Greetings, fellow residents of Atlantic Beach. It’s a tremendous privilege to begin the new year as your mayor. The impressive November election turnout confirmed that we live in a community where civic engagement – individual and collective actions that identify and address issues of public concern – is vital to the overwhelming majority of the populace. Thank you for the honor of serving you; together, we have a lot of important work to do to ensure that Atlantic Beach continues to be an even better place to live, raise our families, work and visit.
While voting is a crucial aspect of civic engagement, it is by no means the only one. Regardless of the issues that matter most to you, there are numerous ways to be involved, from serving on a board or committee to attending City Commission meetings, and lots of opportunities in between. And, as the City Commission prepares to set its annual priorities in advance of adopting a new budget, now is the time we really need your involvement. Your voice matters, and you can make a difference in the decisions that will be made on your behalf in the coming months and years.
Civic engagement means advocating for and promoting the quality of life that you would like to see in our community. Let us know where you stand, for example, on the matters of adding police officers; improving stormwater management; beach renourishment and dune restoration; making our community more walkable and bicycle-friendly; resurfacing streets; and where the City should draw the line between property rights and tree preservation. Of course, this is only a small sampling of what’s on our collective plates to decide – as a community!
I’ve heard from a lot of you, already. Thank you for reaching out. I truly forward to cultivating those relationships, along with building new connections to help ensure that the City Commission puts residents first in all of the decisions it makes.