By STEVE NICKLAS
For the News-Leader
Will weary Americans have the resolve to make traditional resolutions for the new year – or have they wilted with worry? Even if we do make resolutions, will we follow them?
Nevertheless, resolutions are important, our American way of life. So let’s make them for documentation purposes, at least. Here are eight goals we can aspire to reach.
Resolution No. 1: We will do everything possible to help the economy recover here and elsewhere. The COVID-19 virus has dealt the entire U.S. economy a tornado-force blow. Reopening shuttered states and businesses is imperative, as is rehiring workers. Stimulative economic measures and policies are the best medicine.
Resolution No. 2: We will support local tourism-related businesses, helping them return to their record-setting pace. This includes local hotels, restaurants, shops. Tourism drives our economy and our lifestyles on and off Amelia Island. We should shop and buy local when possible.
Resolution No. 3: We will encourage and assist small businesses, not hinder them with onerous regulations and shutdowns/mandates – especially during this precarious time. Small businesses employ much of the U.S. workforce, especially in Nassau County. They need a hand of help, not a hammer of resistance.
Resolution No. 4: We will demand that elected officials do what’s right for the people – not for themselves or their party or special interests. We should do this with resolve, here and on the state and national levels. Emails, handwritten letters and phone calls provide the ammunition of the people’s gunfire. Let elected officials hear from you.
Resolution No. 5: We will settle the county’s unfathomable lawsuit with Rayonier, our largest landowner and corporate partner. The lawsuit is counterproductive at this stage. It is simply running up a tab of legal fees amid irreconcilable differences. There is plenty of blame to go around and around and around.
Resolution No. 6: We will cease and desist Fernandina Beach city government’s wild spending spree. We have elected two new commissioners, who both bring a business acumen to the board. Raising property taxes – substantially – amid an unparalleled boom is absurd and wasteful. The city must practice restraint, particularly within a virus-induced recession.
Resolution No. 7: We will pressure the state to finish its endless widening of State Highway 200/A1A. County commissioners have passed the buck on this long-overdue project, telling business owners to “call the state” about our major artery. We should bring together our state representatives, county officials and business leaders to address and resolve this matter this next year.
Resolution No. 8: This one involves hope. We should/will hope that the state and federal governments continue to lean fiscally conservative. Let’s maintain the low-tax, less-regulation environment that has fostered prosperity for everyone, in Florida and around the country. Look at the record-low unemployment rates prior to the onset of the virus. And our strong, resilient economy (prior to the virus) is the reason the recovery in the financial and real estate markets has been so vibrant. We can take heart in that premise.
In closing, here’s hoping for a happy and prosperous new year, and to our lives returning to normal. Come to think of it, normal – as in traditional – can be good.
Steve Nicklas is a financial adviser with a regional brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns regularly appear in weekly newspapers in North Florida and in South Georgia, and on his website at SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has published a book, All About Money, of his favorite columns from the past 20 years. The book is available at local stores and on Amazon. He can be reached at 904-753-0236.