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Support for Berger and Marks

By Staff | Dec 31, 2008

To the editor,

The appointees who serve on the Sanibel Planning Commission are of extreme importance to the future of our uniquely protected island. Due to contention over 86-43, Sanibel is standing at a dangerous crossroads.

It is rumored that a small group hope to get control of the Planning Commission so they can seriously modify or do away with 86-43. If those few opposed to 86-43 succeed, it will open the door to the kind of oversized development that is presently destroying the ambience, rhythm and harmony of Captiva Island. Sanibel, without 86-43, could turn into the next Marco Island and this precious piece of paradise would be forever destroyed.

America’s McMansion real estate bubble, according to megabuilder Bob Toll, CEO of Toll Brothers, has been basically based on greed (Conde Nast Portfolio, October 2008). Greed and oversized trophy houses have no place on a barrier sanctuary island like Sanibel, especially in a time of global warming and rising seas.

Two excellent commissioners, presently members of the Sanibel Planning Commission, will either be reappointed or replaced by the Sanibel City Council this January 6. David Berger and Phil Marks, both retired MD’s, have proven they are seriously committed to preserving the environment and following the Sanibel’s Vision Statement. These two good men are proven commissioners who have consistently supported fair and equitable permitting. Those of us who believe in Sanibel’s commitment to the environment owe a great deal to Drs. Berger and Marks for their courageous and intelligent actions.

It is extremely important to appoint commissioners who are independent of outside pressures and who are deeply committed to what our island’s foremothers and fathers dedicated themselves to preserve. Every resident of Sanibel — who believes in the Sanibel Vision Statement — needs to encourage our five elected city council members to re-appoint David Berger and Phil Marks. Never have two planning commision appointments been more important to those of us who are dedicated to “Keeping Sanibel Sanibel.”

Sandy McCartney Ehlers and Tom Ehlers