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pinion Letter to the Editor: My Reasons for Endorsing Nathaniel Leonard as District 1 Commissioner


To Whom it may concern,

The following is a summary of my reasons for endorsing Nathaniel Leonard as the Republican candidate for the District 1 County Commissioner position currently held by Larry Bustle, the incumbent.

1. At the Pizza & Politics event in Parrish on June 30th, Nathaniel Leonard committed himself to conducting regular Community Meetings with the residents in order to hear about their concerns and update them on County Commission actions. In contrast, incumbent Commissioner Bustle has held no Community Meetings with the residents in the four years that he has been the District 1 Commissioner.

2. Incumbent Bustle stated to me on June 30th that he would not support upgrading the approach roads to the Fort Hamer Bridge if it is built as a part of the Bridge construction as these roads can be upgraded later. The Florida Department of Transportation [ FDOT ] data shows that these two-lane approach roads will fail if the Bridge is built and these two-lane roads are not upgraded to four lanes concurrently. Further, it should be understood that our community will experience traffic gridlock on Upper Manatee River Road, Fort Hamer Road and Old Tampa Road if these roads are not upgraded to four lanes as a part of the proposed Bridge project.

3. Incumbent Bustle has refused my repeated requests to provide our community with Quarterly Capital Improvement Program [ CIP ] Project Status Reports for the following CIP Road Safety Upgrade Projects; Erie Road / 69th St.E Intersection, Sidewalks & Bicycle Lanes for Ft. Hamer Road, Upper Manatee River Road and Erie Road. It is interesting to note that Commissioner Chappie receives Quarterly CIP Road Project Status Reports for four projects in his district. Also, funding for these projects is not an issue, as the County has funding available from Impact Feesand Gas Taxes to fully cover the costs for these projects.  

4. Incumbent Bustle was the swing vote in the County Commission's 4 to 3 approval in May of 2011 of Pat Neal's Canoe Creek Development on Golf Course Road with 27 foot wide residential detached building lots. Our community hopes that this decision has not established a precedent for 27 foot wide residential building lots in the Parrish area. Although Bustle and Benac supported this decision at the Pizza & Politics event on June 30th, there is strong opposition in the Parrish community for this kind of density for future developments.

The Primary Election to select Party Candidates for the General Election will be held on Tuesday, August 14th. Please make sure to vote on August 14th!

Jay A. King  
Parrish, FL


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