John Campbell Elwell
What do you see as the biggest threat facing the city of Fernandina Beach today and how would you address it?
“The biggest issue facing the city is the continual tax increases to balance the budget, without meaningful reductions in discretionary spending. We are still experiencing an ongoing economic recession. Local property values and interest rates continue to decrease year after year. We cannot continue to fund payments and obligations by reducing the reserve fund and raising millage and franchise fees instead of meaningfully reducing the expense side of the ledger. This type of action not only hurts property and local business owners, it stifles any kind of economic growth. We need to track and make public actual income and expenses against budget on a monthly basis so that the city will not fall further in debt. Changing the current course of action and reporting will take fiscal/business expertise, people skills, and political courage, but it can be done. The citizens of the city will then see clearly where their tax money is being spent and where improvements can be made.”
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of questions posed to candidates for city commission by the Fernandina Observer. The answers come to our readers unedited and in the candidates own words. We will rotate the order of candidates from week to week. Ed Boner and incumbent Tim Poynter will seek Group 4, John Campbell Elwell and Pat K Gass will seek Group 5.
September 18, 2012 7:09 a.m.