Thursday, July 26, 2007

Budget cuts, How can we afford to fix anything let alone Friendship Fountain?

In view of the major cuts being required as a result of the Property Tax changes and the looming crises we are facing in the condition of the North and South Bank Riverwalks how could we possibly expect the City to come up with money for repairs for Friendship Fountain? (Not to mention the apparent desire by the current Administration to demolish the Fountain)

I think it is time for everyone to step up and take a little bit of ownership.

The City of Jacksonville needs to realize that any Multi Million dollar revamping of Friendship Fountain is not only not feasible but would be fiscally irresponsible (assuming they understand that term when it comes to Pet projects) and to go back to the original plan and estimate for Repairs so that the Fountain could once again be a Visual Center Point of our Great City.

Now I understand that $400,000.00 (which was the estimate 2 years ago) probably has risen but if the City would get a new, solid and bare bones repair estimate and present that as the Cost to restore Friendship Fountain. Maybe we, YES I said WE, as in the Citizens and Businesses of Jacksonville, could raise the money required.

I propose that a Private Business, Entity, Individual or Group, start a "Restore Friendship Fountain Fund" that anyone, individual, business, group, school or school class, could contribute to. With 100% of the Money donated being put towards the Restoration of Friendship Fountain.

Obviously this does depend on the City Officials to obtain a realistic estimate, for Restoration, not renovation (Lets face it folks right now there is no way that a Renovation could be afforded let alone considered), once the amount is raised it is paid directly to the Contractor the City chose and obtained the estimate from.

Hey you never know but maybe, just maybe, this "Restore Friendship Fountain Fund" could become "The Citizens for Jacksonville Parks Restoration Fund" and help in some of the other areas that we have already heard some discussion about or will in the coming year... I am afraid the bad news we have already heard regarding Parks, Parks Maintenance, and the North and South Riverwalks is just the beginning...

Why don't I start such a Fund? Simply put I do not have the necessary knowledge to administer such an endeavor but I sure would contribute Cold Hard Cash to it, not much, $50.00 maybe another $50.00, but if 1000's were to donate a few bucks the fund would grow rapidly and then get some businesses involved and School Groups before you know it we would have the money needed to Restore Friendship Fountain.

Got a better idea? Know an Individual or Entity that would take on this Task?

Ok that is my take, what is yours?


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July 2007

On this 231st Anniversary of the United States, and my 7th Wedding Anniversary ;), I want to wish everyone a very Happy and Safe Holiday.

While I won't be going downtown this year for the 4th for those of you who will be one of the best spots to view the City of Jacksonville fireworks is from The Fountain and hopefully they will at least have the outer ring running.

It is also a good time to remember how magnificent The Fountain can be when all rings are running and with a new term of office for our Mayor don't forget to write, call and just generally BUG the Mayor and your City Council members to get moving on restoring Friendship Fountain.

$400,000.00 is a lot of money but pales in comparison with many of the other "Projects" currently draining our city coffers and this one is something that everyone in the City can see, and enjoy, not to mention Visitors to our Great City and those moments when we get national Exposure on TV.

Help Save Our Fountain!

With that I will leave you with a shot of our Front Yard on the westside decked out for the 4th of July!