Periodically, I have a conversation with someone about development and offering incentives instead of taking away value from the landowner/investor. In talking with a friend earlier today, we both agreed it would make so much sense to move density from one property to another. I brought up one developed property and the loss of affordable potential after years of delay eliminated more and more of the profit. If only “incentives”, not obstruction, had been a part of the conversation!
TDR stands for “Transfer of Development Rights”. Consider a purchase of one property by one developer or by the city. That property might have a certain number of units in density. If you create a mechanism to bank that total density and offer it as either an incentive to that developer or another property owner, you could either sell those units of density, bargain with them to incentivize affordable housing or accomplish another goal. The key is avoiding a cost to the taxpayer, while incentivizing a change.
What is ‘Transfer of Development Rights?’ A zoning tool enabling the transfer development potential from areas the community seeks to conserve to areas to areas it seeks to be developed
A mechanism that permanently protects undeveloped land without the expenditure of public funds
If you don’t know me, I’m a former Commissioner and Mayor here in Fernandina. I’ve known Bradley’s family for most of my life and they have a long history here in local business and in political life, but that has nothing to do with my endorsement. My reasoning is below, but I see Bradley frequently. Usually he’s in the local YMCA at the same time. I met him long before he decided to run for office and immediately liked his demeanor. He impresses me as fair and honest. He impressed me as genuine, sincere, respectful and exactly the kind of personality I would want to see in local government.
Age is a factor. The commission average age is over 60 and Mayor Miller is the only current member under 60. I feel we are under-represented in some age brackets and it would be healthy to offer a voice to those voters in the interest of diversity. Current Commissioners
History is a factor for me. Bradley is a native and at least third generation island resident. He cares about his family, ranging across all age brackets, but he also has ties with graduation as “Valedictorian” of Fernandina Beach High School and many local friendships.
Yes, his father is a politician. You’d need to be blind not to see the name and associate it with Aaron Bean, our State Senator. I see this as an advantage for Nassau, given the obvious tie and invaluable insights offered to a son.
Eduction is a factor. His industrial engineering degree from the University of Florida will offer insight into issues like the marina, road maintenance needs, beach re-nourishment, drainage and more. Many issues are land use issues, but many issues in front of a commission have more to do with being reasonable and being able to plan for keeping the city running smoothly. Maintaining this or anticipating the cost is important. Any background with land use, construction, engineering or business, lends itself to the position.
Employment is a factor. Bradley works full-time for a local mill. Whether people recognize this or not, we are still a working community in significant proportion. Rayonier, WestRock, Lignotech and the Port of Fernandina employees are significant. If you count retirees and current employees, there is a need to find a voice for jobs and economic diversity. Our biggest issue on the island is in keeping this diversity alive. Our healthy economy is more resistant because we are not singularly dependent upon tourism, unlike many small coastal Florida cities.
Involvement is a factor for me. I won’t name his opponent, but promising to be “full-time” is definitely not a good thing. Understanding the position is meant to be representative, not supervisory, is important. Often commissioners become hyper involved in meetings with staff or in a role stepping on or over the boundary defined in the charter. Bean understands this. I believe the position of staff attorney came after a commissioner in years past spent “MANY” hours camped at a local attorney’s office billing the “research all my questions” time to the taxpayer. No, running as a commissioner is not the same as City Manager. The commission as a whole can give direction to a manager. Individual commissioners or even a Mayor cannot.
The elected position as a city commissioner is meant to offer representation. Voters should see people in office reflecting the local demographics and ages. We’ve had poorly prepared commissioners and commissioners promising to be “full-time”. We have commissioners professing to have experience or be more entitled to a position. As a former commissioner, I believe we need people willing to learn and able to reflect the voter’s views. Some run with negativity, insulting their opponents and some simply ask for your vote. We never want someone attempting to be a “full time commissioner”. This usually means they’re interfering in the day-to-day management of the city. We have a government with 5 commissioners and a Mayor with mostly ceremonial power. He or she is not entitled to any more voice than other commissioners.
So, that said, I hope you consider diversity, education, understanding the limits of the position and long history here on the island when you vote. My vote is going to Bean and I hope you’ll join me.
My newest effort to update the photographic game was the purchase of a drone. I’m early in the learning process and, so far, I am pleased to see very different views of my hometown. I think seeing the impact of tourism (Hampton and Train Depot, the marina, Port of Fernandina, working waterfront and WestRock, all in one shot, brings home the level of diversity in Fernandina.
I don’t think I need to fit in a prom dress or own another golden retriever, but this is an entertaining read on my way to or from my favorite local coffee shop. Outside Cafe Karibo, travel, love, pets and great achievements….
How many of you dreamed of living in a beach town with great dining, great beaches, great neighbors and raise children in a place like Fernandina? I have a lot on my bucket list, but a surprising number of those things are here in Fernandina.
Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and any other states impacted by Florence. The storm is showing signs of a possible turn to the south and hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. I tend to go to two sites for updates. I use NOAA and Mike’s Weather Page for collected links to “MANY” sources of information. “Mike’s” is the easiest place I’ve been able to find for a collection of spaghetti models, if you love watching the least likely and most likely predicted storm paths.
I would urge everyone to take this as as a warning and purchase basic supplies. Be sure your vehicle is filled, have food for time in a car and supplies in the event of an extended stay out of the area. I’m going to share a link and image for a 5 day forecast, as well as an image of the current path projected for Florence. The 5 day image shows the potential storm areas and areas of formation. This is a busy season and potentially difficult year for Florida. With luck, we won’t see a landfall in Florida this year, but Irma and Matthew should have been warning enough for locals. Storms are unpredictable and preparing for evacuation is important each year.
Thinking of our coastline and past storms, it can be easy to become complacent. I’m told the Carnegie family chose to build on Cumberland Island based on the lower probability of a hurricane strike. That said, our two most recent storms were really near misses, even though we lost significant property and a significant period of time without a fully functional marina.
My oldest son registered to vote for the first time and I started to think a little about how elections and politics must look to a new voter. I still remember voting in my first year of college and how important I felt it was to be a part of the system. Feeling entitled to have a voice and feeling the obligation to make good choices meant a lot to me, even then.
Elections (Primary) are about choice, but having a voice endorsing candidates can mean a lot as well. Be sure to check the links to Municipal Candidates, if you live inside Fernandina Beach city limits.
In the city races, I feel both commissions in office, Roy Smith and Len Kreger, are the most qualified to continue to represent the City of Fernandina.
Roy Smith (City Commissioner) has been willing to take unpopular stances and willing to ask questions, when needed. His recent opinion on sales tax revenue was good. We need to think about funding maintenance for streets and sustainability. Roy has my vote and I appreciate his service.
Len Kreger (City Commissioner) also has my support. He has been diligent, active as both a commissioner and in support of a number of local causes. He was chair of the PAB for a long time and involved with causes like sustainability, smart development, stormwater planning and beaches. He is a true advocate and tirelessly works to make Fernandina a better place. He is also one of the best prepared commissioners I’ve ever known.
I also support two candidates, in particular, for other local races.
Aaron Bell is running for County Commission. He has been involved for years with Nassau County Economic Development and a part of local politics for the entire time I’ve known him. Well-educated, articulate and prepared, he would be an excellent full-time commissioner and, I feel, would be an advocate for jobs and the local economy.
Mike Cole, I know personally, and respect. We were on a board together in 2014 and/or 15 and I was consistently impressed with his preparation and intelligence. He is running for the OHPA District 5 seat.
Finally, I prefer several names in the bigger races.
Joe Zimmerman, I’ve known for years. He has been extremely helpful to me, when he worked with Janet Adkin’s office and I know his level of knowledge puts him far ahead of other candidates. I felt disappointed in the changes with a negative impact for Nassau and a negative impact to beach access. In this race, I feel we would do well with a change of representation. By the way, his website is one of the best I’ve seen. If organization means anything….my hat is off to Joe.
Aaron Bean is running for re-election. While we don’t always agree, I’ve known him for many years and he has been diligent in representing the county. The general election is some time away and I also think representation is important. Aaron has a better chance to work for our interests and is developing into a better representative each year.
Finally, I like Rick Scott. As governor, he was proactive in reaching out to our local representatives. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from him, personally, as a City Commissioner and Mayor. I also witnessed, first hand, his handling of disasters and efforts to improve Florida’s economy. He was and is a great governor. He has my vote and endorsement in the primary and general election as our new United States Senator. I was involved in local politics when Crawford Diamond held an inauguaral groundbreaking event attended by Governor Scott and watched him eventually approve funding for a drainage project here on the island, saving millions for local government. He tends to remember people and does, in my opinion, care.
We were out of town for a week on vacation and I can honestly say I missed the food and coffee. Several stops with salads or something near Timoti’s poke bowl were sad by comparison and the coffee at Hola Cafe is better than anything we found on our trip.
No offense to any other barista, but Chris at Hola makes the best Cortaditos. I watch and still can’t tell if the sugar, how much espresso, temperature or the order makes the change, but it is truly addictive.