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Public relations propaganda

By Staff | Nov 19, 2009

To the editor,

The Lee County Commissioners have used our tax money to pay a public relations firm to try to get more easements.

The so-called public relations kicked off in a newspaper article by trying to discredit property owners who have worked for free to provide facts and solution-oriented alternatives to the huge artificial beach plan. Reference to islanders as “activists” working on the basis of fear, is both an insult and a libel to the character of island residents and taxpayers who have studied the issue extensively and share the facts for informed decisions.

The public relations firm and the town are truly providing scare tactics by using a photo of a property on some unknown beach that has a pit in front of it. That is fear mongering! Steve Boutelle, Lee County Project Manager, and Jacqueline Keiser, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, have already stated that this will not happen on Estero Island as it is shallow and any gaps would fill in quickly.

These projects are not complicated… they all fail! Facts show that by December 2005, $2.74 billion dollars have been spent on these projects, with 26 percent gone in one year, 62 percent lasting two to five years, and only 12 percent lasting five years. The Bonita Beach and Lovers Key sand is already gone. They are now facing mandatory tax increases to pay for another wasteful project.

If you look at the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association Web site as the public relations firm encourages, be certain to look at the sponsor page. It is a long list of dredging companies and other special interests that earn their living out of the taxpayer’s pockets by doing these futile projects. They sponsor field trips, breakfasts, luncheons, notepads, flash drives, “first drinks,” receptions, bands and many other gifts to buy the favor of the beach association members who are supposed to be functioning in the best interest of the taxpayer.

The real ‘activists’ are the public relations firms and others who are paid to promote a perpetual program that provides no solutions.

Beware! Much more “public relations” propaganda will soon follow and we are all paying for it.

Joanne Shamp

Fort Myers Beach