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….LBTS 6/8/2021 The Round Table Workshop …. That Was Not Well Rounded!….

Dear Readers-

Below is a copy of my email to the Mayor and Commissioners after the 6/8/2021 Workshop for the downtown businesses….

Any email sent or received is a public record so it is for public viewing….

My public comments, letters to the editor, comments on articles and blog posts  are made in order to inform my elected representatives and the Town staff as well as my friends and neighbors of my opinions and offer my input along with historical information on the topics being addressed in our town which impact us all….

 

‘Mayor, Commissioners,
How far we have fallen from our past productive successes!
The businesses came to you in a workshop forum and you did not even give them a seat at the table – literally!
Upon my arrival at Jarvis Hall my first question was where is the rest of the round table!
This turned out to be a visual for what this workshop would become with the Interim Town Manager looking uninterested in the discussions as more often the not she looking at her cell phone with the Town Attorney next to her on her laptop.
In the agenda were public comments made by Town Engineer Jay Flynn who made eerily the same Dead On Arrival projections for this downtown outdoor extension sidewalk improvement change project as he did for the El Mar Drive FDOT no need for a 6- foot buffer threat- only this was as a “resident”!
For this, the Town Engineer should be removed from this project as well as any future El Mar Drive improvements and some serious discussion should be made about the conflict of interest involved in having a Town Engineer who is also a resident, in my opinion.
Why was the Town Administration and staff knowing this workshop was setup not prepared to offer up their own presentation of what potentially could be done and what it would entail?
Why were 4 commissioners not advocating for our businesses and hotels instead of two commissioners falsely and inaccurately stating roadblocks that looked to be in lock- step with the administration and two commissioners staying mute?
Only the Mayor spoke up for his constituents and corrected the falsehoods being made while looking forward in a welcoming, constructive manner!
The Covid restrictions provided an unintended successful consequence in that we already know this outdoor seating extension works and is wanted by both residents and tourists as the restaurant owners and hoteliers stated.
The Covid pandemic may be over for now but anyone who thinks there is no chance of backtracking in the future of restrictions being enforced is being hopefully ignorant.
The negative comments were mostly addressing the barriers, fencing and non-uniformity of tents, umbrellas etc.. that were put forth in the business presentation to be remedied!
The biggest concerns in 2010 was to retain our town as a vibrant tourist destination and to not become a bedroom community.
These businesses and hotels have made that happen and they should be treated much better than they were at this workshop for that!
There is no reason to not expediently proceed making what has worked permanent including Aruba outdoor dining in the plaza to be equitable and fair.
Aruba is the anchor of this downtown as it always has been and will continue to be making it an asset to the plaza.
Most who are in the CH Plaza are there waiting to get in Aruba with their balloons thus it is already cohesive in its use!
This is not a full- out re-design of the downtown it is more akin to what was done in the west Commercial Plazas and the recent Bougainvilla Parking by Commercial Blvd. and those did not take years!
These businesses and hoteliers should receive an apology for what occurred last night and a second workshop with a full round table providing them their rightful seats should be setup asap!
Barbara Cole’

More to come…..

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