Be ready to face challenges to GICIA

November 3, 2017
By Marcy Shortuse

To the Editor:
Susan Hanafee has done our island a great favor by researching and describing for us the tortured history of the Gasparilla Island Act. I hope our residents have taken the time to read her articles, because too many of us will tell you that our island is protected by the Act so we can be confident that it will never change.
As someone who ran a lobbying office in Washington for 13 years, I can assure you that anything accomplished through legislation can be nullified through legislation. It just takes money, organization and time.
The GICIA has a lobbyist in Tallahassee to watch for threats to the Act. They will be coming; the articles make that clear.
We see the island as a tranquil hamlet of old Florida charm; others look at it and see opportunity. Our island will change and already is changing, because nothing in life remains static, but we can retard and control change as Marcy Shortuse points out in her June 16 column.
The GICIA should look at steps that can be taken now toward that end, and residents need to be ready to help when the challenges come.
Hal Russell
Boca Grande