+ Stop the cell towers from coming to the Key
Next week’s town election is perhaps the most important election for the future of Longboat Key that has been held in many years, if not decades.
The town and residents are faced with many far-reaching issues. I want to mention only one: cell towers.
In The Longboat Observer’s March 4 edition, the editorial said: “Longboat is looking frayed … worn … and dare we say … shabby.”
One-hundred-fifty-foot cell towers — yes, towers, because the applicant may ask for two — within spitting distance of Gulf of Mexico Drive will add to the shabbiness.
One being considered is likely to be proposed for north of Cannons Marina and the second south of Longboat Pass Bridge.
Close your eyes and visualize driving up or down the Key and out in the horizon are one or two 150-foot cell towers. A structure as tall as a 15-story building with a massive base, requiring periodic maintenance provided by massive cranes and equipment.
Does a cell tower belong here? The present Town Commission agrees they do not!
I ask you to consider the candidates — all six — and vote for the three who would ensure that the Key’s landscape is not blighted by cell towers.
+ Support the school tax referendum
On March 16, I’m voting yes to extend Sarasota County’s 1-mill school property tax.
I’m in my young 70s and thoroughly enjoying my retirement in Sarasota County. I also greatly enjoyed 42 years as a teacher, assistant superintendent and superintendent in Tarrytown, N.Y., and Mahwah, N.J.
I genuinely believe that public schools are the heart and soul of successful and accomplished communities.
Communities reflect the quality of their schools in home values, services and quality of life. The best places to live in our country also have the best public schools for their children. They offer varied and diverse programs, visionary and thoughtful leaders, caring and well-trained teachers and support staff and solid financial operations. Therefore, they deserve the understanding and commitment from their communities.
The Sarasota Board of Education has worked diligently, involving all aspects of the community, seeking input regarding the operations of the school district. It has established a financial oversight committee comprised of local business people who have consistently reported that the district is spending its financial resources wisely.
Independent auditing firms confirm annually that the business practices of the district are exemplary.
The 1% tax, which began in 2002 and was renewed in 2006, allowed the district to provide essential basic services, staff and programs. Although more cuts in state aid are anticipated, the funds generated through the millage referendum will help to retain quality teachers, maintain reasonable class sizes and prevent the elimination of courses and specialized programs, such as advanced-placement courses, summer schools, dropout-prevention classes and extracurricular programs.
Voting to continue the tax will not increase your taxes. Voting yes will only continue funding at the current level. There will be no increase in your taxes.
With support of this tax we can continue to make a positive and significant difference in the quality of the public schools in our community.
H. Murray Blueglass
+ Police should get priorities straight
I am amazed that our public servants think they have the right to monitor citizens’ legal comings and goings. This is Big Brother at its worst. Extrapolate this into the next steps and one can easily visualize serious restrictions to our freedoms.
My guess is this will never pass legal challenges … after Longboat Key spends thousands defending this pet police project.
I observe red-light runners at every intersection with no police intervention until the after-the-fact accident investigation. So why is this upfront camera intervention so important? Get your priorities in order, Chief!