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Cast my vote for experience

By Staff | Feb 18, 2009

To the editor,

I was on the COTI Board for six years and I was President of COTI for two terms. It was during my second term as President that I led the charge to have the Charter Amendments passed by a Citizen’s referendum. These Charter Amendments went a long way in ensuring that Sanibel we know today will be the Sanibel of tomorrow.

The COTI candidates are still using this issue as their most important campaign citing overdevelopment as a major issue. It certainly was our issue four years ago before the Sanibel voter passed the Charter Amendments. They are still issues but quite secondary to the two major problems facing Sanibel today.

Like our country, the financials of our City are unclear and quite concerning. I think the current Council did an outstanding job in putting together our 2009 budget. The Council reduced the millage rate and taxes, increased the reserves and received a $1.9 million grant from the TDC, to mention a few of their accomplishments. I think the 2010 budget, due to continuing reduced tax revenues, will be a far more difficult challenge for the City Council. We will need seasoned people on the Council to tackle our financial problems. This is not the time for training council members on City financials or trying to teach Financial 101.

Of course, the other potential major problem is the quality of our water and the condition of our beaches. Is there any person but Mick Denham that you would want to be leading the fight on behalf of the City of Sanibel? If we lose water quality and our beaches, we lose tourism, renters, potential home buyers, business shutting down, etc.

I think my message to the voter is that it is not the time to bring on a new inexperienced team as the problems that are in front of us could be severe if they are not managed effectively by the sitting City Council.

I have decided to cast my vote for experience, which I feel is needed in the near future for our beautiful Island. I will vote for Denham, Harrity and Ruane.

Tom Gilhooley