Sunday, January 25, 2009

Secessionists In Our Midst

I see that the fine residents (actually, they're probably rich enough to be called 'ultra-fine') of Casey Key are fomenting revolution on their island fiefdom.


No longer content to be part of the hoi polloi that is Sarasota County, Casey Key wants to be its own city. I'm sure they would like to be their own country, too, but they're gonna start with being their own city. For now.

All 563 registered voters, living in 411 houses. Ah, but houses that average 2.5 million per.

Back in the 1980s, the residents wanted to charge a $2 toll to get on to the key, but Sarasota County told them no. Politely, I'm sure.

Local landmark, the Casey Key Fish House, recently re-opened after a fire, much to the chagrin of its moneyed neighbors, but only after jumping through numerous legal hoops regarding rules of operation.

Prior to the fire, some guy built a McMansion adjacent to the tiki bar, which had been in operation in that spot for many years. Apparently, the new neighbor had enough money to get the county to limit the bar's hours of operation, live music, etc. I'm sure Mr. McMansion never noticed the Fish House sitting there when he built his place.

Alan Redmon, owner of a small motel on the south end of the island for 30 years, is another sand flea the rest of Casey Key would like to swat. Redmond says that what these residents really want is a moat. And to dump him in it, I would bet.

Casey Key already has its own private security service, which will stop walkers to inquire if they live on the key. Please have your papers in order before entering the key. What if you don't--do they make you leave or just shoot you on the spot? Or worse? After all, Stephen King lives on the island.

I heard a story from a long-time resident who, as a young girl, saw armed gunsels patrolling the mansions of the mobsters, racketeers and bootleggers who used to live on the key back in the day. I guess some things never change.

Already, local politicians are lining up--right behind the money, saying things like " he wants to pass the legislation and allow the people on the key to have their say" and "he is not going to stand in the way of residents if they want to incorporate. He said it is up to the people on the key to decide." What politician in his right mind would want to alienate all those political contributions?

The article states: pective "Longtime Casey Key real estate agent Alfred Ayers said he is not picking sides in the battle over incorporation, but understands the perspective of the wealthier land owners." Which means that this guy sees potential customers on both sides of the Intracoastal.

One of the things the Key residents are upset with is being jerked around by the county when they want to, say, add a wing to their already obscenely-large mansions. Permits, building codes, environmental restrictions, etc., are for the little people.

Walter Beacham, who lives on the key and designs 'Tuscan-inspired' (ooooooohh) homes on the key, feels their pain. He's seen "people spend $100,000 on legal fees just to get through bureaucratic process to add onto their homes. There is an awful lot of red tape."

Yeah, well, Walter, there's a lot of red tape everywhere. Ask anybody that's ever tried to build a shed or a carport on their property.

Oh, I forgot, you and the rest of your chums probably don't even know anybody that has a shed or carport.

"And when we make Casey Key a city, we'll build our own mountains."

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