The FMB tipping point!
Ya ever notice "our town" lately and what it's reality is presently?
The road construction.
The bad, "murky" water.
The over development push.
The relentless inept local government.
The reality that everyone is down at least 10% presently on Island tourism charts from last year already.
Does anybody else recognize something's really wrong here?
I grew up on this island.
I got here when I was very young. And for the past thirty-three years ive watched us as a "town" either grow, crumble, or both in those years.
#1. The ongoing road construction!
There is something completely insane going on with the progression of the road construction! You don't have to be an expert in construction to figure out something was going adrift and has on this project. Anyone who lives or visits this island presently can drive down by the topps grocery store and oddly enough; town hall area, almost feel as if they're going to kill somebody in the narrowness of the roads and the construction. Or get killed whether you're in a vehicle, on a bicycle, or a pedestrian walking. God damn it! Your town hall approved road construction project is downright going to kill somebody one of these days, mark my words!
#2. The bad murky water from Lake Okeechobee.
Please don't get me started. As the leader and co-founder of the Ssouthwest Florida Clean Water Movement, I can honestly say for myself and my group, this past year the Lake Okeechobee discharges negative effects hitting home in season will prove to be a dramatic effect on business this year coming. To be quite blunt; I really wasn't holding a protest sign for 60 straight days and then 90 straight days on top of the bridge for a half a year straight without a message. The message was to be acknowledged as of a warning to this town's leadership and its people of what was to come, and eventually it did come home last year. Apparently we do live in a society where it has to happen to you for it to be real. Water quality in this town is the number one issue facing us yet somehow our previous Councils and present still refuse to pay any attention to it when it comes to the upmost attention needed from our local leadership to it as our Town's number one pressing issue. Just a reminder the southwest Florida clean water movement is going nowhere when it comes to relocation. Fort Myers Beach is our home just as it is your home. We will continue to fight harder for the betterment of our local waterways conditions in 2017 and especially to press our local government to get involved in the battle for clean water is a basic human right.
#3. The overdevelopment Fiasco.
Again to repeat myself I've lived here for some time now and seen some changes in that time. However nothing like this. The people of Fort Myers Beach stood up against Tom T's map to basically reconstruct the identity of Fort Myers Beach as we know it through his Corporation and backers who plan to re- identify Fort Myers Beach as a whole. You may find this odd however personally I'm not against development. However overdevelopment and a seawall I am highly against. I believe I approve of phase two of the developments plans. As being a longtime local I can truly say this town needs a good cleaning up. Without the constant evolution of change to occur without our control, we need to look ahead for a better-looking FMB without question. However I do know the backdoor deals, the secret meetings between developers and politicians, the not logging meetings with County Commissioners and Developers, and of course from the public outrage has made this subject a very important one for the advancement of Fort Myers Beach. Or its destruction by letting big-time developers run your show Fort Myers Beach. Need I remind you our show is our community. What I'm saying is I'm totally cool with making things look good around here and giving more visitors alike to our options as anything would look better than the slum that it looks like now. I'm one for cleaning up this place with development however let's keep an eye on them as the big-time Developers as a community.
#4. The Relentless inept local government.
Now everybody stay calm I'm not just generally picking on the present Council!
The entire time I've lived here the leadership avenues that we have elected into these seats have failed us as a community leadership program through a government setting. Yes since our very first mayor to our present body of government!
We have never fully succeeded as a town since we incorporated from the county. In all the time I've been here there's been a sense of honky tonk Dukes of Hazzard type leadership from the county officials down to our local on happy hour everyday mentality local leadership levels as our history of our Town's elected officials.
Get on with it FMB town council!
We are a town!
We are a community!
Do your jobs as our appointed officials!
Or all of you will be voted out in March with
the three seats that are open in the upcoming election.
#5. The reality we are losing our identity as 100% tourism town with all of our problems on full display, it is showing that people are not returning to Fort Myers Beach as a vacation destination of choice.
Fort Myers Beach I love you as a person.
But it could be coming incredibly hard for one longtime local to sit back and watch our town completely go down the drain and our community along with it.
If we don't choose to get our act together soon we may be hearing more lines such as this; "what's with the road construction ", "what's with the water problems", " what's with the overdevelopment project", " what's with your Town Council", " what's with this place, I don't think I'm ever going to come back here for vacation, or to visit, or to live".
Every single day on the ground level I hear a different tourist say these lines at least 50 times a day. Not only are the tourists upset and not coming back 100%. The longtime locals are starting to see the writing on the wall and packing it up and taking off.
As I write this letter I also consider the future of me and my thirteen-year-old daughter when it comes to the quality of life on Fort Myers Beach Florida presently and it's for future.
If someone like me who has been fighting for clean water and the betterment of our town for the last 20 some years is considering moving away because all of the problems that are being ignored here then that tells you something.
I, like so many others have come to the FMB Tipping Point!
John G Heim
The SWFL CLEAN WATER MOVEMENT
33 year island resident.