The Good Old Days of City Manager Deals

Fernandina, Florida

January 11, 1936

“A called meeting of the City Commission was held this date at the City Hall at 3:00 p.m.

Present: Mayor-Commissioner P.C. Kelly, Commissioners  W.T. Haile, Louis Goldstein and Joe Bruni, and Mr. O. H. Anderson of Superior, Arizona.

Mayor Commissioner Kelly called upon Mr. Anderson for an expression regarding his proposed connection with the City.

Mr. Anderson stated that he was sent here by Mr. White of the Seaboard Air Line Railway and has looked over the Island and is thoroughly convinced there is no better place for a pulp mill than Fernandina, and is anxious to work to bring a pulp mill or other industries to this city.

Mr. Anderson offered to take over the work of City Manager and Auditor and Clerk at a salary of $300.00 per month, and should he be instrumental in bringing a pulp mill to Fernandina that an additional compensation of one per cent of the capital that might be invested in such an industry, be paid to him when such a plant is assured, one half of one per cent to be paid when plant is well under construction and the balance when plant is in full operation.

After a short discussion the Commissioners expressed themselves entirely satisfied with Mr. Anderson’s proposition. Mr. Hailey made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Bruni, all members present voting “aye,” that Mr. Anderson be appointed City Manager and Auditor, and Clerk, effective this date.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned.”


–Submitted by Commissioner Chip Ross

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Mary Phinney
Mary Phinney(@phinney-mgmail-com)
8 months ago

My father and mother came to Fernandina in 1938. My father worked for Container Corporation of America which was building the pulp mill north of Old Town.

Steve Vogel
Steve Vogel(@stevedec)
8 months ago

Wait ! What ? Please check the date of this activity. It sounds like it was yesterday.

Bill Fold
Bill Fold(@bill-fold)
8 months ago

So old Mr. Anderson from Arizona did real good conning the mayor and councilmen out of $300 per month. $300 in 1936 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $6,492.95 today, an increase of $6,192.95 over 87 years. I hope he’s in a hot place right now for destroying a perfectly pristine island.

Wes White
Wes White(@wes-white)
8 months ago
Reply to  Bill Fold

It was my great grandfather, O.H. Anderson, who in the late 1930’s and under contract with the city of Fernandina, brought two pulp and paper mills to Amelia Island. As was noted in 1939, “[l]ocating the two pulp mills within the city is shown to have given employment to more than 1,000 laborers and in other respects contributed to the economic welfare of the city.”

Had you known O.H., you would know that he was a tireless advocate for conservation and preservation of Amelia Island. He was also keenly aware that families had to eat.

If he’s in a hot place, hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to learn more from him directly in the not to distant future.

Sandra Lerch
Sandra Lerch (@guest_67942)
8 months ago

What? You have got to be kidding!!! All these commissioners have to go, if they are even considering this bazaar suggestion. This is just too unbelievable.

8 months ago
Reply to  Sandra Lerch

oh Sandra ..

Dave Lott
Dave Lott(@dave-l)
8 months ago
Reply to  Sandra Lerch

Sandra, look at the second line of this article that shows this was back in 1936. Guess there wasn’t a concern about division of control responsibilities back then.

Sandra Lerch
Sandra Lerch (@guest_67946)
8 months ago

This story old or new?

Susan Steger
Susan Steger (@guest_67955)
8 months ago