Maureen Long, Secretary of the St. Johns County Civic Roundtable located in St. Augustine, informed local Historic City News reporters that yesterday, Monday, November 9th, the Roundtable held its November Meeting via an open Zoom conference call.
Once the meeting opened, shortly after 12:00 noon, congratulations were extended to Supervisor of Elections Vicki Oakes on a great and well-run election. The topic of Monday’s meeting was the Neighborhood Bill of Rights
“The St. Johns County Civic Roundtable is a network of committed citizens, civic, neighborhood, community and homeowners’ associations, who come together to preserve and improve the quality of life in St. Johns County,” according to Chairman of the Board of Directors, Jim McLane. “We meet monthly to hear and discuss issues with local officials and community leaders. We are a non-partisan organization whose members have a wide range of expertise and interests. Our Committees stay abreast of issues and make recommendations to our elected leaders on issues of importance to our County and State.”
The November Government Affairs Report came in the form of a presentation from Patrick McCormack, Mike Roberson, and Teresa Bishop. McCormack was introduced as St Johns County Attorney. Guest Speakers Mike Roberson and Teresa Bishop work with the County’s Growth Management department. The presentations concluded with a Question & Answer period.
The outcome of the County elections was reviewed during the Roundtable Business Meeting.
Congratulations were extended to the Roundtable’s Board Member, Robert Olson, for winning election to the Airport Authority Board Group 4. The Chairman offered a special thanks to all who stood up and ran for public office. He stated that the entire organization is grateful for those who took the time and made the effort to serve our county.
Successful candidates elected last Tuesday, November 3, 2020:
- Commissioner District 1 Christian Whitehurst
Commissioner District 5 Henry Dean
- Anastasia Mosquito Control District Seat 1 Catherine Brandhorst
Anastasia Mosquito Control District Seat 3 Gina LeBlanc
Anastasia Mosquito Control District Seat 5 Gayle Gardner
- Airport Authority Seat 4 Robert Olson
Airport Authority Seat 5 Reba Ludlow
- Soil and Water Conservation District 3 Nicole Crosby
Soil and Water Conservation District 4 Charles C. Owen
- Port Waterway & Beach Group 2 Jane West
Port Waterway & Beach Group 4 Christopher K. Way
- City of St. Augustine Beach Commission 1 Ernesto Torres
Neighborhood Bill of Rights
What are your thoughts on the Neighborhood Bill of Rights? Does it work? Are you receiving the notices that are impacting your community? Do you have suggestions for changes, improvements? Information and the history of the Neighborhood Bill of Rights can be found on the Roundtable Website at www.sjcroundtable.org
Kings Estate Public Meeting – Today, November 10, 2020
St. Johns County is hosting a public meeting regarding the upcoming Kings Estate Road Drainage Improvement Project from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10, at Epic Theatres, 112 Theatre Drive. The meeting will include a project overview for the pipe replacement and roadway improvements west of Dobbs Road on Kings Estate Road. Participants will also have an opportunity to ask questions regarding the project. For more information, please call 904.209.0266.
Northwest Sector Public Meeting – November 20, 2020
There will be a Northwest Sector Community meeting at 7:00 p.m. via an open Zoom conference call. The Oxford Estates PUD Major Modification (MAJMOD 2020-15) and Comprehensive Plan Amendment (COMPAMD 2019-01) for the project known as Oxford Estates (Future Phase) is scheduled for Friday, November 20, at 7:00 p.m. via an open Zoom conference call. Interested people are invited to attend.
Draft Roundtable Priorities for 2021
At the November 9th Roundtable meeting, priority issues were discussed that involve cooperation from the County during 2021. The following is the beginning of a draft list. The Roundtable will be working on our State legislative priorities list for 2021 during our December meeting.
Future of our County — Visioning Process
The Roundtable recommends that the Commission embark on a process to seek community input on the future of the County and set a strategic and comprehensive plan and then stick to it. That way developers, builders, realtors, the community, and county staff will be able to have clear direction on the future of our County.
Support a 1% increase in the Bed Tax
St. Johns County has one of the lowest bed taxes in the State of Florida. However, in March 2019, the Commission rejected a 1% increase to the “Tourist Development Tax”. The increase was supported by the Visitors & Convention Bureau, Tourist Development Council, Chamber of Commerce, and several business lodging leaders.
Reconstitute this vital conservation program at its last funding level of $300,000. Most of our neighboring counties have had conservation programs for some time. If the County ever hopes of getting Florida Forever funds in the future, it will need local matching funds.
5-year Sunset on Permits
We are experiencing growth in developments which were permitted over a decade ago. Permits should be limited to 5 years with perhaps an option to renew. This will help ensure adequate planning for infrastructure.
Our County is rich in ecology and beautiful natural resources that are attracting many visitors. We believe that eco-tourism should be emphasized, and that appropriate personnel and resources be devoted to eco-tourism.
St. Johns County Civic Roundtable Board Elections
The current officers have agreed to serve for another year, but Jim McLane has made it clear that this will be his last year. McLane was thanked for his MANY years of service.
- Chairman: Jim McLane
- Vice Chairman & Treasurer: Lisa McGlynn
- Secretary: Maureen Long
- Board Member At Large: Robert Olson