Issue #86 — Friday, October 31, 2014
This legislation is a proactive measure to protect our homes against flood waters. Today, 85% of the City of Key West is in the regulated floodplain. The majority of New Town and Mid Town homes are 2-3’ below floodplain. Although a section of Old Town is in the X- zone, over 50% of all Old Town properties lie 1-3’ below flood. We collectively pay over $ 11,800,000 in annual flood premiums paid by 7,792 Key West flood policy holders.
Passage of this referendum provides an opportunity for a homeowner currently at or below flood to raise their home a maximum of 4’ out of the floodplain. This will not create “high rises” in Key West and is certainly not a “developers dream”. This is not an opportunity to build more floors on current homes; it is an opportunity to raise your current floor joist system out of flood waters. The 40’ cap was instituted to assure that we maintain our height characteristics. Homes in the HARC district must obtain HARC approval to raise their “below base flood elevation” homes. This adds another level of scrutiny assuring that the historic district will maintain our unique and historic character and property values.
I will tell you what changes the character of a Community however! It is losing over 500 Key West families during the 2 years post-Wilma. It is families who no longer qualify for mortgages.
The main event today is why Carlos Curbelo’s main talking point, fighting the so-called national debt, is fiscal folly. My best acolyte for the book I got published 20 years ago, The Deficit Lie: Exposing the Myth of the National Debt, is finally writing his own book on this vital topic. He took a break as a regular writer for the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, and has been sending me drafts to vet, so it’s on my mind again.
But first, the Neugent and troll update. My ethics complaint has been assigned to the Florida Ethics Commission’s top investigator, the most senior fellow who oversees the rest. This is good news. I’ll bet anyone $ 1,000 George does not get away without any sanctions. Any takers?
On the down side, the county got an opinion from Special Counsel for Open Government for the Attorney General’s Office allowing them to keep hiding the transcripts of the closed sessions for their disastrous lawsuit against SUFA. This delay, waiting for the last defendant to settle the case on his terms, is not all bad. If I get vital information after the current ethics complaint has been ruled on, I will have cause to refile on that issue.
Government efforts to tell business owners how to hire and pay employees continue to be in the news. While I do not represent myself as an expert in this field, I have had the opportunity to work as a middle manager in New York City with one of the largest corporations in the world as well as to own and operate a small business here in Key West. That at least provides a basis for some thoughts and opinions on this topic and, as is my custom, I will share some of those thoughts and opinions with you.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: EVERYONE WHO DOES THE SAME WORK IN THE SAME ORGANIZATION SHOULD BE PAID THE SAME. That concept may sound good when uttered by a naive politician looking for votes, but in the real world, it just is not practical. The truth is that, in any large company or other organization, different employees (men and women) with the same job title are paid different salaries. That is the norm, not the exception. Here’s why.