How do you run a deficit budget three years in a row? If you are Tim "Hooha" Poynter and his prior fellow members of the Fernandina Beach City Commission you simply ignore fiscal responsibility. Now there are rumblings of an additional deficit budget - one where we draw down the reserves or emergency funds - and no talk of salary cuts or other budget restraints.
The city has enough take home vehicles to create its own traffic jam on our underused downtown streets and byways. Where are the plans to stop that? Even with the price of gas dropping it is simply too expensive to have everyone and their assistant driving city cars. Why are the people who have allowed us to be drawn into law suits, overspending and overpaying still drawing their high salaries. Their love for this community should be exhibited in assisting with the belt tightening! If there is no love, then there will be no love lost with their departure.
We have borrowed a whole lot of money - $1.8 million - for discretionary spending. Opening of another railroad crossing that will benefit few, one being "Hooha" himself and his businesses. It wasn't bad enough that he used the city parking lot at 2nd and Alachua for a private staging area for the recent improvements to his new enterprise, now he wants us to pay to open another crossing. At what expense to the taxpayers? The payments on the loan are approximately $12,000.00 a month of our tax dollars. The money was borrowed quickly after the November elections to prevent the newly elected commissioners from putting the halt to it. That money has been largely untapped since then to the tune of $72,000.00 so far this year. But "Hooha" didn't want to expend $13,000.00 to celebrate the birthday of the greatest country yet known!
The double talking about fiscal responsibility and fiscal restraints sounds good at the end of the Commission meeting but doesn't ring true when held up for evaluation against the prior actions. "Hooha" has been willing to mortgage and spend our future, especially when he benefits, but not when the community as a whole does.
We need people who will be stewards of our resources not protectors of their own interests. People need to let the Commissioners know!