Town Crier Committee Report . . . continued
 


May 20, 201
5

St, Johns County Assaults The First Amendment

One Lone Patriot Fights   for Freedom

For  the past year and a half, William Rosenstock has been fighting the good fight to preserve free speech in the St. Augustine Beach Pier Park, which is located in St. Johns County, Florida. Mr. Rosenstock, a Coast Guard veteran, takes his responsibility as a citizen and as a former member of the Armed Forces, seriously. “When I joined the military in 1963. I took the United States Military Oath of Enlistment,” Mr. Rosenstock explained. He took a solemn oath that he would support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. According to Rosenstock, that oath lives on to this day.

Park Authorities are Restricting Free Speech


William Rosenstock conducts a program which he calls, ‘Free Speech Wednesdays’. The program is designed to attract young people. He uses two dancing chickens to attract attention. The kids like it. He has blank sign material and crayons. He encourages kids to make a sign about anything, in the free speech zone. Then he explains that, “If you leave the zone with your sign, you are breaking the law, according to Park authorities.” This quickly demonstrates to the kids how fragile free speech is, if you let bureaucrats interpret the law. 

Of course, this ordinance is meaningless because Americans are protected against misguided regulations, regarding free speech, by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Apparently some County employees do not understand their Constitutional responsibilities. Sydney Lindblad, of the Park Service, was called by representatives of the Tea Party to explain this restriction on free speech. She did not return their calls. The Tea Party has requested a copy of the ordinance from St. Johns County’s attorney, Patrick McCormick.

Mr. Rosenstock engages the public from within the designated free speech area these days. Rosenstock reports that, in the past when he left the zone, he was attacked by the members of the St. Augustine Beach Civic Association. Most notably, by Bill Jones, the organization’s president. Rosenstock claims a police report was filed.

Members of  the St. Augustine Tea Party attended Wednesday’s, May 20, 2015, “Music by the Sea” concert. Volunteers passed out pocket editions of the Constitution to the young people attending Mr. Rosenstock’s “Free Speech Wednesdays”. The Tea Party people then moved out of the free speech zone and were warmly accepted by the public. There were numerous law enforcement officers present among the public. The Tea Party’s encounter with the deputies and the police was most cordial. The officers had no interest in enforcing adherence to the “Designated Free Speech Area”.


The ‘Designated Free Speech Area’ sign is offensive to Mr. Rosenstock and to the Tea Party, as well. “We intend to have this sign removed from this park, it is offensive to all Americans.  It creates a problem for the education of our young concerning the US Constitution and their rights. Free speech is Coast-to-Coast, from Sea to Shining Sea on ALL public lands, public buildings, and right of ways. “We will not stand by and let some leftist bureaucrat or misguided governmental authority violate all American’s First Amendment rights,” a Tea Party spokesman said.



May 19, 2015

Masters at Deception

 

At 8:00 AM, members of the St. Augustine Tea Party were in place to greet the citizens of St. Johns County, Florida who chose to attend the St. Johns County Board of Commissioners meeting on May 19, 2015. Hundreds of people paraded by on their way into the auditorium. The reason for the large number of people showing up was item 3 on the agenda, concerning a proposal to increase the sales tax rate in St Johns County. The Tea Party reports that the public arriving was split into two groups. The minority were wearing County nametags. They were not thrilled to see the Tea Party presence. The majority, and a very large majority, were very supportive of the Tea Party presence and expressing disapproval of the sales tax initiative. Often, the public would pause to shake hands with the Tea Party volunteers at the door. At 9:30 AM, when the pictures (left) were taken, the auditorium was filled with people opposing the sales tax increase. During the early morning public comment period, comments regarding the sales tax issue were not permitted. Four long hours later, at 1:30 PM, less than half of the audience was left (notice the empty chairs?). Had public comments been taken early in the morning, those opposed would have been in the neighborhood of 90%. County administrator, Michael Wanchick, with the aid of his County Commissioners, avoided the opposition, by having their meetings when tax payers are working. They just set the agenda to a time when the tax payers cannot attend. In this case, many showed up early, but left as the morning evaporated and as ‘Windy’ Wanchick talked all through lunch.

Sales Tax Increase on ‘fast track’ for Implementation

County administrator Wanchick wants the ‘revenue’ the sales tax increase would provide. And, the majority of the Commissioners are already committed to grow his government. It seemed to this reporter that the decision to implement the sales tax has already been made. Today’s vote had already been agreed to before the doors were opened to the public. Recent elections appear to have had no effect on the majority position of the board. Bill McClure was the only consistent dissenting vote regarding the sales tax steamroller initiative. For this, Mr. McClure pays a heavy price. Apparently the board can tolerate no dissension. He has been under constant attack by his fellow board members, particularly, Chairwoman Rachael Bennett.

“Quality of Life”

The term “Quality of Life” is constantly used by the ‘special’ interest groups, the County employees, the majority of the County Commissioners and Mr. Wanchick, in particular. At the May 19th meeting, it seemed every other word was wrapped around “Quality of Life”. A person in the audience was heard to say, “I’ll bet the first thing Wanchick says when he gets up in the morning is, “Quality of Life.

A public discussion of “Quality of Life” is in order. Who would find fault in the benign phrase “Quality of Life”? The St. Augustine Tea Party does. The phrase has long been associated with those who use “Forward” and “Sustainability”. The three terms mentioned are the rallying calls of the extreme left. Their origins are from the Communist Party movement.

What is Happening in DC, is the model for Here

What is happening in Washington, DC, is happening here in local government. The tyranny imposed by governmental employees and bureaucrats is destroying the very fabric of Liberty. “Give us your money and we will provide everything” is the rallying call of the County Administrator. That Communist mantra, in the name of “Quality of Life”, needs to end. “Our forefathers did not build a great country by subsidizing golf for those who don’t wish to pay for it themselves,” said a Tea Party volunteer. “It is time to listen to the people, and stop listening to the hired help.”

Is it time for the Commissioners to Govern?

Outgoing former Commissioner Ron Sanchez provides insight as to how County government runs. His advice to the newly elected commissioners was, “Just let the staff do their job and you can’t go wrong.” If the guy that punches the clock runs a business and the boss is just a figure head, the business usually fails. However, in Government, if the people’s representatives turn the Government over to the bureaucracy, tyranny surely follows. That is what has happened on a Federal level. And that is what has happened to St. Johns County, Florida.

Dave Heimbold, Media Chairman for the St. Augustine Tea Party suggested, “I think it’s time that Wanchick be fired. Wanchick controls the County Commissioner’s meetings. The public has no meaningful input.  The half million dollar ($500,000.00) severance package for Wanchick should be denied. The resulting lawsuit might reveal the real relationship between the propertied people, the developers and the Board of County Commissioners. We have the wealthy supporting a socialist governmental bureaucracy and the question is… “Why?”

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