As we chug down the road to November and the General Election in St Augustine, we find some contests that will be decided early and some that will be decided late, while some will be decided in August even though not legally decided until a runoff between the top two contestants.
The three seats up for election in the City of St Augustine, seats that could control the voting majority for frustrated residents who feel Todd Neville, Leanna Freeman and Roxanne Horvath have sold out the people who live here to local and out-of-town business interest not interested in our quality of life.
TWO ELECTIONS – The August primary will wipe out political newcomer Sandra Flowers and perennial candidate Ronald Stafford, and unless Rhey Palmer or Roxanne Horvath collect more than 50% of the votes cast, they will advance to a November General Election runoff. Else, the race will be decided without further voting with the 50%+ vote getter being declared “the winner”.
RACE CANDIDATE CASH RAISED
City of St. Augustine Comm – Seat 1 Sandra Flowers $200.00
City of St. Augustine Comm – Seat 1 Roxanne Horvath $5,775.00
City of St. Augustine Comm – Seat 1 Rhey Palmer $1,350.00
City of St. Augustine Comm – Seat 1 Ronald L Stafford $385.00
ONE ELECTION – Seats 2 and 3 (the mayor’s race) will not be decided until November. Local divorce lawyer, Leanna Freeman, who replaced her former law partner, Susan Burke, eight years ago, was simply re-elected without opposition in 2012, as was her mayor-for-life handler, Joe Boles, for whom she would continue to carry water for the next two years. Both were mired, neck deep in misappropriated insider contracts, millions of dollars in waste and abuse in purchasing for the city’s corrupt 450th Commemoration Celebration, free junkets for Freeman to Aviles and Malaga Spain (no sitting commissioner ever took more free overseas travel at the taxpayers’ expense), a “Pablo Picasso” exhibit that at the last minute was discovered to lack authenticity, resulting in hundreds of thousands of wasted tax dollars, unexpected new construction costs and security, miss-sourced Hyperscreen digital signs that never worked properly, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, were returned to the manufacturer, but they went out of business – we get nothing – all the while in the midst of the calamity, Boles says he’s never heard any residents complain to him about how much money the city was spending on the 450th pageantry, and, together with jetsetter Leanna Freeman, declare that nobody is running against them because they are satisfied with the job they are doing.(?)
Boles met his Waterloo in that election when Mayor Nancy Shaver beat his strawman, Ken Bryan, during the Primary and the two men joined forces to continue to fight against Shaver in the General. That didn’t work out so well for them and showed Boles for the electoral manipulator that he was trying to be. Shaver handily won the election and has received nothing but the highest marks from residents who appreciate her demand for open government, transparency in government spending, and accountability in handling the taxpayer’s business.
Now comes a real contender to give Freeman a run for her money. Susan Rathbone, a full-time caregiver for her aging father, Bill, lives in Davis Shores and is president of the North Davis Shores neighborhood council.
City of St. Augustine Comm – Seat 2 Leanna S.A. Freeman $7,545.00
City of St. Augustine Comm – Seat 2 Susan Warner Rathbone $4,052.13
The mayor is elected separately in St Augustine by the voters to serve a two-year term for Seat 3. A surprise for some, not for others, is the emergence of AM radio WFOY operator, Kris Phillips, who only built a home in the exclusive gated community of Pelican Reef a few months ago. Phillips purchased the 80-year-old technology from Doug Shull Broadcasting together with WAOC AM sports radio. Both studios operated from aging buildings and a single tower site off Lewis Point Road. Phillips technology upgrade for the limited area stations was to simulcast each on FM, ostensibly with higher wattage and greater listening area. After a year of stumbles, WFOY FM went live, but had to change its broadcast frequency because of conflicts. Historic City News has driven all 600+ square miles of St Johns County testing the radio station’s coverage claims. There are many major population and business areas without reception. WFOY advertises its “local news talk” format yet has not one news reporter covering news in the county. The last news reporter may have been Al Brennan, who now is a reporter for Phillips ex-husband’s radio station. Brennan had to obtain a St Johns County money judgment against Phillips to be paid his final wages.
Clearly from her campaign cash donations, Phillips is the sock-puppet of the old Boles regime; still bitter, still licking their wounds of defeat from two years ago.
A lot can and will be learned about her credentials and qualifications to lead our home town before November. Why she would throw herself under the spotlight of public scrutiny like this, one can only guess what she has been promised or paid.
City of St. Aug. Comm – Seat 3/Mayor Kris Phillips $6,750.00
City of St. Aug. Comm – Seat 3/Mayor Nancy Shaver $4,490.28