Friday, April 28, 2006

Bilyeu Listens to Alta Vista

At the Alta Vista Neighborhood meeting on Thursday night, Commissioner Bilyeu answered a few questions about his vote to approve Downtown Core density right next to a single family neighborhood.

Bilyeu commented: I know that all of you are disappointed with your commissioner, but I am not disappointed in you. [This was met with silence.]

He said he was not trying to jam something down your throats. He said he knows your concerns and wants to work with a group to address those concerns....

He said he represents not only the voters in his district but even those that didn’t vote for him--- people like those that own property in the district, people that work in the district and those in nearby areas like downtown.

Question: why was there no discussion of, nor questioning of, the neighborhood concerns with the developer; why didn’t you bring up the neighborhood concerns? Bilyeu’s answer: silence.

Question: Did you consult with anyone in the neighborhoods in your district, or anyone in your district before this hearing? Answer: No

Question: Federal Law established 3 districts in Sarasota so that citizens would have a representative that would look out for their interests. Did you look out for our interests? No response.

Question: Why the rush to vote on this proposal. Response: I did not see it as a rush. I had plenty of time to read it and understand it.

Question: when did you see it? Answer: at about 3:30 PM - I was probably the first to see it. I saw everything I needed to see.

In between questions he rambled about taking a year and a half to understand land use issues, that he had been through these exact same issues before in his own neighborhood - and a good project will result from it in the end.

The Alta Vista residents expressed displeasure at having spent many months and many hours in meetings with neighbors, commissioners and city staff becoming familiar with the process and the implications of the proposed changes. What was particularly galling was the last minute major change in the project and the subsequent vote to approve with without any analysis at all.

There were no answers as to why their commissioner turned his back on his district voters while embracing yet another developer's money making scheme.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Commissioner Bilyeu's interests have never been those of his district and its constituents. He is pro development-any development-and has steadfastly endorsed every development project that has come across his desk without question- always exclaiming it to be a tremndous opportunity for the community. It is a shame that we elect this type of person to office, trusting them to have our interests at heart, onlt to be disappointed to learn they're in the developer's back pocket.

Bilyeu is a disgrace- his silence to the questions asked show his lack of concern for those that trusted him to represent them. Its time for a new Commissioner for this district, I feel certain there is someone more intelliegnt and qualified to be a steward of the public's interets.

Time to throw the bum out!!

Anonymous said...

These attacks against Danny are mean-spirited “sore loser” diatribes against a man who courageously stood by his ideals and convictions in the face of public attacks and outrage from the neighborhood organizations surrounding Payne Park.

His past associations with Michael Saunders doesn’t impugn his motives in the least. That Michael Suanders is “in bed” with Burks is none of your business.

To attack Danny, Ken and Fredd for being able to read and comprehend the new proffer faster than the gals on the commission seems patently unfair. Just because Lou Anne and you needed more time to comprehend all the details and understand where Mr. Burks was coming from doesn’t mean Danny would – Danny might well be a lot smarter than you give him credit for.

Why the very parties involved have yet to finish and sign a letter of intent – maybe by Monday – so a detailed reading of the proffer would have been superfluous, no? Mike Jacobsen hadn’t even gotten the approval of his board – the need for speed was that great.

Danny and Ron are working for the Greater Good. What are the concerns of a small percentage of long-time residents who focus on their immediate neighborhood when stacked up against the Greater Good of the City of Sarasota? It was Danny who got Area Six added to the proposed AROD the week before. He has done yoeman’s work getting this through a commission that always wants to “take more time to study,” or to “make sure we understand the facts” when action is needed immediately to forward it to DCA this cycle instead of the next.

We didn’t hear Ken and Fredd championing this effort with the same zeal!

Ron Burks has contracted with Habitat For Humanity and our Sarasota Memorial Hospital. There are no finer organizations in this City with the possible exception of the Van Wezel and the Symphony. Danny saw this on the first page of the new proffer and heard it from Ron over breakfast.

So Danny’s a “big picture” fellow, not a “detail-oriented” fact finder. So what, if it all works out in the end, there will be four great monuments to his “focus on the greater good” right across from our Signature Payne Park - long after all of you are dust and ashes.

You make much of his failure to answer one question or another at some neighborhood meeting he attended just to listen to what the folks had to say. He came to listen – to prepare, not to speak. When asked to speak, he admitted he said as much. He even complemented the folks assembled by saying that he was not disappointed in them.

Now that the project is en route to the DCA, he has advised that he is ready and wants to address your concerns. Yet you continue to attack him, his credibility, his honesty and his character. You don’t listen when he talks and you don’t want to talk when he’s ready to listen.

Danny’s been to Paris, he’s seen more of the world than you may ever hope to see. And he’s learned from the experience that here is more to be worried about than a few single-family homeowners who forget that they have a developer to thank for their very homes – for the very names of their Neighborhood Associations.

Yes, the Downtown CORE can’t be pushed up against single-family homes without reducing the height to four stories – but Danny is asking for Downtown EDGE Heights to get up to nine stories and Downtown Core Density where there is no mention of abutting Single-family homes in the Downtown Code. It was never even envisioned. Even David Smith of the Planning office told you that. See, Danny’s way ahead of the curve again.

Folks want to move to Sarasota, and they keep coming. Folks want to live in the Downtown. Danny hears the young professionals and his daughter and wants to accommodate these would be residents of his City. Ken has assured him that increasing density is the way to go. Mike Jacobson, from New York has told him as much and Mike’s with Habitat for Humanity. Michael Saunders has told him - as much as has her son.

He has heard the concerns of those who don’t want seven stories right behind their homes. He has heard from the investors in the same neighborhood. He has heard Ron Burks. He has listened to all. He has decided what’s best for the greater good of the City and its future.

He has fought (and will continue to fight) for his vision of affordable housing in every Sarasota neighborhood - and for an expansive and expanding Downtown. “To Shade Avenue and beyond,” his battle cry.

He has said many times that “this all used to be orange groves,” and “things are going to change.”

Were you not listening?

Charles Senf

Anonymous said...

So am I to understand Mr. Senf's assertion that Ron Burkes had breakfast with Danny and that he knew about the proffer before hand?

Hmmmm....interesting. Did he have breakfast with any of his constituents?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Senf's assertion that Ron Burkes had breakfast with Danny

Well, I thought Danny asserted he had breafast with Ron at the Public Hearing - if he did not, I need to write a retraction! Did no one hear him so state?

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing a lot of people using the "R" word...Recall!!

Anonymous said...

I think Mr Senf has great insight.
We should all be impressed that Danny is for THE GREATER GOOD, and following this, that he has been to Paris!
Maybe he could take a page from the French and appoint a Minister of Culture for Sarasota, for the GREATER GOOD!

Anonymous said...

Since when did one's vacation qualify one for political office? I'd be willing to chip in and buy Danny another ticket to Paris- one way of course!

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read Mr. Senf's comments in defense of Commissioner Bilyeu. But wasn't this the same man that wrote a SOS Blog two or three back that stated:

"City Staff applied for the re-zone of the Scotties site without ever asking any of the neighbors for their input aforehand.

When the neighborhood discovered what you were up to, they protested at every opportunity and were simply ignored.

The neighbors all support low impact development on that site and heard visions of two-story townhouses and retail establishments with living quarters above at several of the public hearings. But that all went down in favor of dense high-rise development and, now, bonus density to turn 36 units into four hundred and fifty."

How does that statement work into the defense of THE Commissioner charged with the neighborhood's interests?

Anonymous said...

" wasn't this the same man that wrote a SOS Blog two or three back that stated:

"City Staff applied for the re-zone of the Scotties site without ever asking any of the neighbors for their input aforehand."
"


Actually, that post to this blog was copied from a letter addressed to Ken Shelin by someone other than Charles Senf.

But, you can't fault a Danny's supporters for saying one thing to one person and another to someone else now, can you?

Anonymous said...

Danny boy appears to be on the take. His actions beg close scrutiny and investigation. Where does one begin?

gooeytarballs said...

To the person wo wrote "Interesting to read Mr. Senf's comments in defense of Commissioner Bilyeu." and those who also need to read it again:

My tongue was firmly in cheek. And, no, I don't really like boiled babies in lieu of potatoes either.

(;harles