#Civil Rights
Reps. Boyd and Robinson
United States of America

Once upon a time, there was a sleepy, undiscovered island. In the early 20th Century, development began. Folks started taking a ferry across the bay to visit this rustic slice of paradise. Builders started putting up quaint cottages. The first bridge was built. Soon there were three cities, each with its own character. Plans were carefully laid out, designed to accommodate residents and visitors alike, ensuring the charm of The Island was not lost in the process.

The Island became a beloved slice of Paradise. The Community grew. City Government and resources grew alongside.

People of all types started making the Island a full or part time home. Movies were filmed here. Baseball players loved the proximity to Spring Training. People loved the fact the Island had a true community who were welcoming all who passed through or chose to call The Island home.

Then the sleepy slice of Paradise "got discovered." Tourists began to fill our rooms 12 months a year. The Community and the Cities learned to adapt to this New Normal, ensuring we neither lost the visitor-resident balance nor the charm that made the Island a destination that was hard to be beat.

The City of Holmes Beach was incorporated in 1950. The City of Bradenton Beach was incorporated in 1952. The City of Anna Maria was incorporated in 1923. Now, our Elected Representatives want to take away ALL vestiges of Home Rule. Our Legislators are asking the State to decide if the Cities should retain the privilege of incorporation. Now they want The State to decide if the three Cities should be incorporated into one or completely dissolved and put completely under County Control. And they want to do it with NO INPUT from the People of Anna Maria Island.

In other words, the County wants to ask the State to decide what Cities are allowed to exist, and whether Counties have the right to a hostile takeover of long established Cities. They want to take the voice from t he actual people and put it in the hands of County and State legislators.

We cannot allow this to happen. Florida likes to tout itself as "The Freedom State," yet wants to enact legislation that will usurp the rights of the voters, investors, and businesses to self govern. How is this consistent with Freedom at all?

As Manatee County Residents, we must assert our right to self-govern our own communities. We must uphold the right to of the people who live in an area to decide if and how incorporation persists. As Is;land Lovers, you must make your voices heard so those threatening them may see the negative impact on tourism such changes would bring.

Rep. Will Robinson has proposed “a study” to determine if the 3 AMI Cities (Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach) should be eliminated completely or consolidated into a single City (with a single New Charter.) We, the undersigned, strongly oppose such a study and want to see the 3 Cities be left as is. We feel any talks of consolidation need to be initiated by The Cities themselves. Each city has its own unique characteristics, and consolidation or dissolution would ruin this. We strongly oppose any attempts to force either consolidation or dissolution on the Island City Governments.

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The No Forced Consolidation of AMI Cities petition to Reps. Boyd and Robinson was written by Laurel Nevans and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.