Letters to the Editor

Anna Maria Island should solicit county input on improvement policies

Well, the folks on Anna Maria Island have used up $125,000 for a group of panelists from places like San Diego and Baltimore to hold up a mirror and tell them to go ahead and privatize their island, which is where this all started a couple of years ago in the effort to keep the ugly "daytrippers" out.

That caused an uproar so the rhetoric changed, but it is what underlies the whole effort. However, it seems there are a couple of wrinkles in that interpretation.

The Urban Land Institute report talked about "stakeholders." Who represented the 340,000 other residents of Manatee County at the meetings and on the panel? None!

Yet those taxpayers bear the cost of carrying the island from schools to court system to supporting the businesses year round.

I thought the official's (Conway) summary to the ULI report was pretty telling: "They've got the money. You have the impact. You need to ask how their money can fix your impacts."

Key word here? Ask.

This is an invitation and makes it pretty clear that the (uninvited) county commissioners and administrator can represent all county residents who are being dissed by the 1 percent.

So, when the screeching begins about someone urinating and other infractions, you can quote one of the biggest mouths about shutting the doors on visitors:

"Many who are actually ticketed, if not most, are from counties other than Manatee. Unfortunately, a number of these people have little, if any, respect for the area they visit."

That from the mayor of Anna Maria City (2013).

There are people to listen to who actually do make common sense, editorials from the local papers, and island residents who understand that the real value of the island remains a welcoming place.

Why not this one? Well, name another one.

Phil Moore