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Ethics vs. COP

May 2, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

A task force has been hastily set up for COP as a result of an outpouring of negative comment from islanders. What is really needed is a task force on FMB Council ethics.

Without rehashing the slippery slope this Council has built to justify a big booze expansion more than five miles of "environmentally sensitive" beachfront, let's just concentrate on this latest Task Force composition. Four members head up establishments with liquor licenses. No more than three are residents. Of the four members with alcohol permits, at least three could benefit from the outcome of the current COP legislation.

Could this be considered a stacked deck? You bet. Especially when one considers there are more than 6,000 residents and a lot of other business people on Fort Myers Beach who do not have alcohol permits or a vested interest and could certainly qualify for such a position.

Yet, this Council has chosen to set up and support a task force using three people who could benefit directly. The ethics questionability not only hits Town council, but town management and the three business managers who have been put on the task force as well.

This may only be a local ethics problem, but perhaps not. One thing seems clear, it is time for this town to put an end to all this ethics tomfoolery before some wiser minds from Tallahassee decide to get involved.

Tom Merrill

Fort Myers Beach



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