When someone asks where I live it takes me less than 10 seconds to provide an answer as it’s not a complex question that requires a lot of thought or intense research.
However, when I asked that question of Group 4 Fernandina Beach City Commission candidate Jennifer Hartrich-Schriver it took her four tries and a day and a half to provide an answer and I’m still confused.
Ms. Hartrich-Shriver filled out an “oath document” when she filed to seek office listing an address on Tarpon Avenue in Fernandina Beach. However, I’ve been told by people who know her very, very well that she actually lives in the county on Suarez Bluff Road. According to the city there are residency requirements for office seekers. Candidates for City Commissioner are required to live within the city limits at the time of assuming office, unless provided otherwise by city charter or ordinance (the City of Fernandina Beach’s Charter does not provide otherwise).
An official at city hall told me “that penalties for violation exist – the definitive answer,” she explained,”would have to come from council but what I gleaned researching is the penalty for violation depends on the degree of misrepresentation. Max penalty is a first degree or second degree misdemeanor.”
The way I interpret the residency requirements is that once a person is elected they must live within the city limits. So why couldn’t Ms. Hartrich-Schriver answer my question as it appears she hasn’t violated any law at this point? Why was she so defensive? That created suspicion on my part and led to the following series of email exchanges.
Last Friday I sent the following email to Ms. Hartrich-Schriver at 8:42 p.m.:
Jennifer, when I inquired about your residency on your Face book page you responded that you lived in the Fernandina City limits and then apparently blocked me from further postings or following you. You also responded to a posting from Rick Scott that I was a “mud slinger.” I have spoken to the city, and the address you gave to them is on Tarpon Ave when in fact I understand that you live on Suarez Bluff Road, in the county.
The officials at the city also told me that I was not the first person to ask about this. I didn’t use this in my blog today as I wanted to give you an opportunity to explain. Since you have now made yourself a public figure announcing your candidacy for office you are open to questions and public scrutiny. From what I understand, the Tarpon address you listed is occupied with rental tenants, not you or your family.
I think you are a sincere young lady and consider your father and mother good friends, however, I will report on what I believe is an inaccuracy or an attempt to deceive. Failure to correctly list a residence when running for or assuming public office is a misdemeanor in the state of Florida.
I would like to personally hear from you on this issue before I post my blog Friday, October 2.
At 9:13 p.m. Ms. Hartrich-Schriver sent the following response to my email:
I will clarify the situation when I speak next to the commissioners.
I have no idea what the heck she is talking about or why she would bring this to the attention of the City Commission.
I responded by telling her that the answer she sent to me appeared to be a confirmation of her non-residency and a dodge to answer the question and I would use it in the blog.
The next morning at 8:16 Ms. Hartrich-Schriver sent me the following email:
Thank you for being a concerned citizen. If you are an investigative reporter for your blog, I invite you to contact the City where you will find all the documentation qualifying me as a candidate to run for City Commissioner.
If there are other concerns you have, please contact me.
Again she failed to answer the question, telling me to contact the city, which she knew I had already done.
I responded at 9:15 a.m. with the following:
Ms. Schriver I have contacted the city and was told that you filled out a “candidate oath” that is a public record where you listed your address as within the city limits on Tarpon Avenue. I have been told that you do not live at the Tarpon address but live outside the city limits at the Suarez Bluff address. Why can’t you provide me a simple answer? When you filled out the “candidate oath” did you live at the Tarpon Ave address or at the Suarez Bluff address? Do you now live at the Tarpon address or the Suarez Bluff address?
At 5:33 Saturday evening Ms. Hartrich-Schriver sent the following response:
Dear Dave, I live there, I have a roommate there, that used to rent from me when I lived in Colorado. He wanted to stay there so we became roommates. I also take care of my grandfather at my parents house and I have been temporarily house-sitting for a girlfriend of mine. At that point of time when the house sitting responsibility is over, I will be living at my home at Tarpon, and I will be still taking care of my grandfather, who is 95, who is visiting my parents. I confirmed via Caroline Best that I do qualify and I found this information helpful. http://soe.dos.state.fl.us/pdf/DE-Guide-0008-Guidelines-for-Determining-When-Residency-Qualifications-for-Elected-Office-Must-be-Met.pdf
I hope this clears everything up.
Not really Jennifer. I’m more confused than ever.
Why did you say you would clarify it with the commissioners? Why did you tell me to contact the city? Why didn’t you simply answer my question the first time I asked instead of blocking me from your Facebook postings and becoming so defensive and evasive?
At this point, regardless of her address, she is not in my opinion qualified to be elected to a city commission position or any other elected office. The defensive attitude, evasiveness, thin skin, and immaturity displayed when responding to my simple question, plus the fact that she delayed answering the question, throws suspicion on her as a credible candidate now or anytime in the future.
If she has this much trouble simply explaining where she lives, how will she respond when asked a question on underfunded pensions, storm water problems, impact fees, zoning issues, bidding changes for an airport fixed-base operator (FBO), or more complex matters now facing the city?
I read Ms. Hartrich-Schriver’s announcement of her candidacy in the online Observer since I’ve been blocked from her Facebook page, and found it lacking in substance, containing only generalities on conservation stating that she “….believes that conservation efforts will help all of us- residents, developers, realtors and the TDC included, and the city must work together to be leaders in the efforts for smart growth with blighted areas being the focus for development. Increasing zoning density is only one proposition that is beneficial to only one side.”
Nowhere in her announcement did she mention the underfunded pension program, harbor dredging, the waterfront park, storm water issues, South 8th Street revitalization, municipal impact fees, golf course and marina management, the airport master plan or FBO, or encouraging more businesses to locate downtown, all front burner concerns currently confronting the city.
However, in her Observer announcement she did describe her activities including collecting beach litter with Nassau County, the Barnabus medical center, and as a volunteer at Southside Elementary School. These are all very admirable and applaudable activities. She should continue to focus on these important community programs, save her money, time and energy and withdraw from the City Commission race as she doesn’t have the temperament, experience, maturity or an understanding of the issues.
Ms. Hartrich-Schriver’s opponents in Group 4 are incumbent Pat Gass and challengers Roy G. Smith and Jim B. Higginbotham in the general election to be held November 3.
Tora, Tora, Tora Ya’ll: In a story swapping session the other evening at the bar of the South 3rd Street Green Turtle I heard a tale about the legendary late Big Ray Mullis of T-Ray’s Burger Station fame that ranks as one of my favorites. The chronicler told how he watched in the early 1990s, when Ray was still operating the South 8th and Beech Street location as a gas station, when a large black limousine pulled in and the tinted automatic windows rolled down revealing a group of well-dressed Japanese businessmen and a frustrated driver who looked at Ray and said: “We can’t seem to find the Ritz-Carlton property.” Without any hesitation Big Ray exclaimed: “Well, you didn’t have any trouble finding Pearl Harbor.” Without a word from the occupants the windows in the limo quickly slid closed and the car pulled back onto the street.
Photo Op: Florida’s 6th District Congressional Representative Ron DeSantis, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio, who is running for President, sent me a letter asking for financial support and explaining why he would be the best choice for that office. The Congressman, who served tours of duty in Iraq and Guantanamo when on active duty as a U.S. Naval officer, also sent me an 8X10 color photograph of himself in his dress white U.S. Naval Reserves uniform. He looks very handsome and dignified, sort of like those pictures already in the frames for sale at the store. But I’m not sure what he expects me to do with his photo: Frame it and place it on the mantle? Show it to my friends at the Crab Trap, Salty Pelican, etc.? Tape it to the refrigerator next to grandson Luke’s drawings? A grown man has never sent me a photograph of himself before so I’m confused. On the Democrat side I know that former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner sent photos of himself to a variety of folks and it cost him his job, but Democrats being Democrats, those photos were not ones you rushed out to show to your family or friends. Anyway, does anyone want a very nice photo of Congressman DeSantis?
Ban Littering Not Plastic Bags: “Plastic Bags are Good for You,” is the title of a fascinating article by Reason magazine. Commissioner Johnny Miller (Who else?) is leading a “Ban the Bag” campaign locally citing climate change, pollution, litter, etc. Yet, according to a Keep America Beautiful Survey, all plastic bags – of which plastic retail bags are only a subset – are just 0.6 percent of visible litter nationwide. A 2008 analysis found that plastic bags are an insignificant contributor to litter after food wrappers and bottles and cans. According to the magazine high-density polyethylene is a miracle of materials science. Despite weighing less than five grams, one bag can hold 17 pounds, well over 1,000 times its own weight. At about a penny apiece, the bags are cheap enough for stores to give away and sturdy enough to carry home two gallons of milk in the evening and still be up to the task of scooping Cujo’s poop the next morning. The article also cited David Santillo, a senior biologist with Greenpeace, who told The Times of London, “It’s very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags. The evidence shows just the opposite. We are not going to solve the problem of waste by focusing on plastic bags. With larger mammals it’s fishing gear that’s the big problem.” The magazine went on to explain how the technology behind plastic grocery bags is so useful it won a Nobel Prize. Far from being the environmental threat activists make them out to be, plastic bags are not particularly to blame for clogged sewers, choked rivers, asphyxiated sea animals, or global warming. Instead, they are likely our best bet for carrying all of our junk in a responsible manner. “Don’t believe the haters,” the article said, “plastic bags are good for you.” I’m sure knee-jerk Commissioner Miller and the environmental extremist puppeteers that pull his strings will be fascinated by this well-researched read and immediately start a ban the can, bottle and food wrapper campaign.
Generous To A Fault: Socialist Democrat Bernie Sander’s presidential platform advocates giving you the shirt right off somebody else’s back.
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The Honey Badgers, one of the best island bands ever will be reunited Thursday, October 15 when Alan “Hupp” Huppman and his pretty wife Jenn fly back in from New Mexico to join former band members Ray Hetka, Vic Deacon, Mike Deveraux and Dr. Hal London, in a one-time performance beginning at 7 p.m. at the downtown South 3rd Street Green Turtle. Before Hupp took off for the far west, the Honey Badgers were fixtures at area venues such as Sliders, Sandy Bottoms, Sounds on Centre, etc. This is a performance you don’t want to miss folks and while there take advantage of the new Turtle bar menu featuring Cuban sandwiches, Gyros, hot dogs, Rubens and more. Call ’em at 904/321-2324. I keep hearing good things about the waterfront 9716 Heckscher Drive Sandollar restaurant’s Wednesday evening seafood buffet that also features what a reader says is very tasty gator gumbo. It starts at 5 p.m. and for $22.95 a person you can select from a variety of fish or even hand carved prime roast of beef with crab legs tossed in for an extra $5.00. I’m told to get there early to beat the crowd. Call ’em at 904/251-2449. As usual there is a wine tasting at a A Taste of Wine By Steve this evening from 5-7 at his 4924 First Coast Highway location and I’ve been told there will be a special dinner in the wine shop, Saturday, October 17 beginning at 6:30 p.m. with the menu and price yet to be determined, but if past events are an indication, you might want to sign up early no matter what’s on the menu. Also for Georgia-Florida fans who aren’t fond of beer proprietor Steve Raszkin is doing a special wine tasting October 30, 3-6 p.m. and folks wearing their Gator or Bulldog jerseys get in free and there will also be a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to next door’s Bar Zin with a wine purchase. Call ’em at 904/557-1506. October is the last month this year to take advantage of what the locals call the “Booze Cruise” operating out of the downtown Marina that features local character Captain Pajamadave Voorhees piloting the boat and live music during Friday and Saturday sunsets 5:-30-7:30 p.m. Operated by Captain Kevin McCarthy, the Amelia River Cruises October trips are actually called BYOB, because that’s what you have to do. October’s are scheduled as follows: Tonight and tomorrow, October 2 & 3 with entertainment by Larry LeMeir and Dan Voll respectively; October 9 & 10, with music by Jim Barcaro then Larry LeMeir; October 16 & 17, music by Yancy Clegg & Dan Voll; October 23 & 24, Larry Le Meir and Jim Barcaro and on the combination Florida-Georgia game and Halloween weekend, October 30 & 31, Larry LeMeir & Jim Barcaro. Make reservations and purchase tickets by calling ’em at 904/261-9972 or stop by the kiosk in the Marina parking lot, next to Brett’s and pick them up. These trips are always fun and the music is excellent, but the food and drinks are entirely up to the passengers as they bring their own. The first ever Fernandina Pirate Festival will kick off Friday, October 9th at 4 p.m. during the Fernandina Beach Beach High School Homecoming Parade. The Pirates will then head to the downtown harbor at 6:00 pm for opening ceremonies with guests welcome to take part before the venue changes to the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center on Saturday, October 10th and Sunday, 11th featuring exhibits, vendors, food booths, live music, a family friendly Kids Zone, Pirate School, a beer garden and more. Tickets are “a buck an ear” (Get it?) or $5.00 for a daily family pass with hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday. On Saturday evening there will be an adults only Pirate’s Royal Ball with a traditional Southern dinner, dessert, dancing to the sounds of King Eddie and Pili Pili, door prizes, a silent auction, cash bar and more. Tickets are $25.00 each a person and more information can be found at www.FernandinaPirates.com.Tonight beginning at 6 p.m. is the final 2015 Sounds on Centre event downtown at the intersection of Centre and 2nd Streets featuring the Crescendo Amelia Big Band which boasts up to as many as 21 members and plays songs from the 1920s to current music. If you don’t enjoy this event there is something seriously wrong with you.
Had a late lunch recently at The Sandollar. The wife and I were not disappointed with the local catch plate and Mayport peel and eat. Will return. The Surf has dropped the ever popular NFL-TV package that dozens attended, rooting for their teams each Sunday. I was one of a few quiet Falcon fans while Eagles and Steeler fans dominated the scene and were entertaining. Now only have the local team at 1PM each week as the Jags block out watching the real NFL. Where is the action now on Sunday? Beef O’Brady? Seabreeze? Others?
Read in the News Leader this week that ever wise City Attorney Ms. Bach has asked the City Commission to reconsider their bid approval to add another FBO at the airport. Apparently the city fathers in their rush to award the bid ,did some not so legal things. Why am I surprised??? It doesn’t seem to matter who is in office,they just keep on doing dumb stuff and costing city tax payers loads of cash in law suits and judgements.Must be the city water.