Submitted by Gerry Clare
I caught up with Ed Boner, Fernandina Beach Commissioner and Mayor, in his real estate office to ask him this question about the challenges the city is facing this year. While he is encouraged that the city commissioners seem to be listening to each other and discussing city matters in a forward manner, he does see several big issues.
For instance, “after stopping some major projects other commissions have pushed, such as Forward Fernandina, it is now a challenge to figure out how to improve Fernandina Beach in a reasonable way regarding the waterfront and CRA to positively affect the downtown area.This would involve not just pushing one idea, but discussing and exchanging all views and alternatives.”
He also sees other outside influences like lawsuits and the Centre Street railroad crossing as issues that have become big issues. Personally, he also feels that the railroad crossing safety should be the railroad’s responsibility, as we have other crossings that have far less traffic and are in much better condition.
“The city enterprise funds, i.e. the marina, golf course and airport, continue to be big challenges and really need long term sustainable agreements and planning. Short term contracts and solutions are not the answer. The good news is that the economy seems to be improving if you look at property values and the fact that some of the city’s long term debts will be decreasing by 2020 as well as our insurance costs should be going down. There should also be fewer pension shortfalls …all positive situations to help us in the next few years.”
Editor’s Note: Gerry began free lance writing for fun and is the author of a published book (available on Amazon and at Books Plus) about funny real estate experiences. Gerry is a longtime member of our local American Business Women’s Chapter, a volunteer cancer driver and church deacon who loves to read, travel and meet interesting people.
February 12, 2014 9:10 a.m.