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The Wonderful City of Fernandina Beach By Samuel Clay McKenney.

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Presentation on theme: "The Wonderful City of Fernandina Beach By Samuel Clay McKenney."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Wonderful City of Fernandina Beach By Samuel Clay McKenney

2 Stuff Y’all need to know Fernandina Beach Is located on Amelia Island Very North-East in Florida 8 miles from Yulee, Florida 10 miles from St. Mary’s, Georgia Only 10.7 square miles Heavily influenced by Georgian Culture (hence the y’all)

3 Demographics Population is: 80% White 16.2% Black 2.3% Hispanic 0.8% Mixed 0.6% American Indian 0.5% Other

4 More Demographics High school or higher: 87.1% Bachelor's degree or higher: 32.4% Graduate or professional degree: 12.1% Unemployed: 7.1% Average age is 43 Median household income is 40,893 Median Family income is 54,806

5 History The Island was originally inhabited by Native Americans similar to the Timucuans. It was first discovered by Jean Ribault and then colonized by the French in 1562. Ribault named it Isle de Mar Fortunately, the Spanish came in 1565.

6 The Spanish Flag Unfortunately, they massacred Ribault and his fellow colonists. The island was renamed Isle de Santa Maria after the Santa Maria mission that was being headed there. The Spanish hold the Island until 1702 Then the British-Indian invasion of Florida occurs.

7 English Flag The James Oglethorpe renames the island Amelia Island after King George the II’s daughter, princess Amelia. The British ask for a transfer of the island to British control, and receive agreement from the Spanish. The King of Spain then rejects the agreement.

8 The Spanish. Again. In 1783, Florida is returned to Spain with the end of the revolutionary war. The British are forced to leave The town of Fernandina is established in honor of King Ferdinand the VII.

9 The Patriot Flag Then a group of men called the “Patriots of Amelia Island” seize the island by force and raise their flag. They did so under the approval of president James Madison. Shortly after, the American Flag is raised.

10 Flag Goulash In 1816 a Scottish soldier, Gregor MacGregor seizes the island in the name of the green cross. MacGregor is forced to withdraw by the spanish Then Luis Aury, a French pirate siezes the island in the name of Mexico

11 Confederacy In 1861, Confederate sympathizers then took control of fort clinch and the island. Two days later Florida seceded from the union.

12 Finally! USA In 1862, the Union captured the Island and that was the flag change that Fernandina Beach has seen.

13 Thesis The current system of Fernandina Beach government is democratic for three reasons: It has highly involved citizens because of the tightness of the community, the citizens can directly participate, and through the dealing of issues by the commission.

14 Government of FB The city of Fernandina Beach has a city manager form of government. The heads of the government consist of a mayor, 4 commissioners, and a city manager.

15 Mayor Has little more power than a commissioner Mainly Decorative Title Only unique power is during states of emergency. Term is three years, and is chosen by vote of commission Elected as a commissioner

16 Commission 5 commissioners (including mayor) Elected by Secret Ballot Limited to 2 successive terms May rerun only after a 3 year break having been elected twice consecutively This limits advantage of incumbency This is democratic!

17 Commission continued… Duties of commissioners are: Pass laws and ordinances Manage recreational facilities Elect city manager Supervise city manager Those things that aren’t duties of the city manager, or his subordinate officers

18 City manager The city manager is elected by a majority vote of the commission The city manager must: Enforce laws and ordinances by use of city attorney Appoint and remove subordinate officers Attend all commission meetings Keep commission fully advised of city’s financial situation Make recommendations to the commission Be an agent through which all purchasing of city supplies goes through Follow all laws and ordinances as passed by commission

19 City manager continued… The city manager has a one year term and may be re-elected infinitely. He/She is supposed to be elected without regard to political belief However, this does not mean that he/she is apolitical

20 The debate Lately, the turnover rate of City Managers has been high. This means that the city manager has little time to become comfortable with his/her duties. Many see this as detrimental to the community

21 Parallels In Fernandina there has recently been talk of reforming the city’s charter. Some argue that the city manager is too strong and the power must be diluted Others argue that the centralization of the budget is the most efficient way to finance a community and the executive power he holds is the most effective way to run the local government.

22 Democratic aspects Direct contact with city manager, and commission Unlimited number of speech opportunities at city commission meetings The people are highly involved, and thus they themselves make the system more democratic through participation

23 Preservation Vs. Growth This is the Largest concern within Amelia Island Tourism is the #1 market It relies on the natural beauty of the Island The growth rate of Fernandina Beach between 2000 and 2005 was 1.35% The national annual growth rate is 1.17% The people that live on the Island wish to maintain the small city status Friends of Fernandina fight to maintain this Housing developments and hotels fight against this idea. Most of Fernandina’s citizens wish to maintain this and the government takes this into consideration. However, the government must also take the economy into consideration. The balance is hard to find.

24 Planning board letter The letter from the planning board reflects the local feeling. They are trying to “…control, not stop, growth.” “This is a representative form of government and our citizens have made it clear that they are concerned about these issues.”

25 Action! The commission, since there are elections every year, need to represent the people. Proof that they are, is not only in the afore-mentioned letter, but in their actions. The Perpall Hotel project was designed to go on Sadler road and three times the commission and the PAB rejected it. However, they accepted an application for three hotels on a different part of Sadler road where there were three empty lots without trees. The only difference between these two instances is community outcry. The Perpall hotel would’ve been close to people’s houses, and would’ve required the destruction of many very old trees. The other however has very few negative affects. People worried about the traffic, and that it might suck visitors out of the downtown area.

26 Tight knit community The community of Fernandina Beach is tight This why everybody feels more attached to current issues People feel like they have a voice Example: Greenway Affected all locals through recreation Affected developers by not allowing them to develop.

27 Panatheshrimp festival First weekend of May, the Shrimp Festival occurs Over 100,000 people celebrate Most Fernandinians attend Panathenaea was celebration of Athena’s birthday, while Shrimp festival celebrates the Shrimp Industry’s birthday Coincidence?

28 Conclusion Democracy is represented in Fernandina Beach’s government mostly through the citizens. They are involved, they can directly access government officials and information, and the tight knit community keeps them informed.

29 Bibliography Bryan, Frank M. Real Democracy. Chicago: The University of Chicago P, 2004. Fernandina Beach. City of Fernandina Beach Florida. 1990.. Robinson, Eric W., ed. Ancient Greek Democracy. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2004. United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Fernandina Beach City, Florida. 2000. 4 Dec. 2006.

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