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COTI membership renewal…a pass

By Staff | Jan 20, 2016

To the editor:

I have always renewed my COTI membership in the hope that COTI really will help protect Sanibel’s sanctuary character.

This year I will save the 35 bucks. COTI continues to be ruled by a self-perpetuating board that ignores the membership.

This past year the board endorsed a candidate for the city council without polling the membership. The board does not allow members to speak at the annual meeting.

The board ignored allegations regarding Mayor Ruane’s expense account, but with no membership input made him the “man of the year.” Despite a massive citizen protest COTI did not weigh in on the new Doc Ford’s restaurant.

COTI is a part of the tourist industry/business oriented Traffic Communications Workgroup, but has made no effort to obtain recommendations from members.

The board sends out a list of their nominees for the next board and asks for nominees, but without a list of members, it is impossible to suggest new blood for the board.

COTI’s claims to good works include the creation of architectural standards for the resorts, but instead of enforcing building codes, the new rules allow the resorts to re-develop in non-compliance with existing codes.

Even more dangerous, COTI supported an amendment that will allow weakening of land codes that would allow sensitive city lands to be sold with voter approval.

The way elections go on Sanibel, it is perfectly possible for the tourist industry and business to influence the public to sell public property to developers.

Folks, don’t waste 35 bucks on this lapdog of the city council and the chamber of commerce.

John Raffensperger MD

Sanibel