I'm going on 15 years living on Anna Maria Island and I love it. Since living here I've come to realize several things and adjust to them.
There will always be "day-trippers," no matter the time of year, and they're welcome. Besides the day-trippers, there are still many who come here from out of the area, out of state and out of country, but not as many as when season's in full bloom.
The greater majority of these visitors are here to enjoy our island and take care to leave it as they found it. But, as one writer puts it, there are some who act as idiots and aren't welcome, and I admit it, those types are made to feel unwelcome in the hopes they won't return.
One adjustment of mine to the increase in traffic, specially on weekends, is to do my shopping and any other errands on weekdays and early in the day. Traffic on weekends, specially during season, can be and is a hassle.
Even worse is parking, which the mayors of Anna Maria and Holmes Beach should be concentrating on instead of suggesting tolls on the bridges. I can only imagine the backups on the bridges to pay tolls on top of the bridges opening for vessel traffic.
They suggest that island residents would be exempt from a toll. How special is that? But what of the many who live off the island but work here? Will they be exempt as well?
Another item the two mayors should be concerned with is the increase of homes being turned into vacation rentals. It's now almost impossible to find an annual rental, which I know many who work here would love to find.