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Have pity

By Staff | Jun 17, 2015

To the editor:

You had to feel sorry for the pitiful city council during the June 1 workshop on traffic. They were caught between angry taxpaying citizens who might throw them out at the next election, and their supporters — the chamber of commerce, the tourist industry and the business community — who want more and ever more tourists.

They got by, as politicians always do, by appearing to be seriously concerned, but really doing nothing but “talk about what we are going to talk about.”

Mr. Ruane started by saying that increasing bridge tolls for nonresidents was up to Lee County. Do you remember when the council members were running for office? They all claimed they could work with the county officials. Mr. Ruane then repeated, over and over again, like a mantra, “technology, science, behavior modification,” without providing any specifics. Mr. Denham thinks going round and round on roundabouts will solve the problem. Mr. Goss, for all his government expertise, would leave it to experts, and Mr. Jennings said something which I couldn’t understand. Mr. Harrity said, “Live with it.” His eyes glistened with dollar signs because those day-trippers who can’t find a parking spot at the beach might drown their sorrows in rum and even buy a Doc Ford’s T-shirt.

If the council is serious about traffic, and if they can’t deal with the Lee County commissioners, let them organize a delegation of Sanibel citizens to plead our case directly with the county. After all, we pay county taxes. Next, require advance reservations and payment for beach parking and deny permits for events such as the shell and arts and crafts fairs. These events would be more successful in downtown Fort Myers or the Lee County convention center.

Yes, technology might help, in the form of large electronic signs at John Morris, saying “Sanibel is full.”

John Raffensperger

Sanibel Island