Thursday, August 2, 2007

08/01 - Not such a 'sweet' deal

Brunswick News
Date August 01, 2007
Section(s) Letters

I am writing in response to the advertisement written by Jekyll Island Authority Chair Ben Porter, which was published first as an editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

What Ben Porter does not say in his opinion piece is that those few island residents who resist any and all efforts to improve guest accommodations and increase visitation represent the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island, a grassroots organization of 5,000 members throughout North America dedicated to soliciting and communicating the will of the people on this issue.

What Porter does not say is that he has received over 100 pages of comments from Jekyll Island visitors stating that Jekyll Island must be kept affordable to people of average means.

What Porter does not say is that Trammel Crow's properties will more than double current room rates on those sites.

Sweetheart deals do not benefit the people of Georgia, nor do they justify our trust, nor do they befit the appointed stewards of Georgia's economic and natural resources.

Dory Ingram


It's about time some improvements are made

After 30 years of neglect, it sounds like something is finally being done about Jekyll Island.

My family won't return until we see some improvements.

I consider myself a person of modest income, but even I realize that it will take some upscale development to pay for all the infrastructure needs on the island.

I only hope the media and malcontents on the Jekyll Island Authority will not run off investors in the process.

Mindy Anderson


It's Jekyll residents who are getting the deal

As a member of the committee that debated legislation to extend the state lease to the Jekyll Island Authority, I am well aware of the sweetheart deals on Jekyll Island.

It is the 600-plus residents who have the sweetheart deal. Imagine having a home valued at $500,000 or more that you enjoy exclusively through 2049, yet you only pay the authority $300 per year for real estate.

Maybe our committee can go back next year and evaluate all of the current residential leases and base them on market rate or otherwise rent them to the general public.

Even better, if the residents want price controls on Jekyll, perhaps they should agree to sell their homes for less than market value.

That way, beach-front living would be even more affordable to the average Georgian.

These are the same residents that came to committee meetings and supported the extension of the lease and asked for more money on improvements to the island, but don't want to allow the developments that will fund the improvements.

And, finally, to hear board member Ed Boshears complain about the lease agreement after voting "yes" reminds me of John Kerry's political epitaph: "I voted for it before I voted against it."

I am pleased to see that Gov. Sonny Perdue chose a leader in Chairman Ben Porter to return the island to its heyday.

Rep. Steven Davis, R-McDonough

Member of State Institutions and Properties Committee

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