By Mike Phillips
Wow. Did that governor of ours ever give us something to think about. We thought our request for a million bucks to help us advance our riverfront stabilization project was a no-brainer.
He thought not.
My first thought, of course, was, “How can he do that to us? Doesn’t he know how important tourism is to our economy and Florida’s? And what’s a measly million-dollar contribution to our modest historic district flood management project at a mere $14-18 million overall?” Visitors won’t spend money if their feet are wet. Doesn’t he get that?”
Having done some serious corporate budget-cutting of my own back in the day, I thought that surely I could get into his head and find the flaw in his thinking that needs correcting.
But as I looked at the truly radical budget-cutting and bureaucracy-shaking ideas he’s starting to advance in his campaign for the presidency. I thought again. I realized I’m a mere budget-cutting amateur watching not just a pro, but a prophet.
You see, I’ve concluded that the governor just did Fernandina Beach a favor.
Here’s the deal: This town mostly hates bond issues. It sees them as foisting our financial burdens off on our grandchildren. And somehow, it fails to recognize that seawall stabilization is a gift TO our grandchildren. Our generation pays some, our kids pay some and our grandkids polish it off. And all generations avoid downtown flooding without a lot of financial pain.
That’s not prophetic thinking. It’s common sense in the world of municipal management. The governor probably shook his head and sighed as he axed the request. “When will they learn?” he might have been thinking.
Well, when will we? Instead of begging for small change to help us with our most important civic improvement project – one that will benefit generations – why don’t we step up and float a bond issue, get the job done and move on to the next challenge in our lives?
Editor’s note: The Observer welcomes thoughtful commentaries when submitted. The opinions expressed in any commentary are solely those of the writer.