An Open Letter to the County Mayor and County Commissioners
Dear County Commissioners:
Before you buy the fish house on Stock Island what is your business plan?
1. Will the docks and land be “free” to the fishermen?
2. If not then what will be the charge per square foot of land and or the dock space assigned to each boat?
3. Will taxes be assessed and paid for by the users or tenants.
4. Will the “sales tax” revenues being used to purchase the property be returned to the county for future use of all county taxpayers?
5. Will the fish house be leased or run by the fishermen? If so what is the proposed lease amount (the rent)?
6. Will the users be required to put aside a “sinking fund” to repair, replace or rebuild the docks and facilities, parking lot, gates and fences etc., in the future?
7. Who will pay the electric, water (the overhead) for the property?
8. Since nothing in this world is free will the county budget have a line item in the future to supply ongoing funds to this fishery project? (Just like parks and beaches.)
9. Who will be responsible for meeting the federal and state mandates for keeping records of the catch etc.?
10. Since private fish houses pay county taxes will they be given a tax subsidy in the future to help off-set the possible losses of revenue etc. to the free fish house? Will Marathon and Islamorada, Key Largo, and Big Pine Key have similar fish house purchases to “save the industry”?
Has anyone in the county given any thought to what a business plan, that is fair to everyone, might look like?
When government takes over what has been a “private for-profit industry” in the past the results from this “take over” will definitely have “free market” repercussions. Please consider what they are now and hold hearings on the questions I have asked and others questions that might come up along the way.
If a business plan does exist please share it for comment and since this will come under ownership of the taxpayers and voters don’t we (they) have the right to know prior to this purchase?
Edwin O. Swift, III