It has become apparent that public opinion is not valued much by Manatee County commissioners. Case in point: Aqua by the Bay.
The commssion was aware of the crowd that was to attend the recent hearing, with more than 500 emails sent to them on this subject. (The 2013 Long Bar Point meeting was far superior with the location at the Convention Center). They were told about, warned of a large turnout and still ignored the will of the people! Many senior citizens were left without seating for hours and just ended up leaving.
Check-in was equally confusing and misguided. The personnel at the check-in desk should have informed the public on the comment cards that it would be hours before the first speaker would be heard because of lengthy presentations from both sides. They did not — in fact, they didn’t even number the cards as they were filled out. Folks had to move their cars every few hours or pay to park. No parking, no charging stations, not enough chairs, yet the commissioners sit back in their high-back chairs looking down on the public who put them in office.
I have attended many public forums around this state, and I assure you that this is the most unfriendly Board of County Commissioners that I have encountered in years.
“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he concludes that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.” - H.L. Mencken, “A Mencken Chrestomathy”