Welcome to Fernandina Beach: A Kerfuffle Over the Sign

Mayor Mike Lednovich

By Wes Wolfe

Florida Politics

Those wanting to turn Amelia Island into the sort of mass-produced luxury destination for rich folks that other places have become will have to go through the Fernandina Beach mayor first.

Mayor Mike Lednovich voiced his displeasure with actions by county officials, in a tourism and marketing capacity, discussing an improved city entry sign for Fernandina Beach, taking away what he sees as one of the desirable features of the city.

Among other efforts, the planning process for Nassau Next is ongoing. It’s one half of a two-part effort by the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners, the county Tourist Development Council, and their hired consultants.

Lednovich became aware of the sign situation after receiving an email forwarded by City Manager Dale Martin regarding the welcome sign at 8th and Lime streets.

“We received an email that the county had approved hiring a party to design our sign,” Lednovich said at the city commission’s latest meeting. “And, my first thought was, ‘Who asked you? It’s our sign.’ So, this is more of the county trying to make the whole place look the same. Is that what we want? It’s not what I want.”

No matter how you look at it, aspects of standardization built into countywide marketing concepts would bring consistency and some appearance of sameness to Amelia Island.

“The goal of Nassau Next — a Tourism Strategy and Destination Project — is to create a roadmap for the future of Nassau County and enhancing the tourism economy,” according to the project website.

“Positioning new areas of the county will help to capture an increased share of tourism spending while maintaining the momentum that currently exists on Amelia Island. The project will deliver a 10-year roadmap for creating jobs, expanding the economy and improving quality of life for visitors and residents.”

Lednovich asked Martin to express his concerns to Nassau County officials.

“I’m hoping, in your communication with the county manager, that we set the record straight that we’ll design our own damn sign,” Lednovich said, “that fits the flavor of our community and what our city wants.”

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Mike Collins
Mike Collins(@mike-collins)
1 year ago

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it The wooden sign off the bridge has character and does the job. if the County wants a sign, they can put it in Callahan. If the resorts that run the TDC want a sign, I have a couple ideas where they can put it. Thanks, Mayor Mike, for speaking up and for speaking truth to power.

Phyllis E Davis
Phyllis E Davis(@phyllisameliamuseum-org)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Collins

The wooden sign at the bridge is not in the City limits. That is county territory. The mayor is discussing the sign at 8th and Lime.

Mike (@guest_66162)
1 year ago

Regardless you get the Point Right?

Nancy Shores
Nancy Shores (@guest_66157)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Collins

….”while maintaining the momentum” got my attention. We are no where near maintaining the momentum-or our future unaffordable homes and property taxes. And where is the infrastructure $$$$ going to come from? Wake up and smell the ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ destruction of the quality of life we once enjoyed. Just stop! STOP the insanity. Looks like we county residents have not screamed and yelled loud enough. We’re not buying what the TDC, the resorts and the County Commissioners are trying to sell us. Everyone should remember all of this when we vote.

1 year ago

Tell the County to send you the funds and we will design our own sign to fit the community 

Chris Nickoloff
Chris Nickoloff (@guest_66149)
1 year ago

This is such nonsense. Another crisis and manufactured story to give the appearance of malfeasance. And we wonder why our relationship with the county sucks. This kind off stuff fuels it. Additional facts are: this was 2019, Main Street was involved, City staff from many departments were involved after all, this was conceptual with good intent to create a working group once all the leg work was done. No malice intended, only insinuated to score political points. So once again, here we are. That chasm between us and the county widens. All over nothing! When will we wake up and stop this nonsense so we can move forward. Forward, rebuilding our relationship with the county so we can actually focus on the bigger issues and get stuff done.

Doug Mowery
Doug Mowery (@guest_66164)
1 year ago

Thanks for the rest of the story. It is interesting the Mayor (and perhaps even the City Manager) seemed to be surprised by the letter. Creating a “kerfuffle” in this case may just have been harsh election rhetoric for next month (remember the “pound sand” talk in the recent Nassau Commissioner race?).

The Mayor is up for reelection for his FBCC seat….but he will turn the Mayor’s gavel over to Bean or Sturges regardless.

John Pufahl
John Pufahl (@guest_66151)
1 year ago

As a newbie, I like the sign. It has character & conveys a good message. A littlle old school is good!

A.Cerimele (@guest_66152)
1 year ago

I like how Mayor Mike thinks. It’s exactly why I am looking to relocate to the Island!

William Smith
William Smith (@guest_66156)
1 year ago
Reply to  A.Cerimele

But..But..But.. They DON’T want you to move here! Look at all the anti-development sentiment here. Everyone who comes here wants the door closed behind them.

1 year ago

Here is the essence of the problem – “to create a roadmap for the future of Nassau County and enhancing the tourism economy”. I think that the majority of folks who live on the island feel like it’s tourists first, residents need to follow along. How about we enhance other aspects of our economy? Note also the concluding sentence – “The project will deliver a 10-year roadmap for creating jobs, expanding the economy and improving quality of life for visitors and residents.” Residents are ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS listed last.

Mike (@guest_66163)
1 year ago
Reply to  Betsie

Local residents first as we love our tourism but not at the expense of the residents cost and quality of life!

T.C. (@guest_66158)
1 year ago

Just reduce our taxes.

Kim (@guest_66159)
1 year ago

I say for the people that live here stay and the rest that think they know what is good for our town to leave as we have done just fine before this growth came to Nassau