As you know, the County Commissioners voted 4:1 Monday night, April 24, to surrender completely to Riverstone. Many citizens turned out and spoke passionately about the need to resist the Riverstone development. Not a single community voice was heard in support of the proposed settlement.
It was particularly disappointing that the commissioners did not respond to the unanimous outpouring of views from their constituents. At the end of the session, Commissioner Huppman appeared to read from a written statement. Then, and without further comment, four commissioners voted as a block to raise the white flag. We are particularly grateful to Commissioner Allyson McCullough who dissented from the majority.
The County Attorney, Denise May, has proven unable to defend the county against baseless lawsuits from Riverstone. She has also demonstrated at least twice now that she is also unable to negotiate anything approaching a reasonable settlement on behalf of county residents. That was pointed out by several speakers Monday night. Unfortunately, some of the commissioners continue to look to her for advice and guidance.
The outpouring of resentment since the meeting ended has been palpable. Overwhelmingly, the citizens of Nassau County find the actions of its commissioners to be entirely unacceptable.
Riverstone has been granted everything it requested, plus a quarter million dollars of taxpayer money. Today Riverstone is free to submit its plans for clearing the land and building towers on the south end of our island. It has all the green lights necessary to proceed rapidly with development.
In response, we have incorporated Citizens Against Runaway Development (CARD) as a vehicle to oppose the Riverstone development in its current form on behalf of Nassau County residents. This entity is intended to coordinate and represent the actions of concerned citizens. We expect to do this by:
Soliciting the views of people concerned about the Riverstone development.
Retaining experienced land use and litigation counsel to provide objective advice regarding possible actions to be taken.
Initiating legal action, as necessary and appropriate.
Keeping the citizens of Nassau County informed of developments as they occur.
Working with the county and Riverstone toward a resolution satisfactory to the citizens.
How You Can Help:
Assuming that legal action will be necessary in the next year to stop Riverstone, we anticipate a need for approximately $125,000. Of that, we have already received pledges for $60,000. We need your help to fill the remaining gap.
Please make your donation to Citizens Against Runaway Development at:
P.O. Box 16360
Fernandina, FL 32035
Any funds remaining upon final resolution of the Riverstone matter will be used toward land conservation, tree replacement and conservation efforts elsewhere in Nassau County.
You can reach us through our website at www.CARDAmelia.org. We welcome your ideas and input. Keeping you updated as developments unfold will be a priority.
We look forward to hearing from you and working with you. Thank you for your help.