The recent bombshell by the state delegation to undermine Island height restrictions, and potentially to dissolve the Island cities, reminds me of when I was younger. Two headstrong, spoiled children would get into an argument over something on the playground for which neither was willing to compromise. Then one would go to their big brother and, without all the facts and, being one not to consider other outcomes, the brother jumps in and tries to settle the argument. All should have been taught better about sitting down and discussing things to produce a better outcome.
The implementation of the parking plan most certainly could have been handled in a much better way; this was mentioned by many at the time. Plus, we have very limited, finite land. Simple math can tell you that this Island cannot accommodate all the taxpayers, all the people out of the county, out of the state and out of the country who desire to use the beach.
Now that it has come to a head with Big Brother weighing in and wanting to take over everything, the problem has become worse for all three cities.
The city now needs the residents in this fight. I know from attending almost every commission meeting for eight years that there is irony in that Holmes Beach rarely listens to residents’ positive viable suggestions towards problem resolution. The city has sometimes even made the residents out to be the aggressors, offenders or violators, and would even target, taunt or treat them with less than civility. Now the city wants residents to come to their defense.
No matter how this turns out, no one is going to feel like a winner, and there will be many losers. Hopefully, we will keep our cities, and some will finally realize we only have so much space.
To the county and state, please apply the math to your parking expectations and curb your advertising. To the city, county and state, please have greater respect for neighborhoods, communities and residents. Residents are getting caught in the crossfire.