Lance Thate, Chairman
Saint Augustine Tea Party
What happens at a local level is a microcosm of what is happening at a national level; where our politicians are attacking our Constitutional rights on a minute-to-minute basis, disregarding their constituent’s demands, showing nothing but contempt for the people, operating in a runaway spending mode, and engaging in crony capitalism — coupled with corruption.
Locally, our Constitutional right of free speech has been infringed upon. The last time the County Administrator tried to raise taxes, commissioners actively routed opposition in town hall meetings. They sought testimony from those who have an interest in County government expansion over the voices of the people who were saying “no more taxes”. During the last town hall meeting, on June 27, 2011, when commissioners failed to silence the people, the people were ejected. Commissioners Ken Bryan and Ron Sanchez had a field day evicting people who disagreed with them. The only word that applies here is tyranny.
Our Commissioners are not respecting their constituents. At least one isn’t. Ron Sanchez has talked down to Tea Party members at commission meetings and at Tea Party meetings where he thought he could do a “snow job”. At the Molasses Junction Tea Party meeting, he told the rural community there that they just didn’t have enough information to understand his actions.
We never lower taxes in St. Johns County. The commissioners are ever at the Administrator’s bidding for increased taxes. In Washington it is called “Change” and often “Forward”. In St. Johns County, it is called “Quality of Life”. Government is always the answer. But is it?
I know a lot of people who would make the claim that the commissioners are engaging in crony capitalism. Perhaps this is the “smoke” and “fire” that Michael Gold made reference to in his recent editorial. Imagine a reporter walking around in a public building without a guard. OMG. No telling what he might find. Hey, Commissioners — that’s a reporter’s job.
A month or so ago, Commissioner Bill McClure addressed the St Augustine Tea Party and asked for our help in selecting strong candidates who can resist the pressures County Commissioners are subject to. Our last speaker was Jeb Smith. Mr. Smith is a farmer from the Hastings area and a candidate for County Commission District 2 — the seat currently held by Ron Sanchez.
Jeb Smith appears to be the most honest candidate I have seen in a long time. Perhaps it’s time for Mr. Smith goes to the Board of County Commissioners. Maybe he can help Bill McClure uncover the “Willet Dam” project of St Johns County.