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Paid Election Letter

  • By
  • | 5:00 a.m. March 6, 2013
  • Longboat Key
  • Opinion
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+ Untrue assertions regarding commission
Dear Editor:

A portion of PIC’s recent ad and email endorsement is provided with the facts, as supported by the public record, inserted in italics.

It has been claimed, for example, that the commission broke the law and somehow violated the state constitution in connection with the Longboat Key Club expansion request. However, the town merely did not prevail in civil proceedings. The court determined that codes were unreliable and should be reworked. That is not what the court ruled! In fact, the court ruled that the town code was not ambiguous, (1) as the town argued before the court. Twelfth Circuit Judge Charles Roberts rejected this contention, ruling that the code was not ambiguous and that the town violated the code, characterizing its actions as a “miscarriage of justice that infringed the legitimate expectations of the residents.”

In acting upon the application, the town followed long-standing procedure under code of permitting departures so a project could proceed. This does not violate the state’s constitution as alleged. This is also untrue! Following the town’s abortive attempt to revise the town code to accommodate the overdeveloped Key Club project, 12th Circuit Judge Haworth ruled that the town violated the state constitution by attempting to give itself “enfettered discretion” to approve any development plan they wanted.

(2) Neither — as has been claimed — have the incumbents or the commission approved or sought to approve some sort of massive and drastic expansion of tourism. They have acted and sought to act in accordance with the town Vision Plan, which was produced with citizen participation; and to effectuate the 2008 citizen referendum approval to allow 250 additional tourist units as replacement for some of the many units lost to other uses over the years. A disingenuous contention. The commission approved 272 tourism units more than authorized by the 2008 referendum for a total of 522 potential additional tourism units. Again, the court ruled against this approval and directed that a key wide referendum was required to approve the additional tourist units.

(3) Similarly misleading statements have been made by the opposition and its supporters about municipal pension reform, beach nourishment, town litigation costs in connection with the Key Club application (all town legal expenses associated with the club’s proposal was covered by the applicant). Also not true. Although the Longboat Key Club paid a majority of the town’s legal expenses, it did not pay all the costs, as PIC alleges, including those related in its attempt to change the code to allow its project, nor for the attendant staff time, as the town’s documents confirm (4) and a myriad of other subjects.

PIC urges the voters to closely examine and scrutinize all such statements by candidates. It believes that this will lead to the obvious conclusion that Mayor Brown and Commissioners Gans and Younger should be returned to office. PIC so advocates consistent with its primary missions of promoting “good local government” and preserving our “premier residential community.”

A close examination and scrutiny of the facts, as suggested by PIC, will reveal the falseness of it allegations, not confirm them.

(1) 12th Circuit Court Judge Roberts’ ruling, pages 13 and 19
(2) 12th Circuit Court Judge Haworth’s ruling, Count III, pages 3 and 11
(3) 12th Circuit Court Judge Hayworth’s ruling, page 15
(3) Town of Longboat Key financial data provided Jan. 23, 2013, pursuant to public records request.
Bob White
Longboat Key



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