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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: David Zaccagnino
Date: 2014-11-05 05:48:47
Subject: Sally Owen, you should be ashamed
Comments: Sally Owen, I know that you illegally built beyond your permit and deceived the building department at 132 49th st, just like the builders you mention. I never worked in the building department and have nothing to do with permitting and your lucky bc I would have probably had you remove your illegal renovation. Sally the rules are for everyone, you are not exempt. Be careful when you start throwing stones. David Zaccagnino

Name: Jerry B. Shell
Date: 2014-10-31 11:30:16
Subject: Australian Pines
Comments: Please interview the arborist who submitted the report. Ask him a direct question: To your knowledge, is there a tree that: 1. Is as salt tolerant as the Australian Pine so that it will grow at the beach line where the Australian Pine grows, 2. Will grow fast enough, if planted in place of the Australian Pine using normal arborist practices, to provide the shade and relief of the harmful glare of looking at the beach of the present Australian Pines within a reasonable amount of time so that people can again sit under them as they can currently under the present Australian Pines,3. require no maintenance, and 4, provide the wonderful sighing of the wind through them as the Australian Pines do? I think we both already know the answer, but I would like to see it in print from a so-called expert, because I never have. Thank you so much! Jerry B. Shell

Name: Sally
Date: 2014-10-31 06:43:06
Subject: HB Residents Be Aware!
Comments: While driving on Marina Drive I noticed a "Zaccagnino for Mayor" sign in front of a developer's office, but didn't pay any special attention. Then I began to notice more Zaccagnino's signs in front of those mega-party rental houses. The one's with 6 or more bedrooms and a parking lot in their front yard. Now, since no one actually lives in those homes(more that a week at a time) the signs must have been placed there by the developers or investor owners. It became pretty obvious who they supported.

It hit me----Zaccagnino has been a City Commissioner during the entire period when developers were allowed to find loopholes around the building code rules. These mega-rentals have done significant damage to the character of our beautiful island. It's time to retire "public servants" like him.

Resident of Holmes Beach

Date: 2014-10-31 05:24:53
Comments: Bouchard is right. When Jules and Lt. Damato were out here they wrote tickets and Chief Kenney could distinguish between the outsiders and residents.

Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-10-29 01:34:58
Subject: Part or forfeiture resolution BB
Comments: 7) Evidentiary Investigation. The City Commission may appoint an individual2 to
conduct an evidentiary investigation on the allegations set forth in the Charge of
Forfeiture and any other relevant information related thereto (hereinafter referred to
as “Evidentiary Officer”). The City Commission shall also determine the timeframe
and allowable costs for conducting the Evidentiary Investigation, which may be
modified by a majority of the City Commission. The Evidentiary Officer shall be
entitled to:
a. Conduct interviews;
b. Receive and review written statements and evidence;
c. Communicate with City staff, contractors, vendors, committee members,
board members, and all elected officials, including the Official who is subject
to the Forfeiture Proceedings; and
d. Take any other action necessary to provide a complete investigation.
Upon concluding the Evidentiary Investigation, the Evidentiary Officer shall provide
all direct and rebuttal testimony/evidence to the City Commission and to the Official
subject to the Forfeiture Proceedings. Unless, the Officer determines that oral or
photographic presentation of such evidence on any particular factual issue will
materially assist in the presentation of evidence, all findings and evidence, which
shall be filed in written form with a copy provided to the Official who is subject to
the Forfeiture Proceeding. The Official may be present to review any oral or
photographic presentations made by the Evidentiary Officer.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 Not including any Hearing Officer or Special Master utilized by the City of Bradenton Beach,
any individual appointed pursuant to this Section shall not be employed, volunteer, or under
contract with the City of Bradenton Beach as of the date of the Initiation of Forfeiture of Office

I am not an attorney nor do I profess to be one but what kind of crap is this and who wrote it? An evidentiary officer? Where is the definition of this? What are the credentials of this officer? What are the guidelines for appointing this officer? Who will they elect? Ed Chiles? David Teitlbaum? Robert Lincoln? I say this in jest because as this is written any of those three could be appointed. How could that be legally fair or stand up in any court other than this kangaroo court that has assembled itself on the Bradenton Beach City Commission?

Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-10-28 20:04:23
Subject: Forms of Government. For those in BB.
Comments: Republic vs. Democracy

Rule by Law vs. Rule by Majority

Just after the completion and signing of the Constitution, in reply to a woman's inquiry as to the type of government the Founders had created, Benjamin Franklin said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."
Not only have we failed to keep it, most don't even know what it is.

A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule). A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs (the public good).
Lawmaking is a slow, deliberate process in our Constitutional Republic requiring approval from the House, Senate, Executive (President or Governor), The Supreme Court, and individual jurors (jury-nullification). Lawmaking in our unlawful democracy occurs rapidly requiring approval from the whim of the majority as determined by polls and/or voter referendums. Voter referendums allow legislators to blame bad law on the people. A good example of democracy in action is a lynch mob.

Democracies always self-destruct when the non-productive majority realizes that it can vote itself handouts from the productive minority by electing the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury. To maintain their power, these candidates must adopt an ever-increasing tax and spend policy to satisfy the ever-increasing desires of the majority. As taxes increase, incentive to produce decreases, causing many of the once productive to drop out and join the non-productive. When there are no longer enough producers to fund the legitimate functions of government and the socialist programs, the democracy will collapse, always to be followed by a Dictatorship.

Even though nearly every politician, teacher, journalist and citizen believes that our Founders created a democracy, it is absolutely not true. The Founders knew full well the differences between a Republic and a Democracy. They repeatedly and emphatically said that they had founded a Republic.

Article IV Section 4, of the Constitution "guarantees to every state in this union a Republican form of government".... Conversely, the word Democracy is not mentioned even once in the Constitution. Madison warned us of the dangers of democracies with these words,

"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths...",
"We may define a republic to be ... a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans and claim for their government the honorable title of republic." James Madison, Federalist No. 10, (1787)

"A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men." Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Our military training manuals used to contain the correct definitions of Democracy and Republic. The following comes from Training Manual No. 2000-25 published by the War Department, November 30, 1928.


A government of the masses.
Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression.
Results in mobocracy.
Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights.
Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether is be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
Results in demogogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.

Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
Is the "standard form" of government throughout the world.
The manuals containing these definitions were ordered destroyed without explanation about the same time that President Franklin D. Roosevelt made private ownership of our lawful money (US Minted Gold Coins) illegal. Shortly after the people turned in their gold coins, the price was increased from per ounce to per ounce. Almost overnight F.D.R., the most popular president this century (elected 4 times) looted almost half of this nation's wealth, while convincing the people that it was for their own good. Many of F.D.R.'s policies were suggested by his right hand man, Harry Hopkins, who said,

"Tax and Tax, Spend and Spend, Elect and Elect, because the people are too damn dumb to know the difference".

Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-10-28 16:41:57
Subject: Story is straight....
Comments: Mr. Miller. I hope you are having great day. It does not sound like it by your post but I have had a wonderful day.

My story IS straight. I welcome any opportunity to debate it. You failed to identify even a single “erroneous” comment. I am in no way an “angry husband.” I supported my wife’s decision to resign from an environment where she was being targeted and harassed by the same factions that are seeking to unseat a duly elected Mayor without cause. It is true I am not a citizen of Bradenton Beach, however I have a long history of posting and commenting regarding various political issues within the County, State and Nation. About a year ago I began paying close attention to what was going on in Bradenton Beach. I read, I talk to people, I research. I support the precepts of our Representative Republic. I support adhering to the will of the electorate. I abhor efforts to disenfranchise voters. Attempts to un-seat the Mayor by methods other than the City Charter sanctioned recall procedures is objectionable.

I challenge you to debate these assertations:
· Ricinda Perry’s invoice for September was over ,000

· Blalock Walters investigated unsubstantiated harassment claims by the Public Works Department

· Ricinda Perry’s husband works for Blalock Walters

· The initial invoice from Blalock Walters was over ,000 (with more to follow)

· Vice Mayor Clarke initiated forfeiture procedures lacking substantiated findings

· Commissioner Vosburgh routinely declines making comments on the dais until Vice Mayor Clarke comments, and then concurs

· Commissioner Vosburgh’s campaign contributors are not Bradenton Beach voters/residents with the exception of Vice Mayor Clarke’s wife.

· Commissioner Vosburgh’s campaign contributors are exclusively business interests except Vice Mayor Clarke’s wife and the wife of a malcontent Bradenton Beach Public Works employee.

· Voters have a choice???

Please, tell me what is inaccurate?

Name: Bud Miller
Date: 2014-10-28 12:08:07
Subject: Get story straight
Comments: Mr. Johnson, You seem to have a lot of time on your hands to write your erroneous comments. Truth is you are the angry husband of Tammy Johnson, who was told to resign or be fired for illegally erasing emails for Mayor Shearon and his minions. You need not worry about the city of Bradenton Beach as you are not a citizen of Bradenton Beach nor have you ever been.

Date: 2014-10-25 19:54:23
Subject: THANK YOU

Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-10-22 18:44:10
Subject: Bradenton Beach Election. City Commission.
Comments: Registered voters and taxpaying citizens of Bradenton Beach, I think City Attorney Ricinda Perry should offer up her warmest holiday wishes and eternal gratitude for making the Christmas of 2014 and very happy one for her and her family by presenting her with a check for services rendered to the City in the tens of thousands for the month of September 2014 (pick a number between 18 and 20 and that includes a generous discount of thousands (pick a number between 5 and 7). Ms. Perry should express gratitude on behalf of her husband who happens to work for Blalock Walters (wink wink) for recommending the investigation by Attorney Westerman of Blalock Walters of the bogus harassment claims made by Tom Woodard and his merry band of malcontents in the Public Works Department. All three have been found to be without merit. The first installment of Attorney Westerman’s bill has cost you the taxpaying citizens of Bradenton Beach many thousands (pick a digit between 2 and 4). The next two installments are yet to come. Ms. Perry should also show her gratitude to Jack Clarke for initiating forfeiture procedures without a shred of evidence and to Jan Vosburgh (up for re-election) for being Jack Clarke’s “yes man”. Commissioner Vosburgh decries the excessive attorney fees but consistently supports actions that result in even more legal expenses to the City. Commissioner Vosburgh is more interested in keeping the high profile merchants and resort owners happy by being their “yes man” than representing the best interests of the citizens and voters of Bradenton Beach. This bears out by a simple examination of her campaign donors. It is pretty clear who she is working for.

Fortunately voters in Bradenton Beach have been given a choice this election cycle. You can elect to make a change and restore balance and fiscal responsibility to the City – VOTE FOR TJET MARTIN for Bradenton Beach City Commission.

Name: Rick Maddox
Date: 2014-10-22 15:09:51
Subject: Carol Whitmore-AMI Privateers
Comments: The article implies that Ms. Whitmore is emailing local government to solicit funds for the privateers buying a sleigh. Perhaps they should explain how they "lost" the sleigh a Manatee County Jury decided they stole, and how your own reporter was required to appear and authenticate a photo from the Islander in 1989, which disproved their statements that it was built by others and donated to them. An interesting story, which you've never written, but it is public record on the Clerk of Court website.

Name: Suzanne
Date: 2014-10-22 07:36:01
Subject: Commissioner Webb's letter
Comments: According to recent figures, there are 1,538 housing units in the City of Anna Maria. The city's vacation rental database shows 421 registered rentals. So only 27% of the city's housing is rented to vacationers. Hearing Mr. Webb rant and rave, one would think the percentage is much higher.

Name: skip speer
Date: 2014-10-17 08:11:09
Comments: They say follow the money well here is a comparison of funds flowing into the election campaigns for 6th district at large County Commissioner.You decide what is ethical and what is not.

Whitmore vs Wonder

Whitmore loses all the way around.

282 Total Contributors: With 112 out of the 282 or 39% of the Contributors raising 81% of the Campaign Funding. 39% Contribute 000.00 Thousand Dollars. This might be a good race if the Campaign had not been bought. Without the Rather large contributions Whitmore ends up being the Loser as Wonder Generates more funding from Grass Roots people, Non-Power Brokers.
16 contributing 00.00 or more , source of funding: Agriculture, Developers, Carpetbaggers, Attorney, Real Estate-Broker/Developer, Healthcare Services, Financial Services. TOTAL OF 000.00

96 Contributing 0.00 or more, Source of Funding: Agriculture, Developer?s, Carpetbagger?s, Attorney?s , Real Estate-Broker/Developer, Healthcare Services. TOTAL OF 000.00

123 contributing 0.00 or more Source of Funding ?Same as Above?

137 contributing 0.00 or less
Total contributions 256.74

Candidate Wonder:
183 contributors:
1 contributing 00.00 or more
7 contributing 0.00 or more
19 contributing 0.00 or more
152 contributing 0.00 or less
Total contributions ,497.23

Now there are the figures so you decide by how you VOTE

Name: Timothy Potts
Date: 2014-10-15 04:25:49
Subject: Adrian Wyllie
Comments: I am very upset to see special interest and a judge have decided to quiet 1.5 million voters by keeping their candidate out of the debates. This is wrong and it undermines our ability to pick a third candidate. THIS IS WRONG!

Name: David Johnson
Date: 2014-10-15 03:45:26
Subject: Racinda Perry BB
Comments: Per Perry:

Perry addressed those who questioned the commission’s right to initiate forfeiture proceedings.

“I know a lot of people don’t like this process, and I’ve heard disenfranchisement being thrown out. I empathize with your concern and your frustration, but you (the citizens) voted on this charter,” she said.

She pointed out that some who voiced opposition participated in the charter review process that produced the current charter.

“You did not object to this proceeding and you voted on this as being allowed. It is now their right (the commission’s), like it or not. It is enforceable by law and has never been challenged,” she declared.

Of course Ms. Perry would not counsel the Commission that the forfeiture process in the Charter has guidelines that can NOT be met. Of course she will comply with Commission request to draft a resolution. This keeps the clock on her billable hours ticking and this is all on your dime Bradenton Beach citizens. Here is an idea AMI SUN and Joe Hendricks, why don't you print the forfeiture process as it is written in the City of Bradenton Beach's Charter. Let the citizens decide if the guidelines specifically set forth in in this process have a snowballs chance in hell of being met instead of a group of people who have said from the outset they would never work for Mayor Shaeron. Looks like maybe they have changed their mind and decided not only work for him but work against him at the same time.

Name: Beverly Battle
Date: 2014-10-14 17:41:47
Subject: Gulf Front Park
Comments: I have tried multiple times to vote in the Sun survey, but the Bravenet site failed to take the vote. I urge the commissioners to leave the park as it has naturally evolved. The dunes of Austrialian Pines and Sea Grapes are lovely. There are many non native species on Anna Maria. Please don't take away our tallest and loveliest trees! In that process we will lose much of our shade and much valuable habitat.

Thank you, Bev Battle

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.

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