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Candidate for City of Fernandina Beach Commission, Seat 1: Bradley Bean

The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce recently asked each candidate running for the City of Fernandina Beach Commission to answer a Candidate Questionnaire and provide a Campaign Video that we could share with the public. Answers to each question have been copied and pasted directly as they were submitted

For questions or additional information, please contact the Chamber at (904) 261-3248.

Bradley Bean candidate headshot

2024 City of Fernandina Beach Candidate Questionnaire


In your opinion, what is the City's role in economic development?

Plain and simple, the City needs to get out of the way of business and let them be strong economic engines.  Our small town has been built on the backs of hard-working families, who do everything from run their own small business, support our tourism industry, work as an engineer at a local mill, and much more.  As a City, we need to support all business to support our families.

How can the City of Fernandina Beach better support our entrepreneurial ecosystem?

Overall, ​taxes are too high, regulations are too burdensome, and the government is too big​. I was the first Mayor in over a decade to not raise taxes.  By rolling back the mileage rate, this City Commission has shown that we take fiscal responsibility seriously for the sake of both our residents and businesses.

Discuss your opinion on conducting a comprehensive and continuous review of all regulatory processes that impact businesses/industry and provide solutions that address any barriers.

As a Commissioner and Mayor, I have fought regulation at every turn.  From an overhaul of the building department, to eliminating a burdensome sound ordinance in our downtown business district, I have always stood for slashing red tape.  I have done all of this in tandem with the Chamber.


How can the City of Fernandina Beach improve the climate and competitiveness of our exisiting businesses and industry?

It all comes down to taxes.  I was the first Mayor in over a decade to not raise taxes.  By rolling back the mileage rate, this City Commission has shown that we take fiscal responsibility seriously for the sake of both our residents and businesses.

What are your thoughts about the disparity in regulations and processes in doing business between the City of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County? Please explain.

Businesses that choose to operate in the City shouldn’t be at a disadvantage from their County counterparts.  As Mayor, I have focused on rolling back our taxes, and reforming the building department.

The Chamber of Commerce supports a clear, concise, accurate and expedient permitting process. Please discuss this process within the City along with any recommendations.

Before my time on the Commission, our building department and permitting process were a mess.  I was proud to work with the Chamber on improvements that have given the businesses more flexibility when working with our building department.


What, in your opinion, are the three biggest challenges facing the City of Fernandina Beach?

  1. Managing growth: we have built a strong community that continues to attract new residents every year. While this is great for businesses, we need to manage this growth appropriately, while also not having burdensome regulation.
  2. Downtown Improvements: We are working on ensuring we maintain a world class historic district moving into the future.  This includes many ongoing projects at our waterfront.  This challenge is also one of our City’s biggest opportunities.
  3. Sharing the good news: I’m sure the Chamber has experienced this, it is tough to get out the accurate message when there are so many forms of communication and information sharing. To work through this, I have implemented “Minute with the Mayor”, a short weekly online program where I talk directly with citizens.

Any time decisions are contemplated that affect a particular segment of the community, representatives of that affected sector, such as the business/Industrial community, should be invited to the table for dialogue and input. How important is this input as a meaningful direction in developing sound policy and how will you implement it?

Communication is crucial for good government.  As you know, I have been very engaged with many groups including the Chamber.  I attend many Chamber events, and hear straight from the business community.  Additionally, we have public comment at every City Commission meeting.

Do you believe the City of Fernandina Beach has an adequate amount of funding from property taxes or do you expect to require additional resources from property owners? Please explain.

We absolutely have enough funding.  That is why I am proud that I am the first Mayor in over a decade to not raise taxes.


How can the City of Fernandina Beach balance and pursue both natural environment protection and sustainable economic development?

We can partner with our local businesses and encourage environmental improvements.  As Mayor, I have added tree protections to create the strongest tree ordinance in our City’s history, and well as added acres of land into permanent conservation. This current Commission has been fiscally responsible and great stewards of the environment.

Lead by the Chamber of Commerce beginning in 2015, the now completed Public Transportation Study and recommendations concluded in 2017 with no notable improvements. Nassau County is now conducting an update to the Transportation Study. What are your specific recommendations to increase the options and availability for public transit? Do you support City funding for public transportation?

The City needs to work with the County on a comprehensive public transit system.  The good news is, our relationship with the County has never been stronger since our two commissions have taken over.

The future innovation economy and efficiency of government is dependent on technology infrastructure. How will you ensure the City of Fernandina Beach continuously improves digital options, infrastructure and faster, more stable, and more secure connectivity?

Private industry has answered this call.  IQ fiber is a great example of giving our citizens another option for internet, and with that competition everyone wins.


Land development codes and incentives for workforce housing have not produced the needed inventory for our community. What are your recommendations for access to housing for the local workforce?

The largest lever we can pull is not raising taxes on our residents.  I am proud to be first Mayor in over a decade to go to the full rollback rate. It is important to me that long term residents, even those who rent, can afford to stay in their homes.  I am proud of local businesses who support charities like Habitat for Humanity.

Community-based development organizations are vital to the City of Fernandina Beach. How will you strengthen the role of these organizations?

Our community is strong, because we have those who wish to make it a better place to live.  I have been proud to speak to and meet with many groups of these people throughout my term.  As I spoke about before, communication is key. When I hear a need from these groups we try our best to address it right away.


Do you have any other comments you would like to specifically address to the business community of Fernandina Beach?

I can’t say THANK YOU enough!  It has been my honor to serve you for the past four years and I would not be where I am today without your support.  Thank you for putting your faith in me, and I look forward to earning your vote again this November.

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