We live in a democracy, more accurately, a democratic republic. The difference is that in a democracy the people decide on issues by directly voting on those issues while in a democratic republic we elect individuals who represent us and who, in turn, vote on the issues.
These elected representatives have an obligation to express the wishes of their constituency or they may vote contrary to the electorate if they believe their opposition vote is in the best interest of the public.
Last month the Manatee's Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) voted 4-3 in favor of Long Bar Map Amendment - PA-13-03. At that meeting I presented over 6,600 signatures on petitions opposing that amendment. Those in favor of the amendment also had a petition with only 407 signatures.
Over 1,000 people attended that hearing and approximately 150 requested permission to speak. Of those, only eight spoke in favor of the amendment.
That is overwhelming proof that changing the Long Bar Pointe property from RES-9 (nine residential units per acre) to MU (mixed use, which would allow a hotel, light industrial, warehouses, and such retail as Wal-Mart or Target stores ) was and still is opposed by the public.
So, why did four members of the BoCC vote in favor of the unpopular change? That is not known.
There has been much speculation about that, but the commissioners have not said why they voted as they did, not before the meeting, during the meeting, or after the meeting.
In my opinion those four commissioners have been remiss in their duties. If they voted because they felt that it was in the best interest of the electorate, they should say so and then support their vote with proof.
Failure to do that could be reason for???