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Election day on the Key

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

In the normal ebb and flow of municipal life on this Key the life of our Town includes the regular activities of government.  These count, among other things meetings and elections.  Normally elections are the high points of municipal life.  They so are here as in other places.

This year there is interest in an election – to be held in the two usual polling places, one in each of our counties.  Political activities by the usual groups and even some not so usual groups and organizations are underway.  You’ll see the signs and receive the mailings.  I wonder just what we are doing though.  Our emphasis may be misplaced – just my view.

Periodically we elect our Town Commissioners, as well as Presidents and Governors, among others on election day.  Quaint, eh?

Here on Longboat Key the Charter requires a vote of the people, of the electors, on any increase in “Density” in the Zoning Regulations.

This vote of the electors takes the form this year of a Referendum Question placed on the ballots by the Supervisors of Elections (each County’s at the request of the Town Commission.  This is thought to bring these questions close to the people.  Some call this the “California”

Method,  sending every issue up to the voters, instead of the legislative body.  Here Density Questions are so sensitive as to require the voters to decide these.  So it is.  The Town Charter must be reviewed at least each ten years; this is the year.  We’ll see if any action to change is proposed.

Referendum questions are normally added to the closest scheduled election.  In the current election scheduled for 2017 the normal importance of things may have been skewed.  There actually are four candidates for Town Commission running for two Commission seats. {Jaleski v. Brown and Grossman v. Daly}

I have seen candidate signs for one of those four candidates.  I see no advertising in either local newspaper, for any of these candidates.  This might change as the date approaches.

One of the referenda questions , the one concerning Density at the Colony, is the item drawing interest.  One might wonder if we here have our priorities straight.  Selection of our elected government might be thought by some to be the more important task in our Democracy.

A few months ago this Correspondent opined that we had seen our last election here on Longboat Key.  I was joined in that thought by several others.  I was wrong, and glad to admit it.  We should thank those four  Gentlemen for coming forward.  They get it.

Now I think I get it:  Home Rule gives our Town pre-eminence in  Planning, in land-use.  Some think this is where the action is, maybe even where the profit is.  I’ve never seen the profit idea to be operative here, but some think that.

So people spend lots of effort to win on a Density referendum, while even the four candidates for public office spend little or no effort to further their own candidacy.  It must just be a question of priorities.

Make up your own mind, but do vote in person or by mail AND do vote for the candidates of your choice.

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Longboat Key News

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