This observer is anxiously watching developments in the next act of the town’s body politic, reinvigorating and continuing on its crusade to radically change the Longboat Key that lured us into living on this paradise of an island for the autumns of our lives.
The Urban Land Institute is coming, the ULI is coming. This is the highly reputed organization that has been engaged to direct, magically, the future of our island.
The following are the names of the honored members of our community who will constitute the ULI task force, whose duties will be to shepherd the ULI representatives around our island and host them at various functions: George Symanski, Jack Duncan, Larry Grossman, Patricia Zunz, Tom Freiwald, Walter Hackett and Robin D. Meyer.
Please note that the list primarily contains the usual suspects who are avowed proponents of density increase and of radically changing the character of our island.
Three of them are now or former members of our now de-fanged and emasculated Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Board. The P&Z members hold office at the discretion of the Town Commission and constitute its farm team.
If you do not recognize the name of the one real newcomer, Freiwald, he was recently quoted in the Longboat Observer saying he wants to “live on a resort island, not a retirement island.”
Nonetheless, the jury is stacked, as it were.
Because this adventure is being funded with ad valorem taxes, it is my opinion there should be representation by the almost 50% of our taxpayers who are against change but want to keep our community the same — merely enhanced.
I am not volunteering! Count me out! I have already served on the same P&Z board with the aforesaid now or former members. They calculatedly joined the other members in refraining from ever seconding any motion made by me during my tenure of service. They were participants in this not-so-secret cabal, even in situations in which I was the only member with specific knowledge of and professional accreditation for the subject under consideration.
I must reiterate a famous expression, which, like me, also came out of Boston: Taxation without representation is tyranny.
After all, it is our money being spent.
Bradford Saivetz is a retired engineer and planner and resident of Longboat Key.