This is a recent shot of the changed landscape behind City Hall. Whether you love change or not, uses change and adjacent properties can benefit. City Hall is nearing the end of it’s life and efficiency. It began as a fire station years ago, but transitioned bays for fire engines into the current commission chamber. Seeing and anticipating the changes, will we have an opportunity to sell at a profit, consolidate to one location and finally see most city services in one location, while preserving a historic structure?
Politicians who actually care, Centre Street with so much variety you’ll spend weeks trying every restaurant, musicians without compare, sleepy pelicans on a working dock, a short distance to Jacksonville International and, finally, fantastic beaches are key to the island’s allure.
After, literally, years of effort, final approval to open Alachua Street is here. Alachua
doesn’t look like much now, but considering the impact of an opening and the plans dependant upon this added access, this is the single key to a working CRA, development of the surrounding property and management of traffic during events on Centre. It also allows for an added rationale to stabilize the waterfront and change Front Street to a “one way” street, leading traffic away from the port at the Centre/Front intersection.
Thinking about the waterfront and marina, the recent purchase of an added area north of the current marina, took an opening of Alachua into consideration and adds even more logic to the change. Eventually, the marina will move and expand northward, moving larger slips away from the disaster of a mud flat and negligent marina placement years ago….a cost we’ve been covering with tax dollars.
Endorsements mean a lot, but endorsements from a former opponent can be particularly welcome in a runoff. I found this compelling and, although Amelia Island Net is already in favor of Orlando Avila, the note from Mr. Monzon below says quite a bit about Avila’s class and volumes about a gracious opponent.
Beyond the endorsement, one particular sentence stood out. Medardo Monzon says, “I believe that Orlando will continue my efforts of working collaboratively with the mills to reduce their environmental footprint, while his opponent will attempt to weaken the two largest employers in our city, thus threatening the livelihood of about 1000 families.” Essentially, Avila’s opponent opposed one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly project ever proposed for Amelia Island. Lignotec’s new facility is currently under construction and is not only environmentally friendly, it stabilizes one local mill by reducing waste and makes use of a complimentary byproduct.
Anyone we elect as a commisioner should understand the value of local industry and understand why we should nurture a diverse local economy.
So, I would urge you to vote on December 12th and vote for common sense, economic diversity, deep ties to the community and Orlando Avila. Jobs and diversity make it affordable to live on the island. We’re one of the rare Florida coastal communities with an economic base extending far beyond tourism.