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Pay for the mayor?

By Staff | Oct 22, 2014

To the editor:

There have been a couple of articles in the paper about how our elected officials are fast becoming impoverished because they spend their own money on travel for the good of us people.

It is eight years but it seems like only yesterday when the mayor came before a COTI (Committee of the Islands) meeting claiming that he had left a million-dollar business to devote his life to serving the business interests of Sanibel. He promised fiscal responsibility, to reduce taxes and, most of all, he would relieve the poor downtrodden Sanibel business people of all those onerous environmental rules and regulations. It was just terrible how a tree with a bird’s nest or a gopher tortoise hole could stop the engines of commerce. He complained that the resorts and hotels were literally falling apart because of restrictions on room size and height. He didn’t ask why the owners hadn’t put some of their profits into maintenance. It was terrible how the tourists were being harassed by alligators and snakes. Not only that, the nights are so dark on Sanibel that the tourists can hardly find their way to the nearest saloon.

Now, after eight years, the elected (and non-elected) salesmen (rum, diamond rings, real estate, insurance) at city hall have made it easier to build much needed coffeeshops; the bikelanes are wider and more numerous so more tourists can ride pedways. It was only when the resort owners complained that their customers had sore throats and didn’t like the smell of algae on the beach, that the mayor and his buddies even learned how to spell ‘environment.’

Instead of outright banning all fertilizer on the island, they covered themselves with glory by passing a few silly rules that control fertilizer when it rains.

Here is a suggestion. Instead of paying the mayor and his salesmen cronies (rum, real estate, diamond rings, insurance), let them all resign, give up expensive public service and give Sanibel back to the taxpaying citizens who are here because we love the environment and all those trees with nests and the gopher holes.

Let the mayor go back to renting big machines that dig holes in the ground, but not on Sanibel.

John Raffensperger

Sanibel Island