Monday, May 5, 2014

Elected Officials Should Offer Own Solutions - SRQ Daily 5/10/14

Diana Hamilton’s last op-ed left me feeling tired and a bit blue. Lines will be drawn in the opinion sandbox. In her piece she mentions people I have known over the years who I like. I also respect their situations as home and business owners inundated with the day-to-day grind of the close proximity of Sarasota’s homeless population. I am hopeful this "hobby" of mine of commenting about local political topics doesn't trickle down and change those relationships. 

Since I'm getting reamed by some acquaintances about not offering "solutions," It's true, I do not offer a solution. These are opinions not answers. 

How can our City and County Commissioners work together in creating answers or solving problems when you have Michael Barfield circling them like a fly? He is also a large part of the It's Time initiative. Mr. Barfield appears tight with quite a few city and county commissioners. What's that phrase, "keep your enemies close?" 

When it comes to the current commissioners, Mr. Barfield has a proven track record in distorting reality and is in large part responsible for diminishing the current Sunshine Law’s value. When it comes to our elected officials, it is safer to farm out Sarasota’s problems so they do not have to be directly responsible for the outcome. 

Dr. Marbut's data on solving or managing homelessness is as inflated, fuzzy and self-illuminating as anyone else who pumps up claims of “successes.” If someone tells me their potion is going to make me look 10 years younger, I want to drink it but don’t because I know it isn’t true. I have spent hours Googling Dr. Marmut’s career and for every claim he says was a success, there is a flip side saying he wasn’t. 

I am of the opinion Diana Hamilton is incorrect in her assumption a Mayor will help eliminate homelessness. And, it’s true, I don't offer solutions, but think local agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, Planned Parenthood, All Faith's Food Bank, ALSO and others who do great community work and are familiar with Sarasota's homeless population or people living in poverty are the places to start—not Dr. Marbut. 

Build a house for Habitat for Humanity; volunteer in that capacity if you are an elected official. I prefer to see them working on something like this rather than using tax funds on outsourced solutions and reports that have no evidence of success. 

I obviously have an opinion about it, as does Diana Hamilton. However, she writes flimsy op-eds in support of a mayor and Dr. Marbut. It's like we just continue to throw things out as solutions hoping they will stick when in reality, these problems (homelessness, lack of good political candidates) continue to grow. Anyone can do good internet research “appropriating” someone’s theories on any subject. Is it necessary for our city and county commissioners to continue to “farm out” for expensive consulting advice? Dr. Marbut’s website is beefy but so is Craigslist. 

The typical candidates for office, current politicians we have elected and consultants our commissioners have hired all give the public “ear candy” promoting and promising things they will get done and with not a single toe on Planet Earth. Does not anyone pull back the carpet to see what’s underneath? It’s called reading, due diligence, something most people are not willing to do. We’d rather have someone else read for us and do the boring work associated with that. 

We've become the town who believes every fairy tale fed to us by our elected officials: Sanborn Studios, Tube Dube, SANCA. Marbut isn't any different and neither is Donna Arduin. It's as if tax dollars are in an endless pot of handouts for our elected officials to scoop into for their failing ventures. Gambles taken by commissioners when this city is running out of funds and efforts for them to work together will be annihilated by their friend Michael Barfield. 

Adrien Lucas, Sarasota, in response to the “Left Bitter Far Too Long” column in the May 3 edition of SRQ Daily

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