Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Who I Am and What I Want

(The Candidates Posts Pt II)

Most of you know me. I have earned a modest amount of fame as a sand sculptor and I really love teaching others how to build better sandcastles here on beautiful South Padre Island. I write books and blogs, design & host websites and I own and operate the Sandbox Inn. This is my 27th spring break. Google has decided that I am a trusted authority on two subjects: sand sculpture and South Padre Island. I attend more meetings than I want to, but not as many as I should. I was for five years the significant other of former SPI Alderman Fred Mallett, which makes me at least as qualified as Hillary.

If you want to learn more about me, please look at sandyfeet.com. Read my blog. My life is an open book with no hidden agenda or mysterious financial backers. Not all of my income is locally generated, but enough of it is that I have a vested interest in a happy business climate fed by a steady flow of tourists. I live here because I love the climate, I love my job, and I love the people this place attracts. (Most of them, anyway.) I think this place - just as it is - is pretty swell, which is not the same thing as saying it always needs to stay the way it is right now, or that it couldn’t be even more swell in the future.

So that - in a nutshell - is who I am. I also said I was going to tell you what I want. But I think it might be easier to start by telling you what I don’t want.

Your money - I am not for sale (unless you are looking for a kick-ass sand sculptor, in which case, I’m your woman.)

SPI Politics as Usual: I hate the us vs. them mindset. Let’s start from the premise that we all love the island and we all care about the local economy, our town’s appearance, and our neighbors -- even if they do let that dog bark until all hours.

Pigeon-holing: All retirees want to kill spring break; business owners only care about the bottom line; developers want to tear down houses, pave paradise and cover the island with high-rises and casinos; longtime residents are just a bunch of cannabis-smoking hippies who were lucky enough to get in while land was still cheap and don’t have the good grace to grow up or move on; environmentalists are nutcases who won’t be happy until our yards are all overrun with weeds and our houses with vermin; people who oppose raising taxes are all CAVEmen; anyone who stays in the same room with Clayton Brashear for more than five minutes falls under his spell and must be deprogrammed, etc. etc.

Sound familiar? The people who live and work here are not two-dimensional cut-outs. I am a resident who wants to preserve the local flora and fauna first, a business-owner who wants to earn a living second, a non-rich person who worries about taxes going up third and an aging progressive (don’t call me hippy) who used to frolic naked in the dunes north of town (and might have time to do that again some day, who knows?) fourth.

The last thing I don’t want is to devote more of my hard-earned leisure time to sitting in meetings.
(More on that in the next installment.)

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3 Comments:

Blogger islandboy said...

Well the primary thing that gets my attention in this(and again, I cant vote for you I don't live there so it doesnt really matter what i think) is the fact that you want to maintain the island in it's more natural state. And I think thats important. SPI doesn't need to look like NYC or Downtown of some big city(say Corpus). SPI needs to maintain what it is that keeps all those people coming. An island needs to be an island, and part of that is the people that live there. There is absolutely no need to build more highrises and demolish the single-family homes. I don't know about some people but I hate those damned high rise condo buildings. Sounds like a good platform to build on SF! Keep it up!!!

8:52 AM  
Blogger islandboy said...

ok granted Corpus isn't THAT big...but still

islandboy

8:53 AM  
Blogger islandboy said...

Hey,

islandboy and his friend boston are planning a trip to South Padre in a lil over a week.

what can sf and the readers tell me about camping on SPI? do you need a permit?

are people allowed to drive on the beaches there???

12:17 AM  

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