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Your Comments

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: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-30 06:51:10
Subject: Peace And Harmony
Comments: I am not a topic,get a handle on yourself
This is to promote happiness,friendliness
And to make visitors feel welcome.We have
our indifferences but we can be civil.

Name: G Hines
Date: 2014-06-30 06:22:28
Subject: Pot calls the kettle black
Comments: To John Roelof,
I guess that you feel it is okay for you to harrass and attack us locals for years now on this 'community' forum, and when someone points a finger your way you come unhinged. If you dish it out, you must expect to recieve it back. In closing grow up!

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-30 06:15:49
Subject: Abusive !!!!!
Comments: Thanks for the input!

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-30 05:57:26
Subject: John Roelof
Comments: I figured you couldnt handle the truth. go elsewhere you are a sick man!

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-30 05:52:21
Subject: (resident) just has broken the your rules
Comments: Intelligent input (NO) Topics about the
Wonderful Island (NO)Personal attack YES)
Abusive attack (Yes) Vulgar (Yes)
(TOLERATED)I Think Not) By By resident...
Tourist don't pay any attention to
People,this is a wonderful island to
Visit,with many very nice people.

Name: resident
Date: 2014-06-30 04:34:34
Subject: John Roelof
Comments: No one asked for your input here. You dont live here, you dont own here. You have said it yourself you dont have a dog in the fight. So mind your own business!!!! I remember about a year ago when you said to those of us who dont like the tourists that all we had to do is to say, once just say it "we hate tourists" and there it is again for you, that you would go away and never post here again!

So now you can HONOR your WORD and go away!!! You are a LIAR and a PHONY John Roelof. NOTHING you say holds ANY weight here you are a NOTHING.

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-29 10:48:15
Subject: Resident (no name)
Comments: Just curious to be fair to police,what was your emergency.I find it interesting that police didn't respond.Was it just a frivolous complant? I noticed you didn't
want your name in the complant.Most likely your complant was a waste of time to the police.Was this tourist related?

Name: resident
Date: 2014-06-29 04:23:01
Subject: Who to call now?
Comments: Anyone know who do we call when the police dont do their job? The mayor? city council members? who?
thanks in advance.

Name: Deb Jarvis
Date: 2014-06-28 12:29:57
Subject: Prince
Comments: Prince is not 7 years old. He is 10 and will be 11 in Nov.2014.He came to us as kitten in Dec.2003. I am his grandma sort of. He was my daughters cat till he started hanging around the shopping center and would never come home anymore. So he became The King of The Road(shopping center)Prince.

Name: Sally
Date: 2014-06-23 08:38:29
Subject: Residential Parking
Comments: I love the idea of clearing our residential streets from becoming a parking lot. Try getting around the cars or pulling out of your driveway without hitting one. Let's keep "strangers" out of our neighborhoods and reduce vandalism, break ins, and trash left in our yards. Bell air Beach and St Pete Beach has implemented similar measures. Let them come to the beach but not park in our neighborhoods!

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-23 05:30:17
Subject: ccummings
Comments: That is exactly what Islanders want to discourage visitors.They use issues like
the use of the beaches to make people upset.They could care less if boycott you
the island.Don't pay any attention to what they say about visitors.

Name: Dr. Annette Maddox
Date: 2014-06-22 18:17:06
Subject: Island Blood Drive
Comments: To the editor:

I am taking exception to the idea that was expressed in a recent story about the Island Blood Drive. Every year, several charities are the beneficiaries of an anonymous donor who matches donation. In the story printed two weeks ago, the author portrayed the Anna Maria Island Privateers as an institution that is suffering financial hardship because of a disgruntled former member who had a legal dispute with that group. The reporter is referring to the lawsuit that my husband, Rick Maddox, filed against the Anna Maria Island Privateers after they stole the float he had built with friends. In a subsequent jury trial, the Anna Maria Island Privateers were convicted of Civil Theft, Trespass, and Replevin by a jury of their peers. They were ordered to pay treble damages and my husband’s attorney’s fees. The Anna Maria Island Privateers stole from my husband and then were punished in court. I find it preposterous by a reporter from the AMI Sun to suggest that the public should donate their hard-earned money to a group of people who has to pay for its previous poor decision making.


Dr. Maddox

Name: ccummings
Date: 2014-06-22 08:15:47
Subject: AMI parking
Comments: Although my wife and I live in NY we have a vacation home in NW Bradenton. We bought the house almost entirely due to it's proximity to the island. I understand the island residents frustration however they do not own the beach. That is public property to be used by all. These water front property owners ( who have done well for themselves and worked hard to get where they are) must understand they don't own the sand from the back of they're property line to the water. I cringed when I saw all the advertisements in the NY Times and NY Post telling the world about the undiscovered island, a Wedding destination, old Florida charm etc. You asked for it. You wanted the business. One last question, how is the beach renourishment projects funded? County, State taxes? If my wife and I who own a house in Manatee County are excluded from using any of the beach, me, my family and all of my friends who visit me and whom enjoy the restaurants and shops will not spend one red cent on the island.

Name: Harry and Bonni Kamberis
Date: 2014-06-20 07:05:37
Subject: Holmes Beach Parking
Comments: We strongly oppose the ban on parking in our housing zone. We live in the 500 block on 77th Street and we often have friends over who park on the street. The thought of having to call the police each time we entertain is simply absurd. The likelihood of any beachgoer parking on our street in our block is virtually non-existent. And, to add insult to injury, the idea of giving Key Royale a pass on this is insulting. There are many other areas of Holmes Beach that are not affected by beach goers. The fact is that "you reap what you sow". Island governments and businesses have worked hard and expended taxpayer monies to have our Island overrun by tourists without any thought of infrastructure overload. Now they are panicking and coming up with ideas that will cause great inconvenience and harm to us, the permanent residents and voters. We will remember this at election time.

Name: Gary McMullen
Date: 2014-06-19 05:23:09
Subject: Parking
Comments: Holmes Beach congestion committee got it right! No parking on residential streets. Maybe Anna Maria will follow suit and finally help their residential congestion.

Name: Kathy Johnston
Date: 2014-06-17 21:27:31
Subject: Lanterns
Comments: Kudos for banning the lanterns!

Name: AMI resident
Date: 2014-06-12 18:55:20
Subject: Community Center
Comments: When we first moved to the island our daughter spent most of her free time at the center, participating in all the sporting leagues for many years. I am sure the powers to be considered that improvements to the center were necessary, although as someone who sat on the bleachers several times a week it was hard to see how you could improve on the community spirit. First rule of thumb is if it ain't broke then don't fix it. Second rule is don't agree to a massive increase in construction costs at the absolute top of a housing bubble. I actually spoke to someone on the committee before they started construction and advised them to hold off as costs would come down substantially if they just waited and that they were building at the wrong time. He advised me that prices would never go down on Ami and it would cost even more if they waited! Third rule is don't put amateurs in charge of something they know nothing about. Clearly nobody did the math.
Once construction was complete it became necessary to dramatically increase the cost of the programs and my daughter lamented that it had become more like a country club than a community center. She and her friends were no longer interested in going there. Finally I would add that a community center needs a community! It should be pretty obvious that the increase in tourism and the decrease in permanent residents is not about to be reversed any time soon. We have a community that is rushing for the exits! How long before it becomes just another site for development I wonder. Sadly the Community Center is just another symbol of all that has gone wrong with the Island.

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-11 14:23:50
Subject: Community Center
Comments: Find a lot on the island and raffle it off world wide at a 0.00 dollars per
ticket,and cannot be used as a rental.
You could get over a million dollars
In raffle sales.

Name: Gary McMullen
Date: 2014-06-11 06:26:03
Subject: Headlines
Comments: I agree with Beth Skidmore, the Community Center cannot continue with the giveaway programs. If you live on the island, you can afford to pay for the programs that you use. The mortgage payment is not causing the financial crisis although I favor renegotiating the rate. Commissioner Titsworth is also correct when she observes that our residential base is decreasing. Our residents cannot afford the cost of maintaining the scholarship program.
On to Bradenton Beach and the pier. The pier woes have been going on for too long! The level of mismanagement and arrogance must stop. You don't pick the lowest bid as required by law. It also had the soonest completion date. What are you thinking? Surely there are clauses and penalties for not living up to the contract. So in your arrogance the citizens will pay an additional 00.00. Great work looking out for your constituants.

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-08 17:23:00
Subject: Parking charges
Comments: I agree and I wish you success.I don't
have a dog in this fight.I love your
wonderful island and it is truly none
Of my business.lts just gets me upset
when every problem becomes the fault
Of tourist.

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-08 13:40:24
Subject: Parking
Comments: I think you better consultant with your attorney,your not a private island.
If you get money from the county you can't charge visitors, and property
owners park for free..

Name: Randy Houlas
Date: 2014-06-07 20:10:08
Subject: Correction to Paid Parking - an Idea
Comments: The cut and paste function did not carry my $ figures onto the web.
Daily sticker - about
Weekly - at least 0
Annual to the County 0-300K.
Sorry for the missing info in the comment below.

Name: Randy Houlas
Date: 2014-06-07 19:58:06
Subject: Anna Maria Paid Parking - an Idea
Comments: Anna Maria Paid Parking - - an Idea

I don’t want to be the guy that is accused of simply throwing darts and not offering a potential solution to the problem.

Here is an idea on a paid parking program.
I believe we are too small physically to create, sustain and enforce the infrastructure necessary to collect parking fees from thousands of individual vehicles. I envision a more global solution to be much more workable.
We’d like to receive money from the TDC. They are not going to simply write a check. They need a reason and structure to do so. Let’s give them one.
There have been many complaints from Manatee County residents that they should not have to pay to park while visiting the island beaches. While I understand their position, the simple fact remains that we need help to maintain a safe clean infrastructure for all to enjoy. How do we bring all sides to common ground?

A potential solution and how it could work.
Anna Maria will offer 4 types of parking stickers (ultimately reduced to 3). They are:
1. Free stickers to City of Anna Maria residents – for each of their registered vehicles. The need for this sticker will ultimately be eliminated.
2. Daily stickers issued from a few kiosks around the city. Rates TBD. In the neighborhood of Chair Webb’s is fine for example.
3. Weekly stickers also issued from a few kiosks around the city. Rates TBD – at least 0.
4. Manatee County Resident Stickers (Annual or perhaps multi-year).
Annual County Stickers will only be offered and sold to Manatee County. The cost TBD, but somewhere in the 0,000 - 0,000 per year range or about 10-15% of our annual budget. I’m not opposed to the annual charge being tied to the annual TDC receipts.
The County and TD must be involved and take on some of the workload, both in terms of cost and management of the system. I.e. distribution of the stickers to their residents (perhaps as part of the vehicle registration process).
The County does not have to purchase our annual stickers, but that will be their choice. I’m sure they will claim they do not have the funds. My suggestion to the County and TDC - talk. They both are there to support all residents of the county. If they choose not to provide residents with the annual stickers, their message is clear. Our position is also clear. We welcome county visitors (also fondly know as day trippers!). And we offer them a countywide program that costs them nothing.

I suggest Anna Maria start with at least 1 meter maid to issue tickets for illegal parking. Ticket cost TBD, but as expensive as allowed. We can add additional meter maids as required.
Stickers 1, 2 and 3 can be implements relatively quickly. The program is a start and will certainly begin to attract some attention within our county.
A couple additional thoughts.
Initiation of this plan, or one similar to it, will get the ball rolling. More visitors will most likely start going top Holmes Beach to park free rather than pay to park in Anna Maria. That will prompt Holmes Beach to take paid parking action sooner than later. Bradenton Beach will follow suit as they will be the only city to offer free beach parking. This progression is welcomed in my view, and will encourage an island wide, and ultimately county-wide support.
To my way of thinking, it’s a win across the board. I hope this is a starting point of more discussion.


Randy Houlas
Anna Maria

Name: Randy Houlas
Date: 2014-06-07 19:55:07
Subject: Anna Maria Paid Parking - an Analysis
Comments: Anna Maria Paid Parking – an Analysis
Oh my Goodness – Cart before the Horse
Anna Maria is drafting a Paid Parking Ordinances and we haven’t even defined the goals, objectives or framework.
I attend most commission meeting, although I missed the last work session. I hear continual references to years of successful paid parking in many Florida east coast cities as well as Broward County – we are neither – not even close.
Let’s think this through. I’m assuming our objective is revenue – pure and simple. I’m not sure how much; I’ve never heard a number. I’m not opposed to raising revenue; I’m a businessman and believe we should thoroughly understand our undertaking upfront.
Holidays, Festivals and the weekends are clearly our biggest visitor days. With the 4th of July coming up, let’s take a look at vehicle figures we have from last year’s 4thand apply our paid parking discussions to them.

We had about 50,000 cars come into Anna Maria over last years 4th and we want their money to park.
50,000 cars over 3 days – round down to 45,000 or 15,000 cars per day.
Assume they arrive evenly over 10 hours (they don’t) – that’s 1500 cars per hour for 10 hours for 3 days straight.
We’re going to require them to purchase parking stickers. KIOSKS are the solution most often discussed - manned or unmanned – irrelevant for this discussion.
Let’s assume 5 kiosks; 1500 cars per hour divided by 5 kiosks equals a steady stream of 300 cars per hour per kiosk for 10 hours for 3 days.
Each car will have 12 seconds to complete their parking sticker transaction. (5 per minute times 60 minutes get us our 300 per hour per kiosk).
I’m not sure we can support his flow of transactions.
What happens if half our visitors are scofflaws and say “Anna Maria - forget your parking stickers, I’ll take my chances on a ticket”. Without enforcement, the entire plan is meaningless. Our deputies are too busy (I agree) - Meter Maids have been suggested. Fine. How many meter maids will it take to ticket ½ of our 4th of July visitors? (I know – sounds like a bad joke). Using the figures from above, 7500 cars per day will park illegally. I’m not an expert on Meter Maid ticketing speed, but let’s assume they drive their little carts very fast and are adept at writing tickets. We’ll go with 1 ticket per minute or 60 tickets per hour. We’ll need 12 Meter Maids (each times 60 tickets per hour times 10 hours) totaling 7200 tickets per day for 3 days. Just short of our 22,500 assumption.
Great – we’ve now nailed the scofflaws. We have issued nearly 22,000 tickets and collected for over 22,000 parking stickers – and for just 1 holiday weekend. But wait, we have to collect on all those tickets. I suppose that’s one of the details that Chair Webb is referring to when he states we’ll have to work out some details.
You can argue my numbers and assumptions, but the issue is clear. This is a large complex issue with some serious logistical issues. I don’t think Anna Maria has neither the physical size nor the desire to support the infrastructure for this granular of a solution.
To begin drafting an ordinance at this stage is simply putting the cart before the horse...
I agree with Commissioner Yetter, we need to take action. But, first we must come up with a realistic workable plan AND then have Mr. Garrett and Mr. Dye get to drafting.

Randy Houlas
Anna Maria

Name: John Roelof
Date: 2014-06-04 17:35:18
Subject: I got your progress!!!!!!!!
Comments: Wait a munite isn't tourism what drives
your economic engine.Islanders lost there
island in the 70's by bad managment of there resources.People get sucked in and
pay scandalous prices for a home, just to find out the island is a three ring
circus.What gets me is instead of accepting they made a bad investment they want to blame the tourist.They
somehow think being rude might change
the situation.The people they should be
mad at are the old stewarts on the island.They elected people that didn't
protect there island and it slipped away from them.

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