April 22, 2016 1:00 a.m.
The end of this week approximately marks my first one hundred work days here in Fernandina Beach. I still truly enjoy every day at work. I am passionate about my profession and enthusiastic about my community.
Many people often wonder why- how can you enjoy the headaches and the hassles that accompany working in a highly-charged local government environment? I enjoy the overwhelming variety of tasks and challenges which I have been granted to opportunity and privilege to address in Fernandina Beach.
To commemorate my first one hundred days and to illustrate the wonderful variety of issues that come before me (and often other City staff), here is a list of one hundred email topics that have appeared on my computer (in no particular order):
Drones, special events, hiring, firing, Old Town Streets, beach walk-overs, beach clean-up, beach renourishment.
Concours d’Elegance, Bonhams, Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, concerts, parades, Shrimp Drops, Shrimp Festival, Shrimp Museum.
Front Street, Center Street, Eighth Street, charging stations, comfort stations.
Golf courses, marina, pocket parks, Central Park, Main Beach, waterfront parks, Egans Creek, airport.
Visioning, goals, budgeting, sole source contracts, budget amendments, audit, general ledger, grants, payroll, training, debt, employee service awards.
Port, Rayonier Advanced Materials, Westrock, trucks, lignon
FPU, FAA, FDOT, CRA, MSTU, PRR, PAB, CDD, OHPA, FBO, TDC, LDC, BOCC, AAC, HDC (you should really get a better hobby if you can identify all of these acronyms).
Code enforcement, trolleys, restaurants, pumps, generators, fire trucks, dump trucks.
Downtown, Main Street, tree lights, signs, train depot, depot platform, sidewalks, benches.
Impact fees, storm water, tree removal, solar panels, recycling.
Health insurance, car crashes, staffing, lawsuits, bomb threats.
Realtors, Humane Society, Peck Center, Rotary Club, American Legion, United Way, Council on Aging, Fort Clinch.
Zoning, setbacks, signs, dumpsters, boat ramps, dredging, flags.
Pretty much most of those topics actually came to me in my first month, let alone my first hundred days. I expect that I could easily add another hundred issues to that list. Surprisingly, I would estimate that over half of those issues were unfamiliar to me prior to my arrival in Fernandina Beach.
In addition to issues, I could probably list one hundred people that I have met in my first hundred work days. Probably more, and I look forward to meeting the next hundred and the hundred after that.
The issues and the people are what brings the fascination and excitement to my profession. Every day is different. Some issues keep a recurring presence in my daily efforts- City Commission agenda preparation is always forward-looking, two or even three meetings in advance. Staffing issues, such as payroll and leave approval, are routine items. Although I have many meetings scheduled, many other issues, visitors, and callers are unexpected.
I enjoy learning about the issues and the community history related to those issues. I enjoy working with all of the people that I have met in my one hundred days. Everyone has an opinion on how to improve the community, and it is exciting to try to blend and meld those differing opinions into a common vision.
That is why I do what I do and why I enjoy what I do.