Editorial: More duties – Fewer lolipops


ACROSS-MG-DESKWith all of the pressing issues facing the City of St Augustine, near the end of Monday night’s lengthy agenda, City Manager John Regan will be heard on two, separate requests; one from Vice-Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline and another from Commissioner Bill Leary — it seems the city needs more awards.

In a letter to the Mayor and commissioners, Regan wrote, “The purpose of this letter is to initiate a Commission discussion of the LaFlorida award criteria and the possible creation of additional awards in the areas of historic preservation, archaeology and humanitarian programs.”

Regan went on to say, “Independently, Vice-Mayor Sikes-Kline and Commissioner Leary have asked to place this on the January 14, 2013 Commission agenda which I have done.”

We say Regan needs to be allowed to return to managing issues directly related to the public health, safety, morals, and welfare of the residents of the City of St Augustine — and not the political whims of a mayor and city commissioners who want more lollipops to hand out for their re-election campaigns.

The City of St Augustine has not one, but, two awards of distinction — each with a clearly articulated set of criteria to recognize citizens for their contributions to our community. The Order of La Florida, mentioned in Regan’s letter was created in May 1975. The last recipients were Frank and Betty Usina in 2009.

The second, “The De Aviles Award” was created to recognize participants in the field of public service or those well-known and respected by the citizenry who have dedicated and honorable service to the community.

In our view, “historic preservation, archaeology and humanitarian programs” are each fields of public service that could be recognized under existing awards programs without the need to create additional awards.

As to a “discussion of the LaFlorida award criteria”, it is our opinion that you will only diminish the honor and distinction to those thirty-one people who were vetted and determined to have earned the recognition under the criteria that already exists.

If you are planning to attend — the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. Monday and will be held in the Alcazar Room; on the first floor of City Hall, located at 75 King Street in St. Augustine. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Government TV (Cable Channel 3) and is streamed over the Internet.