When the City of St. Augustine called this afternoon’s workshop to order, an audience of sixty or seventy representatives of various civic, cultural and historic organizations as well as some private citizens responded to the invitation to provide their input on what the mayor called “open mic night”.
Historic City News reporters listened to twenty citizens speak their mind about what needs to happen with the 450th Anniversary commemoration in St. Augustine during 2015.
Even though the commissioners had very little to say during the ninety minute workshop, they all appeared to be satisfied that the meeting was productive for them and senior staff members who have been doing the heavy lifting since the private First America Foundation flopped.
But, the workshop this afternoon could not have been more positive. The comments from residents all around the county, including the Town of Hastings, the City of St. Augustine Beach and elsewhere, were supportive. Speakers asked for the City of St. Augustine to count on their participation and reminded the commissioners that volunteers were interested in contributing to the celebration in many different ways.
There were some new faces and other more familiar ones who approached the podium; not all of whom felt the city was doing all it could do to coordinate a successful event, pointing to some of the recent “false starts” and lack of private sector contributions.
Judging by the majority that turned out today, however, the story told by the audience was encouraging. Although many in town have felt “left out” or not quite sure exactly what is being done about the much ballyhooed commemoration, except, perhaps, to spend lots and lots of money on it, should have taken comfort in seeing what one speaker described as “the whole town coming together”.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer