Editor: During the last local election in 2014, I ran for City Commission of Madeira Beach. My slogan then was “Stewardship for Tomorrow” and 27 percent of the voters thought well enough of me to listen to reason.
Well, it’s tomorrow and what can I tell you but the mere idea of stewardship is as alien a concept today as it was to the other 63 percent back then. I’ve been watching with a fair amount of trepidation, sinister glee and abject horror at the continued hubris on display down at city hall.
It’s bad enough that the City Council was then, a three-headed female Cerberus that bowed to every titular head that came before it, the fourth member a nodding eunuch, but it is now abundantly clear just what was on their collective minds, (at least one member to be sure) all along - and that is that hyper developments are just peachy for the citizenry and that the constituents should just shut up about what’s best for them and get with the program already.
Although, about 1,000 or so residents differed with that thought process and formally submitted a petition to request a referendum to vote on “their” future, it was summarily dismissed like chaff in the wind by the same folks who crammed the Travis Majal down their throats, a 9/11 Memorial that serves no one in particular, other than the guy who wanted it, a softball complex (wink-wink) that just happens to be tailor-made for the Old Salts and their tournaments and a new fire house.
Editor: As I drove through Gettysburg earlier this week with my granddaughters, I was so saddened to think about the parallel between the causes of the Civil War and our country’s current situation.
Wake up, people. Do we want history to repeat itself?
Our country is great! Let’s work at keeping it that way by doing and saying positive and constructive things! Hate and prejudice will only add to the violence!
It seems that we have two imperfect candidates in this presidential election. Flawed. Just like the rest of us. Let’s try to focus on their positive qualities and go forward with educated thoughts and decisions?
Editor: I am very saddened at what is happening to us in this country. I grew up in New York City, a long time ago.
At 10 years old, I delivered breakfast, coffee and tea in Harlem, walking 12 blocks for a dime tip. In the 1960s, I was bused from Flushing to Corona, Queens and New York City during my junior high school years.
Today, I am a board member of Guardian Ad Litem Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Eckerd Kids Board, Gulf Beaches Rotary Club and others, working for the children and families in need.
I am very concerned at what I see happening to our country. We need to tell the truth. We need to speak against violence and need to talk to each other, now!
Editor: As a homeowner in Dunedin since 1986, I have been following the ongoing saga of the proposed sale of the acreage owned by the St. Petersburg Diocese or Our Lady of Lourdes church adjacent to Hammock Park with interest.
The story is not entirely clear. For example, what is the purchase price based on? If it supposes that the city will grant a variance or change in zoning to allow much higher density than already exists, the price needs to be drastically lowered.
The owner could grant a conservation easement over the property and allow it to continue to stay as it is. The city could negotiate a price for granting that easement, and no sale would be needed.
Editor: Not in my park please. Regarding the article in the June 16, 2016, Seminole Beacon, “City to explore waterfront park option for chamber building.” This is one of the most colossal blunders of all time.
While there is a common equation for needed park land generally, and we certainly need to do more to adhere to that quota here in our city, it begs the question why a commercial building on that tiny gem of land on the water.
Two years ago in an August meeting at City Hall, I asked the previous city manager if a traffic impact study had been done for the project, a common practice. None had been done. To introduce more vehicular and pedestrian traffic into this already challenged area would be folly. But a small, passive park there might not be too awful. But a commercial building there would not be a good fit.
Editor: The old saying, “Beware of what you wish for, the gods might be listening,” launched my desire to pontificate on the value of our two-party system vs. a multi-party political system in which there has been much discussion.
Our Founding Fathers, in particular George Washington, did not want to see a party system developing since he feared it would create more divisions within our country. Washington was not a politician. He could see that the Hamiltonian point of view, being pro-bank and anti-France, ran counter to Jefferson’s anti-bank, pro-France ideologies, and that political parties became necessary.
Today, the two-party system has come under attack since many of the electorate feel that their needs are not being represented. My concern about having more than two major political parties centers upon the overall stability of the system itself. Within the two-party system, traditionally, we see better negotiations and compromise. In a multi-party system, less negotiation and more radicalization (my way or the highway) can become the norm. We need to look no further than pre-Nazi Germany with its peculiar parliamentary system and the representation of 40 political parties.
Do we as a country want to see our government becoming driven on just pure ideology, or candidate driven, or do we retain the stability of compromise and negotiation, thereby combining both and representing the will of the people? The choice is ours to make.
Re: “Marco Rubio’s Senate record lousy,” by Joe Henderson, June 30 Editor: Good to see Joe Henderson has found some ink and a pad again. I have been reading him for more years than I want to count, but I have to disagree with his recent column about Marco Rubio running for Senator again after he said he was done. Not unusual for a politician to say something and do completely the opposite.
Rubio was a shooting star in Florida politics and rose very quickly holding many leadership positions after being recognized by Gov. Jeb Bush for his talents. He absolutely wrecked the career of another stepping stone politician by the name of Charlie, who really should be the subject matter of Henderson’s article. His new slogan now is, “Pick a party, pick an office, just get me back in the game.”
Rubio has excellent name recognition, has been on some of the important committees in the U.S. Senate, seems to understand the bigger picture of the world, and surprisingly just two days before the Istanbul attack, predicted it. The Republicans need to keep Florida and in case Trump loses, he will be the perfect candidate to run against Hillary in four years after people realize how old and awful the president is. It’s that simple.
Actually, I think Joe’s liberal side of his brain has forgotten about another politician whose ambitions were very similar to Rubio’s - those who followed a similar path, actually had very little world experience in anything and really did nothing as a junior senator except vote against a bill while most everyone voted for it and rode a millennial wave to be a first into office. That person of course was Obama and look where that got us. Have you looked outside your window at the world today?
Editor: I wanted to send in this letter of support for the developments proposed for the areas along 150th Avenue/Tom Stuart Causeway in Madeira Beach. I grew up in Redington Beach in the ‘70s, played Little League baseball and even assisted with building the original baseball fields at what is now R.O.C. Park in Madeira Beach, and I now live just across the Tom Stuart Causeway in Seminole. I consider Madeira Beach the center of my “hometown” since all of our small local communities are so interconnected.
For a time in the ‘80s, I lived in Fort Lauderdale, and have been witness to the skyscraper wall along the beach over there known as The Miracle Mile. I understand that some local residents fear the proposed re-development as “too much change” and do not want a concrete wall of condominiums. Quite frankly, neither do I. However, it is important to understand that change is a natural progression of life.
Let’s be honest, the parcel of land on the east end of 150th Avenue at the foot of the bridge is currently an eyesore. Some type of development will happen; that is inevitable. The row of small retail spaces on the west end of 150th Avenue dates from the 1960s and does not have any historic charm of say, Amelia Island, and nothing notable by the way of shopping as in St. Armand’s Circle.
Change is inevitable, so I suggest that we embrace the change, but certainly manage it, and make Madeira Beach an even more desirable destination than it is today. To quote Alan Watts, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
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