Tim Poynter Seeks Re-Election to Fernandina Beach City CommissionImage borrowed from FernandinaObserver.com.

Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Tim Poynter has announced his re-election bid for the Group 4 seat he has held for the past 3 years. “I believe that every city commissioner has a duty to stand up for the long term interests of thecity,” he said. “I want to make sure that this special place remains economically healthy, vibrant and attractive for future generations. If that means investing in things like our beaches, our neighborhoods and city assets, then we need to find ways to do that without crippling our citizens and businesses with excessive taxes, fees and regulation. If we don’t care about our future, we are in fact hanging up a going-out-of-business sign on the city. I sure don’t want that, and I don’t think our citizens want that, either.”

Known as both a creative problem solver and a commissioner who speaks his mind, Poynter applies the same principles to running the city as he does to his businesses: good services at a reasonable cost. “Good government doesn’t have to be expensive, if you look for creative ways to manage,” he said. “We can’t keep doing things the same way in these economic times and expect that our city won’t suffer. The City Commission and the City Manager need to work closely together to find the fairest way to work with our citizens so that the levels of service we have all come to expect can continue without bankrupting us. And then we must be accountable to them for every penny we spend.”

Poynter is proud that as a commissioner he bucked entrenched interests to improve services and the financial performance of the city’s golf course and marina. He sees even better performance coming in the future at the marina, along with an upgraded Front Street and an attractive new waterfront park. “We have some long standing problems like the waterfront. I want to see the city move ahead with infrastructure improvements that will encourage more private investment downtown. And as our population ages, we must find the ways to improve and invest in our community that don’t involve placing increased tax burdens on our retirees.”

Poynter also believes that city government needs to find better ways of communicating with citizens. “Rumors have no problem getting around this town, but somehow the truth is more difficult to get out. I hold town hall meetings the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Café Karibo. There is always a lively discussion that helps me understand issues from other perspectives. We commissioners need to find more and varied ways to get involved with the citizens. And people can always find me at Café Karibo.”

Tim and Theresa, his wife and business partner, first opened Café Karibo in late 2001, just after the 9/11 disaster. Despite the resulting economic downturn, they continued to focus on their goal to provide good food at reasonable prices to the community. Even in the face of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, they persevered and expanded Café Karibo while embarking on a second successful venture: Karibrew. In April of this year, they opened a third business, Timoti’s Fry Shak just down the street. The Poynters now have more than 50 employees, making them one of the largest employers downtown. “We have some of the best employees in town,” Tim said. “I am very grateful to them for helping us keep so many steady, satisfied customers.”

Tim grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelors degree from the College of Business Administration. He moved to Fernandina Beach in 1999 for a job; his family joined him in 2000. They have stayed because of the island lifestyle and friendly community environment that they have all have enjoyed ever since. Tim and Theresa have been married over 30 years and have four children: Tara, Bryan, Tim and Sean, all of whom attended Fernandina Beach public schools.

The Poynters regularly help out local non-profit groups. Just this summer their businesses contributed $1,000 to the July 4th fireworks display. If you would like to learn more about Tim Poynter and his vision for Fernandina Beach, or if you would like to get involved in his campaign, please contact him by phone (904) 415-6533 or email votetimpoynter@gmail.com. Or just drop by Café Karibo for a chat.

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