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Commissioner Ross Disputes My Comments; Waterfront Park Opposed By Local Merchants

Waterfront parking not a waterfront park is what’s needed say merchants.

(Editor’s Note: There will not be a blog the next couple of weeks. It will resume Nov. 22. I appreciate all the readers who take time to read it, particularly those who leave comments, whether they agree or disagree.)

Rarely do I agree with Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Chip Ross on issues. However, I do respect him for standing firm on his positions and combatting those he believes are ill-informed and who question his conclusions.

He routinely conducts a vast amount of research to support his arguments, while attempting to convince naysayers why he’s right and why they’re wrong.

For example, last week Commissioner Ross called me out twice. Once, for writing that the city: “…..purchased a forest’s worth of waterfront park plans, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars that are sitting unread on shelves in city hall. There’s even a recently purchased $240,000 plan in there on how to buy plans…. I’m not making that up.”

Secondly he scolded me for saying his two lawsuits against the city (2015-16 and 2016-17) cost taxpayers “tens of thousands of dollars.” He even dragged his granny in on that one and pointed her wagging finger at me saying: “My grandmother used to say, ‘what a tangled web we weave once we practice to deceive.’”

OK, let’s give Granny Ross a break here. Commissioner Ross DID sue the city two times forcing it to pay its insurance deductible both times for an outside law firm to handle the suits. Commissioner Ross had City Attorney Tammi Bach look into the cost and she says it was a $2,500 deductible in each case for a total of $5,000 that Ross cost the taxpayers, not the tens of thousands I wrote. I wonder what the insurance company paid the attorneys and how many lawsuits it takes before they cry “Uncle” and start hiking the city’s rates?  OK, so you cost the taxpayers $5,000 not tens of thousands with your frivolous nonsense commissioner. Point made. So, when will you give us our five-grand back?

On the waterfront plan he chides me saying: “It appears you are not letting the facts get in the way of your story. To the best of my knowledge, after checking with the City Manager, Clerk and Comptroller, no such recent $240,000 purchase exists. If you did not make that up, what was the source?”

Well, Mr. Ross nailed it and I was wrong again. It wasn’t a $240,000 plan, but a $223,000 plan. I was off by $17,000. Hey, I’m a words guy not a numbers guy, so sue me…ooops, sorry just kidding.

So what? It’s not my money.

The city agreed to purchase a $223,000 waterfront plan chock a block full of plans for more plans. All it needs to do is buy some new shelves to store all these new waterfront plans on.

In this case Commissioner Ross called on Andrew Holesko, a vice president at Passero Associates, which is getting paid to do all this planning to explain it all to me. What Mr. Holesko said was no different than what he and Ross said this past July, essentially they need to do more studies, analysis and planning. Nowhere is digging, dredging, hammering, or sawing mentioned. They say more plans and studies are needed before the sound of waterfront park progress can be heard.

This past July even Commissioner Len Kreger, got off his sea turtle bandwagon long enough to question the need for more waterfront park plans saying they are already available. At that time Ross cautioned the turtle-man about moving too fast, saying those plans don’t include plans on how to move forward.

According to Commissioner Ross the $223,000 plan from Passero will assess existing conditions at the waterfront including facilities structure, topography, and drainage systems; assign development goals; review shoreline stabilization techniques, communicate the plan to the city and residents with graphic plans and technical reports; and create a funding plan. Passero also said it would analyze subsidence issues, storm water backflow prevention and risk analysis. …all for just $223,000.  This study will, they say, serve as the basis to provide a long-term, physically stabilized waterfront. Logical follow-on steps for the city says Mr. Holesko will likely include capital improvement programming, securing grant funding, followed by the design/permitting/installation (construction) scheduling.  Well, that’s some progress as it’s the first time I’ve seen the word “construction” in any of these proposals.

In other words it’s another plan full of plans, analyses and studies, and more opportunities for contractors to cash in.

Hey, I don’t blame Passero, they’re in the business of selling plans. If a city is browsing their showroom and asks: “Do you have any waterfront park plans here for around a quarter of a million bucks?” the guy on the floor is going to try and close that deal fast. Too bad they don’t accept old plans as trade-ins.

I was told by a fellow at the gym this week that many of the city’s waterfront park plans are so old, they are stored at the Amelia Island Museum. I wonder if any of them or the ones still laying around city hall contain any of the options outlined by Passero?  It’s hard to believe they don’t. And isn’t Passero the company that gave us the $4.3 million “It-looks-like-an-airplane-airport-terminal?” Overhearing our gym conversation another fellow exercised his opinion saying: “These city waterfront plans are like Christmas ties. You know you’ll get one every year that you’ll never wear and eventually ends up with all the other ones in the closet gathering dust.”

***

Park? We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Park! It appears that the city commission has been so busy buying and storing waterfront park plans they neglected to ask downtown merchants if they actually wanted a waterfront  park. They don’t! They want more places for their customers to PARK, not another PARK. If the city builds a park, they say, their customers will have to park several blocks away and then lug all their stuff to the waterfront, something they’re reluctant to do, and many times unable to do.

At a meeting of the Marina Advisory Board (MAB) this past Monday Kevin McCarthy, who owns and operates the popular Amelia River Cruises and chairs the MAB, nixed the waterfront park idea saying it’ll hurt his business among others.

He wants parking, he says, to accommodate the more than 50,000 folks annually who take advantage of his charter boat excursions, many who he says are unable or unwilling to walk through town to the docks and board his boats.

Many say that fishermen with tackle boxes and fishing poles need to park as close as possible to the docks rather than having to drag their gear through town. Many of Captain McCarthy’s excursions encourage passengers to bring baskets of food and drinks while some are catered for private events. Eliminating the current parking spaces would create a physical challenge for passengers and caterers and a financial hardship for him says Captain McCarthy. The boats that supply Cumberland Island’s food and beverages would also be hard hit.

Even far-left leaning Coleman Langshaw, a MAB member, who has never seen a government project he didn’t approve of throwing taxpayer money at, agrees that the city has a parking problem and that downtown merchants need to have a voice. I can’t think of anything I’ve ever agreed with Mr. Langshaw on, but this is one.

***

Ken Timmerman

Local Expert With A National Voice: Amelia Island resident, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, middle east expert, author, reporter and friend, Ken Timmerman, says there’s no reason to keep any U.S. troops in Syria.

The successful raid snuffing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, possibly the most evil person on the planet, highlights Mr. Timmerman’s claim. The raid proved you can run, but you can’t hide from the might of the U.S. military. Ground troops weren’t necessary.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made clear that the exercise demonstrated America’s ability to neutralize targets wherever they may hide.

When asked if the mission would have proved more difficult without an established US presence in the region General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “From an operational standpoint, the United States military can strike any target, anywhere, any time.”

Added Esper, “We have incredible reach. … the terrorists should be aware of that.”

In addition to the precision and skill of the special forces troops that conducted the raid, secrecy was vital. That’s another reason President Trump didn’t brief House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Intelligence Committee head doofus Adam Schiff. Those two can’t be trusted, certainly not when American soldiers lives are on the line.

The success of the raid was not only a stunning display of the power of the U.S. military but also President Trump’s decision-making process. The president took a risk approving the mission. Had the raid failed he would have come out of it looking like hapless Jimmy Carter in 1979 when his decision to rescue American hostages in Iran went awry in the desert with helicopters crashing U.S. soldiers dying and no hostages rescued. That and a lousy economy cost him the election in a landslide defeat to Ronald Reagan. The hostages were released the day President Reagan was inaugurated. The Iranian leaders — all finalists in the Gabby Hayes-look-alike-contest — were taking no chances with the straight-talking Mr. Reagan in charge.

Freelance writer, author and Augusta, Georgia resident, Bill Shuey, strongly agrees with Mr. Timmerman that ground forces in Syria aren’t necessary. “We have a war going on right here in our hemisphere, more accurately right across our border in Mexico,” he explains. “Last year 32,000 Mexican citizens were slaughtered just across the Rio Grande. By comparison, 6,964 civilians were killed in Syria in 2018. Thousands of Americans die each year from drugs that flow across our southern border and neither political party much cares. The Mexican drug lords are represented in virtually all our major cities. Still no one cares.”

Shuey says we don’t need a dozen new jet fighters for the mess in Mexico. “We don’t need a steady supply of Humvees, tanks, missiles, etcetera for Mexico because our politicians and media ignore the ongoing war across the river. We can’t get involved in Mexico’s internal affairs because they are a sovereign nation, but we can get involved in the Middle East because? Well never mind, it doesn’t have to make sense.”

Obviously Shuey doesn’t pull punches. “Greed, quest for power and money is what is driving the chicken hawks to love war,” he declares. “Windbags like Mitt Romney advocate perpetual war but never got close to a military uniform and made sure his five sons never served our nation. He is no exception, just perhaps the most nauseating because of his hypocrisy!”

***

Things I Wish I’d Said: “President Trump’s wall costs less than the Obamacare website.” — Tim Allen.

***

Something To Think About When You Vote: “Keep in mind that Congress has no resources of its own. Plus, there’s no Santa Claus or tooth fairy that gives Congress resources. Thus, the only way that Congress can give one American a dollar is to first, through intimidation and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American.” – Walter Williams

***

Proof The Left & Its Media Hacks Have Lost Their Minds: On Monday, Washington Post and CNN contributor Max Boot published an opinion-editorial in the Post saying that President Donald J. Trump’s assertion that the now dead ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a coward was “contradicted by the fact that rather than be captured, he blew himself up.” Al-Baghdadi killed himself with a suicide vest and murdered three of his children during the explosion. He was using his offspring as a human shield against U.S. forces. After immediate backlash for his column, the idiot issued a retraction. Boot is the same person who once said, “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump.” The Washington Post, which used to be a newspaper, headlined Al-Baghdadi’s death saying he was an “austere religious scholar.” CNN broadcasters questioned President’s Trump wording with one loon even saying, “Al-Baghdadi was a human being and we should never celebrate the death of a human being.” These people are insane. That’s like headlining Osama bin-Laden’s demise by writing: “Heir to Saudi real estate fortune dies in Pakistani home invasion.” Or Adolph Hitler’s obit saying: “Articulate, non-smoking, vegan German leader dies by own hand in Berlin shelter.”  Or Stalin: “Former seminary student who rallied Soviet troops in World War II dies peacefully in bed.”  The Post, the New York Times, CNN, etc. are indistinguishable from The Onion, Harvard Lampoon or Mad Magazine.

***

Drinking, Dining & Dancing: During this Florida-Georgia football weekend, which means today, Saturday and Sunday, the downtown Amelia Tavern at 318 Centre Street says it’s offering a couple of exceptional deals. For twenty bucks guests can purchase 20 wings and two beers, and for $22 beer lovers can grab 20 wings and a 32-ounce crowler can of beer. Call ‘em at 904/310-6088. If the Sandbar Restaurant & Kitchen at Main Beach offers a special of “scary hot wings”, be warned, these wings are hotter than a two-dollar pistol. A pal seated next to me offered me one from his Halloween night order and I foolishly accepted, casually gobbling the entire flapper down instantly. YIKES! You could remove dried paint with these things. It took two quick beers to put the fire out, my nose was running uncontrollably and I felt like I’d snorted Drano. I couldn’t focus, my eyes were watering,  my ears ringing, sweat poured off my forehead, and I was beginning to think I’d suffered brain damage. Who voluntarily eats this stuff? Not me again.

Commissioner Ross Disputes My Comments; Waterfront Park Opposed By Local Merchants

Waterfront parking not a waterfront park is what’s needed say merchants.

(Editor’s Note: There will not be a blog the next couple of weeks. It will resume Nov. 22. I appreciate all the readers who take time to read it, particularly those who leave comments, whether they agree or disagree.)

Rarely do I agree with Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Chip Ross on issues. However, I do respect him for standing firm on his positions and combatting those he believes are ill-informed and who question his conclusions.

He routinely conducts a vast amount of research to support his arguments, while attempting to convince naysayers why he’s right and why they’re wrong.

For example, last week Commissioner Ross called me out twice. Once, for writing that the city: “…..purchased a forest’s worth of waterfront park plans, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars that are sitting unread on shelves in city hall. There’s even a recently purchased $240,000 plan in there on how to buy plans…. I’m not making that up.”

Secondly he scolded me for saying his two lawsuits against the city (2015-16 and 2016-17) cost taxpayers “tens of thousands of dollars.” He even dragged his granny in on that one and pointed her wagging finger at me saying: “My grandmother used to say, ‘what a tangled web we weave once we practice to deceive.’”

OK, let’s give Granny Ross a break here. Commissioner Ross DID sue the city two times forcing it to pay its insurance deductible both times for an outside law firm to handle the suits. Commissioner Ross had City Attorney Tammi Bach look into the cost and she says it was a $2,500 deductible in each case for a total of $5,000 that Ross cost the taxpayers, not the tens of thousands I wrote. I wonder what the insurance company paid the attorneys and how many lawsuits it takes before they cry “Uncle” and start hiking the city’s rates?  OK, so you cost the taxpayers $5,000 not tens of thousands with your frivolous nonsense commissioner. Point made. So, when will you give us our five-grand back?

On the waterfront plan he chides me saying: “It appears you are not letting the facts get in the way of your story. To the best of my knowledge, after checking with the City Manager, Clerk and Comptroller, no such recent $240,000 purchase exists. If you did not make that up, what was the source?”

Well, Mr. Ross nailed it and I was wrong again. It wasn’t a $240,000 plan, but a $223,000 plan. I was off by $17,000. Hey, I’m a words guy not a numbers guy, so sue me…ooops, sorry just kidding.

So what? It’s not my money.

The city agreed to purchase a $223,000 waterfront plan chock a block full of plans for more plans. All it needs to do is buy some new shelves to store all these new waterfront plans on.

In this case Commissioner Ross called on Andrew Holesko, a vice president at Passero Associates, which is getting paid to do all this planning to explain it all to me. What Mr. Holesko said was no different than what he and Ross said this past July, essentially they need to do more studies, analysis and planning. Nowhere is digging, dredging, hammering, or sawing mentioned. They say more plans and studies are needed before the sound of waterfront park progress can be heard.

This past July even Commissioner Len Kreger, got off his sea turtle bandwagon long enough to question the need for more waterfront park plans saying they are already available. At that time Ross cautioned the turtle-man about moving too fast, saying those plans don’t include plans on how to move forward.

According to Commissioner Ross the $223,000 plan from Passero will assess existing conditions at the waterfront including facilities structure, topography, and drainage systems; assign development goals; review shoreline stabilization techniques, communicate the plan to the city and residents with graphic plans and technical reports; and create a funding plan. Passero also said it would analyze subsidence issues, storm water backflow prevention and risk analysis. …all for just $223,000.  This study will, they say, serve as the basis to provide a long-term, physically stabilized waterfront. Logical follow-on steps for the city says Mr. Holesko will likely include capital improvement programming, securing grant funding, followed by the design/permitting/installation (construction) scheduling.  Well, that’s some progress as it’s the first time I’ve seen the word “construction” in any of these proposals.

In other words it’s another plan full of plans, analyses and studies, and more opportunities for contractors to cash in.

Hey, I don’t blame Passero, they’re in the business of selling plans. If a city is browsing their showroom and asks: “Do you have any waterfront park plans here for around a quarter of a million bucks?” the guy on the floor is going to try and close that deal fast. Too bad they don’t accept old plans as trade-ins.

I was told by a fellow at the gym this week that many of the city’s waterfront park plans are so old, they are stored at the Amelia Island Museum. I wonder if any of them or the ones still laying around city hall contain any of the options outlined by Passero?  It’s hard to believe they don’t. And isn’t Passero the company that gave us the $4.3 million “It-looks-like-an-airplane-airport-terminal?” Overhearing our gym conversation another fellow exercised his opinion saying: “These city waterfront plans are like Christmas ties. You know you’ll get one every year that you’ll never wear and eventually ends up with all the other ones in the closet gathering dust.”

***

Park? We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Park! It appears that the city commission has been so busy buying and storing waterfront park plans they neglected to ask downtown merchants if they actually wanted a waterfront  park. They don’t! They want more places for their customers to PARK, not another PARK. If the city builds a park, they say, their customers will have to park several blocks away and then lug all their stuff to the waterfront, something they’re reluctant to do, and many times unable to do.

At a meeting of the Marina Advisory Board (MAB) this past Monday Kevin McCarthy, who owns and operates the popular Amelia River Cruises and chairs the MAB, nixed the waterfront park idea saying it’ll hurt his business among others.

He wants parking, he says, to accommodate the more than 50,000 folks annually who take advantage of his charter boat excursions, many who he says are unable or unwilling to walk through town to the docks and board his boats.

Many say that fishermen with tackle boxes and fishing poles need to park as close as possible to the docks rather than having to drag their gear through town. Many of Captain McCarthy’s excursions encourage passengers to bring baskets of food and drinks while some are catered for private events. Eliminating the current parking spaces would create a physical challenge for passengers and caterers and a financial hardship for him says Captain McCarthy. The boats that supply Cumberland Island’s food and beverages would also be hard hit.

Even far-left leaning Coleman Langshaw, a MAB member, who has never seen a government project he didn’t approve of throwing taxpayer money at, agrees that the city has a parking problem and that downtown merchants need to have a voice. I can’t think of anything I’ve ever agreed with Mr. Langshaw on, but this is one.

***

Ken Timmerman

Local Expert With A National Voice: Amelia Island resident, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, middle east expert, author, reporter and friend, Ken Timmerman, says there’s no reason to keep any U.S. troops in Syria.

The successful raid snuffing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, possibly the most evil person on the planet, highlights Mr. Timmerman’s claim. The raid proved you can run, but you can’t hide from the might of the U.S. military. Ground troops weren’t necessary.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made clear that the exercise demonstrated America’s ability to neutralize targets wherever they may hide.

When asked if the mission would have proved more difficult without an established US presence in the region General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “From an operational standpoint, the United States military can strike any target, anywhere, any time.”

Added Esper, “We have incredible reach. … the terrorists should be aware of that.”

In addition to the precision and skill of the special forces troops that conducted the raid, secrecy was vital. That’s another reason President Trump didn’t brief House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Intelligence Committee head doofus Adam Schiff. Those two can’t be trusted, certainly not when American soldiers lives are on the line.

The success of the raid was not only a stunning display of the power of the U.S. military but also President Trump’s decision-making process. The president took a risk approving the mission. Had the raid failed he would have come out of it looking like hapless Jimmy Carter in 1979 when his decision to rescue American hostages in Iran went awry in the desert with helicopters crashing U.S. soldiers dying and no hostages rescued. That and a lousy economy cost him the election in a landslide defeat to Ronald Reagan. The hostages were released the day President Reagan was inaugurated. The Iranian leaders — all finalists in the Gabby Hayes-look-alike-contest — were taking no chances with the straight-talking Mr. Reagan in charge.

Freelance writer, author and Augusta, Georgia resident, Bill Shuey, strongly agrees with Mr. Timmerman that ground forces in Syria aren’t necessary. “We have a war going on right here in our hemisphere, more accurately right across our border in Mexico,” he explains. “Last year 32,000 Mexican citizens were slaughtered just across the Rio Grande. By comparison, 6,964 civilians were killed in Syria in 2018. Thousands of Americans die each year from drugs that flow across our southern border and neither political party much cares. The Mexican drug lords are represented in virtually all our major cities. Still no one cares.”

Shuey says we don’t need a dozen new jet fighters for the mess in Mexico. “We don’t need a steady supply of Humvees, tanks, missiles, etcetera for Mexico because our politicians and media ignore the ongoing war across the river. We can’t get involved in Mexico’s internal affairs because they are a sovereign nation, but we can get involved in the Middle East because? Well never mind, it doesn’t have to make sense.”

Obviously Shuey doesn’t pull punches. “Greed, quest for power and money is what is driving the chicken hawks to love war,” he declares. “Windbags like Mitt Romney advocate perpetual war but never got close to a military uniform and made sure his five sons never served our nation. He is no exception, just perhaps the most nauseating because of his hypocrisy!”

***

Things I Wish I’d Said: “President Trump’s wall costs less than the Obamacare website.” — Tim Allen.

***

Something To Think About When You Vote: “Keep in mind that Congress has no resources of its own. Plus, there’s no Santa Claus or tooth fairy that gives Congress resources. Thus, the only way that Congress can give one American a dollar is to first, through intimidation and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American.” – Walter Williams

***

Proof The Left & Its Media Hacks Have Lost Their Minds: On Monday, Washington Post and CNN contributor Max Boot published an opinion-editorial in the Post saying that President Donald J. Trump’s assertion that the now dead ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a coward was “contradicted by the fact that rather than be captured, he blew himself up.” Al-Baghdadi killed himself with a suicide vest and murdered three of his children during the explosion. He was using his offspring as a human shield against U.S. forces. After immediate backlash for his column, the idiot issued a retraction. Boot is the same person who once said, “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump.” The Washington Post, which used to be a newspaper, headlined Al-Baghdadi’s death saying he was an “austere religious scholar.” CNN broadcasters questioned President’s Trump wording with one loon even saying, “Al-Baghdadi was a human being and we should never celebrate the death of a human being.” These people are insane. That’s like headlining Osama bin-Laden’s demise by writing: “Heir to Saudi real estate fortune dies in Pakistani home invasion.” Or Adolph Hitler’s obit saying: “Articulate, non-smoking, vegan German leader dies by own hand in Berlin shelter.”  Or Stalin: “Former seminary student who rallied Soviet troops in World War II dies peacefully in bed.”  The Post, the New York Times, CNN, etc. are indistinguishable from The Onion, Harvard Lampoon or Mad Magazine.

***

Drinking, Dining & Dancing: During this Florida-Georgia football weekend, which means today, Saturday and Sunday, the downtown Amelia Tavern at 318 Centre Street says it’s offering a couple of exceptional deals. For twenty bucks guests can purchase 20 wings and two beers, and for $22 beer lovers can grab 20 wings and a 32-ounce crowler can of beer. Call ‘em at 904/310-6088. If the Sandbar Restaurant & Kitchen at Main Beach offers a special of “scary hot wings”, be warned, these wings are hotter than a two-dollar pistol. A pal seated next to me offered me one from his Halloween night order and I foolishly accepted, casually gobbling the entire flapper down instantly. YIKES! You could remove dried paint with these things. It took two quick beers to put the fire out, my nose was running uncontrollably and I felt like I’d snorted Drano. I couldn’t focus, my eyes were watering,  my ears ringing, sweat poured off my forehead, and I was beginning to think I’d suffered brain damage. Who voluntarily eats this stuff? Not me again.

14 Comments

JACK M RATTRAY

6 November , 2019 at 11:45 am

Dave, You ought to be nationally syndicated. I so enjoy your blog. I have met you a couple of times. Once at PJ Dave's and once at the Sandbar Restaurant & Kitchen. I am a friend of Doug C. I look forward to your return on November 22 and to seeing you again in the near future. Jack R.

GERALD DECKER

3 November , 2019 at 2:58 pm

It is time for the KISS approach on the marina: 1-repair the infrastructure that is needed to mitigate rising water levels; 2-repair the attenuators; 3-maintain existing parking; 4-remainder becomes grassy area with walkways/benches..........the waterfront should be open, simple, and support the accessibility of Centre St amenities......that is the charm of downtown Fernandina IMHO.

Glen

2 November , 2019 at 9:02 am

Please don’t compare CNN, WaPo or New York Times to Mad Magazine. Mad is a classic and well respected publication.

Chris Hadden

1 November , 2019 at 9:07 pm

I too am frustrated by the seemingly endless plans for the waterfront. The money and time spent on studies has, in truth, as Dave says, been significant. When I first arrived in Amelia Island it was shortly after the “crash”. It appeared to me the town governance was in turmoil and being upended by the “never spenders” people who essentially cancelled all plans for anything, all grants and loans and anything good that was going on. Now years later we are back discussing how to do the same things. So, Dave you are correct we are once again duplicating our effort. It is like Deja vu all over again. This time though, assuming we do not have some great depression pressed upon us, I am hopeful things will move forward with the waterfront. I understand and hear all the variety of concerns. Personally, I find it very difficult to understand why anyone thinks that a town parking issue (if one even exists) should be solved by parking people at the waterfront. How does that make sense? I am sure the tour boat people or fishing charters will advocate for that, but honestly, why would we give up the very best real estate in town to park a car? You will never get me on board with that thinking. The parking issue should be addressed separately from the waterfront. My personal suggestion is if the town believes they need more parking they should put in a parking garage… where people pay to park. If the town businesses think people need to be within 100ft of everything,,, they should tear down the town hall and put a parking garage there. Otherwise I suggest buying the Fred’s building or pineland bank and building one at the top of center street. People suggesting that we do not need a waterfront park simply confound me. This will be the jewel of the island. The thing that finally ties a cohesive link between the waterway, town, Atlantic ave corridor and main beach. What a gift that would be. The envy of any Florida town.

Skeet Taylor

1 November , 2019 at 6:03 pm

That’s right there is no parking problems in Fernandina. What we are talking about here is downtown because there’s big lots at Publix on Sadler plus down the street over where Miss Caroline diner is. So anyway back to downtown you can transverse from down at Tastees to the marina inside 10 minutes. So that’s a crock.

Margo J Story

1 November , 2019 at 2:16 pm

Hahahahahahaha......sorry Dave you had me rolling on the floor about the scary hot wings, omg!! Now to get serious.... you're right, plans plans & more plans w/ more studies, analysis & more planning!! How many more times do we have to hear this re: the marina?? Let's get the waterfront done before shrimp fest!!

Tom Yankus

1 November , 2019 at 2:01 pm

The Nassau Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance helping those with Mental Illness is available here in this very county for local politicians not listening to the 'will of the people.' Contact my wife Dr. Annie (Treasurer) if interested.

Dave Lott

1 November , 2019 at 1:58 pm

I have been a fierce supporter of the riverfront park ever since being on the original FL Waterfronts committee in 2005 which after a series of community charettes finalized a conceptual plan for the riverfront (from parking lot A south down to lot D). After more public meetings over the next several years, the Historic District Council in 2009 approved schematic plans and engineering studies were conducted to obtain the necessary permits from the SJRWMD. In all these plans there was a rearrangement but no net loss of parking spaces. Planners will almost universally tell you that the worse usage of waterfront space is for parking. Yes, there need to be some handicapped parking and a drop-off zone and the plan incorporated such. The acquisition of the Venturo property north of the marina was essential to gaining water access rights that will eventually permit the relocation of the southern docks to the north side. This has been the plan for more than 20 years, but was stymied by previous efforts to purchase the property being rejected. Now there is the channel realignment issue to deal with but there seems to be a glimmer of light at the end of that path. The City has no park facility west of 8th Street. A riverfront park will serve as a gathering spot for residents and families with the inclusion of a variety of elements to appeal to a diverse audience. Benches for those that want to simply sit and look, a playground for the kids to encourage families to come down, historical markers and monuments that tell the story of FB (how many people are even aware of the shrimper's monument in Lot A?). I have the greatest respect for Kevin McCarthy as he and his family have been great supporters of the community, but one must separate what is best for the community from proprietary business interests. I know his business operations have been made more difficult during all the marina repair work and the fuel dock being out of commission for so long, but he also enjoys the benefit of a ticket booth in prime space at what I believe is below market rates. The City previously had a Marina Advisory Board but it was disbanded by the City Commission as it was viewed as becoming very self-serving advocating to hold dock rental rates below market levels, preference space over transient boaters (who are the most profitable for the marina), etc. This has also been true for the Golf Course Advisory Board in the past. Independent studies (yes, another one of those paid studies) have concluded that FB doesn't have a parking space problem. Every business person would like to have free and easily accessible parking right in front of their business, but it just isn't going to happen. And while you didn't mention it, but Coleman always does, he has family ties to the Greyfield Inn on Cumberland. And let us not forget, there are two private marinas north of the Shave bridge as well as the county's public launch ramp so it isn't like there are alternatives.

JEANNE WYATT

1 November , 2019 at 11:18 am

The only reason to read a Washington Post is if you have some good Fernandina shrimp or fish to wrap, or a bird cage in need of lining. Every "news" site has some article "interesting" to read from that source. However, if you erroneously click the link you can't see the story because you first have to subscribe for $. Crazy to pay for comments you know you will disagree with. Just saying

Lawrence Piper

1 November , 2019 at 9:57 am

you're

Lawrence Piper

1 November , 2019 at 9:56 am

I've never liked the idea of making the water front (just) a park. The City already has huge parks available for public use(Central Park, Main Beach, etc) . The grassy area, boardwalk, and gazebos' to the south of Atlantic Seafood are rarely used, never overcrowded, and serve the purpose for folks to come down to the waterfront and watch the sun set. The new marina will be a fine facility for boaters traveling up and down the inter-coastal, but with one tiny little dock beside the boat ramp, those of us charter boat captains that trailer, crabbers, shrimpers, and the every day angler will be squeezed out. The marina will be for visitors, not City taxpayers, unless your in to watching the sun set daily.

NEIL BORUM

1 November , 2019 at 8:55 am

Continuing to fight the Amelia River and it's non stop silt building is madness. But here we are rebuilding the marina right back where it was. In the mean time, the deepwater to the north is no longer the home of several shrimp boats and seafood houses. Spending $223,000 for plans to give us another screwed up project the average citizen here AND it's downtown merchants neither want or need is crazy. When is the city and it's people that "make the plans" going to do something that makes sense? Umm...never I suppose.

chuck hall

1 November , 2019 at 8:34 am

so sue me…ooops, sorry just kidding. LOL

Frank Quigley

1 November , 2019 at 8:30 am

This is an honest post, about the FB waterfront park. Not a snide jab. I’m personally on the record in local media for getting the park plan agreed upon, (“Don’t Kick The Can”) - to revitalize the shore plus enhance the waterfront. A proposal regarding a possible public/private partnership was made to the council many months ago - a key benefit was getting financing from business partners to support the project (still not defined, however!). I read local media closely and can’t see any progress on (or interest in) this proposal or anything else regarding the waterfront. Here’s my proposal, no charge. The city should issue a proclamation declaring the waterfront project dead. Over. Finite. Ain’t gonna happen. That way we can all be put out of our misery.

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