Stay the Course Suggests Commissioner Childers

Commissioner Eric Childers believes each candidate should know the impact of upcoming agenda items as he seeks re-election.

Stay the Course Suggests Commissioner ChildersBy: Eric Childers

“Dear City Residents,
At the beginning of my term I created a website, www.ericchilders.com to inform you of my positions prior to my voting. I did this to provide a new transparency to our government and give you the ability to respond to and influence my decision prior to a Commission Vote. I currently email my positions to 571 citizens prior to every Commission Meeting, this will continue.

In 2008, I fought FPU’s deposit policies all the way to the corporate office. Two former Commissioners chastised me over this effort as a waste of time, I did not waver, FPU changed their deposit policy and we “the people” won.

Last month, at your request, I took the Fight to FPU again, over the closing of their (walk in) customer service office on 8th Street. Once again I was advised by not to proceed. I ignored that advise and again FPU reversed their decision. No other Commissioner brought this issue forward.

In 2009 private citizens on the Ocean side of S. Fletcher attempted to use Florida Department of Environmental Protect to force the Closure of Beach Access 29S. I was discouraged this time from taking on a State agency but I took the fight to FDEP anyway and the access remains open. In 2010, FDEP dictated we move the Main Beach boardwalk, I lead the fight there, and the boardwalk will remain where it is.

This year, the Commission voted 4-1 to approve the UBC contact giving those members a 3% cost of living wage increase. I did not.

The Commission voted to continue the ban on short–term rentals in Fernandina Beach re-enforcing the taking of your property rights and ignoring the economic benefits of lifting the ban. I did not.

The Commission voted to add FIVE unnecessary elements to the Comprehensive Plan and file that plan with the State, I did not.

The Comprehensive Plan becomes our planning department’s bible and the word shall mandates action. Some of the items in that document include:

1) Future Land Use Element;

Policy 1.01.06.
By December 2013, the City shall develop solar, wind and alternative energy technology design guidelines for new development and redevelopment that address such items as energy efficiency, urban forestry, street and passageway alignments, landscaping, setbacks, building orientation, and relationship to water bodies. Guidelines shall be utilized in all site plan reviews by the City’s planning, building, engineering, utilities, police and streets maintenance departments.

2) Transportation Element;

Policy 2.01.01.
The City shall create a Mobility Plan and begin to implement mobility strategies by December 2012. The Mobility Plan shall periodically be evaluated and revised or updated as necessary.
(This is a staff mandate and they will do it by Dec. 2012)

Policy 2.04.01.
The City shall develop a Right-of-Way Acquisition List that identifies and prioritizes necessary ROW property for purposes of expanding the multi-modal transportation network.
(This looks like the initial steps necessary to constitute a legal “taking” of properties)

Policy 2.05.01.
By December 2012, the City shall revise its Land Development Code to ensure consistency with the policies contained in this Plan.
See Policies;

Policy 2.05.13.
The City shall continue to use general funds, transportation funds, special assessments, federal and state funds and other revenue sources, as available, to fund multi-modal transportation improvements in the City. By December 2013, the City shall define additional dedicated funding sources to finance the cost of proposed transportation and general liability improvements.

There are many more examples, and I will continue to discuss these issues as I seek re-election. I believe each candidate should know the impact of these upcoming agenda items.

Make no mistake; these are mandates for further governmental intrusion into our lives and wallets. I am your “Watch Dog!” I believe in our rights to manage our own property and happiness. I will continue to fight on our behalf. I trust you will consider these FACTS, as you consider your candidate for City Commission Group 3.”

Anyone can promise; I deliver!”

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