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Longboat Key Wednesday, May. 19, 2010 7 years ago

Letters to the Editor


To send in your letters, please e-mail them to [email protected], or mail them to The Longboat Observer, 5570 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, 34228. The Longboat Observer gives priority to letters of local interest and about local issues. The Observer will print all letters to the editor if it feels they are of general interest, but only if the letter is signed and the author’s street address and phone number are given. The editor reserves the right to condense letters.

+ Don’t forget how the issue began
Dear Editor:
In your reply to “Confused by priorities,” (a letter in the May 13 issue written by Rosemary Dilgard), you state, “If there are expensive legal actions, it appears they will be triggered by the Islandside Property Owners Coalition ... ” They, too, are trying to exercise their property rights.

Let’s not forget what started this issue ... greed!

With all due respect to Gordon Gekko, greed is not good.
Ray Rajewski
Longboat Key

+ Coquina Beach dock should be used
Dear Editor:
It is my understanding that in order for the property owners on Jewfish Key to pull building permits, they are required to have parking for the cars and docking for their boats off of the Key. This goes for the construction equipment and barges also.

The use of the town docks or boat ramp is not for commercial business. What happens when the next 10 or so properties are developed? One worker told me they are starting another home shortly.

Let them use the seawalled loading dock on the bayside of Coquina Beach. I’m sure they could work a deal with Bradenton Beach and the county.

We should not forget some of the property owners on Jewfish think the rules don’t apply to them.

For example:

1. Illegal dredging, which destroyed seagrasses and has yet to be restored;

2. Extending nonconforming docks without proper permits;

3. Breaking of the 30-day rental ordinance by booking weddings many weekends in a row;

4. Work crews on boats and barges ignoring the no-wake zones.

Please put a stop to this now.
Alan L. Moore
Longboat Key

+ We trust the Key’s elected officials
Dear Editor:
We are in favor of the commission following the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation to approve the requested code amendments.

We trust the elected commissioners to consider redevelopment projects on a case-by-case basis to evaluate whether a proposal meets a set of specific criteria and serves the best interest of the entire community.

We want to see Longboat revitalized now.
Brenda and Marvin Lederman, M.D.
Longboat Key

+ Commission should approve Longboat Key Club’s project

Dear Editor:
I am a Longboat Key property owner (and a condominium association president, although I’m writing this note as an individual). As we are approaching the conclusion of the Longboat Key Club’s development application, I would like to say a few things.

First, Longboat Key needs redevelopment and revitalization. I don’t see how anyone can dispute this. I think that the club’s application is a wonderful move in that direction. We may never have another opportunity like this.

Second, I agree that the Planning and Zoning Board did the right thing in approving the requested amendments. Although I’m not convinced the new amendments were even necessary, the result is that it makes the chances very slim that any litigation against Longboat Key’s potential approval of the project would be successful. Therefore, Islandside “threats” can be comfortably dismissed.

Third, should the Town Commission approve the club’s project, it must not prevent it from financing it. Putting this into real terms, it should not overturn the P&Z’s recommendation on the 5% cap.

Fourth, I trust the Key’s elected officials to evaluate further development proposals on a case-by-case basis. I’m not terrorized that if the Key Club’s redevelopment is approved that Longboat will be suddenly be developed out of control. This is why we elect public officials: to make reasoned decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Fifth, although I recognize that some Islandside owners would like things to stay the same forever, that sort of thinking is for Never Never Land. It’s a fantasy. Things change, they must. The fact is that the large majority of Longboat’s residents are in favor of the project, of positive change. The opposition is highly organized and highly motivated but they are in the distinct minority.

I urge the Town Commission to do the right thing and approve the Key Club’s project.
Jonathan M. Berg
Longboat Key

+ Planning Board member does not get ‘it’
Dear Editor:
John Wild’s letter in the May 13 Longboat Observer confirms what many of us already knew, he does not get it. This is the planning board member who voted from day one for the Longboat Key Club proposals that can drastically alter the predominantly residential island into one more tacky beach town.

He is chairman of a condo developed as a PUD, which would have the possibility for enormous changes under zoning proposals he approved. He voted to ignore height restrictions and disingenuously argues that his condo association cannot go higher because of height restrictions. He states he enjoys being in Manatee County and “above the fray,” but of course he personally has been very much in the middle of the fray. It is nice he is “happy the way we are and have no fear of code changes.”

However, because the entire island will be affected by the code changes it is happiness brought on by delusion. I wish I could be happy as I am now and free of fear of code changes but he voted to affect my life adversely by wholesale unwarranted changes to the zoning code I bought under and have lived happily under for 10 years. And why is he still a planning board member, engaging in a dispute with Bob White? He simply does not get it.
Donald A. Semisch
Longboat Key

+ Unit owners support board

Dear Editor:
In response to Gregory and Suzanne Rusoviches’ letter last week, my family has owned units at the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort for more than 25 years.

I have just finished reading Gregory Rusovich’s e-mail communications to Colony unit owners, the Rusoviches’ letter to The Longboat Observer and the transcript of Rusovich’s testimony at the recent court hearing regarding the conversion of the Colony bankruptcy case.

It’s just a suggestion, but he might want to read the governing documents of the Colony Partnership and Condominium.

In addition, given Rusovich’s court testimony indicating his knowledge of The Colony over the last five years, I can only hope he spends a few hours actually reviewing the history of this ridiculous situation.

Rather than swallow the Klauber party line and take as gospel truth every statement attributed to the board in the Longboat Key press, which is pretty clearly used as a public relations tool by Dr. Klauber and his agents, perhaps Rusovich should take a look at the correspondence that has circulated over the last four years between the board and the unit owners. Read Bud Siudara’s research report on the manner in which Dr. Klauber discharged his fiduciary duty to the Colony Limited Partners; review the ridiculous correspondence to the unit owners from Dr. Klauber and his daughter defending their demand that each unit owner pony up $45,000 to $60,000 to revitalize the hotel business.

Also read the opinions of Judge Rodney May in which Judge May shot down all of the Klauber legal assertions last summer and took issue with Dr. Klauber suing the unit owners because he didn’t like the way they twice voted to reject Dr. Klauber’s demand for capital assessments.

Read the transcripts where Judge May — among other criticisms — has clearly warned the management of the partnership (i.e. Dr. Klauber) that it continues its present course of conduct “at its peril.” Only after completing this research would I say the Rusoviches have any standing to level accusations against the board.

The members of the board understand what “fiduciary duty” means, and they are zealous in their timely, complete and appropriate discharge of the responsibilities incumbent upon each of them when serving as a director of the association. Like it or not, they must take whatever action they deem to be in the best interests of all of the unit owners.

Much as Dr. Klauber and his agents might try to goad them into doing so, the board is not inclined to broadcast confidential information about what will happen when the partnership bankruptcy case is converted to a Chapter 7 proceeding (i.e. when we are once and for all rid of Klauber), because it will help Dr. Klauber plan his own opposing strategies.

They have asked themselves: In the coming discussions/negotiations with potential investors in the Colony, which is better — having Dr. Klauber at the table or not having Dr. Klauber at the table? The answer to this question — no — is pretty clear, and I am absolutely confident that the overwhelming majority of the unit owners agree with this answer.

That is why the board has taken the position that the partnership’s bankruptcy case should be converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation. It will get Dr. Klauber and his incessant drive to litigate and stall more or less out of the way so The Colony can start to move forward again.

By the way, liquidating the existing partnership does not mean shutting down the hotel operation more than temporarily. It does not mean converting the property to full-time condos for use by the unit owners. It does not mean the board or the unit owners individually or collectively are committed to any specific course of action. It simply means we will not have to deal any further with Dr. Klauber.

It does mean the partnership will no longer be available to Dr. Klauber allowing him to charge the unit owners the costs of his suing them.

The board was elected and re-elected by overwhelming majorities of unit owners. The board has full authority under law as the elected representatives of the unit owners to have filed for Chapter 7 conversion.
When the truth is heard, the Rusoviches will likely find that more than two-thirds of the unit owners are in support of conversion.
Robert J. Wickey
Westport, Conn.


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