Rec Room Philosophy

The word is out that IOP wants to build a first rate exercise facility.  Price tag:  $700k.  What this really means is by the time it is finished it will cost over 1 large.  Now, if this were the only place to exercise within 25 miles, it might make sense.  But this is not the case.  There are many privately owned facilities very close by – some as close as Sullivan’s Island and some just across the connector.

The more important question is one of political philosophy.  Should government be in competition with private businesses?  Government has a huge advantage if it is.  Government doesn’t have to buy a business license and does not have to make a profit.  It is generally exempt from the rules it applies to its citizens.  It never has to really worry about a monthly profit and loss statement, because if it should happen to lose money it can always raise taxes.  Talk about sleeping easier at night!

For those who would like to build this facility, I have this question.  Everyone on this island needs a dry cleaner and there is not one close by.  Should the city get in the dry cleaning business?  It could certainly do it cheaper than Chris’ (who has really gotten pricey, but that is another story) because the city would not be trying to generate a profit.

And why stop at dry cleaning?  The city could hire a real estate agent, pay him or her a salary and significantly cut the 6% commission.  The city could hire extra employees for public works and they could cut everyone’s grass.  We all need our grass cut and they could do it cheaper.

I think you get my point. What is interesting to me is how people with a firm, formed philosophy will quickly jettison it if in doing so they benefit in some way (usually financially – the awesome power of money.)

Final thoughts:  unless you are very serious about your fitness, you can get in excellent shape without a rec room.  You can run, walk, bike and swim.  You can stretch and build plenty of muscle using  only your own body weight.  Push-ups, lunges, burpees (these are best done at home anyway because they can easily cause one to barf), planks, squats, sit-ups, etc, etc.  There are now tons of apps for your phone or ipad that will get you in serious shape, all the comfort of your home.  Muster up for home boot camp!

The Observer is back to work

The iopobserver is back to work making observations after a 1 year hiatus.  The editor took a new job and performed a lot of home renovation.  Both time consuming.  What really led to the hiatus, though, was a serious bicycle accident.  While training for Ironman Chattanooga, I had a very serious wreck on the James Island connector (yes, I know, “where cyclists go to die”) one morning at 6 am resulting in a fractured pelvis and a prolonged loss of conssciousness.  My helmet, cracked in 7 places, likely saved my life.  Rehab was slow and painful but everything is now healed up and it is time to get back to commenting on IOP politics.

As always, please feel free to send in comments.  All are published as long as the language and content are not purely inflammatory.  Just click on the title of this posting and it will take you to a page where you can type in a reply.  Once approved by me (which all have been over the past several years) your reply will appear on the website.  This is unlike http://www.ioptoday.com that takes comments from readers (I have sent in two) but neither responds to nor publishes them.  I wonder why?

Greenspace – Little Admired and Never Used

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Well here it is my friends.  The magnificent Mayor Carmen R. Bunch Park.  This stunning 1.07 acre piece of property was purchased 2 years ago by city council for the absolute bargain of $474,385.  Can these guys negotiate or what?

The previous city council wanted to use the money as starter funds to purchase an oceanfront lot.  You know, something citizens would actually use.  Go have a nice picnic or whatever on a nice shady area while looking and listening to the ocean.  Wouldn’t you rather do that than go to the Bunch Bunker and watch the beer trucks roll into the Harris Teeter?

Jimdaddy Carroll called the oceanfront lot “ridiculous.”  Why?  Because we gotta put a large rental house on it and generate taxes for the residents who are screaming for tax relief from the city with the lowest property taxes in the tri-county area.  Residents be damned, we gotta cater to commerce!

Since the purchase of the Bunch Bunker I have never seen a single person use the property.  Not once.  I am absolutely confident an oceanfront lot would be used.  But what do I know, I don’t own a realty business.

Should you ever see a person in the park, please take a pic and send it to iopobserver@gmail.com and and we will reward this intrepid explorer by publishing their picture.

IOP Residents Packin’ Heat

This was taken from the Next Door website:

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With little to no help from city officials to decimate the raging coyotes, residents have taken measures into their own hands.

I do hope this person has taken an Eddie Eagle refresher course before chambering a round in his new P220 Sig Sauer.

One final point:  Wile E Coyote has been known to make extensive use of explosives from the Acme supply company, so evening strollers may want to invest in a good pair of night vision goggles.

Should the coyote militia want to keep things quiet, Palmetto State Armory has suppressors in stock for those who want to jump through all the regulatory hoops.

Be safe out there.

No Parking Plan Here

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This picture was taken Saturday on Waterway Blvd.  This is the bike path all the kids use to go to the marina to get ice cream.

The warming weather will soon lead to the path being occupied for blocks.  Somehow, after 6 years of study, City Council just could not figure out what to do about overflow parking at the marina.

Now, of course, none of this overflow parking is from vehicles and trailers of IOP residents.  Residents, Shchmedisents!  Gotta take care of all those who don’t live here first.  More on this idea in a post to follow.

52nd Avenue’s Wish is Granted

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If you enlarge the above picture and look closely you will see that IOP has partially granted the wishes of the citizens of 52nd Avenue, citizens who seem to have aspired to forming their own city.  (See the previous post on their lawsuit with the City of IOP.)

No daytripper (aka The Unwashed Masses) parking is permitted on the street.  At least during the busy summer hours.  Residents with a proper rear window decal will be permitted to park in the easement, but my best guess is that if anyone tries this, you will see more fiberglass poles placed in the easement to prevent parking.  For the record, this is much less expensive and environmentally friendly than the “Jim Owens Method.”

This is where you run your sprinkler all day to keep the cars out the easement.  He had the sprinkler going this past weekend.  Despite my distaste for the tactic, I have to give him this:  It works great!  He is not the Mayor of Palm Blvd for nothing.

Coyote Howlings

The howling about coyotes got so intense that the website NextDoor banned all discussions of the issue. Alas, the issue is flourishing on Facebook. It is close to reaching hysteria level and psychiatrists may need to be called in to defuse the situation with medication.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal on March 12, there has been one human death attributed to coyotes. It was a 3 year old girl in Glendale, Arizona in 1981.

I run very early in the morning and have routinely seen coyotes on the island and they want nothing to do with me. (Of course, that could be saying something about me…)

It is quite possible the coyotes have killed a cat or two, but I don’t think this has ever been proven. But if so, it is easily prevented. Keep your cat inside. This really isn’t so bad. Most pet owners view their pets as members of their family. Well who lets a family member run around the neighborhood in the middle of the night?

Furthermore, in my experience, most pet owners are animal lovers. Well, shouldn’t we also love coyotes? After all, they are animals, too, and they are not killing us and they don’t even eat our flowers like the deer do in my front yard.

Finally, cats are well known to kill pretty, defenseless birds! I like birds. Should we kill your cat if it kills a bird? Well, there is one way to protect the birds. Keep your cat inside.

The poor coyotes, they don’t have a spokesperson. If they did have one, Rodney King Coyote would be saying, “Can’t we all just get along?”

Marina Musings

The following letter was sent to city council by former council member Brian Duffy.  This letter shows how much the city misses his clear, reasoned thinking.

Dear Mayor and Councilmembers,

I really appreciate your efforts looking into improving the marina. No doubt there is always room for improvement, parking and landscaping being most notable.  I am somewhat heartened to see in the Moultrie News that caution was expressed about catering too strongly to a wide market.  I suggest to you that you have only one market to consider, IOP voters who approved the marina acquisition as an amenity for residents via referendum.  That we have a successful restaurant (who I hope is paying their rent on time) and a successful general store is a good thing, however, it is not why the marina was acquired in the first place. I hope you will keep this in mind as you move through the process.
As a resident who lives 500 yards from the marina and is overly exposed to the “wide market” to which the marina already caters, I am impressed that we have a design engineer who can talk about a “very intimate relationship with the water” and then propose a dry stack!  I guess you can say waterboarding is also a “very intimate relationship with the water”.  If the BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP of a forklift moving boats around on beautiful island days is not torture, I don’t know what is!  Because I am already overly exposed to the impacts (noise, traffic, and parking) of the marina businesses, I am sure you can tell that I am adamantly opposed to a dry stack at the marina.  I cannot see how it benefits the residents and how it fits in with this part of the  comprehensive plan vision statement:  Measures that will enhance the existing character of the island as a quality place to live, and protect the environment both on and around the island, must be taken to guide development and preserve the quality of life for generations to come.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to future resident input sessions.
Best regards,
Brian Duffy

The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

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As I am sure you have noticed, the island is now populated by more litter on a stick.  This sign can be found on every street corner on the island.

And you know what?  I’m ok with it.  Council just spent 6 years coming up with a parking plan.  Six Years!  Why did it take so long?  Because they truly were trying to find the Holy Grail.  That is, a plan that would work and that would not offend anyone.  If you think this is easy, you need to run for office.

And all the complaining you are now hearing about the signs is exactly why no one runs for office.  The last 2 elections have been uncontested.  Despite the huge amount of hard work council put into this, a vocal minority wants to find the one perceived problem and pile on.

Remember, this plan is not carved in stone.  What many many people said about parking was, “Just do something, anything.  If there are problems, changes can be made.”  Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Well, Sandy “Fiscal” Ferencz started to complain about all the signs.  She was able to lure Jimmy Ward and JimDaddy Carroll onto her cause.  So, at this point the plan is all set and ready to go.  And, oh yes, already paid for.

But wait, what about all these signs?  Well, they have been in the plan all along.  But if you read councilmembers’ comments in the newspaper and on social media they seem to claim they did not know there would be so many signs.  Mayor Cronin told them the plans have been available all along.  Hmmm.  So, let me get this straight.  Council does not even know what is going on.  Is it any wonder that the average citizen is totally in the dark?

See my earlier postings on the non-transparency of city government and how it could easily be fixed.

But, back to the issue at hand.  Someone got the brilliant idea of starting a petition drive to get the signs removed.  By methods unbeknownst to me, JimDaddy nabbed Jeff Evans, and got him to go door to door.  JimDaddy took the easier route and said if you were interested in signing the petition he had a copy in his office!

Having been involved in a huge petition drive I can tell you this:  If the signer has to come to you, you ain’t gonna get many signatures!  To mount a successful petition drive requires a large number of committed people and a lot of time.

All of which tells me this drive is going nowhere and it is probably already over.  Which is good.  If you are going to put effort into a petition drive you need to make sure it is for something really important, like monster mini-hotels taking over the island in the areas zoned for residential living.

A petition drive to get some signs removed is just not worth the effort.  And as Mayor Cronin noted, if it proves the signs are too much or not necessary, council can look at taking them down.

Thank goodness for the adult, clear thinker in the room.