For weeks, Longboat Key at-large commission candidate Irwin Pastor has told residents he helped broker a tentative settlement offered by Ocean Properties Ltd. for a scaled-back renovation and expansion of the Longboat Key Club and Resort.
Islandside Property Owners Coalition (IPOC) President Bob White, though, disputes Pastor’s statements. Pastor is IPOC’s vice president.
At a Wednesday, Feb. 27 debate at Bayfront Park Recreation Center, White stood up after Pastor talked about the tentative settlement and described a plan he said was proposed to Islandside residents.
White told those in attendance he “would not characterize us (IPOC) as having a tentative agreement.”
On Friday, March 1, White explained his statement further to the Longboat Observer.
“We have been talking with Ocean Properties, and I am optimistic we can reach an agreement, but to say we have a tentative agreement is not accurate,” White said.
Asked about Pastor’s report of a project that calls for roughly 350 tourism and residential units being placed on the south parcel near New Pass, White said, “The things we have been discussing are just concepts, not actual plans themselves.”
White said discussions with Ocean Properties ceased after 12th Circuit Court Judge Lee Haworth made his ruling that ordered the town to make changes to its codes and Comprehensive Plan.
Asked to respond to White’s statements, Pastor said, “Bob White is a great friend of mine, but we don’t see everything the same and I’m my own man. There is a tentative agreement, and I haven’t broken any confidentiality agreement by saying so.”
Pastor said White’s statements prove he is more than the IPOC persona label that many people have placed on him.
“I’m ready to move on, there’s more important issues to discuss if I’m elected,” Pastor said.
Ocean Properties officials did not respond to requests for comment on Pastor’s statements.
Commissioner Terry Gans, whom Pastor is challenging, said Monday, “It’s up to the Key’s voters to make the decision.”
“To me, it shows a lack of experience and a lack of judgment,” Gans said. “It was overreaching, and for Bob White to come out and say something about it says a lot.”
Gans also questions whether Pastor, if elected, would be able to participate in commission discussions of a future Key Club application. Pastor disputes the claim.