The gift that keeps on giving! No, its not learning how to read, or fish or tend a garden. Those are all gifts we should be thankful for. Ones that good people took their time to make sure we got. Whether it was that first grade teacher, or our dad or grandmother or that sweet neighbor that spent time with you when she knew you were on your mom's last nerve.
No, the gift I'm talking about is that one we Fernandinans got from Michigan - Michael Czymbor! He led our community down the primrose path and we now stand at a Grand Canyon sized dilemma called financial ruin. He robbed Peter to pay Paul. He treated our utilities like a never ending bank account and had the ability to do so because the "Five Buffoons" took his balderdash hook, line and sinker.
I remember the day then Mayor Susan Steeger tried explaining the proposed budget with a line item showing $500,000.00 from parking generated fees. "Ya'll don't understand, budgets are fluid," she told a friend and me. Fluid certainly, the kind that is flushable because that is exactly what the situation was worth. Czymbor sold the greatest commission of all time on that approach and it didn't matter that the $500,000 was never going to come about, for purposes of selling the public on his abilities it showed a balance sheet in agreement. Like the emperor with no clothes though, it all fell apart. Thank God!
Citizens finally had enough last November and threw two of the bums out. That was enough to re-gift our great leader and send him on to Palatka. Putnam County beware! Caveat emptor! Czymbor is on the loose and your bank accounts are in danger. We found that out here in our little outpost on the edge of the continent.
How does a City Manager hide a $429,000.00 obligation from the board he serves at the pleasure of. How does a board continue to show their face when they allowed it to happen. It is at the very least misfeasance but quite possibly malfeasance! A breach of their fiduciary duty to this community, their constituents. Those they were elected to serve have instead been served up whole hog style, apple in the mouth and roasted to a crisp.
I feel like a four year old on a family road trip. "How long before November mommy?" is the question I keep asking though. The three remaining commissioners, in good faith, should each resign with this kind of Damoclean sword hanging over our collective heads.