Forward Fernandina, Part III: The ball is in YOUR court

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm

Reporter News Analyst

Suanne Z. Thamm Reporter-News Analyst
Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter-News Analyst

This is the third and final part of a 3-part series on the Fernandina Beach strategic plan known as Forward Fernandina.  The first part, published on February 13, provided information on the background and genesis of the plan; the second part, published the morning of  February 14, provided a status report and discussed potential consequences, as well as lessons learned.

You may think Forward Fernandina is a terrible idea, or you may think it is the answer to many problems.  You may think it goes too far, or you may think it doesn’t go far enough.  You may think the timing is perfect, or that the time has passed, or that the time has not yet even arrived to be able to consider something this ambitious.

You have a right to any or all of these opinions.  Your opinion is as valuable as mine or the guy or gal next door.  But you need to share those opinions with the folks elected to make these decisions.  One commissioner said recently that she speaks for the 99% of the people who do not attend commission meetings.  Funny, but she did not get 99% of the vote when she ran, even though she did win.  Was she speaking for you?

Keep informed by attending and watching FBCC meetings.  Call, email (Click here to email commissioners)  or find commissioners in the grocery store parking lots.  But make sure your voice is heard when important issues come up for votes.

Editor’s Note:  The upcoming regular City Commission meeting scheduled for February 19, 2013  shows a resolution (see below) on the agenda to return approximately $1,476,000 of the approximately $1,800,000 of the Forward Fernandina loan.

RESOLUTION 2013-23 APPROVING REPAYMENT OF THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE CITY OF FERNANDINA BEACH, FLORIDA CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT REVENUE NOTE, SERIES 2011 (FORWARD FERNANDINA REVENUE NOTE); AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO EXECUTE DOCUMENTATION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: Authorizes the City Manager to repay $1,476,023.86 of the Forward Fernandina Revenue Note and further authorizes the City Manager to execute any and all documentation required to finalize the repayment of this portion of the note.

Editor’s Note:  Suanne Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues impacting our city.  We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.

February 14, 2013  11:25 p.m.

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Genece Minshew
Genece Minshew (@guest_4059)
11 years ago

Thanks for this very clear and concise assessment of Forward Fernandina and lessons learned, especially about communications. I was just telling someone last night, I think these newly elected commissioners got elected by campaigning “against” something that was presented as a bad and now they are elected. So, now that they are sitting commissioners and they need to figure out what they are really “for”, otherwise there won’t be any moving forward on anything for the next 2 to 4 years. And, we can’t afford to continue to waste time.

Thanks for a great job.

Genece Minshew

Len Kreger
Len Kreger (@guest_4064)
11 years ago
Reply to  Genece Minshew

I am not sure that there was communicatons problem. The public was well aware of the F2 plan and methods for finance, especially the loan which was rushed to approval before the two new Commissioners were seated. Talk about moral issues!

Betsie Huben
Betsie Huben(@betsie-huben)
11 years ago

In the current economic climate – here, there and everywhere, no money that has already been spent should have been spent for nothing. Move on with the current loan and projects slated (certainly the library folks would agree) and learn from the lessons of this particular chapter in our town’s history. And please, members of the council certainly need to learn how to work together for consensus and clarity of voice. With so many council members and so many different views on what to do is it any wonder the rest of us are left scratching our heads? Leave your personal opinions and personalities at the door as you enter for your meeting for the sake of the entire community.