Friday, March 13, 2009

Foxes in the Planning Henhouse?

I've only seen this in an article in the Keynoter last weekend. The reporting says that two members of the Key West Planning Board resigned last week, unexpectedly and somewhat mysteriously, and that they were immediately replaced by two Key West lawyers with roots in the Conch community here.

The appointments of Michael Browning by Commissioner Dan Kolhage and of Greg Oropeza by Mayor Morgan McPherson came with little notice, and apparently no public notice that there were vacancies on the board.

Browning, a 1983 graduate of the Stetson University School of Law in Tampa, has many business interests in Key West and elsewhere. He was part-owner of Atlantic Shores before it was torn down and redeveloped as condominiums during 2008.

Oropeza is a recent graduate of University of Florida Law School. He was admitted to the Florida Bar just last year. His background seems to be in fishing, a family tradition. He's affiliated with the firm of Feldman Koenig Highsmith & Van Loon. That firm has been involved in some major developments in Key West, including the Watermark development on the site of the former Jabour's Trailer Court on the Key West Bight off Caroline Street between Elizabeth and William Streets. That project is stalled by the failures in the economy.

The Planning Board is heavily involved in revising the city's Comprehensive Plan. The new plan will change the face of Key West for many years, impacting nearly every aspect of this town. Here's hoping that Browning and Oropeza will carry out their responsibilities -- well, responsibly.

3 comments:

Concerned Neighbor said...

Bob, congratulations on being the first blogger to pick up on what might be a trend worth monitoring. Since they now hold the variance power as well, it's important their primary agenda be preserving the principles for guiding development in an impartial manner.
(And of course that doesn't include being beholden to someone for medical insurance, even during a recession.)

Singing to Jeffrey's Tune said...

There are always at least 3 sides to a story.

I will say, not that I know the situation, but from what you presented it reminded me of a saying, "Hmm, looks like sh*t. Smells like sh*t. Maybe it is sh*t?".

BTW, since you have your Twitter updates protected, your blog pops up the Twitter API login window when people go to your pages. If they are not in your list of people that can see your updates, it will keep popping up even if they try to login with their userid and password - I just attempted (jeffrey_abbott if you want to check my updates) They have to hit the cancel button and then they just see "Twitter Updates follow me on Twitter".

Bob Kelly said...

Thanks for pointing that out, Jeffrey. I took it out because I don't use Twitter much anyhow.

 
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