Letter to the Editor: Open letter to AMI representatives

This is a copy of the letter I have sent to:

Rep. Will Robinson Jr.
Rep. Mike Beltran
Rep. Tommy Gregory

Sen. Jim Boyd
Sen. Joe Gruter
Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge

It has taken me several days to compose my anger at you and ALL of the other members of the local state legislative delegation. Who do you think you are and how dare you make an attempt to subvert our three local governments? I can’t tell you how disgusted and terrified I am with every one of you. I have always been under the impression that Republicans believed in as little government intervention as possible. It seems as though that has changed with you. Our democracy is now being taken over by a dictatorship!

I discovered early on that Commissioner Van Ostenbridge, who supposedly represents Anna Maria Island, does not support his constituents, apparently, unless they are investors, realtors or wealthy folks who can line his political pockets. He does not think or care about the residents of our three cities. He certainly appears to be another self-centered politician who is only interested in his own well-being. Now, unfortunately, it has become apparent that ALL of you legislative delegates are only interested in your own political futures. Why don’t you come out to the beach two to three times a month, especially during the summer months, and observe that there is no room for one chair, let alone for a group. The overcrowded beaches are becoming unsafe for all of us. But NO!! We have to continue to advertise all over the world and bring more and more tourists here. And then you complain that there is inadequate parking for the thousands of off-island beachgoers and then threaten us with a four-story parking garage.

I have lived here for 30 years and my parents for 20 years before that, so 50 years of being high taxpaying residents while watching AMI lose its quiet charm, especially in the last 10 years. Do you see what is happening to local residents who are leaving in droves? Do you even really care? No, because you receive more money and support from investors, etc.

Now I wonder if we need to warn residents from Sarasota, Pinellas, Hillsborough and other counties with small coastal communities that they may be next? Why don’t you take over Mar-a-Lago???

Please contact the delegates and voice your dissent before it is too late.

May God help us.

Ruth Cawein

Anna Maria