By Mike Phillips, Editor
The seven candidates for two seats on the Fernandina Beach City Commission have been invited to a forum on Oct. 14. You are invited, as well, to the City Council chamber at City Hall.
This election year, we are asking the candidates to engage the most difficult issues that the city faces in its near future: completion of the riverfront stabilization project, dealing with deteriorating recreational facilities, upgrading a downtown that hasn’t been significantly upgraded since 1978, and a city hall building that is, literally, crumbling. Tough stuff like that, including how to pay for it.
And then we’re asking them to grade city services, explain how they’d get the city marina up to a break-even operation, how they would get along with the city manager and why they think they are more qualified than their opponents. We’ve phrased the questions to make wiggle room difficult. And we’ve given the candidates time to think about their answers.
The forum will be one hour, 6 pm to 7 pm, in city council chambers, and it will be streamed for real-time viewing and recorded for catch-up viewing.
As we say back in Kentucky, where I last lived, y’all come!
thanks for doing this!
Always an informative event. Wish the candidates wouldn’t be given the questions in advance. Any candidate worth their salt will know what to expect in terms of question topics but good to see how they think and response extemporaneously rather than respond off prepared notes.
One hour for seven candidates on five topics? We’ll get sound bites, not serious discussion of these important issues. May I suggest there be a series of forums which focus on one topic per session.
The cost for the capitol projects mentioned above is around $20M. The only viable source for this kind of money, other than grants, is a municipal bond, which will create a new tax burden for the next two decades of about 0.44 mils at current rates. That translates to a tax increase of $150/year for a home appraised at $350,000 until 2042. The real question is–do you support issuing a bond?