Letters to the Editor for Dec. 31, 2021.
To the Amazing Citizens of Sebastian,
As your elected representative, I have one real job to do, represent YOU! Now with that responsibility sometimes comes hard choices; remember I don’t represent the vocal, I represent ALL Citizens.
So, with the choices I make every day, I think about what YOU would want me to do. But, I realize that not every choice I make will make every citizen happy; there is a give and take, which is something that our society is lacking right now, COMPROMISE.
Now compromise doesn’t mean you give up your values or beliefs. It just means that you work together with those you disagree with to find a solution that both parties can agree on.
I would love to see more compromise in the New Year. People coming together for a better community, a better Country, and a better World.
I have some important items to work through in this upcoming year as your elected representative; we have a few annexations, Cares Act Money, Employee Salary Survey, and other challenging things to work through to find the best way to handle them.
One item coming up that is very important and of great concern to our community is Fisherman’s Landing, the home of Crab E Bill’s. All sides have approached me on this issue. Some want us to tear it down and build something that more can use, some want us to fix it and leave it alone, others want what is somewhere in the middle.
Well, my wife and I LOVE Crab E Bill’s Seafood, and we eat there quite often, but this isn’t about what I want or like as it is what’s best for Sebastian.
Right now, the owners of Crabby Bills feel attacked or abandoned by the unknown of what is to come. I get that, and I talk to Suzy quite often. I am a firm backer of her and her business.
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But what is to come of the building is more about safety and financial than what I like or want. We requested for the City Manager to come back to us in January with a plan. I want the plan to include a true evaluation by an architect or company that deals in Old Buildings.
This will require the City to go out to bid for such a company, and this will take some time, although I hope we can fast-track the process.
While this process is going on, we still will be in Limbo, which causes anxiety about the issue, and I apologize for that. But we must handle this issue legally by the proper process.
I have heard that people think we want to put Crab E Bills out of business, which is TOTALLY UNTRUE.
I can firmly say that no one at the City or on Council wants that. But public safety must come first, which is why the building is blocked off and being used as it is now.
I do want to say, though. Once we have an evaluation and the determination is made of what needs to be done, there is a legal financial obstacle if we cross 51%. If that happens, we have to bring the entire building up to today’s building code, which would be burdensome and costly using the existing building.
So once we get through the evaluation, we have discussed creating a committee of citizens, building professionals, city staff, and others to find the right path forward. Going forward is not just for the building but also for Crab E Bills as a business.
I look forward to talking to you all in the New Year. If you wish to discuss anything with me, please email me at [email protected].
Your elected representative,
Sebastian City Council