Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 20, 2018
At their final meeting of 2018 on December 18, the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) recognized a citizen and a corporation.
Appreciation for Charles Burns’ 12 years of service on BOA
Twelve years ago, Charles Burns began serving as a valued member of the City’s Board of Adjustment (BOA) whose roles and responsibilities include conducting public hearings and rendering decisions in compliance with the requirements of the City’s Land Development Code. Extraordinarily, Burns served as Chairman and Vice Chairman for six years of his twelve year tenure. The Proclamation stated that as the longest standing member of the Board of Adjustment, Burns’ expansive expertise would be immeasurably missed.
Mayor John Miller expressed the city’s gratitude to Burns for his enthusiasm and involvement. Miller commended Burns for his tireless commitment to the citizens of the City of Fernandina Beach through his leadership and hard work. Miller said that Burns’ vast knowledge of local history had enhanced the Board of Adjustments’ decision-making ability and that his unbiased approach when hearing variance requests was always above reproach.
In accepting the Proclamation, Charles Burns thanked the FBCC and the city. He urged more citizens to get involved with their city by serving on city boards.
Recognizing the 80th anniversary of the Westrock Fernandina Beach Mill
Fernandina Beach Westrock plant general manager Dan Rowland accepted a Proclamation from Mayor John Miller in recognition of the mill’s 80th anniversary. Miller read the proclamation into the record:
WHEREAS, in 1938, the Kraft Corporation of America, now known as WestRock Company, commissioned the Fernandina Beach pulp mill located at 600 North 8th Street. For the past eighty years the Fernandina Beach facility has proudly employed three generations of City, County and regional residents; and
WHEREAS, today WestRock is arguably Fernandina Beach’s largest employer and economic engine. The company employs 520+ dedicated individuals and is responsible for indirectly providing thousands of jobs in the logging, trucking, contracting, forestry, service and maintenance industries; and
WHEREAS, WestRock’s presence within our island community stimulates far reaching economic stimulation by supporting more than 2,700 jobs in Nassau County and more than 6,400 jobs in the region. WestRock employees represent 5.8% of the total Nassau County workforce and 14.1% of the Nassau County gross domestic product; and
WHEREAS, WestRock and its employees actively embrace community stewardship by generously contributing funds, time, and talent to provide socio-economic opportunities by serving as coaches, mentors, tutors, and committee members for a variety of civic programs: Communities in Schools – Nassau County, Barnabas Center, Inc., Nassau County Council on Aging, and the United Way; of which WestRock’s annual contribution represents 30% of all Nassau County contributions; and
WHEREAS, WestRock is committed to environmental stewardship as demonstrated by its legacy of recycling which dates back more than 100 years and by generating its own electricity, with more than 60% coming from sustainable and renewable biomass; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper on this 80th anniversary of the WestRock Fernandina Beach Mill to recognize the remarkable impact the mill has in the City, Nassau County, and across northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.
NOW THEREFORE, I, John A. Miller, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Fernandina Beach, do hereby recognize and extend the City’s sincere appreciation to:
WestRock Fernandina Beach Mill
for its eighty-year commitment to our community, for their dedicated stewardship, and sincerely look forward to many more decades of continued partnership.
Miller extended his remarks to acknowledge the steadfast support Westrock provides to many local causes, as well as providing local employment.
In accepting the Proclamation, Rowland thanked the city. He introduced himself, informing commissioners that he and his family moved from Virginia to the community in June when he became general manager of the mill. He said he looks forward to continuing the great relationship the mill has had with the people and city of Fernandina Beach.