Abbott Tract resident Sandra L “Sandy” Flowers has made official her intention to seek a seat on the St Augustine City Commission; filing her candidate paperwork and designating herself treasurer of a campaign that she tells Historic City News will be very visible.
Flowers told Editor in Chief Michael Gold in an interview at her home on Saturday that she has been a resident for more than ten-years.
During this time, Flowers says that she’s had the opportunity to make observations about how our city is governed. Some ideas, like neighborhood associations, she feels have merit — but, she believes she can bring improvement.
Flowers clearly has special knowledge when it comes to marine transportation and harbor management. She was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, an area with many similarities to St Augustine; the Port of Charleston, horse-drawn carriages, outdoor art, dining, and entertainment, and a multi-racial cultural community that thrives on heritage tourism.
Flowers says that it is essential to the city’s neighborhoods to have a properly engineered parking plan — not a political one. In looking at the neighborhood parking plans in various stages of implementation around town, Flowers is critical of a lack of communication between city government and the residents.
“I’d like to see access to the river reinstated for our residents,” Flowers said. “Currently we have access points that could support public pocket parks and preserve everyone’s right to access.”
When asked why she decided to run for Seat 1, since Commissioner Horvath has announced that she will seek re-election, Flowers says, simply, Roxanne Horvath has served four-years with little to show for it. “What could she expect to accomplish in the next four years that she was unable to accomplish in the last four?”
Flowers said that she has not agreed with Horvath’s agenda, especially in the last two years. “The Visioning Committee and Report were a complete waste of money,” Flowers said. Within six-months of its implementation, the commissioners, including Horvath, were making decisions for the city that were not following the committee and its consultant’s recommendations.
Flowers and her partner, Catherine Rogers, who lives next door on Mulberry Street, have a venture that hopes to enhance mobility for those whose boats are moored in our mooring field, are docked at the municipal marina, and who vacation on their vessels in St Augustine. She believes that the comforts and needs of the affluent boating community have not been properly met.
“Our waterways are a valuable source of revenue,” Flowers observes. “The cruise community brings commerce and trade and we only scratch the surface of their potential.”
Photo credits: © 2016 Historic City News staff photographer