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Twisted truths

By Staff | Aug 25, 2010

To the editor,

The legal arguments and opinions made by the City Attorney, Ken Cuyler, that were reported as the truth to the readers in an article last week in the Island Reporter are nothing more than twisted  truths and they need to be untangled and  straightened out. 

According to Mr. Cuyler, one of Mr. Maxwell’s claims is that Raintree Place is now considered a “road” because of Mr. Maxwell’s newly-discovered map. In my presentation and written materials with exhibits that were presented to the mayor and City Council on July 20, 2010 and thereafter, I never claimed that Raintree Place is now considered a road because of my discovery of the Official Sealed City of Sanibel Street Maps. 

Yes, Mr. Cuyler, the northwest prolongation portion of the roadway easement held by Rothschild/Fairman was ceded not vacated (as reported) to the Gombergs by Rothschild and Fairman in 2008 as result of an out of court settlement amongst the city, the Gombergs,and Rothschild/Fairman. Since the 2008 settlement, I have recognized and accepted and stated that fact in many forms of correspondence to Mr. Cuyler and the City Council.

The truth is that I made the following claim(s) from July of 2002 to the 2008 settlement and no time afterwards. According to city records, the legal descriptions in the deeds, the title documents and surveys of the Gomberg and Rothschild/Fairman properties, Raintree Place was considered to be an extended private roadway easement. 

My other claim during that period and to this date is that the City made a determination and approved without any basis in law or fact three different forms of a cul-de-sac that were on and/or adjacent to my property during 2002-2003 for the purpose(s) of not admitting that Raintree Place was an extended private roadway easement. The cul-de-sacs have never physically existed and do not physically exist today.

Mr. Cuyler wants the readers of his statements to believe as truth that I have claimed that I have legal standing and have a property interest in the use of that easement because of my map discovery. The truth is that I have never made such a claim.

The claims that I made to the City Council were that Mr. Cuyler wrote me and my attorney on April 8 and June 18 of 2010. In those letters, Mr. Cuyler wrote that there are no city documents that exist to support the inaccurate representation of the city’s development intensity maps that show Raintree Place to be an extended private roadway easement. Mr. Cuyler wrote on June 18 that Raintree Place was never regarded by the city at any time as a road.

The truth is that the city had in fact considered Raintree Place to be an extended private roadway easement without any form of a cul-de-sac as evidenced by the depiction of Raintree Place on the Official Sealed City of Sanibel Streets that were prepared in July of 1986 and revised in July of 1991 which I discovered on July 17, 2010. 

My claim also is that the city concealed, withheld and  did not comply with a public records request per F.S. 119 made by Lee County Sheriff’s Office during their criminal investigation in 2003-4 whereby they asked for the City to produce any and/or all sealed documents and/or drawings depicting Raintree Place. Also, the city failed to produce the maps to me when I requested such.

Mr. Cuyler’s assertion that “Mr. Maxwell’s newly-discovered map adds nothing to the arguments and the legal analysis and conclusion remain exactly the same” is not only a self serving statement but nothing than speculation on his part and it is also is so far from the truth.

If the city had produced and made public the Official City Street Maps the city could not have made up the cul-de-sac for the Gomberg variance hearing or the city could not have directed Gombergs’ surveyor to make up three different forms of a cul-de-sac in one year that were contrary to the legal description of the Gombergs’ deed and title documents and city records.

Moreover the existence of those maps certainly would have affected the behavior of city staff and the nature, course and outcome of the variance hearing and the investigation by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

So there you have the untwisted truths as to my claims and concerns about the actions of the city and certain city staff. It must be remembered that we the people are the guardians of our government and the government is not our guardian. 


Steve Maxwell