Professional Firefighters endorse Commission Candidates

Nassau County – The Nassau County Professional Firefighters announced this week the endorsement of 3 candidates running for County Commissioner.

The professional group announced its support of local realtor and retired city of Fernandina Beach fire chief Danny Leeper (District 1), local business owner Pat Edwards (District 3), and Public Information Officer for the Property Appraiser’s Office Justin Taylor (District 5).

“It’s important that our commissioners understand the importance of public safety for the citizen’s of Nassau County,” said Matt Waggoner, President of the local professional firefighters. “We believe these guys have a clear understanding of the County’s future and that first responders play a critical role.” Leeper and Edwards are seeking reelection while Taylor is pursuing an open seat. The Republican primary will be held on August 30th.

Health Outlook from the County Clerk

Health Outlook from the County Clerk
Rotarians Get the Nassau County Fiscal Health Outlook from the County Clerk

On Friday, June 20th, Nassau County Clerk of Courts, John Crawford, visited with the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise to provide the group with an overview of the county’s Fiscal Health Outlook. Crawford outlined the responsibilities of his office. As the Chief Financial Officer of the County, he further outlined his four recommendations for the commissioners and taxpayers:

1) disciplined debt control and no new debt
2) achieve a structurally balanced budget
3) adhere to a revenue-driven budget policy
4) do not spend safety reserves and be willing to spend spending reserves.

The group had many questions for the Clerk and all found his presentation enlightening.

Pictured here is County Clerk John Crawford and Christal Fish, past president of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more information about the club or to attend a morning breakfast meeting, please contact president, Mark Dennis, at or go to

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County Seeks Qualified Applicants for Special Magistrate

County Seeks Qualified Applicants for Special MagistratePUBLIC NOTICE


Opportunites now exist for appraisers and attorneys who meet the following criteria to serve as APPRAISER SPECIAL MAGISTRATE or ATTORNEY SPECIAL MAGISTRATE for the VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD, NASSAU COUNTY, FLORIDA.

1. No special magistrate may be an appointed or elected official or employee of Nassau County.

2. No special magistrate may represent a taxpayer before the Board in any tax year during which he or she serves as a special magistrate.

3. Appraiser special magistrates hear all assessed value petitions (tangible, residential, commercial, industrial). An appraiser special magistrate appointed to hear issues regarding the valuation of real estate shall be a state certified real estate appraiser with not less than five years’ experience in real property valuation. A special magistrate appointed to hear issues regarding the valuation of tangible personal property shall be a designated member of a nationally recognized appraisers’ organization with not less than five years’ experience in tangible personal property valuation, pursuant to FS 194.035.

4. An attorney special magistrate hears all exemptions and classification petitions. An attorney special magistrate must be a member of The Florida Bar with no less than five years experience in the area of ad valorem taxation.

5. Appraiser and Attorney special magistrates will be paid at a negotiated rate and may be required to conduct morning and/or afternoon sessions.

6. The duties and requirements summarized above with respect to special magistrates are more fully set forth in Florida Statutes Section 194.035 and Florida Department of Revenue Administrative Code Rule 12D-9.010.

Application forms are available on the Clerk’s website ( Qualified individuals wishing to serve may file an application on or before 5:00 p.m. on July 7, 2014 stating their qualifications.

Clerk Services/BOCC/VAB
Robert M. Foster Justice Center
76347 Veterans Way, Suite 456
Yulee, Florida 32097

Questions may be directed to Connie Arthur, 904-548-4663 or Karen Struss 904-548-4505.

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Hickox Announces Transition Team

Hickox Announces Transition TeamProperty Appraiser-Elect Mike Hickox has announced his Transition Team. The group will begin working to ensure an orderly transition of the Nassau County Property Appraiser’s Office. The following people will serve on the Hickox Transition Team:

    Michael Franklin
    Justin Taylor
    Larry Williams
    Mike Mullin
    Aaron Bell
    Patty Fentriss
    Molly Garrett
    Mike Hankins
    Steve Reick

      The team will begin meeting on Friday, November 16th at the Tax Collectors office in Yulee, Florida.

      The recommendations brought forth by the transition team are imperative to a smooth turnover.

      “I look forward to working with these individuals in making this a simple and effective process,” said Hickox.

      Mike Hickox was successful in the August Primary Election by defeating incumbent Tammy Stiles. He later won the November General Election by earning 80% of the vote. He will be sworn in on January 8th, 2013.

      For more information regarding the transition team and meetings please contact Justin Taylor at (904) 226-6207.

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Roadtrip Nuissance on US 301

An unintended road trip through deliverance country

A lucky circumstance allowed us to take a couple of days off from what has turned out to be a 24/7 experience if done right: running a bed and breakfast.

So on Sunday morning we took off for Tarpon Springs, just north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast, to spend a couple of days touristing this old Greek village, well known for sponges and souvlaki. Of course our accommodations of choice were a bed and breakfast smack in the middle of the “action” called Ashley’s Bed and Breakfast.
Before you may think that this is a B&B story, I have to correct my direction, because this is a story about irritation with government services and information to the public in Nassau County that almost took all the fun out of driving to our destination.

Our roadplan choice to get to Tarpon Springs was simple. Take A1A/200 to I-95 and then either go down on the Interstate to Normandy off I-295, connect to Hwy 301 to Ocala and a bit south on I-75 to SR 54….or go Hwy 301 by cutting the Interstate out.
We had heard that 301 all the way to Callahan was now 4 lanes, so we decided to go that route.

Wrong choice!! Oh to Callahan and beyond direction Baldwin, traffic was smooth and progress was impressive. Until we hit the rural community of Bryceville, where a Nassau County Sheriff’s vehicle stands with all lights flashing like a pre-historic dragon and the road is barricaded with the word DETOUR written all over it.

In the best of times, taking US 301 is a risk considering the amount of crazy 18 wheelers this road attracts, but to be taken on a secondary road through the exciting hinterland of “Deliverance”, these trucks equal an unintended suicide mission and a very bad start to what can be considered a well deserved couple of days of.

So why am I angry at the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department or Public Works or whomever is responsible for informing us “John Public” that we should expect intended or unintended obstacles and offer us alternative options if and when available.

Because a sign at the I-95 overpass on US 301, saying: Expect delays. US 301 is rerouted at Bryceville or more eloquent: US 301 closed at Bryceville. Expect to be re-routed through freaking backwater country where crazy truck drivers are out to show you who is king of the road, would have given us other options.

A sign more would not have mattered, considering how our streets are littered with political pundits’ voter requests these days. Maybe one of them understands why I’m angry with ignorance and why a little sign would have made all the difference.

So if you read this be forewarned. You’re on your own out there in No Man’s Land.

NCEDB Reports on 4th Quarter Accomplishments ENCPA is cornerstone of NCEDB 5 year development plan

East Nassau Community Planning Area discussing mixed use development

Starting out the New Year on another positive note is also the Nassau County Economic Development Board with its 2011 Fourth quarter Newsletter “the Director”. The 6 page Pdf attached is written and published by NCEDB staff, and gives us a glimpse of what NCEDB has been “up to” over the past three months as well as covers topics of regional and local interest.

The recent news headline for example that Brazilian Airplane manufacturer Embraer is planning to build the Super Tucano light attack aircraft for the US Department of the Defense in Jacksonville, sheds light on why on several occasions in the past 18 months Brazil was on the economic development menu for the Greater Jacksonville area. Relationships develop over time as parties match their needs. Once all parties have reached a workable comfort level with each other, major progress is usually achieved. That’s why organizations like the NCEDB are absolutely instrumental in long term economic planning and employment opportunities.

The Nassau County Economic Development Board has been a member of the JaxUSA Partnership (formerly Cornerstone) that has been instrumental in attracting many foreign manufacturing and service organizations in recent years. The Newsletter outlines a variety of important initiatives Executive Director Steve Riecks and his staff develop and guide to fruition.

In this issue the interested reader will find topics and accomplishments such as the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Renovation and Expansion project that is supposed to result in adding 160 new jobs, as well as various educational initiatives in the county including the ENCPA Employment Center and the economic Growth future for City of Fernandina Beach.

The NCEDB hopes you find the newsletter informative and interesting, and  always welcome feedback via comments on their website.

Download NCEDB Newsletter  The Director 12.2011 – Volume 3.4

Update on 2011 Pétanque Tournament on Amelia Island

Staff and Volunteers for 2011 Pétanque America Open

Staff and Volunteers for 2011 Pétanque America Open

There is a Boule Buzz growing on Amelia Island. The preparations for the 3rd Pétanque America Open Tournament are starting to move into high gear with excitement written on many local faces. The old French game came to Amelia Island about two and a half years ago and a handful of local enthusiasts put the first tournament together on a shoestring and with much enthusiasm. Even already that first year 90 teams from around the globe and North America motored and flew in and Amelia Island fell in love with the game and the French Riviera atmosphere it created at the historic waterfront. This year there are 136 teams (272 players) registered, while dozens more had to be cancelled because maximum court capacity had been reached long before the 2011 summer was over.

Last night 2 dozen Tournament volunteers gathered at Pétanque America’s Warehouse to discuss the logistics and allot work schedules and tasks for the preparation, three days of tournament and the breakdown afterwards. An amazing energy poured from the group, which resulted in the amazing fact that the entire program discussion took maybe an hour, during which court construction, port-o-lets, raising of tents, manning of booths and bars, food court, entertainment, stages, registrations, award ceremonies, cleaning and more were projected, dissected, inspected and allotted to volunteers, all the while enjoying pizza, snack foods and a glass of life’s wonderful adult beverage options. Being closely involved with several other events on the island and the meeting schedules they take, I was pleasantly surprised not to even have to miss my Monday night TV show line up.

With coordination of all the activities in the now experienced hands of Pétanque America owner Philippe Boets and his trusted right hand TJ Seaton, the official part of the meeting was  over in less than 45 minutes, rounded of by a quick but delightful trivia for some Pétanque gadgets prizes, a parting beer or wine and whispered arrangements between several local teams that are playing in the tournament to hit the practice courts in anticipation.

The game of Pétanque (Jeu de Boules) as it is played today, showed its origins sometime around the turn of the 20th century (1898-1907) in the Southeast of France from where over the years it traveled pretty much all over the world, often on the wings of French Liquor Distiller Ricard from the Mediterranean port City of Marseille. Pétanque today is played by millions in more than 65 countries, most notably in Western Europe, Southeast Asia and North and Central America. Since the mid 1980s the game of Petanque has been growing in the US into a respectable number of clubs around the country . No surprise therefore that this year’s preliminary tournament statistics include players from 23 US states, besides Canada, Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Israel; also 67% of the players are male and 33% female; the exact age range is not known yet, but maybe about the same as last year when the youngest tournament player was 14 and the oldest 83.

Pétanque, the Greatest Game You've Never Heard Of

Pétanque, the Greatest Game You've Never Heard Of on Amelia Island

Pétanque, the Greatest Game You’ve Never Heard Of

“If you’re looking for a fun distraction during a family barbeque, stick with Italian Bocce; if you want to be challenged with a subtle, complex, multi-layered, inexpensive, egalitarian, environmentally friendly and truly universal sport – then you’ve got to give Pétanque a hard look”, says Byron Putnam.

Like all great sports it can be played casually, but it’s true essence is only revealed (and fully appreciated) during intense competition. A couple of weeks ago Putman came out with the first comprehensive English language Pétanque book; Petanque, the Greatest Game You’ve Never Heard Of. Petanque America will have this brandnew soft cover book available for sale at the tournament and after thumbing through it last night, I am sure it’s going to lift Pétanque in America out of its relative obscurity, played from relax lifestyle locations like Amelia Island to Bryant Park nestled in between Manhattan high rises, to mainstream America. The game is just that much fun!

Here is an outline of the finalized tournament program so far.

Friday, November 11
– 90 Minute Morning and Afternoon Clinics for Beginners and Intermediate Players. Cost $15 and $30. Half of the collected monies go to the Boys and Girls Club.
– Official Player Registration starts at 4:30 pm. Local Businesses that would like to offer something special to the players, to be included in the registration package need to contact TJ Seaton at

Saturday , November 12
Start 8:15 – with Welcome by Mayor Susan Steger
– the National Anthem
– Group Picture
The  Morning includes 3 games per couple and the afternoon includes 2 games.
The first game day closes with Happy Hour and Live Music

Sunday, November 13
Start 8:30
– Finals anticipated around 5pm
– Happy Hour and Live Music after the finals are over

9:00 Award Ceremony – Location to be announced

Brand Loyalty often Misunderstood

Social Search is ready for take off

Social Search for Personal Branding is Ready for Take Off

Having Brand Loyalty is a hugely important advantage when you’re in business, but often misunderstood. Loyal customers are a business’ lifeline in tough economic times. But brand loyalty is often wrongly attached to the product or service. A typical example is a TV product called Two and a Half Men, which faced that reality last week when most of the record 27.7 million viewers of the revamped show with Ashton Kutchner replacing Charlie Sheen, came to the conclusion that Sheen-acting-Sheen was probably the entire attraction of the show, in spite of being surrounded by a myriad of funny actors playing off his persona. Of course we will give Chuck Lorre’s writers another chance or two before switching to another channel, as brand loyalty will slowly reveal that it is not the product but the person delivering it, that creates the loyalty. Charlie Sheen’s brand on Cable channel Comedy Central in turn commanded an aggregate 10 million viewers that same evening with the Charlie Sheen roast, making it the most-watched roast on the Cable network ever, and the most watched show of any kind with the targeted audience of viewers between the ages of 18 and 49. That’s brand loyalty for Charlie Sheen, who apparently still is “winning”, settling his $100 million lawsuit amicably.

Marketing experts have known for a long time that people were never really loyal to individual products or services, even though they often say they are. It’s the brand that they are loyal to and the brand is always the person that represents the product or service. Service companies have known this for a long time and through non compete clauses and other tricky legalese tried to restrict their top people when leaving the company. To the customer they are the brand. If you drive Ford or Chevy for many years it’s most often the dealer who is the brand’s face. It has always been like that and to prove it just think how easily we claim “ownership” of people that do something for us with the phrase: my handyman, my gardener, my mechanic, my dentist, my postman, my webmaster, my doctor, my financial adviser or my broker. We don’t become “possessive” with the use of the word “my” unless there is a degree of loyalty involved.

Corporations know this. Communications and Insurance companies, Grocery stores and Supermarkets, home improvement giants like Home Depot, Lowe’s and even Wal-Mart have turned their branding efforts to people.

You are a Social Search Brand

So here is a suggestion for all of you out there who have websites. Pay very close attention to where video shows up and will show up in the next 10-12 months. Brands are moving much more rapidly through video !
For example, when you order that Best Seller on your Kindle or iPad watch what changes are coming your way! It’s likely that you’ll see a new “Special Embedded Video” edition rising up. What does this mean? It’s an amazing version of the entire book with multiple embedded videos scattered throughout the pages. Research Dave Ramsey’s book “EntrePreneurship”. Right on iTunes you’ll find a Special Embedded Video Version, which brings you even closer to his brand…. which is essentially, himself.

And the changes keep coming…
As I have watched Apple roll out their iAds it’s become quite obvious that we could literally be entering a time when there will be no use or need for web browsers as we know it, even though Facebook’s changes last week were all aimed at becoming a player in SEARCH. But think this through… if you’re on your iPad or Smartphone it’s not likely you’ll even USE your browser like you might have if you were on a laptop or desktop computer. You might start browsing Facebook on an App, move over to Hootsuite to check your Twitter feeds, mosey over to read a book and if you do need to use Google, it’s most likely you’ll do so through….. you guessed it, an app! And you’ll do it following people, messages, personal contact… not products or services! It’s called Social Search and the term was coined in 2009, waiting for the technology to catch up on what people want.

Things are changing and it’s so important that you not only begin to understand, prepare and ACTIVATE for these changes, but you need to get your brand’s message right. Mobile marketing demands even more now than ever that your BRAND be wrapped around who you are and what you do.

Plain English? People want to see YOU and YOUR face and what you stand for on their mobile devices, not a glorified overly done flashy website.
When thinking through your brand, it’s important to ask yourself “Who Am I?” but remember, the answer to this question must lead to what people view you as. This might be a bit different than how you see yourself!
If you’re a professional and are used to being called “Dr So and So” or “Vet So and So” that is not going to work with branding. What you DO for people is where the focus needs to be.

This information will be hard for some to swallow but your college education, degree and investment into that Ivy League University means NOTHING when it comes to your brand, long term.

What does matter, what is BIGGER than that, is what do people want YOU for ahead of all others?  Do you make people well quicker? Do you make them money. Is your advise helpful in their custom circumstance?  Can you improve their health, their skills, their lives, their happiness, their income, their self confidence? This is part of your brand. If you’re a naturo-physician or therapeutic masseuse, do you treat people breaking all rules of traditional medicine? Than this would be a great brand-leading message. What result do you bring people? What are YOU an expert at? This is your brand. This is what people will know you as and remember for. Before the world wide web, you could not afford any profiling like this, but today it is at your fingertips or smartphone camera.

It’s important to not wrap our brand around our product or service. Always remember that people are never loyal to products or services. To get your brand into the minds and the hearts of the right people, my friends… wrap your brand around Y-O-U. That is why Facebook last week announced a number of ground breaking changes that all deal with emotional attachment at the center of the issue. Social Search is the Word of the Year. Watch Google’s Matt Cutts explain the essence of real content and in the process become the Face of Google.

Be prepared to face a completely changed Facebook

Is there an analogy with the Apple-Microsoft Stand-off?

Last night my wife mentioned that Facebook was drastically changing and she didn’t like it.The Social World was abuzz with critiques on the social media giant. Well, after today’s unveiling presentation at the f8 Conference in San Franciso.

Let me say up front Facebook doesn’t really care to grow beyond the 800 million or so users, no does it care a bit about increasing pageviews for ad revenues. Its priority has nothing to do with increasing revenues, that’s for later.
No, Facebook is all about emotion, or more precise, the loss of emotion over the years. Facebook has a spectacular level of engagement for many, but over the years it has become a must rather than a want. Many people these days visit Facebook these day out of necessity, not desire. They go there because their friends are there.

With Google+ openings bid at 10 million plus users, Facebook launched 3 changes recently, all designed to increase emotional contact, real time speed and bookmarking capabilities. But these afternoon in San Francisco it became clear that this was only the beginning, because as one observer said: These changes will make it so you know your friends better than you ever thought you could”, adding that software developers will be elated, users will be shellshocked (for a bit) and social media competition will feel like they were scorched in the social giant’s afterburner, finding themselves feeling ancient.

We will analyze the changes in the next few weeks on their business merits and keep you up-to-date. If you want to know NOW, here is a video of jubilant young new Billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg, as he explains some backgrounds.

f8live on Broadcast Live Free

Surplus County Inventory For Sale Online

Surplus City Inventory For Sale OnlineSurplus inventory from Nassau County, Florida is available for sale online. Apparently, the county has cleaned out the closets and inventoried their stock piles and are now ready to clear it all out!

They have everything from heavy equipment, office equipment and even brand new tires and more. Please go to to view the individual items.

This is a sealed bid offering and bids will be accepted until 4:00 pm Eastern on September 30, 2011.

Please contact Dawn Krass at 904-491-7377 or email at for additional information.

Nassau County Wins Silver Communicator Award

Nassau County Wins Silver Communicator Award

Nassau County Wins Silver Communicator Award

Nassau County is excited and honored to have been awarded The 2010 Silver Communicator Award in the category of Governmental Websites.

New York, NY (May 28, 2010) – The winners of The 2010 Communicator Awards have been announced by the International Academy of the Visual Arts today. With thousands of entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence for communications professionals. Please visit to view the full winners list.

The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA), a 550+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current IAVA membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including: Condè Nast, Coach, Disney, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Estee Lauder, HBO, Keller Crescent,, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Tribal DDB, Victoria’s Secret, Wired, Yahoo!, and many others. See for more information.

“As we continue our mission to honor Creative Excellence for Communications Professionals, we were once again amazed at the high level of work we received for this year’s Communicator Awards. With this year’s entries we found an increased awareness and reflection of the digital world in which we live, and our entrants always seem to find new and creative ways to push the envelope of possibilities across all mediums” noted Linda Day, director of the IAVA. She added, “We are honored to witness the amazing work being done throughout the industry and want to commend and congratulate this year’s Communicator Award Winners and Entrants for their hard work and dedication. On behalf of the entire Academy – Job well done.”

[sc name=”email-announcer”]

Clerk of Court Check Policy

Clerk of Court Check Policy

Nassau County Courthouse

Yulee, FL – Effective April 15, 2010, a number of changes to the Clerk of Court Check Acceptance Policy will be implemented.

The new policy is as follows:

-Checks will no longer be accepted by mail.
-Checks will only be accepted over the counter with Driver License or State-issued photo ID.
-A photocopy of the Driver License/State-issued photo ID will be made and kept on file.
-Pursuant to F.S. 28.243, the Clerk’s Office will accept checks drawn on any bank or similar financial institution in the United States.
-Exceptions to the above are governmental agencies, title companies, and officers of the courts.

Solid Waste Task Force Meetings for Nassau County

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Nassau County Solid Waste Task Force shall meet on a monthly basis on the second Thursday of each month, with the exception of the month of November 2010. The meeting dates for 2010 are as follows:

The group will meet from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers located at the James S. Page Governmental Complex, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida. The group works to identify and explore ways to reduce the amount of solid waste going into landfills, and increase the volume of material recycled in the county.

The public is invited to be present. If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the board, agency or commission with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, he/she will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record includes the evidence and testimony upon which the appeal is to be based.

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