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Lednovich wins runoff election

Political newcomer Mike Lednovich edged out fellow newcomer Bradley M. Bean in a tight runoff election Tuesday for the Group 4 seat on the Fernandina Beach City Commission. Lednovich got 52.14 percent of the votes and Bean got 47.86 percent in unofficial results. Voters cast 2,712 ballots. There are 10,873 voters registered in the city, according to the Supervisor of Elections’ website, a turnout of about 25 percent.

Incumbent Roy Smith will give up his seat to Lednovich on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Lednovich told the News-Leader in May why he had decided to run. “I wanted to be a very well informed voter which started me down the path of what are the issues of my community (and) first understanding that,” Lednovich explained. “Then, understanding the candidates’ positions on addressing and solving those issues. As I read and researched the City Commission’s history, there were a lot of missteps.” Lednovich declined to name those missteps, saying that he is running a positive campaign.

He added that being a newcomer to Fernandina Beach can give him a different perspective on the needs of the city. “An advantage that someone new to the island has is that you don’t have any assumptions,” Lednovich said. “You are taking a fresh look at your community so I don’t have any preconceived biases one way or the other.” He said he has begun to establish the relationships necessary to be an effective commissioner and his priority would be to maintain the quality of life on the island.

Waterfront development is also on Lednovich’s radar.

A zoning change to allow the development of a field meant for children to play on led Bradley Bean to throw his hat into the ring for the seat. A third-generation resident, Bean told the News-Leader in July that his perspective as a lifelong resident of the city would give him insight into the needs of its residents. “The reason I’m doing this is to help my town and my city where I grew up, and where my kids will grow up,” Bean said. “That’s my motive – to help the city.”

Growing up in Fernandina Beach included playing in the field next to the McArthur Family YMCA on Citrona Drive. The City Commission approved a change to a Planned Unit Development that will allow developers to build on it instead. Bean spoke at two City Commission meetings to protest the change. “Once you lose land like this, these open spaces, they are gone for good,” Bean said at the meeting at which the City Commission gave final approval. “I love the YMCA, but I am opposed to losing our recreational lands. In the future, if we can look at ways we can mitigate or anything like that, that’s what I would hope for.”

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