Fernandina Main Street anticipates new Executive Director in October

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
September 4, 2020


Fernandina Beach Main Street (FBMS) Executive Director Arlene Filkoff provided a 4th Quarter update to the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) on the work of her organization during the September 1, 2020 FBCC Regular Meeting. She announced that she will be retiring from her Main Street position at the end of the year, and said that the Main Street Board has been interviewing candidates to replace her.  She expects that the new Executive Director will be announced soon and will be in place by the end of October.

Filkoff cited many ongoing activities designed to help Center Street businesses during the Covid epidemic, including regular weekly or more frequent updates on Executive Orders, the CARES program and other available resources.  She cited the successful efforts of some local businesses in marketing via social media during the pandemic.  A goal for the next quarter is to help more businesses develop and conduct online marketing to an even greater extent.

She said that Main Street sponsored and implemented several “events” for downtown including Bingo, Trivia,and an upcoming Comedy Crawl (tickets available at https://www.fernandinamainstreet.com/supporting-main-street).

With the assistance of the City Grants Administrator, FBMS has applied for a grant to help businesses engage in strategic planning post-Covid.  FBMS has also applied to Nassau County for a grant to complete the downtown signage program with standardized regulatory signage, e.g. speed limit, no parking, etc.

Filkoff reported that a recent combined conference of Main Street Florida and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation had produced many positive prospects for working together.

In the first quarter of the new year, FBMS will begin implementation of Main Street’s physical expansion south to Lime Street and east to 14th Street.  Also on the horizon is a plan to implement a Main Street membership and community support program.

For more information on Fernandina Main Street, click here. 

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bob carter
bob carter (@guest_58855)
3 years ago

Main Street board member has suggested that people not shop at downtown businesses that support certain candidates. I’d like to know just how this is supposed to represent any sort of unbiased effort to make downtown more successful?

The City spends $40,000 per year to support a downtown agency, that obviously doesn’t have our real interests at heart.

This group was never needed here, and has now begun to hurt us with their elitist ways. DEFUND MAIN STREET

Al MacDougall
Al MacDougall (@guest_58856)
3 years ago

As a taxpayer I see no value whatever for our contribution to this “program”, whose only purpose seems to be putting up signs and planting flowers. Hire a gardening company to beautify Centre Street not a bunch of egoists.

Goodbye Ms Filkoff, whose performance in this role was just as unproductive as her time as a commissioner.

Perry Anthony
Perry Anthony (@guest_58858)
3 years ago

I just hope whomever gets the position doesn’t have the same “bad attitude” that Arlene Filkoff has. I was downtown 1 day looking for a handicapped parking spot, when I spotted her white Mercedes Benz SUV with the tailgate wide open parked in a handicapped spot outside of Fantastic Fudge. I asked her if she had a handicapped permit, LIKE I DID, to allow her to park there, her reply was “I have permission from the city to park here, so go away, I am busy”. I then replied back, you don’t have permission from the city, because the city doesn’t have the authority to allow people to illegally park in a state designated handicapped parking spot. After that, she realized she “LIED” to the wrong local resident, as I called her out on it!!! Afterwards, she illegally got my phone number from Nan Voight of the city of FB parks and recreation department, then called me and left a message with an “APOLOGY”, which I refuse to accept, still to this day.

Arlene Filkoff
Arlene Filkoff (@guest_58860)
3 years ago
Reply to  Perry Anthony

Mr. Anthony, I don’t know who you had this confrontation with, but it certainly was not me. I would never do what you have described here. I do not have such a vehicle. If I am guilty of anything, it is a love of downtown Fernandina, the history and the people who actually work to make it better. Please let us know how you’d like to help keeping our economic engine vital.

Al MacDougall
Al MacDougall (@guest_58861)
3 years ago

It actually would be good if Main Street did help “keep our economic engine vital” in a more pro-active way, such as, by promoting all downtown businesses, especially with the OMNI and Ritz. Guests there only hear about David’s and Esspana and Burlingame…upscale places to eat.

And it would also be helpful for board members to not advocate boycotts of downtown merchants on social media or other public forums. Board members must be more responsible, or resign if they cannot support enthusiastically all downtown businesses, politics aside. MAIN STREET deserves better….our downtown merchants deserve better.