To the Editor:
After reading about complaints filed against our downtown merchants, I have a couple of theories about the Grinch that wants to steal the magic from the village. Somebody’s Blue nose is out of joint because, as we all read about, Beachfronters are blocking public access along the beach again. Apparently that “somebody” just had to retaliate. Their logic is, if you expose me I’m going to take something away from you. Or Lee County, as it often does, arbitrarily cited a single business in town. When the proprietor asked the simple question, “Why just me?” Lee County pulled the plug on everyone.
We learned from last week’s reporting that Lee County had granted the license to take away public rights to appease one person with a deed to a little piece of paradise. So once again the County has allowed a Gilchristian to plants in the right-of-way. If our County commissioners can be so generous to a single family on this island, they surely can grant the rest of us the right to sit on park benches and sip lattes with our besties.
I’ve said on these pages before, one of the most excellent benefits of living on this island is convenience. You could survive here on Gasparilla Island without ever leaving it. Run out of propane, need a bag of mulch? Just go over to The Barnichol, they’ll take care of you. Grocery carts in front of a grocery store, OMG, what have we come to? Our civilized way of life is definitely under siege.
Who on God’s green earth has ever complained about ice machines, especially when you live in subtropics? Especially during hurricane season? And the gas pump? What’s next, banning all tarpon replicas? Newspapers that serve the public for sale in public places? Name me one village, town or city in this country in this world that doesn’t have news boxes on sidewalks or thoroughfares.
If realtors want to sell T-shirts and hawk them in front of their home base, so be it. I know the last statement isn’t based in reality, but then again, neither are the complaints put together by the person who made the statement in the first place.
And I’ll go back to what I’ve said before on these pages. I don’t understand why the captains of industry and people successful in business, or those who benefit from your family’s fortune and can afford to live here, have such a grudge against other people trying to make a buck. It’s downright un-American.
Some of these complaints have already been forced on us, causing local businesses more hardship at the time of year that is hardest for them, monetarily.
Rules should apply to all of us, and privileges should not be doled out or enforced arbitrarily by the County commissioners who were elected to serve all of us. We the people have a right to face our accusers … not just go to lunch and discover our favorite table is gone.
One word to the commissioners: If the Gilchristians are allowed to plant pretty flowers to keep us off our right-of-ways, you can damn well honor those businesses that put up flower boxes for the people in an effort to beautify their surroundings – ALL of our surroundings – not just one lucky person that you have decided to bestow our tax dollars on. You owe us an explanation.
While writing this letter I stumbled on a bit of karma using my thesaurus. The word of the day popped up, nisus. It means, “… an effort or striving toward a particular goal or achievement; impulse.” The example given was “… the accumulation of wealth into a few hands is the nisus of all bad governments.” There was another quote using nisus in a sentence as an example – “… in Aristotle’s technological universe, every human being … has a kind of inner nisus toward a life of at least civic virtue.”
Let’s hope we all live by the second one.