City Attorney Ronald W Brown, advising caution as Mayor Boles pushes for the removal of Information Center vendors, will introduce Susan S Erdelyi, an attorney and shareholder in the Jacksonville law firm of Marks Gray, P.A. to discuss potential consequences of an overreaching ban on all vendor activities.
During Monday night’s meeting, commissioners will hear the attorney’s presentation and discuss options available to the City of St Augustine. The Mayor and two other commissioners are attorneys, themselves; and, of course, the city employs two full-time attorneys — Brown and Assistant City Attorney Isabelle Lopez.
The City has not done well in the past with attempts to control street performers and vendors on St George Street, in the Plaza de la Constitution, and other parts of town — spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, court costs, and settlements over the years.
In the last court order, Judge Morales made it clear that although the City has the right to regulate time and place for public use of public property, if the City prohibits use of one location for a specific activity; they must also designate an alternate location for such activity — which is how the vendor activity wound up at the Visitor Information Center to begin with.
But now, after extensive remodeling at the Visitor Center and the cost of a much ballyhooed traveling Picasso exhibit to justify, the Mayor says he wants what he considers an eyesore gone — and he wants it gone now.
If you are planning to attend — the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. Monday and will be held in the Alcazar Room; on the first floor of City Hall, located at 75 King Street in St. Augustine. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Government TV (Cable Channel 3) and is streamed over the Internet.