Quality of Nightlife Strategic Plan meeting convenes on September 25

Although last month’s public meeting was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian, those in city government who wholeheartedly believe that they know what’s best for businesses and residents in St Augustine, have rescheduled time for community stakeholders to attend and participate in a discussion of their concerns — for two-hours between 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

St. Augustine Police Chief Barry Fox will join St. Augustine City Commissioner and temperance movement relic, Nancy Sikes-Kline, who will pay tribute to City Manager John Regan’s five-point plan; that, when implemented, will address what he sees as the changing character of the city’s downtown night environment.

Billed as a “Quality of Nightlife Strategic Plan”, the program will address concerns driven by the growing nighttime business model in downtown St Augustine that tends to cater mostly to patrons of bars and mostly in the last hours of service from midnight to 2:00 a.m.

Regan’s proposal has five primary elements.  In addition to the obvious changes to the city’s alcohol ordinance which requires commission approval, Regan has thrown in four other smoke-screen items that he is negligent in not implementing years ago.  They include increased police presence in the downtown at night, increased attention to cleanliness in heavily traveled pedestrian areas, improvements in urban design such as street lighting and sidewalks, organized pick-up of areas for ride-share providers, and an update.

A critical component of any process to implement change is the gathering of public input.  The “town hall” format of this meeting is designed to offer a question and answer session and is presumably intended to draw feedback from the public on the various elements of the plan. 

Historic City News readers, especially those whose businesses will be adversely impacted, and who can be present at a 3:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon meeting, are encouraged to attend and be heard on September 25, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in the Alcazar Room of City Hall, located at 75 King Street.

The meeting will be streamed live and be available for on-demand viewing the day after the meeting at CityStAugTV.com.