ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- "We'll be here until the cows come home." Mayor Gary Snodgrass started off Monday's public comment section of the St. Augustine Beach Commission meeting with a blunt acknowledgement of a long night ahead.
Three and a half hours later, the meeting continued, as dozens of residents spoke on the future of the Beach Police Department. Most voiced concern about the July 16 vote to cut the number of sworn officers roughly in half, and blend the department with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Commissioner Undine Pawlowski prompted the discussion with an agenda item tiled "Discussion of Police Department Matters" a direct reference to a vaguely worded topic at earlier meeting at which the commission appointed an interim chief and voted to restructure the department. In the end, however, the commission did not revisit their earlier decision, and instead set aside dates in November to interview and vet candidates for police chief.