This is not a place that loves bond issues – even though they are a good way to spread costs of major projects over many years.

I’ve even heard thoughtful people here say they just don’t want to saddle their grandchildren with any bond debt.

Though I disagree with that thought intellectually, I also understand it emotionally. I’m an older citizen who loves the generations coming up behind him.

So this election’s support for a bond issue to preserve important pieces of land in Nassau County from commercial growth was, in my newcomer’s mind, a test of both my new neighbors’ and my own understanding of this place.

We all passed. My neighbors passed the bond issue, and I passed it with them.

This is a statement about how people living here love the beauty of this place. Yes, pure beauty, along with its more practical  attributes.

But I want to encourage commentaries from other people, not me. So how do you think we did yesterday?

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Barry Holloway
Barry Holloway (@guest_66348)
1 year ago

Sir, while I did not vote for this, I agree with statement. Here’s why. #1- additional property tax for 30 years.
#2 - School board 1 mill increase will never go away.
#3- ongoing lawsuits against the county from Riversource and ITT Rayonnier. If the county loses these 2, they will, potentially an increase of property taxes for our citizens of $1000-1500 dollars a year for ever! Rayonnier potential $50 million dollars loss. Riversource potential $30 million loss. Who pays for it, the taxpayers of Nassau county Florida!

Charles Loouk
Trusted Member
Charles Loouk(@charles-loouk)
1 year ago
Reply to  Barry Holloway

I agree with Barry.
Additionally, funding these items is a quick slippery slope into funding regular “projects.” Case in point, the county I left to move here just unanimously approved the following (Metro is subway/commuter train):

  • $52,630,000 for Metro projects: Yes – 78.3 | No – 21.7%
  • $22,460,000 for parks and recreation projects: Yes – 78.3% | No – 21.8%
  • $53,300,000 for infrastructure projects: Yes – 71.6% | No – 28.6%
  • $165,010,000 for Arlington Public Schools projects: Yes – 76.7% | No – 23.3%
  • $39,760,000 for County Stormwater Program projects: Yes – 80.2% | No – 19.8%
  • $177,360,000 for work on the county’s Water Pollution Control Plant and county water and sewer systems: Yes84.9% | No – 15.1%

If you read through the language on those, each and every one is something that should be part of the normal budgeting process. Instead, they are up on the ballot, with the county government knowing they will pass. As a result, each and every election, the county votes a tax increase on itself. Nassau is heading this way if it’s not careful.

Collin Fordham
Collin Fordham (@guest_66351)
1 year ago

To provide the other side of Mr. Holloway’s “boogeyman” scenario, I’d just like to point out the total millage rate in unincorporated Nassau County in 2006 (when Mr. Holloway was a County Commissioner) was 16.1860. Today, AFTER the school millage referendum was passed, the total millage rate is…..16.0452 so let’s not carried away and assume we are being taxed out of our homes. And the lawsuits referenced are self-inflicted wounds by the County leadership. Moral of the story: don’t get in fights you can’t win…or in other words, honor the law.

As for the original post, the reason we don’t have nice things like parks is because our local government is debt-averse and pays for capital projects in cash. While that sounds altruistic, the result is while “saving up” for big spends, the citizens do without. Quick example from personal finance. Option A: Imagine you want to buy a home and it costs $300K. You can save up 20% and finance the other 80%. While you are paying some interest, you still get to live in the home. Option B (and what the County does) is realize you want a home, and then live in a tent for 30 years while you “save” enough money to buy cash for that house. You can save some money in interest this way, but you’ve just spent 30 years living in a tent. Which option would you choose?

Option B is what the County and School Board have done and the result is overcrowded schools (there has been one new school built in the last 20 years) and inadequate recreation space (County hasn’t built a park since 1997). No one is advocating for a spending spree, but a balanced approach to public debt (the cheapest debt out there) is needed to balance for the unplanned growth that has occurred over the last 20 years.

Barry Holloway
Barry Holloway (@guest_66353)
1 year ago
Reply to  Collin Fordham

Yes, the mileage rate was 16.860 . Mileage rates were set to provide all essential services for our county. In 2007 our county began to experience the largest property value in our history, starting at 9 billion dollars on the way down to less than 6 billions dollars by 2014! Your argument holds no value!! Look at what our property values are today! The highest in our history! Do your homework before making accusations. Boggyman!!! Enjoy your tremendous hike in property taxes!

Barry Holloway
Barry Holloway (@guest_66354)
1 year ago
Reply to  Barry Holloway

Property loss in value no increase!

Robert Sherretta
Robert Sherretta (@guest_66361)
1 year ago

I understand the sentiment, but it is important to remember that every community needs to balance its preservation of nature with its willingness to develop amenities that can be enjoyed by sizable members of the community. It’s equally sad to see small towns drift into obscurity and disrepair if they fail to attract new residents and lively businesses. R.S.

Margaret Kirkland
Margaret Kirkland(@kirkland-mrk)
1 year ago

Thank you to all who voted for the land conservation bond referendum!! This is a vote for our children’s and grandchildren’s future, at a minimal cost. Hopefully, the county will be able to leverage these funds to conserve even more land.

Please don’t forget that this is critically important for all of us–for our sustainability and resilience. We need these lands not only for our pleasure, but to process storm water, manage storm surge, prevent the flooding of our homes, etc. This is also an important foundation of our economy.

Yvonne Diamico
Yvonne Diamico (@guest_66370)
1 year ago

I agree with Mr. Holloway. the burden is always on the property taxpayers. If you check the numbers, it appears 25% of the voters passed the school tax and 75% of the voters were against it. The statics report classrooms have 17 to 18 students per class. The point is the money is not necessarily needed. It was just can we get it. The largest employer in Nassau County is Nassau County. Therefore, the county votes for what they want, the taxpayers pay the bill. The governor says the state has a surplus in the budget. So why can’t Nassau County have a surplus?