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My mea culpas

By Staff | Jan 15, 2009

To the editor,

My Letter to the Editor of Jan. 8 was partially in response to Larry Schopp’s letter of Dec. 18, 2008. In my letter, I mistakenly identified Mr. Schopp four times as the Chairman of the Sanibel Planning Commission. His proper identity was and is Chair, Land Use Planning Committee – Committee of the Island. (COTI) I apologize to all of the Island Reporter readers for this error, and particularly to Mr. Schopp. I also apologize to Mike Valiquette for depriving him of his Chairmanship of the Planning Commission for that short period.

I have had phone conversations with Larry and Mike, and despite my snafu, we are now on a first-name basis. Larry said he didn’t mind being identified as Chair of the Planning Commission for a brief time. Mike’s reaction to losing his position for the comparable time was that it gave him time to refresh his thought.

I would like to specifically correct the thought that Larry could not properly announce his position on a subject prior to chairing a PC meeting that asks for public comment. Hoping to prevent any further confusion and repeating, Larry does not presently serve as Chair of PC. It is generally understood that one may have an opinion on a matter and still serve as a fair arbiter in an open meeting involving differing opinions.

In my conversations with Larry, I revealed that in the original draft of my Jan. 8 letter, I wrote that I agreed with many of the positions taken by COTI. Why did I remove this, who knows? Maybe, as Flip Wilson said, “The devil made me do it.” I acknowledge it would have been best to have left the comment in. I do, however, remain adamantly opposed to Sec. 86-43 and its resulting implications.

I have been advised by a Planning Commission member that Sec. 86-43 was originally passed in 1985, not 1990.

To complete my mea culpas, the Planning Commission’s next meeting [was] Jan. 13, not Jan. 20. This will be of little help as you will read this correction after the meeting has occurred.

Dale Armstrong

Sanibel