Friday, August 10, 2007

08/08 - The Island of the People?

The Brunswick News
Date August 08, 2007
Section(s) Letters

Rep. Steven Davis, R-McDonough, speaking as a member of the State Institutions and Properties Committee, has defended the actions of the now-controversial and divided Jekyll Island Authority.

Furthermore, he has proceeded to attack the residents of Jekyll Island who have the temerity to voice their opinions. What reason does he have at this time in the decision-making process to publicly voice support for a government agency which is responsible to all of the people of Georgia?

Policies are being formed and public input should be welcomed. Rather than attacking groups of citizens who might wish to speak their views, Davis and members of the Jekyll Island Authority should sincerely invite public comment from all of Georgia and make a reasonable attempt to reflect the views of a diverse citizenry in the final plans.

In 1947, Gov. Melvin Thompson designated Jekyll Island as an island for "...the plain people of Georgia."

Davis, in spite of the poor record of the 2007 legislative session, you may be a dedicated public servant. You have, however, failed to realize that a hard-working Georgia family of four will not be able to afford two rooms at $500 per night ($250 each) for a simple four-day, three-night vacation on "the island of the people."

Far from improving tourism on Jekyll Island, that apparently disdained class of Georgia citizens will spend their hard-earned dollars at Pigeon Forge, Tenn., or Branson, Mo.

Jekyll will not, on the other hand, replace the gilded islands of the coast for those of the upper class.

Please consider the historical role for which Jekyll Island was designated in the history of Georgia. Please listen to and hear the voices of "the plain people of Georgia."

Our voices may seem hushed and quiet to you, but I assure you that a tipping point is near.

And that those voices will be heard as a great and thunderous wave from the highlands of the north to the lush green of the piedmont and on to the mystic Golden Isles, where it will wash over Jekyll Island and take with it those bureaucrats and politicians who would subvert the will of "...the plain people of Georgia."

Hoyt LeCroy

That's a job well-done on Jekyll, Ben Porter

My first glimpse of Jekyll Island was in 1948 from the deck of the ferry that made the run from the mainland to the island.

I have watched its transformation from an abandoned turn-of-the-century club for the very wealthy to a shiny new vacation spot and convention center. All Georgians took pride in their new acquisition.

My husband and I bought a home on Jekyll in 1983. We were there to watch the island's decline. We watched not only with the eyes of homeowners but also with the eyes of real estate brokers.

At my husband's death last fall, our combined real estate experience totaled 93 years.

We watched the island languish in shabby gentility for years. Now it has become merely shabby.

The new master plan is long overdue and should be greeted with shouts and hurrahs. It addresses both our environmental issues and the Jekyll Island Authority's pressing need for more revenue.

The state has mandated that Jekyll Island must be self-sustaining. The residential and commercial properties are taxed at the same rate used for the rest of Glynn County.

Ben Porter, present chair of the authority, has been a close friend of mine for 30 years. I have seen the competence he has brought to his varied ventures. He has given many years of volunteer service to our state. He has always brought an unimpeachable integrity to that service.

Ben and I have talked at length about his vision for Jekyll Island. He comes with no agenda except to make it truly Georgia's jewel.

Martha C. Thornton

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