Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 19, 2018 11:52 a.m.
The Florida city of Fernandina Beach ushered in a new legislative year with the swearing in of two city commissioners for 4-year terms along with both a mayor and a vice mayor for the next two years at the city’s Reorganizational Meeting on December 18, 2018.
Accompanied by his wife Shari, Mike Lednovich was sworn in as a new commissioner, following his run-off election victory over opponent Bradley Bean. Lednovich took an opportunity at the end of the Regular Meeting that followed the Reorganizational Meeting to praise Bean for running a good campaign. He said that he believed that he had formed a friendship with the 24 year-old and expressed confidence that Bean would have a bright future ahead.
City Clerk Caroline Best also swore in Len Kreger, who was reelected to a 4-year term in the November 6 General Election. Kreger, familiar with the process, chose to read the oath of office himself rather than repeating it after the Clerk. He also expressed gratitude to his opponent, Cason Zylinski, whom he had gotten to know better during the campaign.
Commissioners unanimously reelected Commissioner John Miller as Mayor and Commissioner Len Kreger as Vice Mayor. With the completion of the switchover to 4-year terms, these commissioners will hold the positions for two years.
The next commission election will be held in 2020. Citizens will be asked to elect three commissioners at that time. Those seats are currently held by John Miller, who will be term limited out; Phil Chapman, who has already announced that he will not seek reelection; and Chip Ross.
As part of the Reorganizational Meeting, the Mayor appoints commissioners to serve on various committees as representatives of the commission. The following appointments were made:
- Amelia Island Tourist Development Council (TDC) – Len Kreger, Chip Ross
- Nassau Alcohol Crime Drug Abatement Coalition (NACDAC) – Len Kreger, Phil Chapman
- Nassau County Economic Development Board (NCEDB) – Chip Ross
- Nassau Humane Society (NHS) – John Miller
- Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council – Len Kreger
Commissioners will also assume the following liaison duties:
- Airport Advisory Commission (AAC) – Len Kreger
- Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Board (CRAAB) – Len Kreger
- Golf Course Advisory Board (GCAB) – Phil Chapman
- Marina Advisory Board (MAB) — Mike Lednovich, Chip Ross
- Ocean Highway & Port Authority (OHPA) – Mike Lednovich, Chip Ross
- Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) – Phil Chapman
- Planning Advisory Board (PAB) – Mike Lednovich
Newly seated commissioner Mike Lednovich appointed Rick Clark, a retired city manager from Des Moines, Iowa, to serve as his appointment to the Planning Advisory Board. Clark replaces David Beall, who recently resigned from the PAB, and who had been former commissioner Roy Smith’s appointment.
Former Commissioner Roy Smith, whom Lednovich replaces, did not attend the meeting to receive his formal service recognition from his fellow commissioners and the city.
The first 2019 meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commission will be held on Wednesday, January 2. The annual planning retreat has been scheduled for January 29.
Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.