Just after I posted yesterday’s “Getting Real,” Barry Gibson, a city commission candidate, popped into view. He again said he enjoyed receiving and reading my emails, and, at my invitation, he read that one over my shoulder on my laptop. I told him I had voted for him. He said people would vote for me because they didn’t want to vote for Morgan or Jimmy. I said I hoped they voted for me because they liked what I was saying. He said some would, but others would vote for me for the reason he said.
Barry works in the heart of Key West, knows its pulse. We agreed that all of Key West is important, but we also agreed how important Duval and Whitehead Streets and Mallory Pier are to the life of Key West. Without them, the City would not be able to look after the rest of the City. Without the economic engine Duval and Whitehead Streets and Mallory Pier are, Key West would be like a car with out an engine; pretty, but it wouldn’t go anywhere. Translated, if you want to turn Key West into a pretty car without an engine, turn Duval and Whitehead Streets and Mallory Peir into something more like the rest of Key West. Say, North Roosevelt. Say, New Town. Say, hmmm, a place people who go to Disney World also would like to take in before going back to wherever it is they live.
This morning, I read former City Commissioner Tom Oosterhoudt’s editorial in Conch Color, which he edits and publishes. He blasts anti-developer folks, ahem, I take a bow. He says we would not have money for affordable housing, but for what we make off what developers build. Sunset Key was given as a good example of not costing the City anything but pouring a great deal of money into its coffers. Hmmm, where is the affordable housing the City is building, thanks to Sunset Key? Or Truman Annex? Hmmm, I wonder what would it be like if, instead of over fifty multi-million dollar residencies now being on Sunset Key, according to what Tom wrote, there now were, hmmm, three hundred rental affordable housing units out there, all paying rent to the City Housing Authority? I wonder if, hmmm, instead of the how many I don’t know posh residences now in Truman Annex, what would it be like if there now were, hmmm, eight hundred affordable housing units in there, all paying rent to the City Housing Authority? Affordable by, hmmm, wait persons, dock workers, deck hands, yard workers, construction crews, school teachers, police officers, fire fighters, nurses, city office employees, hotel, motel and innkeeper employees, city employees, nurses, med-tech workers, taxi drivers? I wonder where the Key West City Commission was when Truman Annex and Sunset Key came to be? In the Cayman Islands? On Maui? At Aspen?
Now the City Commission wants to hand over four more acres of land to another developer, at the behest of Florida Keys Assisted Living Facility Coalition? You should hear the bleeding-heart radio ads being run by that outfit, to foster yet another Key West dead-giveaway. No, instead, you should find a copy of yesterday’s Key West Citizen and read the letter to the editor from someone other than me, explaining very clearly that Key West needs affordable housing a lot more than it needs housing for a few Key West elders and even more elders from up the Keys. Yeah, you really should read that letter to the editor before you pull the lever in favor of FKALFC’s referendum. Unless you already pulled the lever in favor of it. In which case, perhaps you need to get a good book on Economics 101 and read it a few times. Or better still, read the deal between the City and the Navy, and see where in it the deal gives the city any authority to give four acres of land to a private developer for ninety-nine years, for one dollar. From what I can tell, it’s not there, but the Navy gave it a yay, and then the City Commission voted to put the referendum on the ballot anyway, and even Barry Gibson said at one of the candidate forums that he was in favor of it.
I hope Barry, and whoever else ends up on the City Commission this time around, and the commissioners not running this time around, will take a long step back and scratch their noggins and ask just what is it about Key West that causes her to repeatedly want to give even more of herself away, instead of using what’s left of herself to provide for her people who really need her help?
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posted to Today’s Cock-a-doodle-doo page of goodmorningkeywest.com