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- United States Senator
No annexation, no incorporation of Siesta
After reading the paper Jan. 10, I’m asking Sarasota Mayor Erik Arroyo to drop his proposal to discuss annexation of Siesta Key (“Sarasota City Commission to discuss idea of annexing Siesta Key at Jan. 18 meeting”).
On Jan. 4, Sarasota County’s legislative delegation failed to support a vote on incorporation of the Key.
We residents feel these measures are a little too late. Several hotels have already been approved. Neither annexation by the city nor incorporation would solve the major problem: traffic.
Furthermore, we have excellent services here and do not want incorporation or annexation, which would absolutely cause higher taxes, among other problems.
The Sarasota city commissioners should focus on Sarasota’s homeless issues and leave Siesta Key as it is.
Lynne Croshier, Siesta Key
Politicians should listen to the people
I was disappointed to hear that Siesta Key won’t be allowed to vote to incorporate (“Siesta Key incorporation dies,” Jan. 5).
Not only will residents be unable to protect their quality of life, but this issue is emblematic of bigger problems in our area and in the state. The wishes of the people aren’t taking precedence.
The people want responsible development and less traffic. We want the environment to be protected so seagrass isn’t dying, causing record numbers of manatee deaths. We don’t want gopher tortoises, whose burrows provide homes for numerous species, to take a back seat to developers.
The people want our water sources protected, and we don’t want businesses like Mosaic being allowed to expand so they can continue to mismanage their toxic wastewater and pollute our waterways. We certainly don’t want their radioactive discharge injected into deep water wells.
Time and time again, our public officials promote policies that allow developers and businesses to run roughshod over their constituents.
But enough is enough: It’s time to vote out the politicians who’ve been in office too long and vote for new officials who will honor the wishes of the people. Please follow what is happening at the local and state level and consider running for office if you want to remedy the situation.
Laraine Bortner, Venice
Columnist a know-it-all about COVID
Fabiola Santiago’s Jan. 7 column is disturbing on many levels (“Rubio’s COVID falsehoods put Floridians at risk”). She presumes she knows everything about COVID and Sen. Marco Rubio knows nothing, while accusing him of being irresponsible.
Imagine if Ms. Santiago picked up the phone, called Mr. Rubio, they discussed their differences and she then wrote a column. That would be a far more informative column, still based on their opinions but much more balanced and maybe even valuable.
The public is tired of these self-aggrandizing op-eds denigrating opposition party members. Pick up the phone and try comity. Good grief.
P.S. This applies to Russ Feingold, too, in regard to the statistical distortions in his column the same day (“Biden’s judicial picks reflect nation’s diversity”). Come on, man, please.
Brian C. Jones, Port Charlotte
Republicans pushing U.S. toward fascism
Republican writers are always criticizing the left for supposedly promoting socialism. I wonder how many have actually looked up the definition.
What I would like to know is why those who are so against socialism are willing to see our democracy fail and be replaced by a dictator and fascism, which is currently being promoted by the Republican Party.
The right is responsible for the Jan. 6 attempt to overthrow our democracy. Those who fail to acknowledge this attempt are complicit. What is their excuse?
And, for those who are crying fraud with regard to the 2020 election, why is it that four people arrested recently on charges they voted more than once live in The Villages, a predominantly Republican enclave. Three of them are registered Republicans.
Ann Rubin-Hentschel, Lakewood Ranch
Don’t let GOP politicize education
State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, wants to legislate that all school board races in Florida become partisan (“Florida lawmakers look to make school board candidates run as either Democrats or Republicans,” Dec. 1).
He follows the effort of Donald Trump, his party’s national leader, to politicize everything possible, including cultural trends or issues - even religion - in its quest to gain more power.
If school boards become more political, in a red state, schools could become another source of campaign income and control where conservatives could indoctrinate children in their right-wing conservative ideology.
Do Florida voters want their kids to be educated in this narrow way? Or are students better served by free exposure to both liberal and conservative principles?
Jim Beck Sr., Sarasota
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Annexing Siesta Key not worth discussing, columnist a know-it-all