+ Is the government lying or incompetent?
At a recent congressional hearing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and three of her officials were pointedly asked if they knew who was responsible for turning the Christmas bomber over to civilian legal authorities.
Each of them answered, “I don’t know.”
This raises two possible scenarios.
One: They do know who made that decision, and they are protecting that individual or individuals. In this scenario, they are lying and are guilty of perjury.
Two: With the massive organization and funding of Homeland Security, they have not been able to isolate that person or persons within our own legal system who is/are responsible for that decision. If this is the case, it would be one of the worst examples of bureaucratic incompetence any government agency has ever displayed.
In either scenario, these four individuals should be replaced immediately. Because an inexperienced individual would never be chosen to serve as warden of a high-risk prison, it is my fervent hope that the new head of Homeland Security is someone with a military background.
W.M. “Cash” Register
+ Retirees chose Key because it was peaceful
I take quill in hand to express my thoughts about commercialism of the Key.
Thirty-two years ago, I moved here permanently because it was quiet, peaceful and mostly full-time retirees, who also chose the Key because of these reasons.
The mere fact that businesses struggle proves my point that most of the full-time retirees don’t want but just a few businesses here. For example: Publix, CVS Pharmacy and maybe a walk-in clinic, plus a newsy, local paper.
I. Bert Spiegel
+ Key Club members promote self interest
I am writing to you concerning the division of the people of Longboat Key regarding the development of the Longboat Key Club. I do not think there is anything to be gained by dividing the people on the Key.
I live “behind the gates,” not that that really means anything. I am very unhappy about this constant referral to people who live behind the gates and Islandside Property Owners Coalition as being driven by our self interest. That is just not true! We are concerned about the legal rights of living in this PUD.
When we purchased our property, we were told there could be no building on the golf course, which was a built-out PUD. Many of the citizens who testified in front of the commission were also told that. Our opposition is not for “self interest.” It is that we made a purchase in good faith and we expect that deal to be kept. What are our laws for?
If there is any group that is pushing their self interests to me it is the members of the Longboat Key Club.
These members may not live behind the gates, but they certainly have their own self interests ... a new, great golf course, a fancy club, spa, etc. They spend $25,000 plus a year and they want their club to be nice. Isn’t that a self interest?
The members of the Key Club joined the club, and in so doing entered into a deal with the club. The golf courses were supposed to be kept in good playing condition. I don’t play golf, but I sure do hear a lot of complaining about the Key Club not keeping its part of the deal regarding the golf courses. The members seem angry when their deal with the Key Club isn’t being kept, why can’t they at least look upset when our deal isn’t being kept?
We entered into our home purchase and expected the deal we made to be legitimate and binding.
I will not even go into the self interest of all the Realtors and mortgage people who testified in front of the commission. They were there for their own interests.
When people enter into a contract or a deal, they expect the terms of the contract to be maintained. That is what our laws are all about.
We are all here because we love living on Longboat. Let us leave it at that.
+ Longboat Key Club’s plan is crucial to Key
Although the revised Longboat Key Club redevelopment plan described at the commissioners’ meeting Jan. 29 was accurately characterized as a “work in progress,” it contains two significant changes that respond directly and creatively to the two major objections that we have heard repeatedly from opponents of the original plan.
For those who genuinely object to the height of the two condo towers on the north parcel, the proposal to reduce the height of those buildings from seven residential floors to four residential floors — removing 71 condo units — should bring them satisfaction.
For those who are genuinely worried that the hotel will not be built as part of the redevelopment project, the proposal to incorporate 31 of the removed condo tower units into the hotel complex — which means that more than 40% of the currently-proposed residential units won’t get built if the hotel isn’t built — should bring them satisfaction.
For those who object to any redevelopment plan — regardless of how beneficial that plan would be for Longboat Key — nothing will bring them satisfaction.
We strongly believe that approval of a reasonably sized, yet financially viable redevelopment plan for the Key Club is absolutely crucial to maintain the vitality, desirability and economic health of Longboat Key and to preserve and enhance the value of the Key’s residential properties. A five-star, world-class Longboat Key Club Resort can contribute enormously to the achievement of these important and desirable objectives by introducing upscale visitors — from across America and around the world — to the paradise we know and love.
Roz Goldberg and Alan Bandler
+ Lee Rothenberg should be re-elected
Lee Rothenberg has been an excellent town commissioner and mayor. He is familiar with all of Longboat Key’s issues, their background and their origin.
Lee is a fine man. He is a real gentleman who believes in doing the right thing for Longboat Key whether it is popular or not. His experience and his longtime, detailed understanding of Longboat’s problems is too valuable to waste.
Lee Rothenberg deserves to be re-elected as Town Commissioner, District 1.
Currently 2 Responses
- Reminder To Commissioners
At the February 12 Commission meeting regarding the Key Club project it was suggested that the Commission needs to know the prospective appreciated land value "the Commission is creating and gifting to Loeb Partners" if the Club project is approved.
First, why is this just coming up now? Second, this is not asked of any other project applicant and most important, the Commission DOES NOT "create" or "gift" increased value by approving business investment improvement projects.
The investor creates the value as it is their idea/concept, property and equity capital that they are investing and putting at risk!
It could be asked, what value is CREATED BY THE PROJECT to the benefit of the public good? Fair enough but not just to leverage some other benefit for the Town and penalize the applicant that may put at risk losing the entire project.
Fortunately the Commission voted down this time and money consuming proposal.
The Commission needs to stick to their responsibility of protecting the citizens that they work for in governing within the rule of law, their charter and allow variances to zoning codes and the Comp Plan where it benefits the public common good.
Please top trying to micro manage beyond your purview and facilitate a successful outcome for the public good not just the relatively few NIMBY protestors and get on with it! Also, please don't manage this process with a focus on avoiding a law suit. Do the right thing.
Bob Gault, Longboat Key
You are in denial of the facts. First you say that living behind the gates does not mean anything? The facts are that almost all the opposition to The Club lives in two condo projects “behind the gates”. The majority of Longboaters overwhelmingly approve of the redevelopment. I have spent over a year contacting and discussing the facts and opinions concerning the project with all Longboaters. Lynn Larson, who is running for Commissioner, is for the project. Did you see her recent vote count? I have seen your pieces many times over the past year. It is apparent that you have bought the IPOC position hook, line and sinker and keep putting out misguided information. I do not know whether you are an active member of IPOC, however, I have never seen a piece from you concerning the miss-information they have put out over the past year and a half. How many times do you hear somebody calling it a convention center? Who put that info out? Not Longboat Key Club. Who has claimed that it would create a traffic nightmare while the current club, with 218 units, puts out only a small amount of traffic? I know as I live at Sands Point and drive by the entrance everyday! There is no traffic! Never has been! How many huge special events do they have? I have only witnessed the Sarasota Film Festival and it caused zero traffic problems? You claim that you relied on the GPD when you purchased. I encourage you to pull up your documents or prove that your attorney reviewed the GPD before your purchase. I think not and nobody believes that line either. Just more miss-information trying to change opinion. Even if you did spend $10K or more to properly review the GPD, didn’t your attorney explain to you that all things can be changed and in fact do change. Wasn’t Longboat Key used as a bombing range during WWII? I wonder if the same scrutiny was endured by Arvida when originally developing Longboat Key Club? The naysayers keep referring to a 30 year old document. Geese, I wonder if the bombing range people were attacking Arvida back in the 70’s for changing the island? I think not because IPOC was not present. I am sure your contract was solid the day you bought. But things change and change a lot over 30 years. Did you not realize that you bought next to Longboat Key’s main business, The Club? Surely you realized that? The Club is by far the largest and most important asset Longboat Key has. Did you not think they would have to redevelop at some future point? Forcing our largest business, that brings in new business meeting attendees and tourists to use outdated facilities, is not wise. I attended a seminar just this week. The great coach, Lou Holtz, spoke and this comment really resonated to me with regard to Longboat Key. He said, “If you are maintaining you are going backward.” The rest of the island gets it. Your group does not. I would bet you do not drive to the hearings in a 30 year old vehicle? I have seen the IPOC folks and I can assure you that they do not drive 30 year old vehicles. The same people have no problem forcing The Club to use worn out 30 year old facilities. You even mention a worn out golf course. Wow, so The Club is supposed to build a brand new golf course for an aging membership with no future upside? Where are the new members, in their 40’s? Heck, being in my 50’s, I am in the minority. Peter Yesawich, PH.D, the only travel expert brought in to testify under oath, laid it out. He said, “If The Club is not able to redevelop, they will suffer and die and that they are already on the downside.” Where was IPOC’s expert? Where was IPOC’s cross-examination? Mr. Yesawich also stated, “The Club needs to redevelop to attract people in their 40’s.” Quite frankly, that even surprised me being in my 50’s. There is no argument for need. Longboat Key’s largest and most successful business needs to redevelop. Only the blind are in denial. Please take off your “behind the gates” blinders and look at the current facilities and the message will come into focus. The redevelopment is not just for you or me or the current “self interested” members, but for the good of and future prosperity of Longboat Key. How you want to reconcile that is up to you. Longboat Key needs a new mousetrap and anybody against it is obviously only thinking of the now (NIMBY) and not the future. Longboat Key will be here long after you and I leave this earth. The real question is whether Longboat Key will continue to be a first class, economically healthy, 5 Star island attracting more A-List people ten or more years from now? You are correct when you say there is a divide on Longboat Key. The division is clear. There are those looking in the rear view mirror and there are those looking to the future. I encourage all to join the forward looking Longboaters who will only settle for a prosperous future for Longboat Key!
Sent with only good intentions!
Rick Crawford, President of Positive Change for LBK
Commission savors the sunshine
The weather on Longboat Key was cloudy on the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 11, but the Longboat Key Town Commission stayed in the sunshine, as far as the Longboat Observer could tell.
Resident keeps eye on the pie
Inspired by her mother’s homemade banana cream pie, Bird Key resident Kim Manning had a sweet idea: key lime with a twist.
Show us your spirit this season
This week, our reporters will make our final decisions on our favorite displays of holiday cheer for our “Spirit of the Season” contest. This year’s competition isn’t limited to lights.