Letter: If you are finally ready, clarify this


Letter: If you are finally ready, clarify this

Randy Covington
Pennsylvania resident who owns a condo in St. Augustine

Dear Editor:

Citizen taxpayers in St Johns County are fed up with the convenient forgetfulness and selective memory of sitting members of the Board of County Commissioners; and, as those taxpayers come forward to challenge incumbents, there seems to be a lot of backpedaling.

Political opponents to incumbent fat cats are campaigning on a simple fiscal principle — the prioritization of funding.  Particularly, in regards to the Tree Bank, one sitting commissioner, who is not up for reelection for two more years, has found it necessary to “clarify” the use of those earmarked funds.

My question for them is why no one told Commissioner Cyndi Stevenson, or the rest of the commissioners, that their commitment to use Tree Bank funds to finance a portion of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve project would be outside the bounds established within the ordinance?

  • Why wasn’t it necessary to clarify that the application for use of those funds for the “Florida Forever” project was not in conformance with the ordinance?
  • Did anyone clarify that using those funds to pay attorney’s fees is not provided in the ordinance?
  • When those funds were transferred to the privately owned and operated HAWKE, for “program support” did anyone clarify how that was done — since it, too, is not provided in the ordinance?

But now, at least on some matters, elected commissioners and the administration feel that they need to “clarify”.

Okay.  I have asked them to clarify a few things, myself;

  • If it is not because of her own self-important desire to be a social engineer, then why is Commissioner Stevenson attempting to exceed the bounds of her authority by demanding interconnectivity from Toll Brothers, contrary to the wishes of the adjoining landowners?  Please clarify why the county planning department is enabling this behavior.
  • It appears that imposition of county policy by sector violates equal protection under the law.  Please clarify any understanding with the county planning department as to how Commissioner Stevenson intends to immunize the county from 14th Amendment challenges.
  • If an adjoining neighborhood refuses to grant “interconnectivity”, please clarify how quickly you will proceed to use eminent domain to force them to bow down to you?

As I review the video archives of recent meetings of the Board of County Commissioners, I want to laugh and cry over the “insider” politicking being undertaken by the administration.  The same is true for the five commissioners — who are supposed to be the only politicians there, but aren’t.  That is the people’s building — it is the place where the people of St Johns County come to express their satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, with their government — not to be treated as “outsiders” in their own home.

If you want to see what I’m writing about, visit the GTV archive for May 20th and watch the item on Julington Lakes.