Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
March 16, 2015 5:56 p.m.
About 15 members of the public showed up. Three reporters showed up. City staff showed up. But only two city commissioners—Mayor Ed Boner and Commissioner Tim Poynter—showed up. That meant that the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) Workshop on the parks and recreation master plan lacked a quorum to conduct business. The workshop was rescheduled for Thursday, March 19, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Commission Chambers.
Community Development Director Adrienne Burke explained that today’s workshop had been scheduled in January. But when two commissioners called in earlier in the afternoon to indicate that they could not attend, added to one who had earlier indicated that she would be out of town, city staff notified the consultants that the meeting would need rescheduling. But in order to reschedule and meet notice requirements, the meeting today had to be convened to announce the new date and time.
Audience members were not happy. Reporters were not happy. City staff was not happy. One audience member groused that when the FBCC holds meetings or workshops at 3:30 pm, it prevents many interested but working members of the community from attending. Today’s 5:00 p.m. start time seemed more reasonable to working people. But City Manager Joe Gerrity reminded the audience that on March 19, the city and county commissions will hold a joint meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the Page Governmental Building in Yulee.
Meanwhile, this reporter asked Gerrity why the meeting on the city Fire Department scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on March 17 (tomorrow) preceding the Regular FBCC Meeting had been cancelled. He replied, “There is nothing to report.”