At the debate between Carol Whitmore and Terri Wonder on Tuesday night, I heard elaborate excuses for her voting record from Whitmore and a well-researched, cogent platform from Wonder.
Whitmore listed the ways she has protected the environment and is open to all citizens. Holmes Beach is still recovering from the anything-goes building policies of the past, including her administration's.
Whitmore's "management" of Grassy Point almost resulted in a penalty from the state. Whitmore claims credit for "good stuff," but then claims that she had no real power over "bad stuff" -- elaborate excuses.
Consider the local newspapers:
County commission initially wanted island cities to supply funds additional to resort taxes toward the $130,000 for Urban Land Institute to study "the darker side of tourism."
Elliott Falcione's (Convention and Visitors Bureau) junket to Scandinavia to attract more tourists, requested $125,000 for soccer.
Consultant to TDC -- "tourism has grown so rapidly and so effectively that the economic impact on the county is nearing $1 billion". (Whitmore reported that county is $14 million in arrears?),
New Tourism Information Center at Manatee Public Beach -- displaces lifeguard vehicles, equipment, showers now unusable. $5,000 a year for operation. Tourism funds totalling $85,950 already alloted to AMI Chamber of Commerce from Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Tourism, tourism, tourism. Manatee county residents -- what are we? Chopped liver?
Carol Whitmore is part of a group that enjoys the fruits of your life's labors by handing them over to the interests of tourism and developers. Whitmore said at the debate, "You have to listen to all your citizens."
Vote for Terri Wonder. She listens -- to you.
Nancy R. Deal