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September 19, 2022 by Barbara

This Writer Leaves the LBTS Green Team!

Past Green Team El Mar Supporters who fought to retain El Mar Drive from being redeveloped should know that the current defunct Green Team has gone off course with the new call to protect and preserve our town.
It is a rotten ruse!
Past Green Team supporters should also know that it was this writer who came up with “Protect and Preserve “ slogan and wrote the previous Green Team newsletters, alerts and Captain of the Green Team public comments throughout the El Mar campaign.

This writer is parting ways with the defunct Green Team on its call to prevent Aruba continuing its use of a scaled back portion of the Ocean Plaza!

Don’t be fooled that this unnecessary call to arms is the same fight!
In fact the sad result of this defunct Green Team going off on this tangent is the scandalous loss of the 2023 “earmarked” $1.6 million dollars for refreshing El Mar Drive!
The Town Manager moved that money received from the old Holiday Inn and the Oriana to other Capital Improvement Projects and slated El Mar Drive for yet another design phase in 2025 and project in 2026!
A look at the 2023 budget shows there are no funds allocated for median lighting on El Mar Drive and that a paltry sum of approximately $77,000 was used to fill the cracked swales as well as minimal expensed funds were used to redo cracked sections of sidewalks.
Hardly the expected refreshed “ Protect and Preserve” package that could have been if this defunct Green Team had kept their eye on the El Mar Drive prize!
Please remember after volunteers went out to all areas of the town (both north and south) that surveys were brought into Jarvis Hall in baskets and presented to the commission in overflowing numbers when sidewalk dining including the plaza use were looking for extensions and permanent use from residents, hotel guests and visiting patrons showing the overwhelming support and desire to retain what resulted from Covid compliance initiatives.
The Green Team has fallen mightily from Preserve and Protect El Mar Drive to a campaign full of poorly written falsehoods!
But, what is truly mind boggling to this writer is that the Captain of the defunct Green Team has actively joined forces with the resident/ town contracted engineer who engineered ( pun intended) the redevelopment of one- lane El Mar and the removing the medians for parking in this crazy plaza endeavor!
Until 2012 the plaza was comprised of parking spaces and not the historic public space being touted by the defunct Green Team.
In fact, it was Aruba and the Pier that anchored it when there was no plaza or pavilion!
 The plaza in 2020-2022 uninhabited by Aruba Beach Cafe is a space that fills up not with children playing games while holding their balloons as they have in the last decade when they are waiting with their parents to get a table at Aruba ( before the plaza portioned outdoor seating)!but with loitering souls as any regular downtowner can attest to.
Please take note-
As of 3 weeks ago the plaza games the defunct Green Team laments are no longer in use along with new additions have been put back in the plaza and it is Aruba that is taking care of putting them out and back for the Town to extend their time beyond the hours of the Town maintenance employees!
Aruba is a town landmark as this writer previously posted, emailed and spoke at Public Comments about.
As such, an all- out campaign to malign this anchor to our town built on falsehoods should be discounted and called out by all!
Aruba is not using the sidewalks and the plaza. A look throughout the past few years and present time shows this to be false.
Aruba and all downtown restaurants have long leased from the town and will continue to with rates commensurate with their usage of space involving requirements of maintenance that will decrease the town’s need to do so. This has been stressed each time the discussion is on the agenda throughout this process.
No “ tunnel” will result from partnered plaza usage as the defunct Green Team extolls will be the case. It is true fear-mongering in pushing this narrative.
 There is no doubt that the Town administration, commission and plaza restaurant occupants whether it is one or two will continue to partner as well to provide all the advantageous and beautifying space we have long enjoyed.
As events in the Ocean Plaza have slowly returned Aruba has continually assisted in providing whatever space is needed and wanted and in offering up complimentary services and goods that have elevated the event experience as the Town administration, staff, commission and event participants can and do appreciate and regularly attest to!
Please do not fall for “ Alerts” that come in emails bearing inaccuracies that stir the pot and negate all the success the former Green Team had with El Mar Drive.
As we celebrate our Town’s 75 th year –
Support outdoor downtown dining in the Ocean Plaza showcasing our adjoining
3 LBTS Destination Landmarks –
Aruba Beach Cafe
Our Beach Pavilion and Plaza
The Pier
More to come….
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