Being a snowbird, I first have to admit that I have only been back here in Citrus County for about a month. There continues to be lack of progress on roadwork, trash collection issues and EMS program problems.

Lacking are the solutions, which are apparently truly hard to achieve. Perhaps we snowbirds tend to avoid helping with such issues or getting involved with volunteering, being transients and mostly interested in playing golf or enjoying the manatees and car shows. Nevertheless, I think Citrus County and its city governments could benefit from recognizing snowbirds as a potentially “great asset” that rotates annually in and out of Florida.

Many snowbirds have serious experience and skills, as well as time on their hands that, as a resource, could be leveraged by county leaders. For example, there are many retired professionals like teachers, nurses, doctors and business executives among the snowbirds, as well as among permanent residents.

Every county official should be collecting snowbird résumés and establishing their Snowbird Advisory Groups (SAG), meeting with them perhaps monthly and soliciting the SAG’s inputs and even labor. A SAG might consist of 100 retired teachers, another one might consist of 100 retired engineers, and perhaps similar SAGs for social workers, policemen, EMS professionals and firefighters.

Email and/or Facebook provide communication connectivity, so SAG administration by the respective county or city official can be relatively trivial, low or no cost, and easily terminated if needed. Also, every member of a SAG likely knows dozens of other residents (RAGs?) and potential voters (or at least golfers, GAGs?) in their neighborhoods.

Finally, to keep everyone on the level, every SAG member should strive to become what I call a “Technidigm Master,” and at least recognize and try to use my 12 technidigm elements of common sense. This would be a shameless plug except my book on technical common sense is a free Amazon-Kindle book (On-the-Level: Common Sense, Technically Speaking) that I wrote in the 1990s. It would even be a great accomplishment for anyone to, at least, just be able to name the 12 elements and then expect everyone in government and the media to stick to the elements in their debates of complex subjects like trash collection, road projects and EMS solutions.

Is that outside the box enough for you?

Charles R. Jones

Hernando

(20) comments

SJOHNSON

WillL , its like this. I have two different class A licenses from the Florida Dept. of Business and Professional regulation. Every year I take my family up north for a couple of weeks to escape the heat. My question to you is - what do you think the people up north would tell me if I started telling them about my licenses and how we do things in Florida ? I am sure they want me to bring my family and spend money in their state , but I also am sure they don't give a blank about how we do it here.

WillL

Who are the people? Again you are generalizing millions of people on a hypothetical question without even evidence that it would happen. My question is this...how do people learn anything? Ok here is my hypothetical...one grandfather of yours is from Citrus and another from somewhere north, always a great source of learning. Now do you discard any all information and teachings from the one that wasnt raised here? Of course you dont, and most wouldnt. And a ton of these people come here and many have lived lives rich and full and with great information. Sure you will get the occasional jerk (just like locals too) but to jump straight to the conclusion of the 'them' mentallity is baffling to me

Ssabmud

WillL, perhaps you should review the definition of a snowbird.

WillL

Everyone knows what a snowbird is, perhaps you should alter your bias. Look at the individual and dont right away group them together

SJOHNSON

what could possibly go wrong with that idea ? A group of old people from the north coming down here and telling us how to do things their way and then packing up to head back north for the summer. LOL !

DS

I agree.

Ssabmud

Mr. Jones, when snowbirds actually become a “great asset" to Florida, we might consider your idea of a SAG. Right now no one sees the traffic nightmares caused by snowbirds as a “great asset” every year. No one sees the crowded restaurants filled with low tipping snowbirds as a “great asset” on Friday night. No one, especially, likes the idea of not being able to get an appointment with one's doctor for weeks at a time because of all the hypochondriacal snowbirds lined up in their offices as a “great asset”. As stated, when snowbirds become a “great asset” the locals might allow them to tell us anything. How's that for 'common sense'?

WillL

Generalizing people is 'common sense'? Do you actually think that these medical facilities and restaurants would even exist if it wasn't for snowbirds and tourism? How about no.

Ssabmud

Do you have any ideas on how we can find out for sure, WillL, or are you just pulling a trump on us?

Ssabmud

WillL, never said a word about tourism, just snowbirds. You are the one who decided to pull tourists into your world.

WillL

Ok subtract the tourists then. You are still generalizing people who come here to live, spend money and pay taxes. They are citizens of this county and pay their share and the constant putting down of certain people is so tired. Everyone is from somewhere else period, and if someone has a good idea (and I'm not saying this particular person does) what's so wrong about being open minded to it? Are they immediately discarded because of where they are from?

Ssabmud

WillL, never said a word about where snowbirds are from. Entire comment was about their behavior. Your misinterpretation of my comments seems to be causing you a lot of stress. I am sorry for that.

WillL

No stress at all. But one does assume when the word snowbird is mentioned they come from where it snows and not Key Largo

Ssabmud

WillL, assumptions can be tricky things to work with. Reality, on the other hand, can be a real in-your-face thing to work with. Assumptions do tend to be an easier way out.

WillL

Glad you recognized your negative assumptions about snowbirds were in poor judgement

WillL

All in spirited fun, we agree to disagree

WillL

Just like assumptions about snowbirds. Good tussle, we agree to disagree

Miuke Nelson

You'll often hear “We don’t care how you did it up North” . Maybe you should troll the Villages.

TOMP

Mr. Jones what a positive approach to be of help to our county! Of course snowbirds can contribute a lot more than just the business revenue and profit to local services. I would bet there are retired Project Managers and Engineers that could have had the road construction on 19 and the Halls River Bridge projects completed on time and on budget. Great leaders surround themselves with people that are smarter and more experienced than themselves. We are a county populated with one of the highest percentages of older folks and our hospitals do not have a Gerontology Specialist...or even a Gerontology Dept. Perhaps there are brains migrating to Citrus County for 6 to 9 months with experience in establishing such a needed medical service. Snowbirds with a positive attitude are welcome in my humble opinion. Great suggestions...with a good sense of humor. Thanks.

TOMP

Mr. Jones...I just down loaded your book...for free.....what an incredible background you have. Start reading it today.....seems to make a lot of common sense....starting with Integrity....wish the current Prez and his followers would read it.

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