As St Augustine City Commissioner and chief visioning zombie, Roxanne Horvath, captures City Manager John Regan, City Director of Public Works, Martha Graham, and City Comptroller, Mark Litzinger, for a half-day meeting with the City of Fort Lauderdale, to review their Visioning process and initiatives, Historic City News took the time to ask one local resident what he thought was important to our process at home.
Henry Whetsone asked several friends to write their idea for the city as we approach our 450th anniversary and he shared the results for our readers here.
“You don’t have to spend $75,000 to get people’s opinion of what to do to mark this historic date,” Whetstone told local Historic City News reporters. “The celebration being paid for by the taxpayers should have been paid for through voluntarily donations or not planned at all.”
Whetstone is not alone. St Augustine Mayor Joe Boles has a re-election fight on his political hands in a couple of weeks; largely for the fraud, waste and overreaching abuse of his office and influence which have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars with nothing measurable to show for it. Some would argue millions of dollars — but the record keeping has been sketchy, at best, and in some cases, lost to inept handling.
The pregnant question in the instant case is why are we paying Herb Marlow $75,000 if we are going to lose the city’s top level staffers, pay their travel, overnight hotel stay, etc., to learn about how Ft. Lauderdale laid out their vision. Isn’t that why we hired an expert? And when did Ft. Lauderdale Florida (population 170,747) become a comparable for St. Augustine (population 13,407)
Voters appear to have suffered long enough, and, over the past two years of being treated as second-rate citizens in favor of city-involved tourist attractions and events, Boles has gone from having NO election opponents in 2012, to having two this year.
“They clearly have not heard of reading, reviewing documents and having a conference call,” said one of those challengers, Nancy Shaver — a proponent to cut wasteful spending at City Hall and return to a more enjoyable lifestyle where our city’s residents are placed first.