The St. Augustine Record published their endorsements in the St. Johns County Commission races today.
The editorial staff at The Record remarked, “Miner shows wisdom beyond his years, and a keen understanding of the county’s needs. He says the commission has to take the lead in attracting new businesses and in providing incentives for them to relocate here. He said they will bring new high-paying jobs and perhaps keep some of the 30 percent of residents who commute now, home. He says the county’s tax base, about 84 percent residential, 16 percent commercial is out of line.”
This echoes the observations that we made and published in reporting the recent League of Women Voters forum and it should be no surprise that we agree with the endorsement of Miner by the local paper.
Mark Miner says that he is committed to treating everyone who comes to the commission with respect.
That brings us to the reprehensible conduct of his opponent; sitting Commissioner Ben Rich. Miner has apologized more than once his opponent’s outbursts; the LWV forum was no exception.
Twice The Record has taken Rich to task for bad behavior. He used the chairman’s bully pulpit last year to make outrageous remarks about the cops’ handling of Columbine and then took a former county official to task because he disagreed with Rich at a meeting. Rich called him a liar and then said he would meet him in his office but to bring a bar of soap.
Rich has shown disdain for Florida’s Sunshine Law, the hallmark of open government legislation and that cannot be excused. He says he reluctantly follows it and will do so until the law is changed. He thinks that citizens would be better off if the commissioners could meet behind closed doors and air differences before a public meeting.
St. Johns County is in desperate need of new job opportunities for its citizens. Miner understands this. Rich does not. His ideas are short-sighted and will do little to take the burden off residential property owners.
Miner has a plan of action for his term in office and shows the maturity, civility and respect that have been lacking in that seat for the past four years. Rich said at the League of Women Voters forums that if he’s re-elected that’s fine and if he’s not “that’s OK, too”. He went on to say “The worse thing that can happen is that you send me fishing”.
I say, send Rich fishing. Elect Mark Miner.