Potent Politics: Trolley not a necessity on LBK

While Dan Dowd may think the trolley is not a necessity, resident Michael Lendrihas says it's an integral part of serving the transportation needs of the community. He sported this sign at this week’s Town Commission workshop to make his point.

Contributing Columnist

I have given a great deal of thought to the efficacy of the trolley service on Longboat Key. I find there isn’t a necessity to have transit service on the key, especially if Longboat would have to contribute funds to have this deeply-in-the-red activity limp on.

We are told by some commissioners that the service is important. I’d like to know, important for whom? We are told laborers use the service to come to work on Longboat. Stop and think back a couple of years, prior to the advent of the trolley. Longboat was the home of the Holiday Inn, the Colony, the Inn on the Beach and 22 restaurants. All those businesses had employees come to work from off the key without the trolley.

Now we don’t have the Holiday Inn and we don’t have the Colony and the number of restaurants has diminished markedly. The need for workers to come from off the key has decreased. The labor supply arrived without the trolley in the past, and the lesser number will continue to arrive without the trolley. That is a certainty.

As for tourist use of the trolley, that is nonsense. The vast majority of tourists have automobiles at their disposal, either ownership or rental. The use of the Longboat Key trolley does not and cannot depend upon tourists. Ridership is so small now, and tourism is a very minuscule part of the ridership.

One woman has fought for the continuation of the trolley. I understand her plight and am sorry for it. However, the town cannot afford to run a trolley at a huge loss of money for one woman or one family. The cost of three months of trolley service for the remainder of this year is in the area of $70,000. It is an expense I will accept from the county’s coffers (Sarasota and Manatee), but assuredly not from the town of Longboat Key.

The town of Longboat Key is not in the business of losing money to assuage the plight of an infinitesimal few. Commissioners must remember they represent every citizen, not just a few.

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8 Responses for “Potent Politics: Trolley not a necessity on LBK”

  1. William Kary says:

    My ability to “retire” at 40 is probably envious in your world. Taxes, I’m confused as I probably fall in the 5% rule on the Island. Face it “George” or is “Georgie”? To “assume” that I am “left wing” does nothing more that reinforce your “BIGORTY”. Maybe the next time you can afford to dine on LBK, think about washing your own dishes as it may come to that in your”perfect dysfunctional world”. As for 11.02.10 I sincerely hope the BIGOTS come out and vote, but based on research you won’t be there…

  2. George McFarland says:

    Some of us, those that work and pay taxes, are tired of entitlements such as the Trolly that runs up and down Longboat, empty except for the precious few like you, Mr. Kary and the “housekeepers”(illegals) that use it at 8AM and 4PM to get on and off the Island. To call them “illegals” which are what people are without proper credentials to be here; makes you left wing nuts call us, who voice our disapproval, BIGOTS in your mind.November 2nd is around the corner and we will see how many BIGOTS do come out and vote and throw all of your left wing liberal friends out of office.

  3. William Kary says:

    Mr. McFarland take off those rose colored glasses. The “illegals” runs down the line of BIGOT. Maybe you need to take the Trolley off the Island. You don’t exist anyway…

  4. Georgie McFarland says:

    Neither trolley or bus is occupied; most of the trips are empty except when you Mr. Kary are on board. I guess it’s your own private Limousine. Perhaps it should run at 8:00AM and 4PM to take all the illegals on and off the Island.

  5. William Kary says:

    Mr. Haleski and or Mr McFarland: Can either of you point out the difference in the mode of transportation? A trolley and a bus? We do not have both on the Island. When a trolley is down they just run a bus in its place. @ Mr. Jaleski, we use it quite frequently and are residents of LBK who in fact have much to do. Unlike residents, we ride the trolley, uae our scooters and make every attempt to reduce our carbon footprint. @ Mr. Jaleski, how does an individual losing an individual residence relate to a bus / trolley system?

  6. Georgie McFarland says:

    I agree Mr. Jaleski. I’m just pointing out the absurdity of this column.

  7. Gene Jaleski says:

    Mr. McFarland, honestly have you ever been on the trolley? The trolley is a once in a lifetime experience for an adventurous few residents with nothing better to do. At a time when people are losing their homes on this island we do not need to be spending money on window dressing. We have bus service for our workers.

  8. Georgie McFarland says:

    Dan Dowd has no use for the trolley as he does not live here or even exist.

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