450 Community Corps board re-convenes

Historic City News has learned that the non-profit citizens group, 450 Community Corps, convened a meeting of its executive board this week; the first meeting of that body in nearly two years.

According to the draft minutes of the meeting, the Corps was called to action in response to the “lack of accomplishment” by the private First America Foundation; designated by the city last August to plan four signature events including the 450th commemoration of the founding of St. Augustine.

Attending the Tuesday meeting, June 7th, were George Gardner, Scott Manny, Eric Johnson, and Gerald Eubanks. Absent were Roy Jaeger (out of town), Nancy Birchall (resigned due to directorship with First America Foundation), and Bob Russell.

As the corps ramps up, amid confusion over planning for the city’s 450th anniversary, the board favors getting some “solid initiatives” under way. The executive board is taking a cautious approach — saying, “Easy does it”.

One board member said during the meeting, “Better to deliver than to promise”.

The board is considering an open general meeting to assure the community that programs and projects will be developed – with some already under way. Among projects being discussed are revisions to the training and testing of licensed tour guides, citywide beautification, a period clothing rental program and establishing an 18th century black militia.

The last time such a meeting was held was in February 2009; when the corps stepped back to an assisting role rather than to appear that they were trying to compete with city efforts.

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