Commentary: A Trashy Blame Game That Should End

Editor’s note: Because of recent problems with our system demanding unnecessary passwords from some commenters, I am simply publishing this one as a submitted commentary.

By Chip Ross

To: Alan Hopkins

Steve Nicklas lives on a street that has county residents on one side and city residents on the other. When the city renewed the contract with Waste Management approximately 5 years ago new trash cans were issued to all city residents. In this case it appears that trash cans were delivered to both sides of the street instead of the city side of the street only.

It is my recollection that Waste Management hired a contractor to deliver the new trash cans. Thousands of trash cans were delivered in a short period of time.

It appears Mr. Nicklas took advantage of that mistake. Instead of doing the right thing and reporting the mistake, it appears Mr. Nicklas put his trash out for the city to collect for free, every week, for years.

It is my understanding that over the years others throughout the city have taken other peoples’ trash cans and put them out as their own. Neither the city nor Waste Management routinely check to make sure the right person has the right trash can. It is basically an honor system.

Dishonest people are caught when they are reported by others – as are most crimes.  A resident recently reported that Mr. Nicklas appeared to be receiving free trash service. City staff investigated, and the trash cans were removed.

Mr. Nicklas cheats the city and its taxpayers and you blame the city staff for not catching him sooner? Really?

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Trusted Member
7 months ago

Well said.

Lynne Anderson
Active Member
Lynne Anderson(@lynne-anderson)
7 months ago

Someone (wish I could remember who) said you can judge a person’s character by what they do when no one is looking. Not a bad guiding principle.

Douglas M
Noble Member
Douglas M(@douglasm)
7 months ago
Reply to  Lynne Anderson

Lynne…..I think it was UCLA coach John Wooden. He had a bunch of good ones.

Noble Member
7 months ago

This seems childish….on both sides. Can we move on?

Jason Collins
Noble Member
Jason Collins(@jc18holes)
7 months ago

Why is this news and a huge community event yesterday morning involving local government, private business, and volunteers all for the cause of donating money and school supplies for Nassau County teachers is not? Touch a Truck had hundreds coming out in the heat yesterday so young children could climb on firetrucks, rescue helicopters, police cars, dump trucks, boom trucks. Is this going to be a viable news source started and ran successfully by Susan Steger or is this now what we get in our Sunday morning email?

Noble Member
7 months ago
Reply to  Jason Collins

Exactly. This is only “news” because several don’t like Steve Nicklas. A LOT of stories I read on here and the comments seem to have a lot of hatred and associated crap as their main topic. Calling for “tolerance” and then attacking someone who offers a different opinion.

I assure you that if you don’t pay Meridian and you aren’t on their list of paying customers … your can is retrieved and service ceases. It really isn’t that complicated. Wow, the City provides services on an “honor system”?! Our journalist sleuth can reported the error to the city and had it corrected. It never needed to be a “story”.

Active Member
7 months ago

Talk about judging a person’s character. Didn’t Mr. Ross sue the city when he first moved here?

Alan Hopkins
Noble Member
Alan Hopkins(@dawaves)
7 months ago

Well Chip I guess you missed the FIRST statement I made. Here it is again:

If Steve or anyone else knowing receives services that their fellow taxpayers are paying for It’s wrong. I would hope they would reimburse their fellow citizens.

Is it really necessary to go out of your way to personally publically attack me for wanting some government accountablity after 5 years of wasting our money?

Two things can be true at the same time Steve’s culpability along with the cities.

I know your apology is coming very soon.


Alan Hopkins
Noble Member
Alan Hopkins(@dawaves)
7 months ago

Before this turns into something it should not, I want to acknowledge Chip for his understanding of the issues surrounding FB and his willingness to share details with all who will listen.

He has graciously welcomed me into his house and I want you all to know that I appreciate him sharing his understanding of the issues with me.

Chip was a great source of information and guidance while I had the honor of being Chair of the CRABB. Nonetheless, I do believe his remedies for our city are often not in the city’s best interest. And that should be okay that we disagree civilly without calling into question each other’s character.

To that end believe personal attacks of citizens is not what good government should be about.

Lastly, hopefully we can all move on to more important issues like what can the City do to make the lives of all of us lucky to call Fernandina Beach home better.

Mark Tomes
Noble Member
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Hopkins

This story is not about a personal attack on an average citizen. It is about a commentator who regularly and publicly criticizes city government spending and is now found to be both hypocritical and a thief from the very government he criticizes. That is newsworthy because when we now read Mr. Nicklas’s rants, we have a much better understanding of his true character (or lack thereof).