By Dave Scott, 1-27-23
Fernandina Beach’s “consigliore” Tammi Back and pompous gasbag Commissioner Chip Ross took it on their chins by well-researched opinion editorials penned by two informed residents in the Wednesday, January 26, 2023, print News Leader.
Glen Stettler (With new City Commissioners new honesty”, Fernandina News Leader, Wednesday, January 25, 2023) literally pounded City Attorney Bach for her lame excuse of why the city is continuing to hose tax payers following a court decision directing it to stop stealing their money. Meanwhile long-time resident and entrepreneur Bob Allison (Misinformation guides city decision-making, Fernandina New Leader, January 25, 2023) shredded Commissioner Ross’s ill-informed arguments defending the city’s mismanagement of its waterfront properties.
In his second recent opinion piece on the issue Stettler called on the state to send in its auditors to prevent the city from continuing to extract “illegal fees” from its residents. Despite losing a lawsuit that cost the city a million bucks to defend against, and the court telling it to stop and refund the cash, the city just changed the name to “capacity fees” and carried on as usual says Stettler.
“Bach’s response was “No! It’s OK to extort the folks. It says so on a cocktail napkin our consultant gave me.” Well, she didn’t use the word “extort” but she didn’t have to, stating that the only reason the city lost the first suit was because its illegal activities were based on a note scribbled on a cocktail napkin by a consultant. She actually said that. It was her only defense.
Stettler also cited another lawsuit pending against the city by a local builder alleging illegal impact fee activity against it and a pattern of what could be called “money laundering” activity by illegally shuffling money between city agencies. The mafia would be envious.
The case for sending in state auditors to look at the city’s books is growing stronger by the day as it appears locals are fed up with the city’s mismanagement and fee scams.
Allison blew massive holes in arrogant Commissioner Ross’s recent argument that the city can’t do anything constructive with its waterfront property because it’s all owned by the state. Ross is all wet on the issue says Allison and points to official documents, facts, and valid reasons why.
Ross’s arguments about the city’s waterfront properties being “sovereign waters of the State of Florida” were sunk by Allision who expertly and factually described why that isn’t true. He also suggested that Ross, who publicly prides himself on his extensive research and careful scrutiny, “get his facts straight” citing actual statistics, charts and documents that left Ross’s leaky position sitting on the bottom.
It’s time for the recently elected new members of the Commission to start upholding their campaign promises to hold the city accountable and look into these recurring issues. How about contacting Tallahassee and asking them to take a look fellas?
Ringing DeBella: Former Fernandina Beach resident Laura DeBella has been nominated by Governor Ron DeSantis to be the Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), adding her to his staff of his senior leadership team going into his second term.
Ms. DiBella has served as the Deputy Secretary of EFI since July and has helped to secure the relocations of several companies to Florida, as well as organizing the Southeastern United States-Japan conference that brought together Governor DeSantis and leading officials from Japan including the Japanese ambassador to the United States and key Japanese business leaders.
Prior to joining the governor’s team Ms. DiBella served as Executive Director of the Florida Harbor Pilots Association, Port Director of the Fernandina Ocean Highway and Port Authority, and the Executive Director of the Nassau County Economic Development Board.
An announcement said that in her new position: “She will be charged with maintaining Florida’s status as the number one destination in the country for businesses who are tired of high-tax, and the overly-regulatory environments in other states.”
The energetic, personable, and attractive Ms. DeBella, who keeps fit by running marathons, made a positive impact hereabouts attracting a variety of new business ventures to Nassau County and shining a positive light on the Port and its economic activities.
It will be fascinating to follow her future activities as she focuses her high-energy and persuasive style of management onto Florida’s fertile economic territory.
Slap Shot Slapstick: Whoever is in charge of the National Hockey League’s recruiting and PR efforts has been playing the game too long without a helmet.
Recently, the NHL posted a since-deleted LinkedIn notice promoting a February 2 “Pathway to Hockey Summit” job fair in Fort Lauderdale that listed specific participation requirements.
The NHL’s posting said: “Participants must be 18 years of age or older, based in the U.S., and identify as female, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and/or a person with a disability. Veterans are also welcome and encouraged to attend.” Apparently whites were excluded. I did not make any of that that up.
The NHL’s job fair rules resulted in massive blowback, with many Twitter readers publicly pounding the league.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Flyers defensive man Ivan Provorov’s jerseys sold out rapidly after he refused to wear a LGBTQ rainbow jersey during a “Pride Night” in Philly. The fans there loved that and expressed their approval at the cash register. According to The Daily Wire, Provorov’s No. 9 jersey for the Philadelphia Flyers has nearly sold out at several different online stores.
The Hill quoted the Russia born Orthodox Catholic Provorov as saying: “I respect everybody, and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” he said while taking questions in the Flyers’ locker room after the team’s 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
After initially saying its Fort Lauderdale job fair was only available to certain groups of people, the confused whack jobs in the NHL opened the event to everyone after heated criticism from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis’ Press Secretary Bryan Griffin appropriately released a statement chiding the NHL for its ridiculous posting.
“Discrimination of any sort is not welcome in the state of Florida and we do not abide by the woke notion that discrimination should be overlooked if applied in a politically popular manner or against a politically unpopular demographic,” Griffin said, according to The Florida Standard. “We call upon @NHL to immediately remove and denounce the discriminatory prohibitions it has imposed on attendance to the 2023 ‘Pathway to Hockey’ summit.”
A startled and apparently nervous and confused NHL spokesperson told Fox News that the “original wording to the LinkedIn post associated with the event was not accurate.”
“Trans Women are women,” the biological scientists at the NHL wrote. “Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real”, it added. Sharpening their skates doesn’t make these dimwits any less dull.
The NHL obviously needs spokespeople who understand the media and realize that the first couple of rules in talking to the press is never to lie and not say things that make you look like a fool and become the subject of the article. The NHL may also want a spokesperson who is somewhat familiar with the game of hockey.
Lost & Found Department: Did anybody in Washington misplace or lose the U.S. Vice President last weekend?
If so, and if anyone in D.C. cared and was looking for her and thought she might have been down here on Amelia Island, they’d be wrong. But folks up there have better things to do right now than look for a missing VP.…like looking for missing TOP SECRET documents.
Anyway, folks hereabouts were abuzz wondering who the VIP was staying at the pricey Ritz Carlton on the island’s south end. A number of folks speculated that it was Kamala Harris, who may have taken a day off this past Monday and headed here to lick her wounds after being rejected in Tallahassee Sunday by the Florida State Capital and Florida State University on Sunday to use their venues for a speech.
Eventually the incomprehensible VP spoke to a small group of Democrat supporters to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade after both the state capital building and FSU nixed her request to use their facilities. Those two venues said “Nope! Not here!” in a state that has increasingly shifted right the past few years.
Instead, she was forced to give her talk at a private site in front of an audience of about 1,500. It doesn’t really matter as wherever she spoke it’s doubtful anybody in the audience was able to make any sense out of her customary word jumble.
Harris’s speech was intended as a celebration of the murder of unborn children. The 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade should be cause for mourning, yet the ghouls on the left and their elected officials twisted it into a salute.
During her talk she didn’t appear to pick up any new Sunshine State supporters when she called Florida’s government “extremist” and the abortion ban “radical.” After her talk, she posted on Twitter calling Republicans “extremists” and promising that the Biden administration would “win” by protecting access to abortions. What a charmer!
Some speculated on Monday, January 23, that she was staying at the Amelia Island Ritz Carlton when a convoy of several black SUVs were spotted headed to the Ritz. A U.S. Coast Guard cutter and a couple of area police boats sat parked ocean side. Not exactly the protection even the Rolling Stones received when they stayed there not long ago prior to their Jacksonville concert.
However, I can absolutely confirm that it WAS NOT Kamala Harris. I can confirm that because the authoritative folks that provided me the “NO it ain’t her” confirmation got nervous and said they “didn’t feel comfortable” saying anything else about who it might be. I finally heard it was House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and a few other GOP bigwigs that rated a U.S. Coast Guard gunboat, a couple of police boats, and a fleet of black SUVs.
Why were they here? I have no idea. Anyone?
A Princely Pain: I’m fed up with this jerk, Prince Harry, who has for unexplained reasons infatuated the American media while annoying normal rationale Americans.
We haven’t had a prince hereabouts since 1776 when it was proclaimed that we were done with those royal pains in the butt. And we don’t need no stinkin’ princes around here now unless they can sing like our home-grown American “Prince” who gave the masses a lot more than this pathetic British loser, Harry.
Harry “what’s-his-name” has no apparent skills, no job, alienated his entire family, is exceedingly boring, had his book written by a ghost writer, and lives off his wife’s earnings. Not much there to brag about.
Who would want to waste their time having a beer with this twit much less read about the jerk?
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The Amelia Island Jazz Festival’s annual Valentine’s Day weekend, Big Band Bash will be held Saturday, February 11, 2023, 7:00 – 10:00 PM, in the Main Ballroom at the Courtyard by Marriott, 2700-2 Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach featuring local resident Les DeMerle’s 15-Piece Jazz Orchestra and his wife, vocalist Bonnie Eisele. The event, which includes a gourmet meal and a silent auction, will feature classic big band arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and more. “Also, we’ll be paying homage to my old boss, bandleader and trumpeter Harry James, with whom I worked 12 years,” said renowned drummer DeMerle. Tickets for the event are $100 per person, and the proceeds will benefit the Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship Program. Tables of 6 and 8 seats are available. For online ticket purchases and further information, visit the festival website: www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com. Tickets can also be purchased at The UPS Store, 1417 Sadler Road, in the Island Walk Shopping Center in Fernandina Beach or by contacting the Festival Hotline at (904) 504-4772 or at email address: [email protected]. The 14th Annual Amelia Island Chili Cook-Off sponsored by the Montessori School will be held Saturday, February 11 in downtown Fernandina. To compete or be a sponsor contact the school at 904/261-6610 or go to [email protected]. Entry fees are $175 per team and the final date for entering is February 8. My pal Pajamadave Voorhees of PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden fame and I will team up once again with what we consider to be the ultimate Bowl of Red grotesquely misnamed “The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Chili” for reasons neither of us can explain other than an over consumption of longnecks. Just vote for us OK! Our chili stand will be in front of PJD’s at 12 South 2nd Street so have your voting tokens ready.
Republished with the author’s permission. Read The Dave Scott Blog– subscribe Free
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.