The Council’s Hope Chest?
What should have been a no-brainer and unanimous vote of the Village Council at their last meeting, June 2, 2022, turned into another punt by the majority of councilmen.
We don’t think Vice Mayor Henry Rosenthal could have made it any clearer – shut down the Fills, enforce parking laws, get rid of the 1,000 orange cones on loan to the Village from FDOT, and call it a day.
Henry made the motion. Henry’s motion died for a lack of a second.
A rudderless ship.
Instead, staff was allowed to continue down an uncertain path that allows for at least 40 parking spaces, two kayak launches and gathering places what will then require the installation of ugly and expensive metal guardrails. Forget the fact that staff has no idea how any of this will be paid for – even if it was a good idea, which it’s not – “just keep on doing what you’re doing” was the message sent from the Council.
We need this plan like a tomcat needs a hope chest.
The good news is that the Islamorada Community Alliance has your back. We will not stop until this is done – and done correctly. Because we know something, which continues to confuse the decision makers at Village Hall – the villagers are tired of this, and we want it resolved. Now.
In case you missed it … here was our last update.
A Plan Whose Time Has Come
While Orange Is the New Black may be a hit show on Netflix, reflector-orange plastic cones should no longer be an identifying image for the Islamorada Fills. We much prefer the roseate spoonbill, thank you very much.
For more than a decade, Village Hall has wrestled with the problems at The Fills. Traffic and parking creating unsafe conditions and traffic fatalities, trampled mangroves and seagrass beds, beer cans and ice bags, and potty issues along the rocks and in the water.
Turn around guys, you’re going the wrong way.
The Village hired consultants who came back with lavish plans – including paid parking spots, pavilions, bathrooms, and areas for grilling – which would actually create a bigger problem for the village and villagers.
No. No. No. No. No.
In the meantime, the villagers have been left with orange cones running for two and a half miles in both directions.
Enter Henry Rosenthal.
One of our Councilmen, Henry Rosenthal, gets it. He has a plan. His plan is simple and won’t cost the taxpayers a dime.
Remove the orange cones and barrels and enforce the rules and the $200 parking ticket that go along with the NO PARKING signs that are already there!
That’s it. A plan that is beautiful in its simplicity. A plan that gives us back our magical views. A plan that keeps people safe. A plan that won’t require expensive and unsightly guardrails or moving the pedestrian and biking path. A plan that could be carried out in less than a week. A plan that we can all get behind.
Finally, a plan that would ensure we never have to post THIS SIGN.
Sweetening the deal.
To make this plan even more enticing, an Islamorada volunteer, Sue Miller, has agreed to pick up every last cone – pro bono, mind you – and will let FDOT know when and where they can come get them.
Sue’s been out there almost every weekend for years, picking up trash visitors have left behind. She tells us, “A few days picking up orange cones sounds exciting – a great workout, with a gorgeous payoff at the end. What could be better than to have our view back!”