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Vol. 14 No. 52 - October 22, 2014

letters to the editor

Keep city residential

The upcoming election is critical to the future of Anna Maria. The voters will choose between returning Anna Maria to a residential community or acquiescing to the continued transition to a vacation rental ghetto. In choosing a commissioner, Anna Maria voters should review the candidate's experience, past voting history and involvement with vacation rentals. Incumbents’ positions are a known proposition due to their voting history. Newcomers are an unknown.

There is a saying which I paraphrase, that a man can be known by his opponents. It is not surprising that my re-election is opposed by investors, the vacation rental community and their supporters. This is actually an endorsement of my attempts to protect and improve the quality of life for the citizens of Anna Maria. If re-elected, I will continue my efforts. It’s your choice as a voter. What type of town do you want?

My voting history is known. I have always voted to control and stop vacation rentals. I am not a vacation rental investor. I oppose the operation of vacation rentals in the residential zone and have spent years in trying the get the commission to take action, which is finally happening. I will do everything in my power to carry out the direction given by the citizens of Anna Maria to take back our town. It is the right of the residents of the city, not investors, to choose what Anna Maria will be now and in the future.

Chuck Webb
Anna Maria city commissioner

Whitmore supporter

I am writing this letter in support of Carol Whitmore's candidacy for Manatee County's District 6 At-Large commission seat.

As a long-time resident of Cortez, I have personally known and worked with Carol from her years representing the Island's interests in the 90s. Although Cortez is on the mainland, the village has always considered the Island communities good neighbors. That was evident when Carol would call my dad or me when she was dealing with local issues. She would ask our opinions on how a project or impending rule could impact the village. In addition, there has never been a time when I called her that she did not return my call. That may not sound like much, but in today's busy world, it's not always the norm.

It is no surprise to me that Carol has risen in the local political ranks. It's not an easy job, and it takes a dedicated person willing to sacrifice so much of their personal life to public service. My definition of a good representative is a person who is credible, conscientious, thoughtful, professional, tenacious and strong. Carol is all of those. In fact, I like to think that the days she spent representing the west side of our community helped her develop the very characteristics that are now working for the betterment of our entire county.

So please when casting your vote, help Carol continue to do what she does so well – represent this great community that we are lucky enough to call home.

Karen Bell

Night meetings needed

I've been following with interest the ongoing diabolical events in Bradenton Beach between our elected commissioners and mayor. Your articles have been enlightening as well as informative. I noticed in your listing "On The Agenda," Bradenton Beach had scheduled one of its special city commission meetings dealing with the forfeiture of office proceedings against the mayor for 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, and included on the agenda was the opportunity for public comment.

I believe it's important for the public to be heard as well as to voice their opinions and/or concerns on not only this issue, but all matters affecting our city. How can they expect or think the majority of their constituents are able to attend this or any city commission meeting when they're scheduled at 11 a.m. or even 1 p.m.? It appears to me they're not concerned with or even want public comment, opinion or input. Who sets and/or decides the schedule for the city commission meetings? It appears to be at their convenience and not for the citizens they represent.

It's interesting to note, our nearby sister cities (Holmes Beach and Anna Maria), seem to be just the opposite. They want and encourage public input by holding their meetings at 6 p.m. a more reasonable and convenient time to attend for most everyone. Perhaps, our elected officials should consider emulating this practice or procedure. They might even find by initiating this practice they'll see or realize there are citizens who want to be heard, provide support, give suggestions and yes, even volunteer or become involved in our city government. That's a positive step in the right direction. A city government that involves and encourages it's citizens to participate is what the city of Bradenton Beach desperately needs.

Don L Stratton, Ph.D.
Bradenton Beach



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