Special Meeting concludes with commissioner’s resignation

At the conclusion of last night’s continuation of the March 4th regular City Commission meeting, high profile and controversial St Augustine Beach Commissioner Rich O’Brien announced his resignation, effective immediately.

In a report received by Historic City News this morning, the City said, “We are grateful for Commissioner O’Brien’s years of dedicated service and wish him luck on his future endeavors.”

O’Brien, who formerly served as mayor of the City, said “I have considered it an honor to serve.”  He noted that he made his decision Monday.

O’Brien said he no longer has enough time to serve.  The total compensation for commissioners in the City of St Augustine Beach was reported to be $6,397.00 annually by City Manager, Max Royle. The mayor is paid $7,677.00 annually and only serves for a one-year term, by appointment.

The city plans to advertise the vacancy soon, soliciting applications for an interim commissioner who will serve the remainder of O’Brien’s term that began January 1, 2017, and ends December 31, 2020.

The planned special meeting dealt with the issue of paid parking and discussion of issues like the citizen survey, live televising of public meetings, and the urban forestry master plan.

The meeting began with a presentation by Cindy Walker, Communications and Events Coordinator, concerning the upcoming citizen survey.  This survey will be distributed digitally (e-newsletter, website, www.staugbch.org, Facebook) in mid-April and is open to all citizens of St. Augustine Beach.

Anthony Johns, IT Manager, presented the need for the City to purchase additional streaming equipment for the live broadcast of the commission meetings to meet section 508 compliance.  A motion was passed to temporarily halt live broadcasting of Commission Meetings. This motion also includes action to remove non-compliant documents on The City’s website until they can be uploaded in compliance of section 508.

Alex Farr, Vice Chair of the Tree Board/ Beautification Committee, presented a review of her request for proposals for the urban forestry master plan, which was then approved.

After putting the continuation of the March 4th Commission meeting on hold, conversation transitioned into the planned special meeting on pay-to-park.  A presentation followed about setting a “shell ordinance” about designating parking zones if a pay to park program would be in place. This ordinance that would not establish any parking zones, but only authorizes The City of St. Augustine Beach to do so, was tabled until next month’s meeting.  

The decisions concerning paid parking that were made at this special meeting are as follows:

  • Hours of enforcement will be 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • The fee for visitors will be $2/hr; St. Johns County residents will pay $.50/hr; St. Augustine Beach Residents will park free of charge
  • Hammock Park will be $1/hr, no matter the residency status

The City Commission and staff said, “We wish to thank the City of St. Augustine Beach residents, business owners, and other members of the community who attended or spoke at the meeting.”

Further questions, comments, and suggestions concerning parking should be emailed to parking@cityofsab.org.