+ Commissioners can leave their legacy
Editor’s note: This letter was sent to the Town Commission and The Longboat Observer.
Dear town commissioners:
I was listening to Peggy Noonan last night at the Van Wezel, discussing how “one sentence narratives” define and separate the great leaders (read: presidents) from the ones who were ordinary, i.e., failed. I couldn’t help but think of parallels, yes on a smaller scale, to the decision you now ponder on the future of Longboat Key. Your decision about the Longboat Key Club and Resort has every bearing on the future of our island, so here are two choices for how folks will remember your tenure as commissioners:
• Like the WTC hole in the ground that never got filled, Longboat Key, a once great institution, crumbles under the weight of special interests and commissioners’ narrow view of protecting the sanctity of town ordinances and the sight-lines of a few residents.
… or …
• They had the courage to define a broad view of renewed Longboat Key vitality over the objections of special interests.
My wife and I have been coming to Longboat Key for 27 years, initially induced here by The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort’s tennis, and have been residents for almost six. We were attracted to its unique combination of resident interests in the arts, intellectual growth, sports and fitness. It made for a special population that acted younger than its years and seemed to attract like-minded individuals who fueled its energetic growth.
That energy is now missing, because both the Colony and Key Club twist in the wind, and optimism about attracting more “like-minded individuals” wanes. Objections such as developer trust, profit motives and “keeping Longboat, Longboat” are obfuscations meant to challenge your courage.
You have an opportunity to remedy both the island’s state of mind and the practical economic vitality that will ensue. Please do it.
Bobbi and Richard Goldwater
+ What benefit do Key Club members receive?
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to the Town Commission and The Longboat Observer.
Dear town commissioners:
It is inconceivable to me that you could allow the Longboat Key Club to put its burden of raising money for its project on you, in the form of a huge rezoning to the detriment of the current residents. What will we be left with? A convention center and a garage in the middle of the present driving range, but no driving range for this upscale golf course? We will have constant traffic for construction equipment, laborers and employees with no defined parking for construction projects — and for what? Just so the club can add to its facilities.
What do the current members get? An improved golf course and better club facilities, and, then, the problems begin. Lots more people playing the course, with lots more people using the facilities, with lots more traffic and lots more inconveniences. For what? When you join a club, you pay your dues and expect something in exchange. What doesn’t the Key Club understand? (General Manager) Michael (Welly) said the golf course was in good shape. As compared to what? At one time they advertised 45 championship holes and had none. Who is he kidding? Not the members!
Many of the residents have been in business ventures, and when they tried to develop a project they had their finances in place before going to a board. They had something to show the governing body that they could do what they were requesting. Here we have a situation where the applicant doesn’t have the funding, specifications, completed plans or even a guarantee they will do the project.
They need to go back and develop a plan that you can accept without your having to give away the store for their benefit and at the loss of the current owners and residents. All or nothing just doesn’t work today.
+ Observer should not have used its sources
As a resident of Longboat Key, I think it is abhorrent that your newspaper printed allegations against an individual, Lee Pokoik, which were submitted by “anonymous” sources. This is not professional journalism and I hope to see an apology in the future.
Editor’s note: Although the subject matter may have been originally obtained from unnamed sources, the information in the story was fact-checked with both outside sources and Mr. Pokoik.
+ Mayor Rothenberg’s record speaks for itself
Age is simply a number. What counts on Longboat Key is experience, performance and results. Many of our residents are retired senior citizens. They all have accomplished much during their careers and business lives. In retirement they apply their talents, skills and energies to enrich the life for all of us on Longboat Key.
To denigrate Mayor Lee Rothenberg for his age is an insult to him as well as many fine retired persons in our community. Rothenberg’s accomplishments and contributions to this town are admirable. His record speaks for itself.
I support the re-election of Mayor Rothenberg to town commissioner District 1. I support him for the man he is and for his contributions, which have made Longboat Key the town we all love. Why penalize a man because of his birthdays? He still has the acumen to serve and govern effectively as a town commissioner.
If the editor of this newspaper has the good fortune to reach age 84, he will agree with what I say.
Joan M. Webster
+ Observer has fine representatives
Yesterday, my husband and I visited your Longboat Observer office to request a back copy from December ’09. We were delighted to be greeted by a very pleasant young woman, Patti Colby.
She was extremely helpful in locating a picture of an event in one of your back issues.
We feel that she makes a fine representative of your organization. She found the issue we requested, for which we appreciate.
We thank you for your excellent paper — comprehensive and well-presented.
Gloria McMaster Juhn
and Martin Juhn