by: Bill Jones St. Augustine Beach Civic Association

A win of sorts for the Wednesday Market with Board of County Commissioners (BCC)

In sports they call it an ugly win and I’m pretty sure this qualifies. The Civic Association and dozens of supporters went before the BCC on February 20th to make our case for keeping our farmers market at Pier Park. Chairman Henry Dean who represents us in District 5 made a politically savvy move convincing his fellow Commissioners to help keep the market. Part of that pitch was to have the County issue a Request for Proposal or RFP to allow bidding on the operation of the market. I feel certain Chairman Dean had to do this to keep the market at Pier Park. Now we need your support to reach out to Administrator Wanchick and the 5 County Commissioners and insist the RFP include some or all of these ideas:

  • RFP should be awarded to a local nonprofit
  • The bid winner should have experience in the operation of a market o While the County should recover a of it’s costs, the RFP should not just be about money. It should be about our quality of life at the beach.
  • The winner should commit to funding and producing Music by the Sea, Taste of the Beach and the Community’s Christmas tree lighting
  • The winner should commit to sponsoring all 5 of the City’s event ($3K to $5K)

Now to attendees at the meeting and the thousands of people, who called and emailed our commissioner, THANK YOU! And while your emails and presence were vital I would be remiss if I did not mention the ugly. Visit the County website and look at the discussion and Public Comment on agenda Item 11. You’ll once again see the usual subjects trying to do a character assassination on the Civic Association Board and on one of our favorite vendors, local author and photographer Phil King. Shame on these individuals for the ugliness and for attacking Mr. King!

Finally, we’re excited to announce that Music by the Sea 2018 is a go! We’re excited to have Longstreet Auto, Diane’s Natural Foods and Annie-Mac Mortgage back as sponsors. Volunteer, school teacher and local musician Mike Longstreet will be helping book bands. Our goal is to have the schedule up on the website by March 15th. We’ll open our season again on Wednesday May 16th with DJ Dan and an evening of great music and swing dance lessons from Captain Adam Morley and his beautiful wife Janine. We will not have a show on July 4th and encourage you to do something with your family and perhaps do the Fireworks downtown or elsewhere, Our final show of the season will be Wednesday September 12th!