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The purpose of this site is to encourage comments by Sun readers on topics of the day, especially those affecting Anna Maria Island. We welcome any and all viewpoints and hope to stimulate intelligent discussions. Personal attacks and abusive or vulgar language, however, will not be tolerated. Such comments will be determined by Sun management, then pulled from the site and the posters may be blocked from further use.

Name: I Live Here
Date: 2014-10-14 16:07:20
Subject: Agree with AMI Resident
Comments: I could not agree more with the comment by AMI Resident. These overgrown, party houses are going to be the "death" of AMI. The island is too crowded already and as more and more visitors come, the traffic will get worse, the crime and garbage will increase, the charm will be gone. This will begin an onslaught of bad publicity and folks will stop coming. Then, we will have large, empty rentals, businesses will suffer, locals will lose jobs, property values will fall fast. We need more cottage style houses and NO MORE large mega-rentals!


Name: Ami resident
Date: 2014-10-14 15:09:12
Subject: Rentals
Comments: It is exasperating to listen to city officials go around in circles over the years as they quite simply fail to grasp anything. So now we are looking at a total over reaction and apparently the proposal of zero short term rentals in any property of any size in Anna Maria City. Doug Copeland just doesn't get it if he thinks property size has no bearing. I suggest someone does some research on where the complaints come from and I am sure it will then be very clear that in fact the big party style houses are where the main problem lies. I live next door to a two bedroom rental that is continually rented out and have never ever been disturbed by the renters. In fact most times I wouldn't even know the property was rented if it wasn't for a car parked on the driveway. Look out how the island has evolved over the last 5 years. The commercial developers have 'over' promoted the island in an attempt to bring customers to their stores and sell real estate to investors. Many of these developers are constructing very large properties and advertising them with huge income potential if they can be rented out to large groups. We never had this problem a few years back when people came for the charm and ambiance of a laid back island full of cracker cottages. Now the loud money is in town filling the lots with oversized property that screams my pillars are bigger than yours! I see no sign despite hundreds of commission meetings over the years that they have done anything to curb the overdevelopment, the large and tasteless houses and I do not believe stamping out all rentals in all properties makes any sense at all! I would love to see all our commissioners resign and a new, more informed and intelligent group replace them and address the problem with fresh eyes and ideas. Respectfully these guys and gals have all been around way too long and I think rather proved that they really don't have a clue what they are doing.


Name: Nancy Yetter
Date: 2014-10-14 14:10:55
Subject: Islander's Comments on AM Candidates
Comments: After having been classified as a "follower" by the editor of The Islander, I only have this short comment: "it is often better to be a quiet, thoughtful representative of the people in order to hear them, learn and fulfill their wishes. Those who listen only to themselves are unenlightened, uninformed,and judgmental. By spreading misinformation, they abuse their power and shirk their responsibility to hold themselves to the highest standard. Between the two, I ask you, who is more credible?


Name: Kathy Miller
Date: 2014-10-13 11:42:48
Subject: Gulf front park
Comments: Please leave the Gulf Front Park as is! The natural beauty of the Australian pines and sea grapes offer much needed shade for humans and gopher turtles. The natural aspect of this park makes our beach front different and more peaceful than any other beach. The only ones to benefit from the destruction are the homes along the park. The park was originally set up for all Anna Maria residents not just a few. I do not want gulf front park to end up like what happened tp Park ave.


Name: michael micelli
Date: 2014-10-11 15:07:44
Subject: adrian wyllie
Comments: I can't believe you and your associates are keeping Adrian Wyllie out of the debates. I will no longer support your company.


Name: Gary McMullen
Date: 2014-10-08 06:12:24
Subject: Gulf Front Park
Comments: For once an Anna Maria city commissioner has gotten it right. The commission did waste the taxpayers money by hiring Coastal Management to give an opinion on what should be done with Gulf Front Park. Wasteful expenditures such as these are the rationale the commission needed to justify raising our taxes. There is no one living in Anna Maria that has not grown up with the Australian pines or sea grapes. They provide one of the most beautiful beach scenes on the island at the north end of the park. Leave perfection alone. The money could have been better spent improving the beach accesses in the park.


Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-10-08 03:00:02
Subject: Mayor Bradenton Beach
Comments: I wonder how Ms.Perry intends to "interpret" the forfeiture of office guidlines specifically outlined in the City Charter. Are they going to make those interpretations up as they go like they are making up this procedure as they go. As long as no one challenges Ms . Perry's "interpretations" this Commission will surely go unchecked. As long as Ms. Perry can continue to rack up billable hours she will gladly "interpret" how she wants to for this Commission. This whole thing is setting up a very bad precedent for elected officials. If we don't like you and have enough votes then we will just create a way to get rid of you despite being elected by the people. This is going to cost the taxpayers of Bradenton Beach alot of tax dollars just due to one arrogant man's mayoral ambition. I did find it interesting that Vosburgh found the meeting an appropriate time to campaign for her position or at least one of her supporters found it appropriate. If you want to begin to clean up the cancer that is pervading this Commission vote for TJET MARTIN in November to help restore fiscal responsibility and accountability of Department Heads in Bradenton Beach.


Name: skip speer
Date: 2014-10-06 19:52:49
Subject: Tainted Contribution?
Comments: Contributions from individual under criminal investigations
Comments: Randall Benderson, developer, is under investigation for tax fraud. He has, under the Family name, contributed at least 2500 dollars to Whitmore's campaign fund. Since those funds could be of a tainted nature should Whitmore keep those funds or have them returned? Not really an ethical dilemma for anyone of moral character.


Name: Patricia Parker
Date: 2014-10-05 21:07:11
Subject: reply to Mr. Roelof:
Comments: With all due respect, we have NOT visited and rented from realtors of the MANY prolific multi-family dwellings that appear to be changing what we perceived to be the original appeal charm of AMI.
Rather, we have vacationed over the years in one of your smaller single story Inn's. Very Quaint,not terribly fancy, but we relished the simple natural beauty that AMI offered.
Granted, as an "outsider" I can only attest to what I've observed. The not so subtle change to your beautiful island in the the last few years is alarming and cause for concern. My fear is the dynamic and original appeal will change if your advertising and building continue in the direction it has taken. I read with disdain the plans to advertise for Brazillion shoppers. I can only hope the long term effects of such advertising were carefully considered before making such a decision. I hope your Chamber of Commerce has given serious consideration to such ramificatios. How many visitors to the island are you adequately able to accomodate without becoming the very place people try to get away from. I would hate to see AMI loose the original appeal. While I don't pretend to have the answers, I do know that one needs to be very careful what they wish for. We've lived that ourselves here on Long Island. I don't want to see it happen to AMI. I wish Anna Maria residents the best of luck and God's guidence to all those in authority to do what's best it's for residents, and visitors a like.


Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-10-05 12:43:55
Subject: Patricia Parker
Comments: "Wait a minute" scense 2005 you have
been renting from the same people
you now condemn.You will fit in just
fine on crazy island.This problem started
30yrs.ago, and the fault lays completely
on the shoulders of the islanders.If I
were you I would look elsewhere,Anna Maria Island has slid down the slippery
slope, past the point of no return.


Name: Patricia Parker
Date: 2014-10-03 10:51:04
Subject: Advertising aimed at Brazillion shoppers! - Seriously..?
Comments: Seriously?..My family and I have been
AMI visitors since 2005. We actually "had" plans to relocate to the area within the next 5 years. Last couple of visits (we visit twice a year)have given us pause, and reason to reconsider. It is disheartening to see the changes brought about with multi family dwellings and development. Reading in The SUN about new marketing aimed at Brazillion Shoppers for the Septemeber..?! Talk about icing on the cake. Be CAREFUL folks what you wish for. Has anyone in AMI ever lived the Brazillion tour groups that visit Disney World? You only get caught up in that once. Then again, the many new multi family dwellings
we've seen would easily accomodate the changes such advertising will likely generate.
What was once a former tropical paradise, with a low keyed, laid back appeal is quickling disappearing.
Marketing aimed at Brazillion shoppers, just tells me that the island is headed in a direction that we no longer would enjoy. AMI was once FL's best kept secret. In past couple of years it appears there hasn't been a balance
between sharing the secret and increasing revenues for
real estate moguls intent on sucking every last penny out of your beautiful community.
Quality of life, which we found to be the original lure of AMI, is quickly
dwindling. I don't care to visit a congested vacation spot with nice beaches. I can stay in NY on Long Island for that. Sadly, AMI is becoming exactly what we wanted to get away from.
I hope you folks can get an handle on what's going on there in regards to your advertising and real estate issues before you too become exactly what it is people try to get away from.


Name: eric davison
Date: 2014-10-01 14:18:24
Subject: building moratorium
Comments: Don't we have an ordinance that says there should be one parking place per bedroom? It is hard to imagine an 8 bedrrom house with 8 off street parking spaces

Additionally since you ran a recent poll that showed a great many people no longer think that this is a good place to live, even the most jaded hotel builder should think about killing the goose that layed the proverbial golden egg.


Name: Abby Whitenack
Date: 2014-10-01 08:44:58
Subject: Skip Speer's Ltr to the Ed on "There's No Plan B" - right on!
Comments: Right on, Skip Speer!

I saw the same Charlie Rose program on climate change with the French Ambassador to the U.N., who was superb. Here's more on that original comment on "No Plan B" - [Sun Staff: I can't figure out how to attach an image of the UN Secretary General in the recent NYC Climate March - please email me and I'll attach it there. Or see notes at end and google it to find yourselves if you prefer?]

"I have made sustainable development the leading priority of the United Nations. Let me tell you why. In the next twenty years, the world will need at least 50 per cent more food … 45 per cent more energy … and 30 per cent more water. At the current rate, we will soon need two planet earths. But we have only one planet. Both science and economics tell us that we need to change course – and soon.

There can be no Plan B because there is no planet B."

United Nations' Secy GenrlBan Ki Moon's remarks at Stanford University January 17, 2013. Image shown is the Secretary-General joining others for the climate action march in New York, NY on September 22, 2014.




Name: Gary McMullen
Date: 2014-10-01 05:58:50
Subject: Moratorium and taxes
Comments: As a resident that lives next to a "big box house",I feel I know the issues they bring to the neighborhood. Having said that, Commissioner Dale Woodland wanting to make it illegal to rent to more than one familt is ludicrous. Commissioner Webb is agreeing because he lives on the street in question that prompted this moratorium. What happened to the rights of property owners? My property was a rental property at one time and we welcomed friends and families without discrimination. The city is being sued now under the Bert Harris act. I guess these Commissioners want additional lawsuits. I would sue if some overreaching and overreacting officials wanted to tell me who I could have in my property also. Next it will be how many people you can invite to stay at your home. This sparring match etween the city and developers must stop for the good of all. The present regulations are sufficient.
The City of Anna Maria and SueLynn are insisting that the tax increase is minimal to residents. I don't consider 10% minimal. What about all the non homesteaded property ownerd? There are more of them in Anna Maria than homesteaded properties. The City is getting much more revenue from the cell tower and still wants to take money out of your pocket. Even a 1.9% increase is dtill a tax increase. Say stop to the money-grubbing officials at election time.


Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-10-01 02:46:08
Subject: Vice Mayor Clarke
Comments: Per Clarke:
“I also believe the mayor has exceeded the authority granted him by our city charter on many occasions"
These are talking points. Have many times do we have to hear this? This is his and others involved in this garbage strategy. Repeat untruths over and over and over till many outside City Hall finally believe what they are saying. Then take those untruths to this paper and they will be glad to print it. This goes for the harassment claims also against the Mayor.
Clarke agrees with public sentiment regarding the serious nature of a commission attempting to remove an elected official from office.
If anyone should be considering forfeiture of office it should be Clarke. Based on his documented collusion with the Ed Chiles restaurant group his ability to be influenced by private business has been shown. What possible improprieties will take place in the future?
In regard to Shearon being elected, while he ran unopposed, Clarke said, “If no one else ran, the citizens must have felt I offered the best possible representation.
What planet does this guy live on? Citizens can not decide he was the best representation if no one ran against him.
“I want the citizen’s to know that time is of the essence. Prolonging this action will further demoralize the city, its employees and the city’s interaction with other agencies. In addition, it is unfair to the mayor to have this action hanging over his head for an extended period of time.
Why don't YOU drop this then? It's time for Jack to submit his resignation.


Name: Charmaine Engelsman-Robins
Date: 2014-09-30 16:56:24
Subject: unruly dog at the dog park
Comments: I'm writing about this police report: "9/18, 7:55 a.m., assault, 6100 Flotilla Drive, Holmes Beach Dog Park. The complainant said she was at the dog park when a woman’s dog came up and jumped on her." I was on the Sarasota County Animal Welfare Advisory Council 1992-2012, the group that got dog parks down here in SRQ. If you go to ANY dog park you need to knowthat this isn't like obedience class. This is a place for dogs to be DOGS, to rub off steam, to exercise and play and BE DOGS and yes, if they LIKE YOU, that may include jumping up to include you. Please, if you are too old & frail to tolerate that, don't go to the one place where dogs are allowed to be what for them is normal. Easy peasey: just stay away. If as reported you threatened to kick the dog, I sure hope you don't own one. If you do, you shouldn't. Is there an ASPCA office up there that could check on this ? Thanks.


Name: Leah
Date: 2014-09-30 04:57:41
Subject: Wow
Comments: Karen Hodges "personal friends and colleagues" SHE IS "circulating a petition to show citizen support for moving the forfeiture forward. If you would like to sign it let me know".
WHO ON THIS LIST IS A CITIZEN OF BRADENTON BEACH? I BET SHE LED THE RECALL HARRY STOLTZFUS BRIGADE TOO


From: Caryn Hodge <chodge@chilesgroup.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2014 19:09:30 -0400
To: Dorothy Blum <drumbunny@aol.com>, Kim Davis <KimD@sarasotamagazine.com>, Deborah Wing <debbie@amichamber.org>, Diane Phinney <dianephinney@hotmail.com>, "DLaBell@tampabay.com" <DLaBell@tampabay.com>, Darcie Duncan <darcie@teamduncan.com>, Tracey Dell <kathleend3@gmail.com>, David Teitelbaum <david@teitelbaumdevelopers.com>, Billi Gartman <billirhea@gmail.com>, Debbie Miller <scoutblueeyes@msn.com>, Diana Bogan <db.bogan@gmail.com>, Deborah Webster <debandlex@gmail.com>, Dorothy Burkhalter <lunamax.inc@gmail.com>, Judy and Dave Stephens <smilingpj@yahoo.com>, Gina Spicer <dsgs19@verizon.net>, Joan Voyles <Carvoy@aol.com>, Kate Atkin <kate@freshoriginals.com>, Kenny_Heidt <Kenny_Heidt@yahoo.com>, Richard Bergere <rick@madisonave-advertising.com>, SAMANTHA BRUNO <samantha@creatingarippleeffect.com>, Toni Lyon <tlyonami@gmail.com>, "C. Melissa Williams" <Melissa@SteamDesigns.com>, Kim Darnell <darnellkim1@gmail.com>, Katy Demick <katy01@tortugainn.com>, Kelli Gray <gulfdrivetiki@gmail.com>
Subject: Fwd: AMI Sun poll


Name: Tammy Johnson
Date: 2014-09-29 16:49:50
Subject: Bradenton Beach Mayor
Comments: So let me get this straight. . . Ed Chiles’ minion asks for his blessing in sending out an email endorsing the removal of Bradenton Beach Mayor Shearon from office. He gives his support with the caveat that she removes her “corporate” affiliations from the signature. She carelessly sends it out with not only her corporate tag in place, but also Chiles’ approval attached. Wow, talk about being caught with your pants down! We are supposed to believe that there hasn’t been any illicit cooperation or communications between Vice Mayor Clarke (or other malcontents in the City) and representatives of The Chiles Group, yet Caryn Hodge is circulating a petition in support of Vice Mayor Clarke’s efforts to pursue forfeiture of office? Really!!!
Caryn Hodge’s email contains blatant, egregious lies and exaggerations. There is no harassment suit. There have only been complaints, which have yet to be substantiated. Mayor Shearon has never made any email records requests of any Commissioner or staff member, nor hired a lawyer to investigate them. That is an absolute fabrication.
Don’t believe everything you hear.



Name: Jo Ann Meilner
Date: 2014-09-29 10:09:00
Subject: survey
Comments: WOW !!! That shows the validity of this survey, Chiles group telling people to vote every day. NICE.


Name: Jo Ann Meilner
Date: 2014-09-29 08:44:16
Subject: mayor
Comments: This "process" you seem to be encouraging will take THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of taxpayer dollars to complete and many months of continued mudslinging. This will be a misuse of City's money when the citizens have not called for this.... only 3 commissioners. There has not been a citizen's petition, a number citizen's public comments at meetings asking for this, no letters to the editor calling for this, no warning of this coming, just 3 commissioners trying to change the results of a true election process and waste lots of our money.


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