Monday, February 25, 2008

02/20 - Plan is all about money

Date: February 20, 2008
Section(s): Letters
The Brunswick News

As a 30-plus year visitor to Jekyll Island, I feel I must weigh in on the plan to develop the island. I believe it can be summed up with the statement, "It's all about the money."

If ones look at those in favor of the town center plan, you will see that they stand to make a considerable amount of money or political favor from the development.

Linger Longer gains access to very valuable beach property at little direct cost. But, in addition, Glynn County and Brunswick will reap significant tax dollars without having to give any services in return. Certain business owners will see increased sales volume.

The JIA, certain elected officials, as well as Gov. Perdue gain political favors and possibly contributions from those parties who profit.

Consider those who are against the plan. Certainly the Jekyll leaseholders would gain if the plan comes to reality, as their holdings would become more valuable; but they, as well as the Georgia Conservancy and others, have put their personal priorities behind the good of the Island and the visitors who come for the simple pleasures that Jekyll offers.

I urge the citizens of Georgia to speak out and put pressure on your politicians so that the island, which belongs to all citizens, is not stolen from you for the benefit of a few. Once developed, it will be forever lost.

Jon Stevenson
Jefferson, Ohio

What would motivate visitors to development?

My wife and I just returned from our first visit to Jekyll and St. Simons islands. We had a wonderful time, patronized several excellent restaurants and shops, and especially loved the open, beautiful paths and views at Jekyll Island.

Then I picked up a local paper and read about the proposed "Linger Longer" development. I am sorry, but I just don't get it. Why do people think Jekyll Island needs to be "developed"?

What would motivate us to return to the island if this development happens? We might as well just stay in Florida where there is already lots of "development."

Jekyll Island currently offers tranquil beauty and miles of shoreline areas that are accessible even to handicapped people. Yet some people want to toss this away, and for what? Sorry, I just don't get it.

Maybe the developers could be sent elsewhere (to build floating hotels at Niagra Falls or maybe cliff-side condos at the Grand Canyon).

Richard Loehr
Titusville, Fla.

Article on Jekyll Island needs a correction

The lead article in Saturday's Brunswick News is one of the best pieces of balanced reporting I have seen in a long time. You almost got it right. One small error: The president of the Jekyll Island Citizens Association is Frank Mirasola, not Tise Eyler as reported. However, I am in agreement with the remarks he made.

Frank Mirasola
Jekyll Island

Why a double standard on Jekyll, St. Simons?

It was intriguing to read the editorial in the Feb. 14 edition of The Brunswick News. The title entreats residents to be active in determining the future direction of development on St. Simons Island.

How interesting, then, that on Jekyll Island, where residents are actively doing the same regarding the future direction of development on that island, they are frequently attacked by the state, media, and developers as being selfish, self-serving carpetbaggers, or worse.

Yes, Jekyll Island is a unique situation. As a state park, it has to be managed with all of the 8 million residents of the state in mind.

Of course, the future residents of Georgia should also be taken into consideration, as we will be passing this island along to them, hopefully in a condition that is at least as wonderful as it was when given to us.

Unfortunately, the state government has allowed the well-being of a commercial enterprise take precedent over the well-being of the island.

The second line in the Feb. 14 editorial asks, "Concerned about more and more land disappearing under the bulk and weight of mortar and bricks?"

It's funny that Jekyll Island residents can answer "Yes!" to this question, yet the editorial board at The Brunswick News does not give them the same consideration that it is apparently willing to give the residents of the island to the north. Why the double standard?

Geoffrey Hatchard
Washington, D.C.

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