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Keep Sanibel Sanibel

By Staff | Nov 11, 2015

To the editor:

Should John Raffensperger be the only one to shout out that the emperor has no clothes?

Beginning with the Doc Ford hearing, he has not hesitated to do so. Aside from the merits of the Doc Ford application and subsequent grant, it was clear on the day in which the public comments and the decision to approve the application occurred in a rapid succession that the overwhelming majority of the Sanibel public was against approval of the application.

The grant may be perfectly legal, but was it in the best interests of our residents?

Respect for the voting citizens of Sanibel would have suggested to the members of the Planning Commission not to appear so eager to rush to judgement, giving the appearance of a preplanned fait accompli, but for one or more of the Commission members to have said, “given the overwhelming opposition of the people of Sanibel to this application, let’s extend these hearings so that we may explain more fully to the public the reasons for our decisions and how e believe it is good for our community.”

Not a single member of the Planning Commission – nor for that matter, the City Council – did so.

It would appear that the voices of the people – our voices – have been rejected by our officials. Dr. Raffensperger has subsequently made the point that Sanibel’s leaders have incrementally been moving Sanibel away from a residentially-oriented community to an increasingly miniature copy of other cities that put the profit interests of developers and commercial establishments above the environmental and lifestyle interests of the city’s residents.

A decade ago the voters of Sanibel reacted against a similar trend by voting in new Council members dedicated to “Keeping Sanibel Sanibel.”

Perhaps it is time to do so again. With John Raffensperger as a candidate.

Robert Hilliard

Sanibel