Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Amelia Island News Wrecker Being Readied For Publication

This blog will take a couple of weeks off following this posting to complete work on the upcoming issue of the Amelia Island News Wrecker.

The seventh annual tabloid newspaper parody of local events and skewering sacred cows will be published and ready for distribution Thursday, May 3, the day of the annual Shrimp Festival parade.

A sampling of breaking news events in this issue includes articles about a massive electric energy discovery on the island’s north end that will result in a drastic increase in train, truck, and container ships. Fernandina Beach is expected to become a  “gold rush boom town, bustling with new construction, entrepreneurs, developers, and ne’er-do-wells anxious to cash in on the unexpected energy find,” say experts contacted by the Wrecker’s crack reporting staff.

Other articles go in depth to describe events such as a recently opened leper colony in West Nassau County, a beach Iditarod competition, a Kings Bay Submarine Base bake sale, and much more.

Wrecker Editor Anita Nuderbeer said readers complaining about misleading or inaccurate articles and what they perceive as erroneous coverage can “go pound sand.” She explains: “The Wrecker seeks to provide only accurate and fast breaking news items. In its quest to do that we have to make up a lot of the news. As a result, we make a few mistakes, but we don’t really care.”

The blog will return once the Wrecker is printed.

Folks interested in adverting and can handle an abundance of clients can contact me at dave@amelianewswrecker.com.

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“Come And Get Us Coppers!” By state statue the city of Fernandina Beach is not supposed to use impact/capacity fees for routine maintenance or for repairs of existing equipment . These funds are to be held in trust for the businesses paying the fees and only used until the city can demonstrate that it has incurred costs to provide new facilities.

Keogh, Stettler & Scott: Do not attempt to to apprehend, call Chip Ross or the FBI.

 

Local citizens Pat Keogh and Glen Stettler have written numerous opinion pieces in local media and spoken out at City Commission meetings explaining what the city is doing to businesses hereabouts is “criminal,” labeling Fernandina “Shakedown City.”

Based on what I’ve heard from many local businesses and seen in law suits that have been filed, I concur with the two activists and have written a number of commentaries agreeing with them.

The state has laws against local governments extracting funds from its residents to supplement tax revenue.  So, for example, why would the city demand $4,000 from a local businesswoman who placed a picnic table in her South 8th Street parking lot. “That’ll be $500 per person that the table’s benches hold,” says the city. Sufficiently intimidated, she got rid of the bench. This is just one of many such incidents.

Keogh, Stettler and I have all advocated for the state to send in auditing teams to ensure the city is operating within the law. We think it isn’t. The city lost a law suit filed several years ago over this issue. But nothing changed.

Commissioner Ross has taken it a step further. He voted to call for an audit, but says we’re wrong by suggesting that what the city is doing is “criminal.”

Comments such as ours about city government should be silenced according to Ross. He is so convinced that he has even alerted the FBI among other law enforcement agencies about our public statements. So far we haven’t heard from the cops.

Since the FBI apparently can’t locate us, I suggest any locals that spot us contact Commissioner Ross at cross@fbfl.org , the email address he posts in his commentary. Or call him at 410/394-0220 so he can notify the FBI agents of our whereabouts. Or just pop over to a local PTA or school board meeting and notify the FBI agents that are there to ensure parents don’t have a voice in their kids’ education.

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An Educated Educator: Former Nassau County teacher Ashley Benoit appeared on the nationwide Jesse Waters FOX News live commentary Thursday evening, March 23, discussing the challenges teachers have in the classroom with student behavior.

Ms. Benoit was a teacher for 14 years and left the Nassau County School District in 2021. Her Fox News interview was reported locally by George Miller, editor of the Nassau County-based online Citizens Journal and can be seen by clicking below. She is now head of educations for the Nassau chapter of County Citizens for Defending Freedom (CCDF).

Why aren’t other local news outlets reporting Ms. Benoit’s appearance?

Click here to See link to the Jesse Waters FOX News video and a more background on Ashley’s story from Citizens Journal.

***

Job Well Done! The City of Fernandina Beach could learn a lot about how to run an efficient, well-managed, local municipality by looking across the street at its counterparts that administer Nassau County.

I recently received the Board of County Commissioner’s monthly newsletter produced by Public Information Officer Sabrina Robertson. It’s chock-a-block full of information. presented in a lively, well-written, clear, concise style. It’s a publication that you could proudly send to friends and relatives to boast about where you live. The Chamber of Commerce must be drooling over it as I can’t recall ever seeing anything else that presents such a positive, honest, detailed description of Nassau County.

Ms. Robertson is a professional communicator, and it shows. County residents are indeed fortunate to have her serving them.

To see the newsletter go to: https://online.flipbuilder.com/sabsrob/ousl/  Ms., Robertson can be reached at (904) 530-6010 E: srobertson@nassaucountyfl.com.  If you want county news sign up for  weekly emails at: https://bit.ly/NassauNews

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Wait! What? On his resume submitted to Fernandina Beach seven years ago, former City Manager Dale Martin boasted about increasing the budget and the number of city employees in his previous position in Connecticut.

Hey, Big Spender!

Martin didn’t slow down when he was hired by Fernandina Beach. During his seven year tenure as Fernandina Beach city manager the city’s employees went from 198 Full time and part time employees in 2016 to 272 while the population barely budged going from 11,199 to just 12,697 today. In his seven years here, he also added 140 vehicles.

By comparison Nassau County had 317 employees and 74,841 residents in 2016. In 2022 it had 448 employees and 95,809 residents. Are Fernandina residents also counted as Nassau residents since they reside in the county? I don’t know. Anyone?

Most tax paying residents would prefer a city administrator who will manage their tax dollars by controlling headcount and keeping expenses to a minimum, not piling on.

One way to do that is to search for someone who is familiar with the city and understands its culture. Those people exist hereabouts. Do we really have to spend $50,000 to hire a search firm to find a city manager.

There is a volunteer advisory group of five knowledgeable local citizens to assist in the selection process. Mayor Bradley Bean has said he is opposed to using a pricey search firm. The only commissioner who strongly supports that route is Chip Ross, who obviously doesn’t care what it costs taxpayers.     In his Friday, March 24 column the News Leader’s straight-talker, Steve Nicklas, provides an analysis of why hiring a local person makes more sense than using an agency to search for candidates from all over the country.

Former Fernandina Beach Mayor Lednovich.

In a March 22 letter to the News Leader failed City Commission candidate and former Mayor, Mike Lednovich, publicly displayed how fortunate the people of Fernandina Beach are that he lost his recent election. In his letter he prattled on and on about how a business approach and city management aren’t compatible. He then listed a number of city functions ranging from the recreation center, marina, golf course, beach walkovers, the lighthouse, etc. that a business approach would cause to be shut  down or sold. Based on the nonsense he wrote he’s assuming that the city is seeking to hire a moron.

Lednovich uses the same twisted logic Commissioner Ross spouts when talking to disgruntled residents complaining about high taxes. He demands they tell him what they want to cut from the city budget. Isn’t that why folks voted for the commission? Aren’t they supposed to make those decisions?

These two suggest we applaud them because they’re providing services with public funds. Isn’t that the same as applauding an ATM because it gives you your money.

I met a local resident recently who has exceptional educational, business and government credentials and would be  more than qualified to serve as city manager. He has not only worked as a C-Suite executive with Fortune 50 companies but has voluntarily worked in various government positions in towns about the size of Fernandina Beach.

I’m sure the city can find a highly qualified candidate like this gentleman locally who can step in without having to go through a steep learning curve. The city saves $50,000 and gets a guy with a short learning curve.

With inflation still running at almost 7 percent, gas prices more than $4 a gallon, interest rates continuing  to go up, corporate layoffs becoming commonplace and the Biden administration continuing it reckless spending, oblivious to the plight of everyday Americans, the residents of Fernandina Beach need relief, Their local government would be the place to start.

***

Thanks Joe! The Taliban has released videos of over $85 billion of weapons and vehicles left behind when American troops exited Afghanistan. There was also a room filled with stacks of $100 bills: total amount unknown. Here’s the information: There’s a LOT more.

The Gateway Pundit: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2023/03/update-taliban-releases-video-of-fields-of-us-military-vehicles-piles-of-us-high-end-weapons-and-rooms-filled-with-stacks-of-100-dollar-bills-joe-biden-surrendered-by-joe-biden/

Here’s a partial list of equipment Joe Biden left for the Taliban:

-2,000 Armored Vehicles Including Humvees and MRAP’s

-75,989 Total Vehicles: FMTV, M35, Ford Rangers, Ford F350, Ford Vans, Toyota Pickups, Armored Security Vehicles etc.

-45 UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters

-50 MD530G Scout Attack Choppers

-ScanEagle Military Drones

-30 Military Version Cessnas

-4 C-130 Transport Aircraft

-29 Brazilian made A-29 Super Tocano Ground Attack Aircraft

208+ Aircraft Total

-At least 600,000+ Small arms M16, M249 SAWs, M24 Sniper Systems, 50 Calibers, 1,394 M203 Grenade Launchers, M134 Mini Gun, 20mm Gatling Guns and Ammunition

-61,000 M203 Rounds

-20,040 Grenades

-Howitzers

-Mortars +1,000’s of Rounds

-162,000 pieces of Encrypted Military Communications Gear

-16,000+ Night Vision Goggles

-10,000 2.75 inch Air to Ground Rockets

-Explosives Ordnance C-4, Semtex, Detonators, Shaped Charges, Thermite, Incendiaries, AP/API/APIT

-2,520 Bombs

Does anyone think the Taliban will call Biden and tell him to get the stuff he left behind. There is no doubt that these weapons will be used against for terrorist activities against free societies including the USA.

The incompetence and absolute stupidity displayed by the Biden Administration, makes people wonder who, if anyone, is in charge of that cuckoo nest. There is a steady stream of errors, blunders, missteps and more. They then lie and distort it all to try to cover the pile of poop they have created.

This insanity can’t end soon enough.

  • Comment (15)
  • As a retired HR Executive in both the public and private sectors, I offer the following. I used Search Firms and interviewed for positions that had Search Firms running the recruitment. Advantages:

    Full vetting of candidates. They’re effectively telling the employer, “In our expert opinion, we believe these candidates can be successful in this position”.

    Assisting the employer in defining what they’re really looking for. Job description modification. What has made previous employees both successful and unsuccessful.

    Passive recruiting – They contact candidates who’ve they’ve interviewed before and who’ve done well. They contact individuals they placed and tell them about the opening. They have candidates who’ve contacted them looking for an opportunity.

    Selection assistance – At times, selection panels are deadlocked. They can help the panel find areas of agreement and those of disagreement. They coach until there a decision.

    Guarantee – Search firms offer a guarantee, usually for 12 months, that if the new employee leaves or is terminated, the firm will replace them without a new search fee.

  • One would think that our previous incompetent president made the deal with the taliban for the UasA to get out of Afghanistan he would have also made a deal to get our equipment out, too.

    • If you’re referring to President Trump, you would be wrong on all counts. Besides anything Trump put into place was ignored or removed by the current incompetent president.

  • I still must ask the question.
    Where is Aaron Bean State
    Senator and native son of FB?
    Surely he hears and reads about
    the sorry state of His home Town! And also doesn’t the Mayor and City Commissioners
    have the power to step in and
    correct the gouging of the tax
    paying business owners. In the
    18 plus years of residing on
    the Island this has been an ongoing problem regardless of
    who is in charge.Not sure due to
    the small number of registered
    voters why FB needs a high
    salaried City Mgr. Seems a waste of money to me.

  • The FBI picture looks great. The guy on the right would never make it in prison with a “Stash” like that.

  • Every time I see a city vehicle parked while working; the engine is running. With fuel prices high, what’s with this policy.

    • I see not only cars parked running but also them hiding out and sitting in their vehicles. So many employees with nothing to do! We need to trim some off the payroll –

  • Just read the latest Nassau County Newsletter and agree with you. Very well done!
    Once upon a time, there was a move among some to consolidate the city and county….maybe time to look into the benefits again.

  • Dave:
    I’m on the lam in Malaga Spain. Let me know if you and Glen need a hideout. I’m thinking of opening a MCD’s here. No impact fees! If the city Consigliere ever needs a new gig she could teach the city padres here how to make some real money. Please don’t let Boss Ross know where I am.

  • I liked the previous comments by Chip Ross. He alerted law enforcement as a private citizen using his official city email account, he’s an intelectual coward. Then wants you to believe he is unaware or ignorant that the City Attorney is blowing smoke up his rear end. Their obvious incorrect explanation of past law suit activities speaks volumes. She also openly lied to the commission about the past suits, where is his outrage? Maybe Chip helped fabricate the lie. Then he wants evidence submitted to him of illegal city activity. Giving evidence to Chip would be like asking Jeffery Daimler to watch your kids for the day. Seems he wants everyone to believe he has lost the ability to read. Let’s see if Chips tone changes after next Tuesdays closed door session with the city attorney. One thing is certain, she won’t be honest and someone else will have the finger pointed at them. There is a long history of our city attorney speaking half-truths to our commission, but they continue to accept the behavior. Chips new city name tag should read, nothing to see here folks, move along. Did he mention, he runs the city?

  • I hope they are able to track the equipment, explosives, arms etc. in case they are used against the USA or any of its allies. We talk about gun control, sounds like they need to have a discussion about arms control with our leadership as well.

  • Looking forward to the News Wrecker! While it is the only satirical “news” in these parts, it seems like some others are too, but they’re not trying to be. At least you know the difference, Dave!

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