The lunatics are running the asylum and the citizens of St Johns County should not stand for it one single, solitary day longer.
At today’s county commission meeting, I observed, once again, some of the most egregious examples of incompetence in office that I care to witness — and there is not one good reason for it.
County Commissioner Cyndi Stevenson, the only elected member of the Board to put her money where her mouth is and take a voluntary pay reduction, has represented our county well over the past eight-years; on boards and committees representing our interests in regional transportation, planning and intergovernmental operations.
Today she listened carefully and patiently to a seventeen-page presentation by the county’s Director of Public Works, Joseph P. Stephenson. Joe’s a well-liked county department head, respected by his employees, and well suited for his job — he’s well paid for that job, of course — knocking down a cool $96,983.64 a year, plus benefits.
What Joe was looking for today was money — just like every other beggar who ascends the mountain to the County Administration Palace, humbly making their way to the podium, with their hat in their hand, genuflecting before the $170,000-a-year throne of Michael Wanchick, and finally kissing the royal ring of Ken Bryan … I mean, earring.
And what did Joe want the money for? Our Public Works Director wants the county to guarantee financial support and participation in a Regional Transportation Commission — that doesn’t even exist unless enabling legislation comes out of Tallahassee.
Yes, we are already part of the Transportation Planning Organization in Jacksonville, but, according to the Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Study Commission, St Johns County needs to have a louder voice — at the TPO, we’re just small potatoes.
Stevenson asked the pregnant question — why do we need another layer of government at this time? Joe did a brief tap dance, but could not really justify reinventing the wheel — except to say that unless we take the exploratory study commission’s suggestion, we may miss an opportunity to be a big dog down the road.
After reading and listening to the presentation, Commissioner Stevenson said, “We do not need a single thing from the legislature to accomplish the objectives the study commission has set out”.
This reminds me of when House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi said, “We had to pass it so we could see what was in it”. This time, we had to fund it to find out if, one day, it might benefit St Johns County.
District 3 Commissioner-elect Bill McClure, who, until November 20, must speak from the public podium (because the tin-pot Napoleon he’s replacing deserted his elected responsibilities) made his point very simply — “It’s never a good idea to create another governmental agency to correct the inadequacies or deficiencies of an existing agency”.
See there, McClure already gets it. Wisdom. And, he’s not being paid anything yet. I knew there was a reason Historic City News endorsed him. And Cyndi Stevenson gets it –she is a bargain at only $61,051.
Of course, insanity prevailed; egos were sufficiently stroked, testosterone was liberally spread across the dais, and the three stooges, voted to commit the struggling taxpayers of this county to this foolhardy $50,000 – $84,000 per year, five-year experimental money pit — Joseph Kenneth Bryan ($65,703), John H Morris Jr ($65,703) and Ronald F Sanchez ($65,703).
There is no reasoning with men driven by their own self-aggrandizing egos; men like Bryan, Morris and Sanchez. The elitist, privileged, overpaid, holier-than-thou attitude that permeates the palace on San Sebastian View is repulsive to me. We are the taxpayers. We are the people who allow them to govern. They are nothing more than the hired help. Their positions are tenuous, at best, right now.
Thank God, Bryan’s days are numbered. But, as voters of this county, we need to support Bill McClure, Cyndi Stevenson, and Ken Bryan’s replacement. And, until we replace them in two more years, we must hold Morris and Sanchez accountable to serve the people or resign from office. Either way is fine by me, but what I watched today, must be stopped.
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