This should serve as a powerful message, that the people who elected our officials are in control, not the government. In a world where we can't trust so much of the information that's out there, it is important to hold our local city officials to the highest standard when it comes to delivering credible information.
After massive public outcry over the fact that the city acted on completely false information, the City of St. Augustine was forced to reverse their decision to cancel the fireworks.
The most concerning part of everything revealed today, was that city commissioners did not even bat an eye, fact check, or try in any way to verify this bogus information before making, what would have been a devastating economic decision.
It was not until our morning show, on The 904 Now's facebook page, that Regan and other commissioners even knew they were acting on, and sharing false information.
This is a huge victory for locals, in a time where our local government has made us feel powerless, and taken away many of our sources of income.
If you feel strongly about making sure we have our celebration on the 4th, you, me, and everyone else needs to stay on this city commission like a tick.
Do not allow them to overstep their boundaries again. Do not allow them to act on false information ever again.
During the May 11, 2020, City Commission meeting, I presented information regarding the City of Jacksonville Beach and the City of Daytona Beach fireworks’ celebration that was not fully vetted for accuracy. I stated that those cities had cancelled their displays when, in fact, their final decisions are still pending. Flagler Beach has cancelled their fireworks and parade.
The status of neighboring communities factored heavily in the City Commission’s decision to cancel our fireworks celebration.
It is my responsibility to ensure that the information I provide is accurate and I sincerely apologize to the City Commission and our community for working with erroneous information.
The basis of a decision should include consideration of the status of the COVID-19 phased re-opening plan by Governor DeSantis, impacts of neighboring community decisions, and crossing beyond a date that results in unnecessary expenditures. For the City of St. Augustine, that date is Friday, May 29, 2020.
I will schedule a late-May City Commission meeting so that they can evaluate the most up-to-date and accurate information and make a final decision that provides for our public health, safety, and well-being.
Thank you for your understanding. - City Manager, John Regan