Thomas G. Manuel graciously gave me twelve minutes to discuss the proposed amendments, not one Commissioner raised their hand to propose any amendments.
The flawed Charter proposed was intended to help the BoCC take over Mosquito Control, the Airport and both cities' governments.
The flawed Charter proposed had a non-discrimination provision (Section 10.06) that intentionally excluded LGBTQIA+ people from its protections. Not one Commissioner dared to speak out for LGBTQIA+ rights, showing a negative Profile in Courage, deferential to KKK bigots.
The flawed Charter was not drafted in public, but in Ponte Vedra, among a small group of friends.
Florida law provides for specific means of writing County Charters.
A small group of friends in Ponte Vedra is not one of them.
I promised Commissioners -- twice -- that if they submitted a flawed, discriminatory, crabbed Charter, that the voters would defeat it.
We defeated WANCHICK's overweening, flawed, discriminatory, crabbed Charter twice in 2008.
I asked for dialogue about what a properly vetted Charter would look like.
There was no dialogue.
Now, with massive 44% growth, we need a Charter now more than ever.
A real one, not one written by a small group of friends.
A real one, not one that insulates the St. Johns County Sheriff from accountability, like the current. arrangements, which allowed embezzlement to go undetected for five years, and homicides to go unprosecuted. (Justice for Michelle O'Connell and Eli Washtock).
We need a charter that preserves and protects our environment while reforming our flawed local government, Our charter must be conceived "a working instrument of government and not merely as a collection of English words." United States v. Dotterweich, 320 U.S. 22y (1943)(Justice Felix Frankfurter).
I look forward to St. Johns County discussing changing our form of government. It's about time.
Commissioner Blocker is right on this one.
We need seven Commissioners. Five from single-member districts, and two at-large, as we had until 1998.
We need a working committee system for Commission.
We need a Budget Committee that investigates and oversees spending.
Currently, we have five Commissioners without a single legislative assistant.
Developer-funded campaigns render some of our Commissioners dingbat doormats.
We need watchdogs, not lapdogs.
Each Commissioner had one legislative assistant, until creepy County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK got them abolished, using the 2008 Wall Street meltdown as an occasion for capturing Commissioners, musth as Sheriff DAVID SHOAR and developer lawyer GEORGE McCLURE discussed in a 9:35 pm, June 11, 2008 FBI surveillance tape:.
SHERIFF DAVID SHOAR, LAWYER GEORGE McCLURE, EXPOSED BY FBI TAPES PLOTTING TO SUBVERT DEMOCRACY? THE THICK PLOTTENS!
Commissioners are being spoon-fed pablum by developers and maladroit staff.
We need an Environmental Committee.
Without a charter and comprehensive study of County operations, it would be a mistake to allow Count burghers any more tax increases. Let's make developers pay for growth, not you and me.
If we need to change the law of our County and State to do it, so be it. The journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.
IF a sales tax is on the ballot this November, I'm voting against it unless we have a County Charter to limit the power of government, protect human rights and preserve our nature and history
Here is Florida law on adopting county charters:
NOTICE OF (TYPE OF) CHANGE
The (name of local governmental unit) proposes to adopt the following by ordinance or resolution: (title of ordinance or resolution) .
A public hearing on the ordinance or resolution will be held on (date and time) at (meeting place) .
Except for amendments which change the actual list of permitted, conditional, or prohibited uses within a zoning category, the advertisement shall contain a geographic location map which clearly indicates the area within the local government covered by the proposed ordinance or resolution. The map shall include major street names as a means of identification of the general area. If published in the print edition of the newspaper, the map must be part of any online notice made pursuant to s. 50.0211.
A failure to make the disclosure described in subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3. before the transfer creates a rebuttable presumption of fraud. If the property is transferred before the date the violator has been summoned to appear in county court, the proceeding shall not be dismissed but the new owner will be substituted as the party of record and thereafter provided a reasonable period of time to correct the violation before the continuation of proceedings in county court.