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12 Blind (and Deaf) Mice

By Staff | Aug 12, 2015

To the editor,

On Monday morning, Aug. 3, 12 members of the city council and the planning commission met to discuss Sanibel’s traffic gridlock.

The council met a couple of months ago, but in the interim, they did nothing to develop concrete solutions or even suggestions. Mr. Ruane again mentioned technology and public education but had no specific recommendations.

He did repeat in a soothing monotone, much of what he said at the last meeting; ‘need to look at alternative solutions’, ‘additional analysis’, ‘more data’, ‘educate the public’, ‘options to consider’, ‘technology’.

Mr. Denham said increased causeway tolls and signs might help, but he wasn’t sure and we mustn’t jump to conclusions.

Mr. Harrity sort of let the cat out of the bag when he mentioned technology as a way to increase flow, [into his restaurants].

Mr. Goss, who is in the business of finding ‘practical solutions’ and ‘cutting government red tape’ timidly mentioned changing the time of various island events such as the shell fair.

He did not go so far as to suggest moving these events off the island. Mr. Maughm said events like the shell fair are sacred to Sanibel.

Has he polled residents to see how many attend these events versus how the number of visitors who clog our roads?

The only positive suggestions came from the floor, when citizens were allowed to speak for three minutes. These were, make the big trucks deliver goods before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m., cut down on tourist advertising, move events off island and increase beach parking fees.

There was also a passionate plea to ‘do something’ so that emergency vehicles could move.

Members of the COTI board of directors including the president again behaving like lapdogs of the council and chamber of commerce congratulated the council for their efforts. COTI could have polled its members for suggestions.

Little or nothing will be done as long as members of the council and planning commission are in the business of selling goods and services.

After all, one of those visitors might buy a rum drink, [Harrity] real estate, [Smith] legal services, [Maughm], insurance, [Hedrick] or visit a tanning salon, [Ruane].

The cleverest thing about this entire fiasco was the timing. The meeting was held when many people are away, thus reducing citizen input and expressions of outrage at our do nothing city council.

John Raffensperger