local electionsSubmitted by Suanne Z. Thamm

Reporter – News Analyst

 

The deadline for qualifying as a candidate for the fall 2015 election to the Fernandina Beach City Commission officially ended at 5:00 p.m. this afternoon (August 28, 2015). In addition to those candidates who had qualified earlier by petition, two additional candidates decided to throw their hats into the race: incumbent city commissioner Pat Gass and former Nassau County Commissioner Jim B. Higginbotham. Gass is not running for re-election from her current group  (Group 5), but has opted to file and qualify as a candidate in the Group 4 race. The official line-up of candidates seeking the two positions as per Fernandina Beach City Clerk Caroline Best at 5:08 p.m.:

Group 4

Pat K. Gass

Jim B. Higginbotham

Jennifer Schriver

Roy G. Smith

Group 5

Clinch Kavanaugh

Leonard A. Kreger

The Fernandina Observer invites all candidates to submit their press releases and photos for publication. As in past years, the Fernandina Observer will invite all candidates to answer a series of questions next month to be published in their unedited form to help our readers understand the candidates’ positions. The Fernandina Observer will also sponsor a Candidates Forum in October, which will take place at Fernandina Beach City Hall and be broadcast to the viewing public.

The General Election will be held on November 3, 2015. To be eligible to vote in this election, Fernandina Beach residents must be registered with the Supervisor of Elections by October 5, 2015. Should a Runoff Election be required for the Group 4 seat, that election will be held on December 8, 2015. New voters must register to vote by November 9, 2015 to be able to cast a ballot in that election.  All city races are non-partisan.

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Judy Kilgore
Judy Kilgore (@guest_43829)
7 years ago

Suanne,
I don’t live in Fernandina but I am a frequent visitor and possibly may move there. I subscribe both to the Observer and the News Leader. What is the distinction of the groups? Is it by district?

I really enjoy your online newspaper. Y’all do a good job. I work for a local newspaper in a nearby county so not only newspapers but also small town government affairs interest me.

Judy Kilgore
Newnan, GA

Judy Kilgore
Judy Kilgore (@guest_43835)
7 years ago
Reply to  Suanne Thamm

Ahhh. That does help. Thanks so much for the reply.

Dave Lott
Dave Lott (@guest_43831)
7 years ago

Let the games begin. Oh, it looks like they have already started. LOL
Best of luck to all the candidates and thanks for your willingness to serve if elected.

Mrs. D. Hunter
Mrs. D. Hunter (@guest_43848)
7 years ago
Reply to  Dave Lott

Oh yeah. Ace “gotcha” gamer, that one.

Steve Crounse
Steve Crounse (@guest_43851)
7 years ago

This “At Large” System of Government has always Baffled me. Two Cities I’m familiar with that were approx. the same population as ours, had Districts, with Councilmen/women that were Elected from their District, there priority was the Concerns of their particular District. Had Mayor and in later years Business Manager.
This group 1,2,3,4, At Large was I’m sure, the way to go when there were 2500 full time residences or less on the Island. As we’ve seen over this last year, we are a Diverse Group of people. I think we’ve outgrown the “At Large system’. We have People running, that simple change groups for their advantage, not the good of any Community. It’s seems to be Government by “WAK-A-MOLE” Process. That’s my thoughts, what’s yours?

Robert Warner
Robert Warner (@guest_43874)
7 years ago

Traditionl “good old boy” method of gaming a local system.

Marlene Chapman
Marlene Chapman (@guest_43884)
7 years ago

Steve, agree with you 100%. Same nonsense, different day! When will we learn? Why change groups? Can’t those we’ve elected in the past and whom we elect in the future just do what they’ve promised, be honest and do what’s right for the island? That concept isn’t difficult!!

Dave Lott
Dave Lott (@guest_43892)
7 years ago

I don’t think FB is large enough to justify having the city divided into five districts and then requiring the candidate to live in that district. We already have seen the division that can cause at the county level where you have the “island and east Nassau” pitted against the rest of the county with their three votes on such issues as tree protection, etc.

Steve Crounse
Steve Crounse (@guest_43894)
7 years ago

Dave, the two communities i speak of, had 12,000 and 15,000 populations, was there problems.? Of course,What Democratic Governing body doesn’t have problems. But the Voice of the people, with local Issues, where put on the Table for Discussion. Their District or Ward Representative made it happen. As to the County Government, perhaps the size of the area, and the issues of different life styles. make the contrast too broad to handle in a District Manner. I am more focused on what would make this City be more inclusive of it’s Citizens. Just my two cents.

Marlene Chapman
Marlene Chapman (@guest_43895)
7 years ago

Shouldn’t it all be about inclusion, working together and getting the island back on track? Right now, from what I hear and who I talk to, there is and always has been a division on most, if not all aspects of what takes place in this city. What does it take to get everyone together and onto the same playing field? The sooner this is accomplished, the better off we’ll all be, right?

Steve Crounse
Steve Crounse (@guest_43901)
7 years ago
Reply to  Suanne Thamm

2007? And that got where?, I think it would be a great idea, to revisit that suggestion. Perhaps like David said 5 Districts or Wards is too much for this town. But as it stands at the moment we only have ONE. That’s not right.

Dave Lott
Dave Lott (@guest_43907)
7 years ago

Sorry, I just think for a city with the small geographical size of FB that even having 2 districts creates an unnecessary level of bureaucracy and potential division. All five commissioners should be making decisions on what they think is best for the City overall, not what is best for their district that will aid them getting re-elected. Let’s see, western side of Egan’s Greenway property owners saying don’t bother me with stormwater problems (and increased fee/taxes) when that is a problem of those on the eastern side. People on the northern side saying the airport noise doesn’t bother me so let’s expand the airport while those on the southside. We have all seen/heard the NIMBY (not in my back yard) issues even within our City in the past and creating districts only exacerbates such IMHO.

Steve Crounse
Steve Crounse (@guest_43924)
7 years ago
Reply to  Dave Lott

You make a good case for your argument. at the Combined Commission meeting, talking about Beach Renewal, the folks out in the western part of the County weren’t too keen on the idea. “NOT MY PROBLEM MAN”Oh well, As Merle Haggard said “I think I’ll Just sit Here and Drink”

Marlene Chapman
Marlene Chapman (@guest_43908)
7 years ago

One district, one community, one island, one goal….work together!
Now that’s what it should be all about, shouldn’t it????

Randy Cottle
Randy Cottle (@guest_44049)
7 years ago

Why are there no R’s, D’s or I’s, etc. beside their names? 😉

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