Thursday, September 20, 2007

09/14 - Chapman's letter should open eyes

The Brunswick News
Date September 14, 2007
Section(s) Letters

State Sen. Jeff Chapman's letter to the Jekyll Island Authority Oversight Committee should open some eyes around the state.

The letter, the full text of which can be found on the website, clearly identifies the central flaw in the JIA Board's approach to redeveloping the park's aging hotels, namely, that oceanfront property is unsuitable for modestly priced lodgings. Board Chairman Ben Porter, the letter points out, has stated that "the board will try to make sure that rooms are available to low-budget visitors.

"This will likely be done by inviting hotel companies to build accommodations in the park's interior - no one expects beachfront rooms to cost less than $170 per night."

Well, excuse me, but assigning average income Georgians to the interior of their own state park is just not acceptable.

As Sen. Chapman, in referring to the Trammell Crow deal, aptly asks in his letter, "Is subsidizing a multi-billion dollar company more important to the citizens of Georgia than enjoying beachfront property in a state park, which has a legislative mandate to remain affordable?"

Citizens across the state should rally around Sen. Chapman's cry for fairness in Jekyll's redevelopment. As the senator says, "Jekyll's revitalization must be friendly to average income citizens and consistent with Jekyll Island State Park 's well-earned reputation as 'the people's park,' or risk reverting back to an elitist resort, financially out of reach for enjoyment by the average Georgian."

Bonnie Newell

Jekyll Island

No comments: