Thursday, January 17, 2008

01/16 - Public wants to revitalize

Date January 16, 2008
Section(s) Letters
The Brunswick News

Linger Longer has found fault with my resolution calling for the preservation of public access to Jekyll Island's main beach. The Brunswick News has requested that I reassess my position. In criticizing the resolution and defending Linger Longer's proposed oceanfront Jekyll village, they have missed the point. To say I oppose needed revitalization is totally false. What I am opposed to is massive new development, especially any more development on the beach, which is also opposed by most Georgians.

If the public, especially the people I represent, had not expressed their concerns to me, I would have no reason to take a hard look at current plans. Like most people, I appreciate a good business vision. However, a State Park with prime beach front that belongs to all Georgians begs scrutiny. Those wanting a town center and condos on Jekyll appear connected to a limited portion of the business community. The general public has convinced me this is not what they want. The public has not called for extensive redevelopment, only for revitalization.

If Linger Longer is determined to provide a "commercial hub" in a State Park, does the Jekyll Island Authority have to locate it on the beach? The overwhelming responses I receive daily are let's rebuild and revitalize existing facilities, stop the building of private condos, and keep Jekyll's only remaining open beach, unblocked by hotels and private homes, preserved in its natural beauty. I think the people are right. Visit for the full story.

Senator Jeff Chapman


County needs to rethink recycling provider

I read with great interest your article about recycling in the Dec. 28 edition of The Brunswick News. Let me share my perspective.

I am a strong advocate of recycling. This week, however, with very strong regret I canceled our recycling service.

Since the county renegotiated the contract with Southland Waste, the company has failed to pick up our recycled materials on the scheduled pickup day more often than not.

Recently, Southland once again failed to pick up the recyclables on the scheduled day. Two days later, I contacted Glynn County Customer Service to file a report. As I was taking the containers back out to the curb, the Southland Waste truck drove up. In a nasty tone of voice the driver told me I was only supposed to have one container. In other words, do not recycle too much!

I have two recycling containers, as I have an old container that I used when we paid extra for recycling during a previous county administration. That was during the time those of us who paid extra for recycling later learned all of this material was going directly to the landfill along with the other trash. The county and Southland continued to accept these "extra" payments as if the material was being recycled. I paid for that extra container many times over.

Contrary to the recent article, it is obvious to me that Southland is not really interested in providing recycling service to Glynn County residents. If they were, they would provide as many containers as citizens need to hold recycled items. One container is not enough even for our two person household. Given this attitude as well as the many times I have had to call to report trash flying out of Southland Waste trucks traveling across the causeway, I strongly suggest Glynn County terminate the contract with Southland and find an ecologically minded company interested in providing reliable service to our citizens.

Duane Harris

St. Simons Island

Separate billing gives customers new options

I recently received my much-heralded first billing for "Sanitation Services" from the City of Brunswick, a byproduct of the separation of trash collection from the costs of the provision of water and sewer services by the new Joint Water and Sewer Commission.

With the revised billing arrangement, I would like to put the City Administrators on notice that a new reality could be dawning as a result of this reorganization - something which they are probably not prepared to address without some additional effort on the part of themselves and their employees.

In short, this new separate billing will give Brunswick's "Sanitation Service" customers the ability to challenge the quality of their services (or the lack thereof) without the risk of also having their water service terminated for non-payment.

I, personally, will be exercising this option when paying my future "Sanitary Service" invoices, and as of this week I will be deducting $3.30 from my $16.50 January invoice because the household refuse at my Wolfe Street rental property did not get picked up last week.

The "Sanitary Service" collection at this vacant property, currently being renovated, has been missed at least a half dozen times since I began paying for the service last June. In addition, the small weekly piles of lawn debris which I place curbside have been ignored more than half of the time.

Is it unreasonable to demand that otherwise well intended measures by government to force citizens' compliance with common sense issues also meet the same standards of service expected from private industry? I think not.

Virgil Rogers

St. Simons Island

City oversteps bounds with yard requirements

Here we go, with the city putting into law ways to control what we can do with our property.

Some time ago the city fathers decided we did not know how to take care of our property, so they set up a historic district, and everyone in the district had to ask the city what they could do and how their private property had to look. When someone wanted to remodel and upgrade to more efficient windows, doors, or even siding, it had to be approved by the city panel. To build a building, it had to look a certain way.

If the city fathers want to maintain a historic look, they need to remember that history is ongoing to the moment we are in, and it can't be restricted by a group of people. I think what I do with my property should reflect what I want. Seems that's part of the Constitution. Establishing a historic district has caused people with limited resources heartache and money.

Now the city comes with a new idea. Let's tell people what they can have in their yards. Again I think this is unconstitutional. I believe what is in my yard is mine. Why the city thinks it should be able to tell me what I can have in my yard and what I can do with it is unknown. The commission has decided to tell us what cars we can have in our yards, or for how long, before we owe them a fee for having our car in our yard (I pay taxes to the state and county for my car).

Many people in this town have had a car in their yard that has been or is being worked on. Some of us just like cars and buy certain cars to repair and drive. Some just don't have the time or money to fix a ride when it breaks so we get along without it and fix it when we can. Maybe no one on the commission has ever been short of cash, but a lot of us have, and we deal with cars as we can. The city of Brunswick is not a "Cadillac town." It has always been a "Chevy town." We work at the mill or a construction site.

Frederick J. Dufel


Jekyll Island project is too close to the beach

My comments and then a solution to the Jekyll Island problem are this. I think the whole project is just too close to the beach, and they do not allow traffic to drive straight through next to the beach. You have to go about two miles around to get to the other side. That to me takes away the beauty and enjoyment of a lovely scenic drive next to the beach.

I saw the maps of the project and it shows that as soon as you get on Jekyll Island that all you see now is a detour to the right or left to go around the project and a bunch of buildings and trees everywhere.

This to me is just one step closer to being just like Sea Island, where now they have guard gates and no public is free to come in.

That to me is taking away the freedom of the public access and giving it to the rich. That is wrong, and Jekyll Island can become just like this too one day.

My solution to Jekyll Island is this. I think that there should be a two-way street, with palm trees in the middle, straight to the beach and parking on both sides at an angle. Then I think there should be a two way street next to the beach all the way through the project, with palm trees in the middle, and have parking at an angle on both sides. Then there can be plenty of access parking, and if you want to just drive and see the beautiful beach, you can.

In other words, I think their whole project should be back away from the beach about 40 yards or 120 feet and allow the access of the public to have their freedom to the beach still without pushing back their project too far from the beach also. This will be great for everyone's enjoyment and freedom of public access close to the beach.

Wayne Rhodes


Linger Longer Web site limits public opinions

As a concerned citizen of Jekyll Island, I read with some amusement and distaste Jim Langford's column in The Brunswick News.

I then accessed their Web site to vote NO on their resolution. To my surprise the only possible vote was YES. I believe that the former Soviet Union conducted polls in this manner and that Linger Longer is equally single minded. I have posted several other questions to their Web site following their public input session and have not received any response from them.

I think they really are not interested in any opinions that do not support their proposal as is.

Chuck Diefenderfer

Jekyll Island

Editors note: See other letters on Jekyll Island on our Web site at

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