Commissioners respond to pier criticism

Anna Maria Pier criticism
From left, the Anna Maria City Commission that consists of Carol Carter, Brian Seymour, Doug Copeland, Dale Woodland and Amy Tripp has been criticized for some of its pier decisions. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – Some Anna Maria Commissioners are becoming frustrated with the social media criticism levied at them regarding the pending demolition and replacement of the city pier.

During the June 14 commission meeting, some commissioners commented on online criticisms posted at The Sun’s Facebook page in response to recent pier stories.

“How do you know they’re real and authentic? You could have a bunch of cranks making up hurtful things, and it doesn’t help anything,” Commissioner Amy Tripp said.

“It’s bordering on the line of slander too, calling into question everyone up here’s character and saying that we’re taking bribes, the mayor’s lining his pockets and we should all be removed from office.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of it. Nobody shows up for our pier meetings, but yet all these keyboard warriors are making some pretty wild accusations. Pull up their profile and they’re in South Dubuque, Iowa and have nothing to do with this city,” Commissioner Brian Seymour said.

“I get it, the decisions we make are up for public scrutiny,” he noted.

“We’ve put a lot of extra time into this pier, and none of us wanted the storm to damage it. None of us wanted to find out from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that it’s never been permitted for 50-60 years, and none of us wanted to find out that we’re (the Army Corps) not going to let you rebuild that pier the way it is. You can put some Band-aids and lipstick and a couple of nails in it and open it back up – that’s not the case,” Seymour said.

Commissioner Carol Carter agreed and said, “I think one of the points Brian made is certainly worth reinforcing. The fact of the matter is that over 40 years, things were done on that pier that were never permitted. If we were to go back and just fix up the pier we would be in for huge amounts of fines because we never drew permits on all the upgrades and repairs that were made on that pier. That’s something most people have no idea about.”

“People will see progress and hopefully that will change the narrative,” Seymour concluded.

Mayor Dan Murphy did not attend the June 14 meeting and was unavailable for comment last week.

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