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Editorial Letters – Week ending January 25, 2019

Longboat Key News encourages Letters to the Editor on timely issues. Please email to: letters@lbknews.com or mail to PO Box 8001, Longboat Key, FL 34228. We also print letters sent to Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Barrier Island Traffic Study (BITS)

To: FDOT Planning Manager Bessie Reina

I am increasingly concerned with the apparent lack of activity with respect to the BITS, even since our meeting with you and the FDOT staff here in Longboat Key on December 3rd. As you know , the last meetings of the Steering Committee and the Technical  Working group for the BITS were held on June 8th and June 20th, respectively, and we are still awaiting the scheduling for the next meetings. Importantly, we are beginning to experience the peak traffic season, and may well be  missing the opportunity to timely implement some of the short term traffic mitigation recommendations contained in the current BITS  draft. I suggest we need to revive the sense of urgency in order for the BITS to achieve its short and long term traffic remediation objectives for the barrier islands. Do not hesitate to advise how we can help you to do so.

Jack Daly

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Barrier Island Traffic Study (BITS)

To: Commissioner Jack Daly

At our December 3rd meeting we spoke about re-scoping for Phase 3 based on the feedback provided by the steering committee and staff. We discussed elements of the re-scoping such as increasing the amount of one-on-one meetings and purchasing Air Sage data to help with our formulation of strategies. We also agreed to have the re-scoping done in March. Once the re-scoping is done, a top priority is to plan for the next committee meetings and get them on everyone’s calendars.

Thank you for sharing your concerns about the sense of urgency surrounding this study. We are working on improving our public engagement approach with this rescoping. I will revisit what I can do in the near term to keep this study on everyone’s radar.

Bessie Reina

Planning Manager

Florida Department of Transportation

 

Barrier Island Traffic Study (BITS)

To: FDOT Planning Manager Bessie Reina

Thank you, Bessie for your prompt response, which helpfully (and publicly) expands upon on our Dec 3rd discussions. In part, my comments were prompted by input I have received from residents; who obviously are influenced by the increasing seasonal traffic, and the pause in public engagement in the study that you referred to. I especially appreciate and endorse your intentions with respect to more one on one meetings, as well to improve public engagement during the re- scoping and third phase of the BITS. Both will be essential to achieving the traffic mitigation objectives of the study. Again let me know if I can help in any way.

Jack Daly

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Flags in the right-of-way

To: Town Commission

Commissioners, FYI. I have received a couple of questions regarding the current flagging/locator work going on along GMD. These are not associated with the Town’s undergrounding project.  See update below.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

GMD: Flags in the right-of-way

To: Town Manager Tom Harmer

Just wanted to follow up: Many of the utility locates currently showing up in the Gulf of Mexico Drive (“GMD”) right-of-way are not part of the Town underground project, but are the result of a private provider project (Verizon through a group named MCI Metro Access) being permitted through FDOT.  We have been coordinating with both FDOT and the Verizon construction engineer, Black and Veatch, about their work along GMD.  They were intending to be under construction by now but are a little behind schedule. As we get more information, we can send to you.

Isaac Brownman

Director Public Works, Longboat Key

 

100 Mayors for Early Childhood

To: Mayor George Spoll

I am reaching out to you today to support our 100 mayors campaign, below is more information. I have also attached the actual letter that will be sent to the governor and a policy timeline on early childhood. If you have any questions, please do let us know. I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

The Children’s Movement of Florida is asking 100 mayors to sign on to a letter indicating unified support for state’s investment in early childhood. As you already know, prioritizing early childhood development is a wise investment in Florida’s future prosperity, one with an impact on 3rd and 10th-grade reading scores, high school graduation rates, future employment prospects, and the military. In Florida, we have made significant progress in early childhood investment in the past 20 years (see attached timeline), yet much more remains to be done.

We believe we are better when we work together and all we ask of you is for your signature. One signature may not seem that substantial, but when combined with the support of the chief elected official of 99 other cities and counties it will send a powerful message. As an advocate for early childhood in your community, we hope you will join us in signing this letter urging Governor DeSantis to make early childhood a priority.

Masi Faroqui

 

Children’s Movement of Florida

Ringling ACE Project Update

To: Mayor George Spoll

FYI- as we discussed I received a request from Larry Thompson’s Office to schedule his presentation before the Commission on Tuesday at 3pm.  We originally put it on the agenda as the first item of business after public comment and committee reports.  They indicated there is a meeting around lunch time that he was attending and he didn’t want to be late for the 1pm start of the meeting if his update was first on the agenda.  I let them know that our meeting has several other items on it and that we would likely go past 3 p.m. and we should be able to hold off on his item until he arrives.  We can mention this at the beginning of the workshop on Tuesday and I would recommend that we move it to 3 p.m. with the understanding that we will fit it in as appropriate with the other items depending where we are at on the agenda at 3 p.m.    

I have received a questions from a member of the Foundation on what time Ringling would be presenting their update. I will reach out to them to let them know that Ringling has requested a 3 p.m. timeframe.

Thomas Harmer

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

Ringling ACE Project Update

To: Town Manager Tom Harmer

Tuesday looks like a long day and 3 p.m. for Larry should be no problem.   

Ed Zunz

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

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