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Raw deal on Jekyll

Editor,

Attempts to defend the financial agreement between Jekyll Island Authority and Linger Longer Communities (Reynolds Company) are profoundly lacking in accountability to taxpayers.

Those trying to justify an arrangement that would provide a 300% profit to LLC base their view on the ready claim that upgrades on Jekyll will boost visitation and tourist spending.

The question is not whether millions of dollars in construction on millions of dollars worth of state barrier island property will stimulate the local economy. At the heart of the matter is how such benefits can be created while offering a diligent balance between profits for the developer and fairness to taxpayers.

Where else would public officials offer a developer highly discounted beachfront property and guaranteed retention of more than 99% of profits for time-share condos supported by infrastructure paid for by at least $50 million in state-backed bonds?

Few would deny the value of certain enhancements on Jekyll as a major step in revitalizing the state park. But many of us fully support Senator Jeff Chapman’s challenge of the appalling imbalance in financial benefits that would favor a well-connected private developer at the expense of Georgia taxpayers.

Blind allegiance to a simplistic notion, “Money spent is good, public accountability irrelevant” is an absurdly negligent basis for defending the JIA agreement.

Unless other public officials join Senator Chapman in conducting a thorough examination of the deal JIA is offering LLC, Georgia’s current $2 billion budget deficit will become a telling indicator of more problems to come.

David KylerCenter for a Sustainable Coast

Fresh Juice

Editor,

Last night at the Lucas Theatre J-Rep productions put on the Juice Play cycle. The shows were intended to educated young men and women about the dangers of sex with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS awareness.

My congratulations to the company for filling up the Lucas and for having all those young people attend their show. I have one major criticism though, the show was too long. It started at 7pm and did not finish until just after 11pm.

Four hours is far to long for anyone; teacher, student, whomever, to attend any show on a week night. The people in charge of the show should have cut the first play down, it ran 2 hours on its own before an intermission.

I felt sorry for the company that started with a full house and ended with a theatre less than half full.

Janine Smith
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Connect Today 03.24.2017

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