Leadership departs Beach Comprehensive Planning and Zoning Board

After about 16-years of volunteer service on the Planning and Zoning Board of the City of St Augustine Beach, its chairman Jane West and vice-chairman Elise Sloan have resigned their highly visible positions; leaving the board that advises the Commission on a variety of development matters without their seasoned leadership.

In a joint letter to commissioners obtained by Historic City News, West and Sloan said their recommendations are increasingly being “ignored if not outright negated” and said they were being disrespected by city staff.

“This primarily occurs by means of staff presentations to you about agenda items that we have thoughtfully deliberated,” the letter says. “Quite simply, the staff presentations fail to convey the factors considered by our board and often communicate to you a position that runs in stark contradiction to our board’s vote.”

Mayor Margaret England said she was disappointed by the resignations and that she had already planned to have a joint meeting and workshop with the planning board to identify things that need to be worked on

“Our complaints to the city attorney were apparently conveyed to the city manager and yet the behavior persisted,” the letter says. “Neither of us will continue to degrade ourselves by being subjected to outlandish admonishments, curt interruptions, sarcastic eye-rolling and other antics that are unbecoming of the public venue that we conduct our business in.”

The letter also says that West and Sloan have been disrespected by staff; however, City Manager Max Royle told local reporters “I have no idea what that’s referring to.”

New representatives to replace West and Sloan will be appointed by the City Commission.  Chair and Vice Chair are selected by the Planning and Zoning Board members.