Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

More Questions Than Resolutions Beach Panel's Goals Draw Discussion

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

More Questions Than Resolutions Beach Panel's Goals Draw Discussion

Article excerpt

Trustees were able to agree on an attorney to serve as general counsel to the Municipal Service District Monday, but little else was resolved in the two-hour session in which more issues were raised than answered.

Wayne Flowers, an attorney with the firm of Lewis, Long and Walker, was selected from three candidates who applied for the job of general counsel. A fourth applicant withdrew a couple of weeks ago. Flowers specializes in governmental and environmental law, two areas that continually plague the board.

Chairwoman Marcy Silkebaken asked the board to review a list of long-term goals established by the former board. She wants to use the goals as a starting point for a possible citizen survey.

"[The idea for] a survey has come up," Silkebaken said. "I thought that we ought to evaluate what our goals are . . . and make some adjustments, not reinvent the wheel."

Vice president Mack McCuller said he doesn't know what to do with the list of goals which cover topics such as incorporation/annexation of Ponte Vedra Beach, drainage, beautification, recreation, safety, sewers, land use and traffic control.

"My goal is perhaps different from this," McCuller said. "My goal is to do as little as possible with limited tax dollars we have. To not try to bite off all these subjects."

The Municipal Service District, a special governmental unit created to supplement county services such as providing street lighting, an additional day of trash collection, extra police protection and district beautification, generally runs from the county line south along Florida A1A to Corona Road and east to the ocean, then south along Ponte Vedra Boulevard to the Guana Preserve.

In 1997, the previous board initiated a project that was taken over by the county to clear cattails from the Guana River Basin to cure storm water drainage problems. At the end of the same year, another project was started to replace most septic tanks in the district with a sewer system. But there has been much opposition to the sewers from two new trustees on the current board -- McCuller and Marshall Hartmann -- and some residents who object to the nearly $6. …

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