At the request of the City of Key West, there was a meeting between the City of Key West and Monroe County in hopes of accomplishing something for the common good of our citizens, but much to my dismay, it was an exercise in futility or as Shakespeare might say, "Much Ado About Nothing". While I strongly endorse the concept of joint City-County Commission meetings, I was somewhat disappointed that the agenda items had not been thought out, researched and formulated into something that we could act upon.
The joint meeting had just begun when two items of a County-only nature was to be acted upon by the County Commission. It was for the approval for F.D.O.T. (Florida Department of Transportation) to resurface C905 in Key Largo and C905-A on the Card Sound Road. This started a loud response from a small anti-airport group there to oppose the safety overrun item to be heard later.
Once that was quieted down, we discussed the next few items of transferring County Roads and the County Beach over to the City. We could not get a yes or a no although the proposals had been made to the City often in the past. Next we talked about bus service and boat ferry service from Miami to Key West with stops along the Keys. Everybody said fine until the question was asked, "Who is going to run it and be financially responsible?"
The next agenda item was affordable housing and everyone said they were in favor of affordable housing. The next was F.A.A. (Federal Aviation Authority) request for safety overrun areas at each end of the runway with the F.A.A. financing an expensive environmental study, pledging millions of dollars to triple the replanting of any mangroves to make it more productive for the ecology. But in spite of the fact that this is a life safety issue, there was pathetic obfuscation, but no simple yes or no.
We did agree on the beautification of the median strip from Boca Chica to Key West but the next item of the homeless plight remained just that, a homeless plight. The next few law enforcement issues were answered by the Sheriff and Police Chief, which could have been handled by phone calls to these officers.
In essence, what was accomplished? With reference to giving roads and parks to the City, it sounded like Laokoon's advice in the Trojan War who, in seeing the huge wooden horse at Troy, warned his people not to accept the gift of the invaders, and from Laokoon's advice comes of course the famous sayings, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" and "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts".