Thursday, August 25, 2005

Political Forum

The Key West Citizen covers the Hometown PAC forum -- briefly -- in today's paper.

I was there, but I missed the comment by McPherson, "the Duck stops here", and the stuffed, quacking duck. Clever. Tim O'Hara also missed the distinction between the City having goals and objectives and the City Manager not having them personally. If Avael really did say to McPherson that he has no personal goals assigned to him by the Commission for "political" reason -- and I have no reason to doubt that he did say it -- one wonders about the significance of him making such a statement.

Signs are popping up all over town for both Weekley and McPherson. And here are the responses of the two to the question: "What measures would you advocate to preserve Key West's unique and historic neighborhoods, including our diverse neighborhoods?"

McPherson: "Great measures are already in place but we must rid ourselves of selective enforcement. The guidelines and parameters that have been set in the past must be brought forward and recognized in the future as policies and procedures that have teeth and bite into the substance of the unique character of our diverse community. Historic preservation of our community is essential to maintaining the character and appeal of Key West which is part of its genuine appeal to tourists and residents alike."

Weekley: "I think the multi-modal transportation plan will be an important key to addressing our traffic and parking woes downtown and in the residential neighborhoods. This will also help alleviate some of our noise problems. Our residents who work certainly deserve peace and quiet in the late evenings and our policies should reflect that.

The City should support TDC initiatives that seek to lure more historical, cultural and ecotourists to our destination. Studies show that these tourists spend more money, stay longer, and are more respectful of local traditions and customs. This will help ensure that our historic structures will remain, providing financial opportunities for renovation and refurbishment.

Stricter HARC guidelines that are clear to the public will also help to preserve our character.

I would support an enforceable ordinance to keep further franchises out of the historic district as well."

I hope that both candidates, and all Commission candidates will support the preservation of what is arguably Key West's most historic neighborhood, Bahama Village, by supporting a change to the traffic plan that threatens "degradation of this historic residential community".

Our thanks to the Hometown PAC for putting on this forum. It gave us a good opportunity to see and hear the candidates who want to take us into a future that we all hope will keep us in The Real Key West for the foreseeable future.

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