As a year-round resident of FMB, I was disheartened by Vice-Mayor Stockton’s comments at the October 3rd workshop (Island Sand Paper, October 7, 2016 issue) regarding developers and the Land Development Code (LDC).
Her reference to developers as “greedy vultures prostituting our island” is rude, uncivil and falls well beneath the ideals and integrity of this town and the others who represent it on the Town Council, not to mention the office she currently holds.
I understand that there are those individuals who want to stick their head in the sand and keep things the way they are, and always have been, but this is shortsighted and not fruitful as we as a community need to look forward to successfully deal with issues and development.
New home construction and remodeling is a market driven industry. Builders and developers provide services as demanded by the market (and their customers). By pigeonholing all developers as “vultures,” you do a disservice to all the hard working individuals who dedicate their lives to provide nice homes for us all to live in. As a business owner yourself, you should be ashamed.
A simple lesson in economics will tell you that development and the building of these larger homes increases our tax base. This is important in keeping down our property taxes as the ever-increasing cost of services (and maintaining an aging infrastructure) would result in a soaring millage rate if born by a fixed base. As we have many resident retirees and those living on fixed income, an ever-increasing millage rate would drive out those individuals by making property taxes unaffordable.
Additionally, a majority of these “gargantuan shoeboxes,” as you called them, are owned by seasonal residents who financially contribute to our coffers while utilizing significantly fewer Town services.
Ms. Stockton, I believe you owe us all an apology for your short-sightedness and/or lack of civility, but in this election season when it seems that anyone has a right to unapologetically say anything offensive, I’m not holding my breath waiting.
Fort Myers Beach