McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

Want to impact your community? Many of McIntosh's citizen boards have open seats and a council at a loss as to how to fill them.

Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

07.22.07 -- Tree Committee Chairman to resign

Editor's Note: Sean Dowie, chairman of the Tree Committee, sent this letter to the editor on Sunday afternoon. He said in an e-mail and phone interview he will be submitting this letter of resignation from the McIntosh Tree Committee to Council President Frank Ciotti on Monday.

It is with regret that I announce my resignation as the Chair of the Tree Committee as of Monday July 23, 2007 due time restraints with my business and foremost the inappropriate and unsubstantiated accusations made by Councilman Lee Deadrick that were made at a time when I was not present and unable to explain or defend myself. This is unbecoming of a council member and I am no longer willing to volunteer my time for this position.

Upon returning this past weekend from a family funeral, (my sister was killed in a plane crash the previous week and the reason I was not able to attend the town council meeting) I listened to the Town Council meeting on the blog. I was disheartening to hear that after all of the hours of work and volunteered time from the committee members that our ordinance was tossed to the wayside. Our goal has always been for the Tree Committee to preserve the natural beauty of McIntosh by making sure we have a well established tree canopy and protect the existing trees that took, in many cases, hundreds of years to grow. Our position has never been to hinder or restrain land owners, only to protect what was and already is here.

The Tree Committee has spent many months updating the Tree Ordinance with recommendations from the LPA and the Town Council, and every month Councilman Deaderick, would have another issue with the ordinance as if he were reading one paragraph a month rather than telling the committee all he would like to see in one meeting. This makes writing and updating an ordinance difficult. It has always been Councilman Deaderick view that the Town of McIntosh has no need for a Tree Ordinance which reflects his comments at the July 12 meeting.

McIntosh has lived many years hidden from the progression of development and has prospered as a small community but times are definitely changing and growing up in South Florida I have fist hand experience in seeing this. Every part of Florida is now available for a price and this is why I do not share the views of Councilman Deaderick and why I chose to volunteer for the Tree Committee. I think perhaps Councilman Deadrick would benefit from remembering that his place is to represent the view of the town and not treat his position as his own personal soap box.

As to several comments made by Councilman Deaderick, one being the removal of a tree on town right of way by the water tower to which proper procedures were not followed, Jill Allen and I both looked at this tree and determined it was completely dead with serious decay on one side, presenting a serious hazard & safety issue and with the high winds and recent rains it was in the best interest of the Town to have the tree removed. Unfortunately, at that time, our committee was unable to meet and give proper 72 hour notice due to the fact 2 of the 3 committee members were out of town at that time. The towns current Tree Ordinance written in 1997 made no provisions for such an emergency, as the new Tree Ordinance would have, so I did make the decision to have the tree removed. I do not apologize for what I thought was in the best interest of the town and unfortunately was not able to follow proper procedures in this situation but it was obvious the tree was dead and presented a safety issue and therefore would make the town liable.

To councilman Deadericks other comments about my trustworthiness and accusations to insult to my character, I will only say this is completely unacceptable from a town council member and serve only his own agenda and not the best interest of the town.

It has been a pleasure working with Jill Allen and Bill Weltner on the committee and I hope they continue to do great work. I would also like to give high praise to the McIntosh Garden Club for their gracious gift of trees to the town of McIntosh and there continuing efforts in keeping McIntosh beautiful

Sincerely,
Sean M.Dowie

posted by Cher @ 7:36 PM,

24 Comments:

At   July 25, 2007 8:21 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Sean I am very sorry about your sister life is too short. Lee as for you. You could have worked alot better at helping this group instead of hindering it shame on you Lee you used to say that these groups need to first set out to help then make rules and you have fail yourself. One more person out for the good of this town has quit. This is clearly a loss to this town again.

 
At   July 25, 2007 10:15 AM     ,    Blogger fisherwife    said...

I find it incredibly difficult to stand idly by while others bash my husband. Lee never reads the blog and I should probably stay away because I end up becoming frustrated with some of the comments about his behavior. That's to be expected in politics, but I haven't the heart for it. He is working for the good of the town and not his own personal gain. Truthfully, it is time away from his family.

It is doubtful that anything I say will make one iota of difference to you. Of course we are sad to hear of Sean's sister. It makes what I'm about to say sound really heartless.

Sean was not personally attacked by Lee. Lee pointed out that the members of the tree committee were acting as individuals, making decisions outside of meetings. This is unacceptable. Lee wants a tree ordinance that will work for all the people of McIntosh. Extremism on either side of the issue is no good (i.e. saving all the trees or letting anyone cut down anything indiscriminately). There's got to be some common sense approach to this issue.
People need to be able to trim their trees without having to fill out paperwork or wait on committees for the go-ahead.

What it really comes down to is this...are your property rights more important than a tree. That's the main arguement here. I believe, like my husband, that your property rights ARE more important than a tree. Am I talking about the beautiful oaks here? No. They should be protected. Who really wants to cut those down? It's why many of you live here.

I'm sorry Sean decided that he needed to resign. But I'm more sorry that he felt he needed to villify someone in the process.

 
At   July 25, 2007 1:32 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Thank you all for your condolences, I say that with a heartfelt appreciation. As to a response to Mrs Deadericks comments- I was not bashing or vilifying anyone. I was responding to comments made by Councilman Deaderick when I was not present or able to explain my actions. If Mrs Deaderick would read the proposed new Tree Ordinance before trying to give expressions of freedom, she would see in section #4 the first line reads; No permit is required when trimming a tree for proper tree care. The Deadericks have chosen to live in a community, (the key word here is community)so some of your property rights may not be as free as they would if you lived in more rural setting. Some of the physical appearances one may do on there property may effect a whole neighborhood and thus why communities have hopefully reasonable ordinances. I respect Mrs.Deadericks views but these are no-longer the times of the first settlers.
Sean Dowie

 
At   July 25, 2007 3:18 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

We did not move into a gated community with a homeowner's association. We chose not to do that. Community does not give other's the right to infringe on our property rights. What you are confusing is your political agenda. It is appalling to you that anyone would remove a perfectly healthy tree. I think you see trees differently than they might. I applaud your love of the environment. You and I have had this discussion before, Sean (I'm not sure when you started referring to me as Mrs. Deaderick :)) But nothing you or I could say here would make any difference to the other. We are entrenched in our views. I only took issue with the way you interpreted Lee's comments at last council meeting. You and I both know he would have said anything he said in the meeting to your face. He's not a coward. It's enough, already. Life is short and if you were here I'd hug you and tell you I am praying for you over the loss of your sister. That's all that's going to matter when all is said and done.

Katie Deaderick

 
At   July 25, 2007 3:56 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

He is working for the good of the town and not his own personal gain.
Where did you come up with this? Lee has a personal agenda(the school) he has said it many of times, That it is the reason he ran. And you know this is a comunity, A very close one. And it does need protecting from it's own people. Just look at the events that have gone on for the last 5 years.

 
At   July 25, 2007 4:23 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

O.K. Point taken. Sign your names, people. Community, my behind. Not when there's back-biting all over the place.

The school might be a personal agenda for now, but it will be a lasting and enduring bonus to McIntosh. I'm sure that Sean would say the same for our trees.

K.Deaderick

 
At   July 25, 2007 7:42 PM     ,    Blogger McIntosh Flash    said...

As Chairman of the Tree Committe, Sean was never given a job description, so what measuring stick was he to be held accountable too? This is not his fault - nor is it directly Lee's

When appointed to the position, Sean was given a copy of the tree ordinance and told to "go forth and issue permits" Very little other information was furnished to him. (that is a guess)

However, Lee's thoughts of what the chairman of the tree committee's job was very different from Sean's.

Who is right, and who is wrong? Since Lee is an elected town councilman, he has more of a voice, and a forum for his opinion.

That is all he is guilty of, having an opinion!!!!

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion in any place in the USA - except McIntosh.

I know and respect each of these gentlemen - BOTH are correct by their own standards.... The problem is that the standards were not written down.

Now the entire town is envolved in an argument over two good men doing what they both thought was correct and right..... Shame on McIntosh.

Guys, Thank you for your service to our town. You both have spent many hours for everyone's good - but communication has turned neighbor against neighbor... I hope that this does not create a problem for either of you or your families!!!

Suggestion: draft job descriptions for board appointments and hold them accountable to the standards that are written down.

As for the anonymous comment about Lee having an agenda - what is wrong with that? He was elected by the voters knowing what he stood for - you cannot fault him for not swaying from his values - in fact that is to be respected - HE HAS A BACKBONE!!!

 
At   July 25, 2007 11:04 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

Actually, the council did meet to discuss direction for the citizen boards.

The sad thing about the tree ordinance being killed by the council and one councilman writing a new law himself is that it costs the town something called shared governance. Yeah, Deaderick is elected. Citizen board members are appointed. But the town is supported by the citizen board members, too. And part of the privilege having a chartered municipality within a democracy, rather than a dictatorship or kingdom, is shaping our own laws.

An interesting observation from this thread is how community becomes a priority under certain conditions. Some who have posted comments say that protecting the trees supports the community. Others say building a school supports it.

The tree ordinance that the council killed was no more extreme, contrary to an above description, than a group of residents asking the community to borrow more than $1 million to build less than 20 McIntosh children a school.

Just an observation.

 
At   July 26, 2007 1:02 PM     ,    Blogger Sheila Winters    said...

Here is another example. I just don't understand. Good people, good intentions, wonderful ideas from all sides regarding maintaining our beautiful tree-lined streets and a town-supported school for the future of our children, both legacies from good people who care to plan for the future. People willing to step up and help accomplish admirable goals. People with vision. How does it get to this? Why so much suspicion? Do our neighbors truly want to do us harm? Do we really need to be afraid? If so, what do we fear? Here I am, Pollyanna again (I should post anonymously under that moniker). Please, someone, tell me what has caused this discord. Is there a way to move past it? How do other communities come together for their mutual benefit? I don't even know how to spell Kum Ba Ya and I know everyone has had a good laugh about it...maybe we DO need a campfire gathering. I'm truly baffled and very sad. People I love are fighting over a town we all love. I'm going back to my "Sheila world" again. Just couldn't keep quiet.

 
At   July 26, 2007 2:48 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Just for the record. I do love thy neighbor, I have no problems with Katie or Lee or anyone else for that matter. We just have a different opinion on our tree ordinance. I totally support the school and hope it grows to be a model of excellence for other charter schools. This is all about communication between committees, town council and the citizens of McIntosh and long as channels are open and animosity is but a side we all can work it out. Thanks all for your passion and that you care.
Sean Dowie

 
At   July 26, 2007 3:56 PM     ,    Blogger Sheila Winters    said...

I do care, Sean, Lee, Katie and Cher, those of you who will sign your names so bravely, and to all those who post anonymously, I really do understand. I used to be anonymous as well. Does anyone else think the animosity might dissolve if everyone knew who he or she was talking with? Just a thought. On this blog, I get a sense that there is someone ready in the wings to "zap" without truly thinking it through, a possible result of being anonymous??? I don't have answers...just a lot of questions and a longing for a gentle spirit in McIntosh. Now, I'm truly back to my own little world.

 
At   July 26, 2007 4:19 PM     ,    Blogger McIntosh Flash    said...

Wow - people, you all are important to our community. I think that Sean has the right idea, and it is what I tried to convey in my last post - COMMUNICATION.
Yes, there was a meeting between the council and the committees, but nothing was put in writing ( a road map so to speak) for obtaining the goal everyone had in mind.
Other towns dont have the self destructive bent that we have because they communicate effectivly - and write everything down, file it and have it for ready reference. In McIntosh, we somtimes have to depend upon someone that was "at that meeting" for their rememberance of what happened.

Memories fail, written guidelines dont.

Am I barking up a tree with no fox in it, or am I on the right scent?

 
At   July 27, 2007 1:03 PM     ,    Blogger McIntosh Flash    said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At   July 27, 2007 9:21 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Where can i find the minature violin and the purple panther pizz.

Mr B

 
At   July 27, 2007 9:22 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

This thought removed by author

 
At   July 27, 2007 9:23 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

This author removed by thought

 
At   July 27, 2007 9:28 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

For the record, I didn't delete the above comment.

 
At   July 27, 2007 10:18 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

so what did you remove?

 
At   July 27, 2007 10:29 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

I didn't remove any comment. I think the only user's comment I ever removed and changed was Fred's when he named a suspect in the theft of his airboat. And I documented that.

The author, the "Flash" removed the comment.

Apparently, there's a perk to setting up an identity. When you feel remorse for posting something, you can pull your own comment down.
Kum-by-ya, folks.

 
At   July 28, 2007 9:57 AM     ,    Blogger McIntosh Flash    said...

To whom it may concern:

This is not the only Blog that I post on, I appologize that I deleted the post - but it was one intended for another blog -

"Passing Time and Passing Gas in Small Town America"

go figure - there are so many similarities between these two blogs... I get confused sometimes

 
At   July 29, 2007 5:03 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

I don't care who you are....that's funny!

 
At   July 29, 2007 5:59 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

Oh, I don't care who she is either. I figured I'd better explain the phenomena of a deleted comment so folks don't think I'm pulling comments down without reason or disclosure.

 
At   July 30, 2007 6:53 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

who "she" is?

 
At   July 30, 2007 7:22 AM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

Well, I could have used the pronoun "it," I guess. But that wouldn't been very respectful, now would it?

 

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Editor

Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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