Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mary Kohnke re: Temple-Destroyers Who Wanted to Eviscerate Guana Reserve for A School

Letter: Guana belongs to Floridians, not Ponte Vedra residents
Dr. Mary F. Kohnke
Ponte Vedra Beach
Published Sunday, January 18, 2004

Editor: Over the years one hears remarks like "Ponte Vedra thinks they own the beaches."

That's why they work so hard to keep those beach accesses closed. That's why they won't make room for even a few cars to park on the boulevard. Except, of course, for private parties, or estate sales.

Then a few attempt to put a school in the Guana. Again the voices cry out "Ponte Vedra thinks they own that, too." All this causes embarrassment to some in Ponte Vedra who find it offensive to be classed as greedy and selfish.

Then the ugly truth appears, in of all places, the heart of Ponte Vedra, as reported by the Beaches Leader. Out of the mouth of two trustees of the Ponte Vedra Municipal Service district. Mr. Mark McCuller quoted as saying, at a recent meeting of the MSD, that the St. Augustine Beach City Commission offended him. This offense being, that they had the nerve to pass a resolution, against putting a school in the Guana. He is quoted as calling them "outside groups."

Mr. Doug Crane, also a member of the MSD Board, chimed in and said the city's opposition is "not appropriate." He even said that Commissioner Maguire asked a representative of the city why they had done that? As if it was also a questionable act. Who does Mr. Maguire think he is? Does he think Ponte Vedra owns the Guana, too?

Gentlemen get over it. The Guana Wildlife Preserve is owned by every citizen in the state of Florida. They all have a right and a responsibility to scream bloody murder when anyone tries to steal it away from them. They are not "outsiders." In fact I am surprised that the St. Augustine City Commission hasn't weighed in on this and Hastings and every other community in the county and the state.

There is one saving grace in this whole sordid meeting. Mr. Al Hollon, also a trustee of the MSD Board, said he thinks if the MSD joins in approving the attempts to get this site they would be "opening up a can of worms." He went on to say, "I think it would be a travesty if they chose the Guana site, myself."

Brave and courageous words, Mr. Hollon, but I fear a voice crying in the wilderness. Because Mr. McCuller went on to say, "He" would draft a resolution to consider support of the school search committee who chose the Guana site.

There you have it my fellow citizens.

There are a few who believe they own all public lands anywhere near Ponte Vedra. They even want to put the public stamp of approval on this idea, accusation, call it what you will. The rest of the residents of the MSD have a choice. Do nothing and prove what others say about you is true. Or stop this kind of rotten publicity.

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