Learning about Fernandina Beach City government

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
February 25, 2022

In his  January 7, 2022 weekly column, Fernandina Beach City Manager Dale Martin invited those interested in learning more about City government to consider enrolling in the upcoming session of the Citizens Academy.  Martin, who began this project to demystify government for the lay people before Covid caused a pause, wrote:  “If you have any interest in government, please consider this program. It is intended to be light-hearted and informal but also enlightening for those unfamiliar with local government operations. So much of local government is predicated upon building personal relationships, and I hope that some of you will be open to new relationships and information about your City.”

Within 3 days, more than 20 people expressed interest in enrolling.  Since class size was limited to 12-16 students, not everyone could be accommodated in the spring session.  Martin has since informed us that the fall session is already full as well.


Discussion at the class held on February 24, 2022 in the Fernandina Beach Airport conference room was lively and to judge from audience reaction, very informative.  Martin delved into the history of the City and various Charter requirements and changes that have occurred over the years.  Considerable time was spent explaining the origin and purpose of the waterfront district Community Redevelopment Area and its governance.

The 14 attendees engaged in a vigorous back and forth with Martin and each other as various topics were discussed.

These classes are held at 5:30 p.m. in various locations.  Each class has a specific topic.  This session’s schedule was presented in Martin’s earlier column.  To read it again, click here .

And the best part:  no quiz!