Baptist Nassau recognizes nurse, physician and caregiver of the year

Baptist Medical Nassau
Press Release
Submitted by Beth Stambaugh
December 6, 2019

Barbara Anderson, RN, was named Nurse of the Year; Patricia Forehand, an office specialist in the Imaging department, was named Caregiver of the Year; Adam Branoff, MD, an emergency medicine physician, was named Physician of the Year.

Three team members at Baptist Medical Center Nassau were recently honored for their commitment to quality and excellence in patient care:
Barbara Anderson, RN, was named Nurse of the Year for Baptist Nassau. Anderson works in the Surgical Unit and has been with the hospital for seven years.

Adam Branoff, MD, an emergency medicine physician, was named Physician of the Year for Baptist Nassau. He has worked for Baptist Nassau for five years.

Patricia Forehand, an office specialist in the Imaging department, was named Caregiver of the Year. She has worked for the hospital for 19 years, her entire career.

Award recipients were nominated by their peers as part of Baptist Nassau’s annual Magnet celebration. Magnet is the gold standard among health care organizations Continue reading

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Citizens for a Better Nassau – “Responsible Growth”

Citizens for a Better Nassau
Press Release
December 4, 2019

Since our inception, Citizens for a Better Nassau County has focused on what is required to get our county’s financial house in order and to create a more fiscally sustainable county in the future. We’ve pointed out the relationship between the quality of our future growth, our fiscal health, and the need for a mixture of land uses to broaden and diversify our tax base. If we get the mix right, we can make our county less reliant on residential property taxes to fund our government while increasing our resiliency to future economic downturns. To its credit, the county is clearly emphasizing better land use planning and the importance of compact, mixed-use developments east of I-95. This type of development internalizes much of its impact while providing a much greater return to the tax base. Over the coming decades, that balance will be critical if we are to avoid further shocks of the kind we experienced with recent large tax increases.

Now a common tune from many residents is that government should simply put a moratorium on future development. While that may sound like a remedy, it’s important to realize that landowners already have vested property development Continue reading

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Special meeting of Board of County Commissioners discuss William Burgess extension project

By Cindy Jackson
December 6, 2019

A special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners was called for December 4th, 2019 at 4PM.

Commissioner Danny Leeper

“He’s taking advantage of county residents” was the first comment made by Commissioner Danny Leeper after listening intently to an explanation of the condemnation procedures the County will need to pursue if it does not successfully negotiate for the purchase of a 9.64 acre piece of property that is needed to complete the long promised William Burgess Extension.
“Greed has set in,” Leeper continued.

The William Burgess Extension Project has been a vision for many, many years – in fact, long before more modern planning practices were embraced. The property was initially appraised at $561,000. A more recent appraisal, performed by Colliers International, reflects a market value of $1,278,000.

SEDA Construction owns the property and it has potential Continue reading

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FBCC, CRC workshop on Charter Review process, goals

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 6, 2019

On December 3, 2019, the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) and the City’s Charter Review Committee (CRC) convened jointly in a workshop session to clarify goals and expectations for the final CRC report, anticipated in June 2020.  City Charter Officers also provided their input to the CRC.  

The City Charter is the basic document that defines the organization, powers, functions and essential procedures of the city government. The charter is the most important legal document of any city.  Charters should be reviewed every 5-7 years to make sure that they are up to date and conform to current state law.  The Fernandina Beach City Charter was last reviewed by a Charter Review Committee in 2007.  Following that review voters approved several recommended changes, including lengthening the term of commissioners to 4 years and holding elections every two years in November.

CRC Chair Arlene Filkoff explained the committee’s communications strategy designed to gather as much input as possible from citizens on where the existing Charter was unclear or otherwise needed to be modified.  As a result of discussion, it appears that future meetings of the Charter Review Committee will be recorded and available for public viewing via the city’s website, along with closed captioning which will follow,

Filkoff identified four primary areas of deliberation for the CRC:

  1. Election issues, to include discussion of “seats” and run-off elections;
  2. Roles and responsibilities of the FBCC and Charter Officers;
  3. Whether specific departments should be cited in the Charter;
  4. Whether to add new sections, i.e. a Preamble, Code of Ethics, Bill of Rights, recall provisions.

One of the issues needing clarification was whether the FBCC would allow all the CRC recommendations for Charter changes to be presented directly to the voters via referendum or whether the FBCC would edit the recommendations first to eliminate those that they did not favor.  Consensus among City Commissioners was that the residents should be able to vote on all major changes proposed by the CRC.

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County Attorney admonished by Supreme Court of Florida

By Cindy Jackson
December 6, 2019

County Attorney Mike Mullin (File Photo).

Mullin took center stage during the December 4, Nassau County Board of Commission meeting to discussion  a report issued by the Supreme Court of Florida last month. As a member of The Florida Bar, Michael Mullin, the respondent in this case, “is subject to the jurisdiction and disciplinary rules of the Supreme Court of Florida.”

Somewhat similar to complaint filed against Mr. Mullin by Rayonier/Raydient, this matter involved another of Mullin’s former clients, Mr. Joseph Amellio.

By way of background, Mullin served as Nassau County Attorney between 1982-2007, went into private practice with the law from of Rogers Towers (during which time Rayonier was a client as was Mr. Amellio), and returned to the County in March of 2015.

Mullin later took on the role of County Manager in addition to his duties as County Attorney after former county manager Shanea Jones resigned. That became official in January of 2019.

While legal proceedings are not necessarily easy to summarize, Amellio worked with Mullin to get a paving waiver for a development he was planning. That waiver was granted. However, that waiver was contingent upon the approval of plat and engineering plans. That apparently never happened. The plat and engineering plans were never approved. Hence, the waiver expired. That was many years ago. County records indicate that in or around 2011, they were notified Continue reading

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