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Longboat Key Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013 4 years ago

Our View: For the soul of the Colony


Inch by inch, the stalemate at the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort is stepping toward a resolution.

It was encouraging to learn last week that a decisive majority of unit owners who voted in a recent “advisory poll” favor redeveloping over renovating.

But in the long, slow crawl to resolution, the Colony unit owners, Colony owner Murf Klauber and the town of Longboat Key have reached one of the most crucial moments in the process, and that is this:

Colony unit owners are voting up until May 7 to elect the next board of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association, the condominium association.

There are two slates of five candidates each — one for redeveloping a new Colony, the other for renovating the existing structures.

The outcome of this board vote will determine the Colony’s fate.

Add to this drama — and there is a lot of drama going on among competing factions through the wireless world — the fact the Longboat Key Town Commission will conduct a Colony workshop at 1 p.m. next Wednesday, April 24.

Commissioners, beware, be cautious.

While it’s expected town commissioners will want to delve into as many details about what’s happening with all things Colony, they should be careful. What they say, how they shrug or the winces they make on their faces — all of that can influence the outcome of the association elections, and thus the future of the Colony.

Don’t threaten. Be learners, not judgers.

As Colony Association President Jay Yablon told us: “These three weeks are the most critical weeks. This is for the soul of the Colony.”

This process could be a lot less tense if not for one individual, the man who, to a great extent, controls the Colony’s future: Andy Adams, the Murfreesboro, Tenn., businessman/entrerpreneur.

Adams owns 50 of the Colony’s 237 units. He is backing the slate on the side of renovating the units — the minority side in the recent advisory poll.

If Adams would switch to embracing redeveloping the Colony, he would bring the Colony’s travails to a much faster conclusion than if he continues to back renovation. With Adams’ 50 votes, plus the 118 votes cast in favor of redeveloping in the advisory poll, that would constitute 70% of the unit owners. Twelve more votes would create the 75% threshold needed to end the existing condominium and create a new agreement to redevelop the Colony.

If Adams remains in favor of renovating, regardless of which slate of candidates is elected to the board, his position is likely to prolong reaching settlements and the reopening of the Colony.

Think of it this way: If Adams stays where he is, the unit owners will be split — half in favor of redeveloping, half for renovating.

Given the Colony’s history on compromises, that scenario would not bode well.

Mr. Adams, you may not realize it, but much of the future value and attractiveness and the ability to draw new buyers and residents to Longboat Key is in your hands.

Longboat Key (and all of Greater Sarasota) wants the Colony to reopen. But they want and hope that it will be in the vein of what it was at its height: The No. 1 luxury tennis resort in the USA.

+ He put us on the map
Longboat Key is one of Florida’s top tennis towns. And one man who had a lot to do with that is none other than Nick Bollettieri, legendary tennis coach and teacher.

Thanks to his work at the Colony, Bollettieri put Longboat Key on the international tennis map.

This Saturday, between 10 and noon, he’ll be recognized for his extraordinary contributions to tennis in general at the Sarasota Open at the Longboat Key Club’s Tennis Gardens.

Longboaters should be grateful for Bollettieri’s influence here. Go give him a big hand. He deserves it — and more.

+ Why income tax should end
Still smarting over the filing of income taxes April 15 and the sickening thought of how our federal tax dollars are misspent, we found thoughtful inspiration recently from the writing of J. Bracken Lee, governor of Utah from 1948 to 1956, a staunch opponent to income taxes. Wrote Bracken in 1954 in the forward to a book, “The Income Tax: Root of All Evil”:

“For those of us who still believe that freedom is best, the way is clear: We must concentrate on the correction of the mistake of 1913. The 16th Amendment must be repealed. Nothing less will do.

“For it is only because it has this enormous revenue that the federal government is able to institute procedures that violate the individual’s right to himself and his property; enforcement agencies must be paid.

“With the repeal of the amendment, the socialistic measures visited upon us these past 30 years will vanish. The purchase of elections with federal money will no longer be possible. And the power and dignity of the home governments will be restored.

“This measure should be supported by the governors and legislators of all the states.

“With the abolition of income taxation, the states will be better able to serve its citizens, and because the state governments are closer and more responsive to the will of the people, there is greater chance that the citizens will get their full dollar’s worth in services.

“However, the principal argument for the repeal of the 16th Amendment is that only in that way can freedom from an interventionist government can be restored to the American people.”

+ Bullets for whose security?
Department of Homeland Security?

Whose security?

The agency charged with protecting us from domestic terrorism announced recently it signed contracts to purchase 1.6 billion rounds of hollow-point bullets to be used over the next five years for training and on-duty purposes.

Thankfully, this sparked questions from Congress. And one of those questions was why Homeland is purchasing bullets for training that can cost twice as much as non-hollow-point bullets.

A box of 25 rounds of hollow-point bullets can cost up to $40 per box. Do the math: 1.6 billion bullets is 64 million boxes, times $40 = $2.56 billion. Non-hollow-points: $1.28 billion.

Given what occurred this week in Boston, we may applaud Homeland’s stocking up on bullets. But why the more lethal hollow points for training?

Some gun experts say you should train with the bullets you would use in a live situation; others say it’s not that big of a difference and question the additional cost.

And then there are the conspiracy theorists who think Homeland Security is stocking up for much more than training and protecting us. Homeland Security has more than 100,000 armed agents in the United States. Draw your own conclusions.

Every small town has its beloved characters. Bob Craft was one of Lonboat Key’s.

Craft died April 10, the day the Longboat Observer featured him in a story about the Veterans of Foreign Wars presenting him a medal April 6, as Craft lay in his bed at Tidewell Hospice.

It seemed like everyone knew Bob Craft. Longboat Key town commissioners — every one of them going back to the early 1990s, as well as town employees, certainly knew him.

First, he was hard to miss — big, solid, with a voice and personality to match. He looked like a guy who could manhandle the throttle of C-130 helicopters in combat and fly big jumbo jets across the Atlantic for Delta, both of which he did.

He was a frequent attendee — almost a fixture — at Town Commission meetings. And he had opinions … on everything.

Some commissioners and Longboaters may not have viewed Craft always as “belovable.” But in the greater picture, they had to love who he was: an American hero; a man who was engaged, not a bystander; who was passionate about his country, his community and his neighbors.

Bob Craft made a difference.



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