Letter to the Editor: Message to state representatives

I strongly oppose your efforts to do away with home rule on Anna Maria Island. The three cities are unique, which adds to the appeal of the Island, and they deserve to rule themselves according to their specific needs.

In addition, your proposal to override local parking restrictions to build a parking garage will do nothing to solve the “parking” problem and will do much to worsen the actual problem, traffic. There is a finite amount of space on the Island, and allowing more cars to park will only worsen the conditions for everyone. Any long-term solution should maintain the character of the Island and involve off-site parking with shuttles. There will never be enough parking for every resident of Manatee County, nor should there be.

It is highly suspicious of your true motives that you failed to consult with Island officials before acting on your proposals. How ironic and sad (and infuriating) it would be if your changes eliminated the very things that make the Island appealing.

I have already witnessed the gradual worsening of conditions on the Island in the nine years we have been coming here. The first year we were here, I was struck by the pristine condition of the beach. It felt “holy” to me, like a very special place; I never saw a single piece of trash. With the increase in “day trippers,” I now see trash on the beach constantly. There seems to be a lack of a sense of “ownership” when people are here for just a few hours. It would benefit the Island to maintain the combination of renters, owners and visitors and not turn the place over to those who seek to make money above all else.

I am a property owner and part-year resident of Holmes Beach. I did not buy property as an investment or to be a landlord. I own property here because of the Is- land’s unique, old Florida character and combination of residents, part-time residents and vacationers. Your proposals would lay waste to what makes AMI special. I beseech you: Do not submit these as part of a bill in the forthcoming legislative session.



Debra Pysno

Holmes Beach