Potent Politics: Commission ratings are in

Contributing Columnist

I apologize for not having written the last few weeks. My reason is the total disenchantment with the existing Town Commission. What is wrong with them? Have they no regard for the community they serve? Apparently not! With that in mind, I will attempt to analyze the machinations of our town legislative body.

First, the trolley, the riderless trolley, to which our Town Commission voted 6-1 to donate the sum of $40,000. Bad enough the two counties in question donated more than $300,000 for the very same riderless trolley. Is money so available that it is used to satisfy one or two individuals? There has to be a better use for funds amounting to almost a half million dollars. One commissioner spoke about marketing the use of the trolley. Perhaps that will result in three passengers per ride, rather than one or two. What a waste of money!

I’d like to write about the adoption of the Vision Plan. Again, a 6-1 positive vote from the commission with one dissension, who, I believe, is the same voter that opposed to the trolley scam. In any event, adoption of the Vision Plan will serve no purpose whatsoever, since it is just ‘policy’ and not of ‘legal standing.’

The six commissioners who favored adoption of the Vision Plan obviously advocate extensive commercial development on our residential key. Upon examining the Vision Plan I read 11 statements mentioning business and/or commercial development. Do the six commissioners fancy Longboat Key as the hub of business activity, which is in disfavor of the vast majority of Longboat’s residents? I think most of the people living on Longboat are pleased with the businesses that already exist here. Those who live on the south end of the key accept, and rather like, riding into Sarasota for their errands. Those living on the northern half of the key rather approve of doing their chores in Bradenton and Anna Maria. There is nothing wrong with the status quo.

Perhaps this would be an opportune time for me to render my appraisal of the commissioners. Here goes, alphabetically, with 10 being excellent, 1 being terrible:

Dave Brenner: Too much talk; too business oriented. He has something to say about every subject, even though it might be of little consequence. He is one of the reasons that little is actually accomplished at meetings. There is evidence that attaches him at the hip to the Chamber of Commerce. Rating 6.

Jim Brown: Introduces every spoken word with an oral statement of his past history of architecture, design, development or any other subject. Generally, he does have positive answers to problems but modesty is not a strong point. Brown is here to stay; let’s hope unpretentiousness and moderation rules his demeanor in the future. Rating 7.

Lynn Larson: If more substance would emanate from her, she would be of some value on the commission. Rating 3.

Hal Lenobel: Experience is his strong point. He is never afraid to take a minority stance, as long as he believes he is right. I wish he would have more to say at the meetings. Rating 8.

Bob Siekmann: Not afraid to state his point of view. All legislative bodies should have a Siekmann on its frame. The only negative feature is the fact that he has too much to say. That, too, prolongs debate unnecessarily. Rating 8.

George Spoll: He has done well in the thankless job as mayor. His occasional problem with temper tantrums and vendettas, notwithstanding. He will be missed come March. Rating: 8-plus.

Phill Younger: His biggest problem is that he has a tendency to fly solo. He forgets that he is a member of a team and that his leader is, as always, the town manager. Some of his ideas are good, but some are too contentious. If he would not get as involved in every phase of town business as he does, his stature would be more beneficial. Rating 6.

That concludes my appraisal. I would like to know how the readers feel about the subject. Please email your opinions to me at dowd@lbknews.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Longboat Key News

Leave a Reply