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Stop the attacks and let the legal process work

September 12, 2018
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

The TPI land use case has resulted in strong opinions. The good news is that it has increased interest in Fort Myers Beach issues that have not been seen since incorporation. The bad news is that it has opened a divide between people who have differing priorities and interpretation of Town codes. Most people want to see a downtown development completed. Social media has claimed that the current resolution is supported by "everyone." That is not the case.

Any Town Council legislative or quasi-judicial decision is subject to legal challenge. Town Council members cannot let personal opinions or the loudest voices and special interest groups influence their decisions. Town Council decisions are made based on compliance to legal documents, such as Florida Statutes, the Charter, Comprehensive Plan, Land Development Code, and the Code of Ordinances. Day-to-day operations are defined by a yearly approved Town budget. Decisions are based on accurate information and reliable legal advice. Decisions may not be unanimous; a majority rules. This is the democratic process.

Personal attacks have been directed at individuals who have challenged the Town Council decision on the TPI development. Anyone who believes strongly enough to challenge that decision and commit themselves to possible personal and even physical attacks, deserves respect. In a land-use case as important and controversial as TPI, a legal ruling is legitimately being requested in order to confirm whether Town Council followed a legal process and to determine whether the final resolution is compliant with the Town's Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code.

It is OK to disagree, but belittling comments and implications of collusion and fronting are unacceptable. Let the legal process work, as it has for several lawsuits against the Town.

Tom Babcock

Fort Myers Beach



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