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+ Developers should not rewrite the codes
Regarding the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s expansion plans: this drama reminds me of stories I’ve read about development in the Old Florida, where sharp New York developers rolled over, through and around sleepy Florida hick towns, even (gasp) writing their own zoning-and-development codes to achieve their objectives.
What is being rammed through Longboat Key now is surreal and “deja vu all over again” as Yogi used to say.
When I retired to Longboat Key, I thought it was a modern, sophisticated, high-end residential community essentially built out and protected by well-developed, effective, successful and longstanding zoning- and-development regulations protected by strong and responsible town leadership.
It seems people have had more trouble with the zoning codes and regulations regarding signs, minor home improvements, etc., than Loeb (Realty Group) has with a huge commercial development.
Please don’t be doormats to the developers’ boots. Take a deep breath, think long and hard about what you have been asked to do and protect what Longboat Key is really all about. It’s not and never has been about massive commercial development and all the ugly traffic and congestion that goes with it. You will be changing Longboat Key forever.
At least give the voters a say.
+ Key’s codes have kept Longboat special
The Longboat Key codes are what has kept the Key a special place. Please don’t change them or “tinker” with them. It will be going down a slippery slope and make the island like so many ubiquitous retirement and resort places, which is exactly why people chose and still choose to live on Longboat.
Lois H. Lesser
+ Zoning changes would extend to whole Key
A charade has gone terribly far when an owner can apply for zoning changes that will have repercussions well beyond his property — in fact, all over the Key. I can understand a property owner improving what he owns, but improving his value by impinging on the rest of us is really over the top.
+ How can we get out of the federal debt mess?
The federal debt is growing with deficit spending each year. Now it stands at more than $12.5 trillion. I said, “trillion,” not “million,” not “billion,” but a figure too large to imagine! Besides wringing our hands, what should we do?
As children, we are taught that our federal government is divided into three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. Which ones spend the tax money? I believe the judicial branch is exempt.
Therefore, when the executive and legislative branches of our government spent more than the tax money they had received, they filled in the gap by printing dollars, dollars and more dollars. This is no solution! It just postpones the Day of Reckoning when America faces bankruptcy.
OK — so how do we pay back our debt?
Part 1: Because the legislative and executive branches of government receive their wages from the federal government, I propose that 5% of every wage — from the president, senator and representative to the federal secretary and federal janitor — be sent to the Treasury directly to lower the federal debt. You realize, they got us in this mess in the first place. They need to get us out.
Part 2: Also, I propose that every federal agency reduce its programs, projects or staff by 5%. Again, the amount saved would go directly to reducing the federal debt. Tough measures? You bet!
Our country is currently crippled by unemployment, a recession and the high cost of government. Those who dug us into this hole need to take responsibility.
Part 3: In addition to these measures, I recommend that we adopt a value-added-tax of 5% to all purchases with no exceptions. Too often, exceptions cause loopholes that the accounting and legal professions ferret out. Instead, the 5% across-the-board tax goes directly to the Treasury to reduce the federal debt.
Again, if our goal is to live within our limits of income and expenses, we need to first eliminate the debt. Then we can decrease the deficit. Two ways to do this include preventing new spending programs and eliminating “pork barrel” add-ons (attached to bills).
As I write these words, I think of our grandchildren who are either scraping along or who, when they grow up, will face a huge debt and continuing deficits if we fail to act. I shout, “Americans, wake up! Pull your heads out of the sand!”
My solutions may seem simplistic, however, “inside the Beltway” politicians juggle for power for themselves — and not always for the good of the country. We need courageous ways to address this financial crisis.
Both Congress and (officials in) the White House should shoulder a big part of the rescue. In addition, American citizens have a financial responsibility to preserve our nation. Yes, it takes working together to get out of the mess.
Katharine S. Penfield
+ Town should vote no to code changes
Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to The Longboat Observer and to Mayor George Spoll.
The changes to the zoning rules are just that — changes. They are not clarifications. Please vote no to changes that will put Longboat Key at great risk.
I understand the temptation to be drawn into this development plan. But this is not the right plan, nor the right style for Longboat.
If the Longboat Key Club can only see their way into bullying you into rushing these plans, please see them for what they are and what they want to do to a very small piece of Longboat Key. They want to over-develop their property. Adding 10 buildings is not a clarification. It is a very big change.
Please vote no.
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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.