SaraMana: A special message to Mayors SueLynn and Carmel Monti: The mainland taxpayers want to be clear about one thing. If you do anything to restrict access to the beaches, such as restrictive parking at the beach access points, the feds will be notified. This will jeopardize your beach renourishment money. You think I'm joking? Talk to LBK.
Prior to the first beach renourishment, the feds discovered that for years LBK had been hiding (by letting the weeds grow up) a number of the beach access points and at others, did not allow parking in order to prevent "day trippers" from using the LBK beaches. The feds held up the beach money until LBK cleared the growth, erected signage and provided parking where possible at ALL beach access points. Needless to say they had it done in days.
The two of you need to apologize now for the deep insults you've dished out. It is because of the extreme generosity of the mainland federal, state and local taxpayers to the tune of millions upon millions of dollars over decades that make your little sandbar in the gulf a comfortable and habitable place to live.
Eyeswidesht: AMI has been over hyped and overmarketed. A backlash is understandable. Charging for access or parking is not unusual for islands. Its overdue actually. Do any of you folks get outside Bradenton? AMI doesn't owe you anything. They don't even want the trolley. The county needs to fix up the numerous and embarrassing broken neighborhoods in Bradenton. Stop spending money advertising AMI. AMI doesn't want or need it. Fix Bradenton.
TruthBeToled: Clarification: everyone needs to know that it isn't only the mayors with these attitudes. They are simply delivering the message on behalf of themselves and the commissioners of these cities. So, the disgust needs to be directed at all the elected elitist officials in these island cities. I have literally heard many of these people say (in public meetings and other forums) that they "hate all these tourists and wish they could stop them from coming." No kidding.
RustyThomas: I have an idea. Let's charge the Islanders a nice fee to come to the mainland to utilize legal services, medical facilities, etc. Just shows the poor planning of AMI political leaders (i.e., Anna Maria and Holmes Beach). ...
Stacie Paradis: Have people completely lost their minds. This is ludicrous. I was thinking about buying a place down there again (off island) -- forget it if this comes to pass, I wouldn't bother. Good luck, Manatee County, with your future real estate endeavors if this happens. I'm already turned off from purchasing another property just with the threat of this.
Jessica Freddes: We (the off island residents) bring $ to the island. We aid in the monies that the restaurants and shops earn. Many of us lifetime Bradenton residents head to the island for dinner and drinks a few times a week. We encourage our out-of-town guests to stay on the island. We support the economy out there.
I for one can say if there is a toll or parking fee I will be happy to spend my leisure time and money in Bradenton, Palmetto, and other surrounding areas. I would rather drive to Siesta or St. Pete than feel unwelcome on our own beaches in Manatee County. This is ridiculous.
GameShow Trivolution: FYI, the toll-bridge idea would be nothing new. In the Fort Myers area, it costs you $6 to go over the causeway to Sanibel and Captiva. The difference in this instance is that there is a different way to access AMI whereas the causeway is the only way to access Sanibel and Captiva.
Sereneforce: The mayors should find themselves jobless now. I myself love to go to the beaches on AMI and we certainly do not park on anyone's lawn. I park in public areas and would not be able to afford regular tolls or parking fees. Given parking fees, I'm sure you (you meaning AMI residents) would have MORE people parking on your lawn, not fewer.
If someone parks on your lawn, call the cops or have them towed at their expense. I hope the mayors don't seriously see this as a great idea, and I don't see how anyone else sees this as beneficial to AMI as it will start a whole new string of issues, and I expect to probably see them re-establish their ideas in a new light under the guise that "they didn't mean it like that."
StopAndThink: Folks, there are three cities on the island, not just two. The mayor of Bradenton Beach is not one of those whining about "day trippers." It's the most laid-back city on the island and that's why I live here. There's plenty of parking at Coquina Beach. There's great restaurants, bars and shops on Historic Bridge Street and nearby. There's always live music to check out, and fun events
So please don't include Bradenton Beach when you respond to this article. ... So what are you waiting for? Get in your car and hit the beach -- Bradenton Beach!
Annie McFarren: Wow, all I can say is that I am taken back by these comments. I have been going out to that island for 25 years. I go to many many restaurants and stores. I have been taking guests that visit the family there for many lovely dinners and of course the wonderful shops. It was so nice to live so close, as we live off 75th St NW.
But now having the mayor to comment the way she views the mainland people has totally changed my mind. I would not have minded paying to go if it was to raise money to relieve financial debt the island had in these economic challenging times. But it seems they would not like us there at all. So I will now be taking my business elsewhere.
Johnlaw: As a lifelong Islander, I agree with controlling parking, littering, etc., but this has gone too far. But seriously, don't park on my lawn.
G Varano: Public roads, public beaches and public access ... not yours to restrict. We have every right to encourage visitors to support local business and help fund the necessary costs to pay for all the county-funded services you enjoy.
Where has common sense gone? This is not and will never be a private resort community.