Issue 33, August 14th

Last week former Mayor and current UNF President John Delaney addressed our club.  It was somewhat comical when he arrived and we were discussing why I asked Jackie Smith to introduce him.  His exact words were “if this club doesn’t know me well enough by now, I’d be surprised.”  He spoke fondly of his past visits as far back as during his mayoral days.  As stated, UNF has moved light-years ahead in development and I was shocked to hear some of the statistics as to the school’s standing compared to UF and FSU as nipping at their heels.  Regardless as a UNF alum I always enjoy pointing to a T-shirt I ought years ago; “UNF Football, still undefeated.”

When I originally visited SBMC back in 2008, something that stood out to me was the high concentration of elected officials amongst our membership.  The civic aspect of our club has always been my primary focus as a member, but involvement in politics runs a close second.  I’m honored to have several of our members currently representing our community in various offices.  This Tuesday early voting begins and we have a number of our members on the ballot.  When you visit the polls, please consider one of our members when filling in your ballot.  Especially if you’re undecided on a particular race, or you don’t know all the candidates, please consider one of your fellow members.  While neither the club nor SBMC PAC is weighing in on these races, I will say I’m planning to vote for an SBMC member in every one of their races (I’m not in Paul Renner’s district, but would proudly vote to send him back to Tallahassee).  As he was our candidate spotlight speaker this past week, I’d like to acknowledge Dick Kravitz whose tenure way back to 1979 far exceeds any of our members running for office!  In the interest of fairness I’ve listed candidates in order of tenure as an SBMC member.

  • FL HD 16
    • Dick Kravitz
  • US HD 4
    • Lake Ray III
    • John Rutherford
    • Steve Kaufman
  • FL HD 24
    • Public Defender
      • Matt Shirk
    • State Attorney
      • Melissa Nelson
  • FL SD 4
    • Aaron Bean
    • Paul Renner

This week I’m excited to have Mayor Lenny Curry addressing us for the first time since taking office.  As you can imagine, he’ll be spending most of his time discussing the sales tax referendum on the ballot.  I’ve heard him speak at multiple venues on the topic where he’s made several great points.  I think it’s important to consider how far more engaged our members tend to be as a whole, and take a step back to think about those more removed from civic involvement.  They don’t have as many opportunities to question local leaders directly and get specific answers.  If people answered honestly, I think it’s safe to say many have no clue who their state representative is until they arrive at the polls, nor do they know enough about all the candidates.  Consider may campaigns appeal to that voting block, rather than ours as we’re outnumber exponentially.  That being said I’ll be voting for the sales tax referendum myself, in hopes we’ll see more attention towards the pension issue down the road.  Waiting until 2030 for the additional revenue isn’t ideal, but I think it’s a fair start.  We as an organization will still need to challenge our local leaders to look for other opportunities to begin paying down the unfunded obligation further.  At a minimum, something immediately is better than nothing.  As a 15 year banker having dealt with problem or “evergreen” loans, I can tell you an extended amortization is better than none at all.

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