Your Island Sand Paper June 10th editorial, “Just A Mess”, was very appropriately titled. It was just another messy attempt to degrade Town Council members and to create tension between full time residents and those residents who live here part time and/or are property investors.
Your evaluation of a recent Council meeting was incongruent to say the least. When three members voted in agreement to terminate our town manager, you proposed that those three most certainly had violated the Sunshine Law and discussed town business outside of the posted meeting. Conversely, you said nothing of the other two members, who in agreement, voted against the termination. Yelling “corruption” contesting upon assumption is a typical “sour-grape” attitude and beneath your stature, I would hope.
Your comments regarding long-term residents versus newer residents were distasteful. Understandably, you haven’t lived here that long and may have some personal feelings. However, spreading paranoia is irresponsible.
Election laws were crafted to insure that those who make this their home have major control over their environment. Part time residents have a choice as to where they define their residency and are welcome to establish themselves here and partake in voting.
The odds of misleading readers with incomplete statistics are very high. True, 83% of our Town’s taxes are paid by non-voting property owners. Your statistics omitted that the vast majority of that 83% is being paid by a number of business entities sitting on some very valuable land.
Whether townspeople are angry over how the town is being run or just angry about a newspaper attempting to run a town, they all should take your advice. They have a voice and should use it! Use it wisely. Extreme options like a recall election or boycotting a newspaper’s advertisers could bring about some irrevocable unwanted results.
Fort Myers Beach
(Joe Stockton is the father of Fort Myers Beach Council Member Summer Stockton.)
Ed note: Based on 2015 data provided by the Lee County Property Appraiser, real property taxable value within the Town of Fort Myers Beach is composed of 73.9% non-homesteaded residential property, 16.4% homesteaded residential property and 9.7% commercial property. Anyone wishing to read the Editorial referenced above will find it at fortmyersbeach.news under Editor’s Desk.