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Bee in their bonnet?

By Staff | Jan 28, 2009

To the editor,

I read the Letters to the Editor in your Jan. 22 edition with great interest. I found the letter from Ms. Patty Sprankle to be of special interest.

Ms. Sprankle feels that a few Sanibel residents, those who would like to see Sanibel remain as is, to be “consistently cynical” as well as “self-appointed

watchdogs” for the community. Wow! I am impressed by this lady’s articulate verbiage. I do have a problem with the paragraph where she states that the subjects of her scorn “represent an obsolescence that we must get past in order to ensure that Sanibel will become remain a viable community attracting a constituency that will help us preserve and build our tax base.”

I believe Ms. Sprankle meant to delete one of the two words, “become” or “remain.” I wonder which. Is Sanibel to become a viable community or should it remain a viable community? Well, I guess it comes down to the question of whether or not Sanibel IS a viable community.

Current global economic problems aside, is Sanibel viable? Is it dying on the vine, as they say? How much more tax money do we need? Would people who visit here prefer another Marco? Or do they come here because Sanibel is different -more “natural” and more undisturbed? Ask some of the docents at the Historic Village, at “Ding” Darling, at SCCF. Are the businesses on the island in trouble – or are their owners still living in pretty decent homes and not buying repossessed used cars? Are folks who want to buy island property really concerned because they can’t figure out what they can build or not build? Or, given the guidelines in 86-43, are they aware of what they can and cannot get by with before they buy? So who’s got a problem with “obsolescence?” (Defined as: Out of date, archaic, old-fashioned) Who’s got the bee in their bonnet?

In today’s society, not all things old-fashioned are bad. And, as far as statements like “synergy between the environment and economics” and that “to protect our environment, our businesses must prosper as well” are pretty anemic. “Synergy” is defined as “a mutually advantageous conjunction.” Actually, the natural environment probably flourishes best when there is no “business” in the vicinity. Yes, everybody wants pure water. Let’s not be misled on that point. There’s a bit more to “environment” even here on a barrier island than just water.

Why can’t the candidates for Sanibel’s City Council level with us? Why can’t they commit to what their agenda really is? If you are in favor of towering

condo buildings on the beach, megamansions wherever and a four-lane road to handle the increased traffic, say so. If you are into the status quo and want to see Sanibel remain pretty much as is, pristine and “out of date” though it may be, you say so, too. And stick to it. If you can’t be forthright, don’t run. In this country, we are – supposedly – entering a new era of

transparency and honesty. Give the voters a truly informed choice. The only thing you have to answer to is your conscience and, of course, the aforementioned voters.

P. M. Malone