An amiga up this way in the boondocks sat me down yesterday and tried to explain to me how I might win more people over to my perspectives, if I used . . . What was that word she kept trying to remember? Oh, yeah, after about two minutes it came to her – diplomacy. I said I know how to be diplomatic, but it isn’t any fun and is a close relative of politically correct, which is a terminal spiritual disease. When I tried to yank Jesus into my defense, she objected, said he knew his audience, knew how to speak to them. Yeah, like when he went into a church and kicked over all the tables. Real diplomatic, I quipped. Maybe they would have liked it better if he’d just shot them a bird.
I used that analogy, because it was the The Finger Candidate – District 2 post of the other day that had caused this amiga to sit me down and try to talk me into being diplomatic. Then, to my utter amazement, she said it was a really good post, she’d really liked it. But it just throws people off, she said, when I talk about giving people the finger and, in the next breath, bring God into my campaign. What could I say? Maybe God is fed up, wants somebody to be giving the finger, as God’s proxy? Probably not, but the thought did occur to me, I have to confess.
Try to put yourself into my shoes for a minute. I realize that’s asking a whole lot, but at least I didn’t ask you to try putting yourself into my skin, which, had you succeeded, would have killed you nearly instantly, perhaps before you went permanently insane. So take that as diplomacy: I only asked you to try to put yourself into my shoes, which probably wouldn’t hurt you too badly, if you didn’t stay in them too terribly long. Like, not any longer than it takes you to read the rest of this post.
Your feet so retrofitted, think of how you would feel if you had already run for office five times, and every time you ran, people you didn’t even know, as well as people you did know, kept telling you that you have really great ideas and are the only candidate making any sense. After pondering that a while, ponder how you finished up in each of those five races. What that tells you, right, is voters don’t want people in office who have the best ideas and make the most sense. What that tells you, right, is voters want somebody in office who doesn’t shoot birds, cuss, pick his nose, scratch his balls, get talked to by angels who give him your bright ideas and so forth. What that tells you is voters want in office people who are diplomatic and politically correct, who don’t get talked to by angels.
On the front page of today’s Key West Citizen (keysnews.com) is an article about the Monroe County Commissioners asking the Key West City Commission (which includes the Mayor) to weigh in with their sentiments about the applicaiton to develop Wisteria Island. I attended that county commission meeting yesterday in Marathon, and was glad to hear from Mayor Sylvia Murphy, who for reasons I cannot fathom, is not quoted in today’s Citizen article. I cannot fathom her non-inclusion, because she was the commissioner who kicked off the discussion that led to the resolution she and Commissioners Heather Carruthers and Kim Wigington passed, asking for Key West to weigh in on Wisteria Island before the County Commissioners meet on July 21 in Key West to decide that application’s fate.
The way Sylvia went about it was pure Sylvia. She said she didn’t care if Key West has the right to weigh in or not. The development will affect Key West, Key West will have to provide the amenities for the development to work. Amenities like sewerage treatment, parking, police, fire, etc. Sylvia said no way is she going to make a decision on Wisteria without hearing first from Key West. It won’t be fair to the city, and she doesn’t want the city doing something like that to the county. She also seemed concerned about wasting county staff time, if it turns out Key West isn’t on board. This stuck me as both practical, economical and politically correct. It struck me as good manners. It struck me as diplomatic. It struck me as doing unto others what you want them to do unto you. Yet Sylvia’s sage remarks were not included in today’s Citizen article.
I attended all but one of the county meetings on Wisteria Island. I watched county staff plow ahead as if Key West weighing in was irrelevant. As if it was a done deal. As if Key West was in the bag. I even watched a county planning commissioner ask county staff if they knew whether or not Key West had to approve the Wisteria development, and county staff, with two county attorneys sitting there, and the planning director sitting there, said they did not know if Key West’s approval was required. During a break at yesterday’s meeting in Marathon, Heather told me it isn’t clear that the Key West City Commission’s approval is required. I replied, if Key West doesn’t provide sewerage treatment, there is no deal. Heather seemed caught up short by that. To be plain blunt, the county has approached this entire matter as if the county is running the entire show — – until Sylvia fired her mighty shot across the County Commission and county staff’s bow yesterday, none of which Key West Citizen reported. Astounding.
As stated above, the County Commissioners will meet in Key West, July 21, to discuss and perhaps decide whether to adopt and transmit the Wisteria development applicaiton to the Department of Community Affairs. Whether or not that gives the Key West officials time to weigh in is not yet known. If they do not weigh in by then, it would seem the decision by the county commissioners will be continued until after the first of the year. The commissioners have only two transmittal dates a year, and the time for this one will pass, if they don’t act on July 21.
When I spoke to the commissionners during citizens comments yesterday, I said I hope the commissioners will make their decision at the June 21 meeting. I said two commissioners are running for reelection, and I hope the commissioners do not continue the Wisteria application until after the elections, for the convenience of those two commissioners. Unsaid, which all five county commissioners well know, the development of Wisteria Island appears to be just as heated an issue in Key West this year, as it was when much the same deal came up in 2007. The citizenry of Key West rose up in arms against it, and the City Commission and Mayor backed off trying to annex Wisteria Island into the city, so it could be developed under the City’s Comprehensive Plan, instead of under the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Also in 2007, a referendum passed that requires Key West to get voter approval for any annexation or acquisition of land by the city.
Make no mistake, the Wisteria application now before the county is a blatant attempt by the developers to do an end run around that referendum. It is a blatant attempt to get Key West to unofficially annex Wisteria Island and furnish it with everything it would get if the city had actually annexed the island. Make no mistake, the citizenry of Key West who oppose this shenanigan will not forget at the polls this year. They will express their ire, if County Commissioners Neugent and Di Gennaro vote to adopt the Wisteria application and transmit it to DCA. And they will express their ire against other county commissioners who vote in favor of the Wisteria applicaiton, when their commission seats come up for reelection in the future. Those same citizens also will express their ire against their own city commissioners and mayor, if they weigh in in favor of the Wisteria application now before the county, when those city officials’ seats come up for reelection in the future.
I hope the Key West officials do not dawdle. I hope they go ahead and weigh in now, so the county commissioners will know where Key West stands before the July 21 meeting in Key West. I hope the county commissioners do not dawdle at that meeting. I hope they make a decision, and do not pass the Wisteria application over to a later date, which will prove a hell of a lot more convenient to Commissioners Neugent and Di Gennaro. The rich and powerful want to see the Wisteria developers get their application approved. The people in the pockets of the rich and powerful want to see the developers get their application approved. They want Wisteria turned into another Sunset Key, and they don’t give a rat’s ass that the citizenry of Key West rose up in arms over that in 2007.
Political advertisement, approved and paid for by me, county commission candidate