Editor’s note: This weekly blog received the following press release from me earlier this week. Yeh, I know, it’s confusing to me too.)
Fernandina Beach, FL (August 16, 2019) – Fernandina Beach resident Dave Scott announced his candidacy for non-mayor of Fernandina Beach by promising he will not deliver a pony to every city family despite an earlier pledge to do so.
“Good grief,” said Scott to a sea of empty chairs during the formal media announcement of his campaign for non-mayor. “Nobody really believed that I was going to deliver on that insane free pony pledge, did they? “Come on! That’d be like promising free college, forgiveness of student loans, free healthcare, a guaranteed annual income, slavery reparations, open borders and socialism replacing free market capitalism” he explained. “Like free ponies, nobody in their right mind believes any of that crap is even remotely possible, realistic, affordable or deliverable either.”
Scott said his “pony in every yard” pledge was a huge lie he fabricated as an attention grabber. He targeted small children of registered voters, assuming their harried parents would cast ballots for him just to stop their kid’s from incessantly pestering them to do so, so they could nab a pony. “Lying, deceit and outrageous exaggeration are tactics I learned while watching the current crop of Democrat presidential candidates,” said Scott who is not affiliated with any political party because he is a non-candidate for a non-existent office in a non-partisan race.
“If elected non-mayor of Fernandina Beach I will be in a position to comment authoritatively on all aspects of city government, hold press conferences, issue decrees, make declarations, appoint committees, assign investigations, commend and condemn willy-nilly, and perform all other official non-mayoral duties,” explained Scott. “I will model myself after President Donald Trump, who the Democrats say is the non-President. Based on our non-President’s phenomenal success so far, the non-mayor will obviously have an enormous positive impact on the local economy. Tax reform will be the first priority.”
“Forget the pony,” declared Scott. This city commission — schooled by City Manager Dale Martin — is raising property taxes faster than Steve Bode on a downhill slalom. Scott is demanding to know how officials can justify setting city taxes higher, while the city is experiencing an increasing tax revenue stream through unprecedented growth, rising property evaluations (10 percent this year alone worth $16 million in revenue) and its long-standing extortion of local businesses. “The more you make the more we rake,” being the city’s motto and “Nice, little business ya’ got here pal, it’d be a shame if something happened to it,” being the permitting department’s tagline.
While Scott admits his campaign is seriously flawed, he says it’s not as weak, flimsy and incomprehensible as the explanations city officials toss out in an attempt to justify the increased taxes, their outrageous spending, and unnecessary hiring.
“The new 2019-20 budget proposed by the city is $170,203,163,” said Scott. “That comes to a whopping $14,062.89 for each of the 12,103 men, women and children currently residing in the city limits. Since the city’s 2,374 school children don’t pay taxes that number increases to $17,494.44 for their home-owning parents. However, renters don’t directly pay taxes either, so the city’s 7,864 homeowners are taking it in the shorts as their tax bill with the recently proposed tax rate will averages out to an eye-popping $21,643.33 each.
According to Nassau County Tax Appraiser Michael Hickox, the city is proposing a 32% increase over the roll back rate. “Taxable values are up in the city year over year 14.5%, which is approximately a 21% increase in taxes. Adding the proposed half mill increase for conservation pushes the total to over 32%,” he explains. “New construction and the strong real estate market is driving the increase. But the commission could adopt the roll back rate and keep taxes at basically the same level.”
See what the city politicos are doing to you here? And these numbers do NOT include county and school taxes. Why have city tax revenues increased while the population hasn’t done so in comparison? And why is it necessary when the city is flush with cash? Two of the five commissioners making decisions on property taxes don’t even own property in the city. Try and find the names of Len Kreger or Johnny Miller on the property tax rolls. So, why aren’t they required to recuse themselves on property issues?
Scott said that during the past four years the city has hired 40 more employees. It even created an entire new department called Beach Management and an assistant city manager position. And now it wants to buy millions of dollars-worth of landlocked worthless swamp property for “conservation” in an effort to appease the extreme environmentalist tree-hugging whack-jobs — many who don’t even live in the city – but who are frequently seen chanting, sign-waving and fist-shaking at city hall. They just purchased a $39.00 appraised piece of worthless landlocked downtown swamp for $25,000 of our money.
“To add even more of our cash to their already bulging coffers for such irresponsible benders, the spendthrifts at city hall also want to charge for beach parking, discriminating between city residents and those lucky enough to reside only in the county — a move that is probably illegal and could jeopardize federal funding for beach re-nourishment,” he added.
Scott said the City Manager Martin’s and the elected commissioner’s explanations for the financial mess they’re creating are as convoluted and confusing as his own campaign. He said the politicized city manager’s budget description is an exercise in bewildering “millage rates, mills of assessed values, rollback rates,” and other doublespeak and gobbledygook that a MIT PhD in mathematics would have trouble comprehending, much less the average citizen, who the city knows doesn’t have the time or inclination to decipher. That’s the way they like it. City officials prefer voters be kept in the dark with their unofficial city creed being: “The city’s never had it so good. Prosperity is here so we’re going to tax you dummies even more to ensure we can continue building a bloated staff of inefficient, bumbling, wasteful, hostile bureaucrats who will create more innovative methods of screwing property-owning residents and extorting business owners. Residents have proven that they don’t give a rip, which is amplified every election cycle by their dismal turnout at the polls. The voters love being screwed because they never vote us out and we never fire anybody, we just keep on hiring, spending and raising taxes. We’re proud to be city government employees and politicians with no sense of responsibility or personal honesty, who hose taxpayers daily.”
“Wake up people,” declared non-candidate Scott. “You’ve got a white elephant $4.5 million airport terminal that was built to look like an airplane; a money-losing, debt-laden city marina that hasn’t had any water in it for more than three years; a debt-laden city-owned golf course with dwindling player interest that loses money year after year; business impact fees that have been declared illegal by a federal judge; permitting inspectors who excel in harassing, insulting and extorting local business owners; property developers being harassed, lied to and primed to successfully sue the city because of ill-informed, ignorant, blow-hard commissioners and an inept city staff; a city pension program that is one of the most underfunded in the state, second only to Jacksonville’s mismanaged mess; a city commission that’s cowed and intimidated by nonresident raucous environmental crackpots; and a bloated city staff that makes Blazing Saddles’ Governor William J. Le Petomane’s crew look like a model of government efficiency.” In spite of this chaotic mess that needs immediate attention, the city’s priorities range from banning plastic bags and releasing helium-filled balloons, to buying $2,500 flawed beach trash cans and outlawing backyard chickens. What’s next, a mosquito and tick sanctuary?”
The city says its priorities are based on the results of a 1,000-person survey, that Scott says he’s never seen and can’t find anyone else who has. “If a referendum was held even the most apathetic voter would rush to the polls and vote against the fiscal madness they’re engaged in downtown,” declared Scott. “But in their twisted little bureaucratic minds the results of some mysterious survey justifies hosing the taxpayer and enabling city officials to run amok while squandering taxpayer money.”
Scott’s campaign’s tagline is “Good Grief!” with bumper stickers available soon.
Mayoral Campaign Staff: In his mayoral candidacy press release Scott also announced the following non-staff members and a list of non-supporters and non-donors who will aid in his non-candidacy.
Scott’s non-press agent is non-resident, friend, former high school classmate, and well-known American Spectator writer, humorist, and political pundit, Larry Thorneberry, who while non-promoting Scott said: “I would rather be struck by lightning while being bitten by a shark than run for public office. In addition to all the abuse candidates take while running for office, if one should have the ill-luck to win there are all those narcoleptic meetings one must attend and appear to be awake during. I got my ticket punched sitting through those back in my reporting days. (Daze?) To all that I say, borrowing from that acute political philosopher, Roberto Duran: “No mas – no mas.”
Ignoring Scott’s pitiful pleas to assist in his run for non-mayor, his non-campaign manager, nationally prominent island resident, television producer, former Hearst Corporation executive, author, political pundit, the late William F. Buckley’s New York City mayoral campaign manager, former director of “National Review”, Chairman of the advisory firm Blackwell Corporation, and a casual acquaintance of Scott’s, Neal B. Freeman, immediately distanced himself from Scott and the campaign saying he wants nothing to do with it or him and can’t recall ever meeting Scott.
Local real estate broker, Phil Griffin, and entrepreneur, lawyer and frequent city critic, Pat Keough, both said they’ll provide non-support to Scott’s campaign but prefer to do so anonymously.
Other prominent island residents mentioned in Scott’s press release include former Atlanta Braves manager and baseball Hall-of-Famer, Bobby Cox, and world-famous authors John Grisham and David Baldacci. Scott admitted that he’s never met the three local celebrities but reckoned that if he mentioned them readers might mistakenly assume they were endorsing his candidacy. He also mentioned Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
For additional information contact Scott at his unlisted phone number. His campaign headquarters is located at the rear table in PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden, 12 South 2nd Street. His office is open whenever he’s thirsty. The campaign web site is currently under construction, awaiting the delivery of supplies from Home Depot.
The Non-Mayor’s Campaign Background: While local print media and online publications ignore Dave Scott’s run for non-office this blog, along with its sister print publication, the Amelia- Island News-Wrecker, will objectively follow his non-mayoral campaign and keep its readers informed of key announcements and developments. We are predicting he’ll win the non-mayor office handily as he is running unopposed. Numbers used in Scott’s campaign announcement can be found at http://www.city-data.com/housing/houses-Fernandina-Beach-Florida.html. Really!
Scott’s non-campaign was inspired by a friend of his, former workplace colleague and Associated Press reporter, Bill Shaffer, who retired to the small community of Carmel, Indiana, becoming that town’s first non-mayor.
The Sandman Is Coming: I read in local news reports recently that the city is going to buy some sand dunes. Really! It was a headline in the News Wrecker …. no wait, that was the News Leader, a paper just as funny, but not intentionally.
Until I read that article I was operating under the impression that sand dunes occurred naturally. Apparently I’m wrong.
Based on what I read in the News Leader, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers builds dunes. Just tell them how many you want and when and where you want them. Does Federal Express or UPS deliver them? If you’re not home do they leave them on the front porch?
How To Get A Smoking Hot Body: It’s simple. First come to Fernandina Beach this week. Then walk from your house to the car.
Things I Wish I’d Said: “Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy. But the Bible says, ‘Love your enemy.’” — Frank Sinatra
It Looks Like An Award: The Fernandina Beach Municipal “It-Looks-Like-An-Airplane-Terminal” Airport was awarded the 2019 General Aviation Project of the Year by the Florida Department of Transportation during the Florida Airports Council Annual Conference. The award is worthless in generating revenues for the $4.5 million boondoggle and the release didn’t say if those voting for this award had been drinking