Letter: Historic City Commissioners hijacked by fear and intimidation

Wade Ross
St Augustine, FL

Dear Historic City News editor:

I am a veteran teacher of 25 years. At my school, we have a motto – “Do the good, learn the true, and love the beautiful” – that we say every day.  I try to lead my students by example, and it is the “do the good” part of the motto that keeps echoing in my head.

I am not seeing “the good” being supported in St. Augustine. In the past couple of weeks, there have been several protests regarding our historical monument to the Confederate war dead, who are considered American soldiers. 

  • A decision was made just two years ago, and now apparently because of the threat of unruly behavior and illegal actions, the City Commission feels the need to consider it again.

And let us face this fact: I have spoken with a builder, and if there is an attempt to move the War Memorial that is almost 150 years old, it will most likely be destroyed.

  • Threats to public safety, of the destruction of the City, and of assaults have been made.  I am still waiting to hear back from the City Manager, but it appears the roads were illegally blocked as well.

I have been an advocate for public safety for almost 4 years now. I have made phone calls, had meetings, sent e-mails – you name it.  For the most part,  the City Commission has ignored me – my e-mails have not been replied to, no follow-ups have been made, and very little action has taken place.

  • Last week, a mob that I suspect is made up of mostly non-residents, comes to town.  They break laws, play anti-police music, threaten to burn the city down, and suddenly they are recognized and on the City Commission agenda eight days later.

It is the City Commission that needs to “do the good”, listen to their constituents, and support the Constitution and the laws of the State of Florida.  Our City Commissioners should be representing the people who elected them.

The City Commission 3-2 vote tonight to remove the war memorial is neglecting their obligation to the electorate. They are sending a signal that if you misbehave, act in a lawless manner, and instill fear in our city, you will get what you want.