A spokesperson for a group calling themselves “Protectors of the Plaza” contacted the City Attorney, staff members, members of the commission and members of the media tonight to complain that Vice-Mayor Todd Neville has been “spending time” with Jamie Perkins; an activist in the ongoing debate calling for the removal of the St. Augustine confederate monument in the Plaza de la Constitution.
Perkins is self-employed, according to her website. She describes herself as a consultant and tax preparer with certification and expertise as a project manager and data analysis professional. She claims the ability to assist with credit repair services, resume building, marketing campaigns, and too many other specialties to list.
However, on Tuesday, after St Paul AME pastor Ronald Rawls threatened to filibuster the St Augustine City Commission meeting unless the city removed its plaza monument beforehand, Perkins added a new job to her own resume — sign thief, according to the complaint.
The Protectors of the Plaza spokesperson said Perkins was spotted on her own Facebook Live, “stealing yard signs from businesses and personal property.” The signs, which depict Rawls with horns and a red tail, call him “the devil” and say “Save St Augustine” and “Don’t Erase Our History”.
Historic City News viewed the video today. It showed Perkins driving around in traffic, stopping to pick up one of the signs and putting it in her vehicle. She told her viewers to contact her today and tell her locations where any other signs were observed so that she could go pick them up. According to The Protectors e-mail, the video has been removed.
In a cell phone photo depicting Neville and their meal, Perkins wrote, “Completely enjoyed my lunch with Vice Mayor Neville. The Gas Restaurant’s Black & Blue Burger was delicious”. Perkins could have been lobbying Neville, since she posted hashtags to his photograph including, “#CohesiveWork” and “#insightfulconversations”.
It is not clear if Neville bought lunch for Perkins, or if she paid the check, but The Protectors say that such a rendezvous “is unacceptable”. With such a prominent issue facing the city, the complainant wrote, “We expect our elected officials to appear above reproach.”
“If the City Commission cannot remain neutral and fair while the decision process is ongoing, we will expect for a new council to be put in place,” the writer said.