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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fiscal Responsibility - Finally!

  Two City Commissioners - Pelican and Corbett - have consistently been against the keeping and expenditure of the borrowed $1.8 million that was tied to Forward Fernandina and the optional projects that are the hangover of the Czymbor era.  The "cheap" money, as Bunch, Filkoff and the Great Hoohaa Poynter referred to it, is now showing its true colors.

  A significant increase in the electrical franchise fees was necessary in the coming year to carry the debt load associated with the loan they secured.  There is little or no money left in the depleted special taxing district called downtown.  No monies yet from the gas line that FPU is in the process of completing to contribute to meeting the debt load.  And now because the Great Hoohaa is facing an election challenge, he has abandoned the program that he not only embraced but excitedly expounded by voting against the increased franchise fees.

  The Great Hoohaa has been a force behind the unbalanced budget for the last three years when our reserves were spent to fund his, and Czymbor's, favorite projects.  All of a sudden, when someone who is a true fiscal conservative steps forward to challenge him, he doesn't like a budget that raises taxes and requires more from each electrical user to pay for his special projects.  He just isn't a pay as you go type of guy!  Of course there are those out there that are in lockstep with him that point to this as his desire to do the right thing.  Balderdash!  He's trying to save his commission seat in the face of the realities he created.

  Now the City is in a quandary over what to do!  Poor Mayor Filkoff.  She doesn't understand the problems she has been part and parcel of and was in a "twiddle her thumbs" mode following the still sensible positions of Pelican and Corbett.  What is one to do?

  It is very simple, fiscally sound and would change the course of city government over the next twelve months.  Give the unspent balance back to the bank and pay for what we have used so far.  Not rocket science by any means but a straight forward way to run our government in a manner that is financially responsible.

  The buffoons that write for the Fernandina Observer try and paint this as a flip flop on the parts of Pelican and Corbett but they are so encumbered by their special interest agenda they are engaging in the Orwellian double speak they have become known for using.  The Great Hoohaa had the first vote regarding raising franchise fees to pay for his pet projects and he voted a resounding NO!  The die had been cast and he was upside down with all of his old cronies because Pelican and Corbett held true to their own souls and voted against funding the debt they believe is unnecessary.  Thank God for common sense!

  The budget issues will continue to face the City Commission until he either retracts his vote and steps forward to keep spending money like the drunken sailor contingency Czymbor brought to our little hamlet or the borrowed money is returned to the bank.  Let's hope it is the latter!
First Rule of Nature

  The end of August approaches, the summer tourists have begun to slack off and the weather has an appreciable change - only a degree or two, but appreciable all the same.  Isaac is somewhere in the vicinity of Castro and drawing a bead on Key West.  The supposed destination around Mobile with possibilities still so far up in the air the hurricane hunters are still flying routinely.

  Weather is a constant fascination for me.  I love to watch it, check the changes, the progressions and the similarities as I add years to my experience.  Having lived my entire life in the South, all but ten years in Northeast Florida, I have watched with undivided interest the numerous storms that have threatened the peninsula I call home.  Fortunately, as I learned from George Davis shortly after locating in Fernandina, we are the westernmost point on the east coast of North America.  Some will think "why would such an idle piece of knowledge be of any interest?"  The answer is simple - hurricanes.

  Look at a map of the east coast.  We stick in somewhere underneath Cincinnati, or thereabouts, while North Carolina's east coast is out there with the Canadian Maritime Provinces.  Good for us usually!  But this year has been different.  We had tropical storms well before the official season.  The winter was a warm one after two successive very cold ones.  And, so far, very few storms at this time of the season.  Will the season intensify?  Will we get the projected number of storms?  Only Mother nature knows for sure.  But if nothing else comes of this it reminds me of the first rule of nature - nature wins!

  We live on a barrier island and not a very big one at that.  By their very nature barrier islands are living, shifting things that won't be the same next week as they are this week or were last week.  All the man made adjustments, the preventatives and preparations are all for naught.  The ocean and winds and tides and rivers and rain and heat will do with this place as they see fit.  Sometimes in conjunction with each other and sometimes alone.  But, always as nature deems fit!

  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best and keep a keen eye on the weather websites.
Everyone has their favorites and the meteorologists they respect.  But, whatever you do, keep an eye out for the coming changes.  The next couple of days will mean constant fluctuation and varying levels of potential danger.  So just mind your p's and q's, watch the weather and be ready to run.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

  Oh say can you see..., forgive me Frances Scot Key, the end of the Weinstein/Bean race to the bottom of the barrel of politics.  If for no other reason I am glad August 14th will be here manana because there will be a lull in the negativism that politics has become.  Every conversation I have had in the last three weeks that even skirted around politics has at least included a discussion on the terrible ads run by and for both campaigns.  One astute friend who knows them both said it was evident that they would never serve the people of NE Florida if elected.  It was clear to him they would be beholden to the political entities that put up the millions of dollars to get them in place for the respective bids for the Senate presidency.

  Shame on all of them for their purely self interested approach to governance and service!  And to hell with anyone who says I am simply naive for thinking so and childish for saying it.  What is the end goal here?  The betterment of Florida?  I would dare say not!  This is simply egotistical posturing for the selfish poppinjays that have become politicians in our fair state.

  Then, on top of that, I heard that the Janet Adkins campaign went after Cord Byrd with allegations he was gay!  No, wait!  It'll never stick, he's married.  Damn, what do we do now?  I know, suggest someone on his campaign staff is gay.  Really?  Is this what it has come down to in the NE Florida of 2012?  This is the primary campaign and it is already this bad.  What have we become?  We want to serve the public so bad that we will belittle mankind for the privilege of getting to the top.  If this is indicative of what it takes to get to the top there must be something much better up there than what is let on by those already in Tallahassee.  Is membership in this privileged club so rewarding that you sacrifice all to get there?  Maybe, those vying to get there had nothing to sacrifice in the first place.  You know - morals, ethics, integrity!

  The ends do not justify the means!  Not in a world based on thousands of years of Judeo-Christian philosophy and teachings.  These charlatans who proclaim their Christianity from one face while the other one, or in some cases one of their others, is doing all those things anti-Christian with their next breath.  Do they not realize there is a reckoning day - I call it a come to Jesus day - that we all face as we leave this life?  There is more to be lost than some local political race and it is their eternal souls.  For those who don't understand eternity it means forever, damn it!

  I hope there is voter turnout of an unprecedented level tomorrow!  Let these buffoons know they are being watched.  There are consequences for their actions and the voters are the ones who will permanently tattoo those consequences on their behinds.  We need good people who are going into public service with an emphasis on service to the public not their bank accounts and self interests. 


  Do your civic duty and let the fools know there are people who care!  Be the good Samaritan not the high priest who walked by because he couldn't get his hands soiled.

Friday, August 3, 2012

"We are the people our parents warned us about!"
  What have we become?  I know Florida is a keystone state for the Presidential election and recent history, the last twenty years or so, have meant presidential politics is negative politics.  But why the local races?

  The worst by far is the State Senate race between Aaron Bean, the local boy made good, versus Mike Weinstein.  I have known both for more years than any of us would care to admit.  Away from political races they are both nice guys, people you would not mind spending time with at a party, barbecue or special event.  Watching their ads on TV turns my stomach though!  I don't want either of them representing me in Tallahassee if this is the way they have to get the job.  If even half of the ads are true neither should be allowed to hold office and both should probably be investigated for the allegations that are being made against them.

  Other local races are equally troublesome.  The judicial race for Judge Brian Davis' seat.  Truly a gentleman, scholar and well qualified member of the judiciary.  However, the audacity of seeking a federal appointment, for which he is well qualified, has opened him to an attack of epic proportions.  Three or four lawyers are running against him and, but for the federal issue, would never consider taking him on in an election.

  County Commission candidates.  Come on, where is the necessity to stoop to low bred behavior to serve on our commission?  Ronnie Stoots, a relative newcomer with enough of a traveling history that he should be banned from calling himself a resident of any community, conveniently prints signs that show him as a County Commissioner and not a candidate for that office.  Seems trivial but it is against Florida law and it is misleading and it is deceptive at a level that smells.  The handwritten "for", so small and in such thin pen strokes that it is not visible from the roadway is more of a joke than his claim to being a spokesman for the taxpayers.  A search of the property appraiser's website shows no properties owned by anyone named Stoots in Nassau County.  There was a time that people had to be landholders to vote.  They should at least be required to tell the truth about their tax paying status to run for office.  But, Mr. Stoots has affiliated himself with a group in Nassau County that doesn't adhere to standards of common ethics or decency.  That is a shame!  It speaks volumes about him and the kind of person he is and representative he would be.

  Jimmy Buffett had a song about being the people our parents warned us about.  If the behavior of people seeking office in Northeast Florida is a reflection of us it seems we have become those we didn't want to be.

  I long ago left the political parties because I was appalled at the behavior they not only tolerated it seemed to me they encouraged it.  If all politics is indeed local then it is a terrible thing to peer into the mirror politics offers of us as a community.  Someone needs to tell these people that scurrilous behavior is not going to be tolerated.  The best way to do that is vote on Tuesday, August 14 and let everyone know that their course of action is not worthy of our trust.