- February 18, 2021
Letters to the editor for the Lakewood Ranch, east Bradenton area.
Reader says Vanessa Baugh should resign
Gov. Ron DeSantis instituted a “Pop Up Site” program that resulted in Manatee County receiving 3,000 additional COVID-19 vaccine doses outside the county’s normal allotment.
This letter is not to criticize that program, but to condemn the actions of Manatee County Commission Chair Vanessa Baugh in how those doses were distributed — doses she had absolutely no part in obtaining.
Although she had ample time, she did not consult the other county commissioners, Commissioner Baugh implemented the distribution of these doses solely to residents of Lakewood Ranch. In doing so, she disregarded the commission’s previously unanimously approved distribution procedure and ignored the needs of rest of the county.
Lakewood Ranch is a community she represents and where her business is located. Bad enough, but in direct violation of state vaccine protocols, she sent an email to the county’s public safety director requesting that she and four other individuals be vaccinated.
After her despicable actions were reported in the press, she appeared before the county commission and took credit for them, saying the only thing she was sorry for was that the personal information relating to herself and those four others had been published by the press.
Baugh’s actions are disgraceful. She should immediately resign. If she does not, either the Florida attorney general or the voters of Manatee County must remove her.
Thankful for Vanessa Baugh
I live in the Water Crest neighborhood of Lakewood Ranch (34202). I’m 83 years old and my wife, June, a Parkinson’s patient is 81 years old.
We had spent countless hours on-line attempting to receive the vaccine. We registered in Manatee, Sarasota, and Hardee counties, we attempted to register for Publix on many 7:a.m. mornings and in addition tried Walmart's site, in the evenings, all to no avail.
The only success we had was when you, as our elected local official, went to bat for your constituents. I’m pleased that I and my wife voted for you, and will continue to vote for you because your action is what I would expect from my elected county leader.
Blessings upon you,
Commission has become a soap opera
As a faithful reader of the Observer, I was not surprised to see coverage of the latest chapter of the local soap opera, otherwise known as the Manatee County Commissioners. In the story about the possibility of hiring a former Sarasota County Commissioner,Charles Hines "temporarily" to take over as acting county administrator, what is especially interesting is the comment by Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge that, "I don't think the public will receive him well because of his close affiliation to [Carlos] Beruff and the development community."
Anyone who has been following the efforts of some of the clowns on the commission to get rid of County Administrator Cheri Coryea will see the next step by Beruff and the developers to control the commission through campaign donations to the recently elected commissioners as well as other commissioners. What a fabulous deal to now have an acting administrator who could help implement Beruff's plans when needed.
So, don't worry folks, everything is under control, especially the Manatee County Commission. Just pay your taxes and be comforted to know that they will be spent to make the developers happy.
Joseph L. Smith
Observer publisher way off base
Kudos to Anne Murphy Zabriskie for her reply (Feb. 18) to Rep. Tommy Gregory’s letter (Feb. 11), but quite frankly she was too kind. Gregory’s letter was simply an endorsement of Observer CEO/owner Matt Walsh’s prior comments that if you don’t see things his way, i.e., the Republican way, then you support un-American beliefs and the abolishment of the Constitution and other tenets of our society. It continues to amaze me that Walsh and now his apparent assistant throw all the arrows they do without addressing the tragedy of Jan. 6 (who attacked democracy then?) and still claim the election was stolen. If not so sad, it might have been humorous to read that the Democrats use “fake news.” Which party supports the various conspiracy theories Rep. Gregory?
Food waste is solvable problem
Americans throw out $165 billion worth of food annually and 65 million tons of food is discarded in the U.S. every year.
Twenty-one percent of our fresh water supply is used to produce food that ends up being wasted.
Florida has decided that food waste is a solvable problem. Florida will host its inaugural Florida Food Waste Prevention Week April 5-9. You can help by spreading the word by calling your county commissioners, talking with your neighbors and schools, talking with employers and employees, talking with members of your house of worship, talking with Scouting groups; and talking with civic groups.
Visit the website www.SavetheFoodFL.com.
Please do your part during Florida's Food Waste Prevention Week.