President’s Message – Summer 2014

Greetings from Singer Island! When my husband and I first came to Singer Island ten years ago we were drawn to the lovely beaches, the crystalline waters, the casual island vibe and the great variety of fun things to do nearby. That remains true today, and it is SlCA’s mission to preserve what we all love about the island and address concerns and issues that might affect our slice of paradise. I first became aware of SICA through my good friend and longtime board member Susan Bennett. I learned that in recent years, SICA was a driving force behind making the A1A improvements more than just a re-paving, that SICA purchased submerged land along Ocean Drive to support local conservation efforts, and that we were a founding member of the Protect Our Beaches coalition. Since 1967, SICA has informed and advocated on behalf of island residents, and I am pleased and proud to serve now as our President. I’m grateful for the tireless work of past President Bob Gonstead for laying a strong foundation upon which to build.

One of the most appealing aspects of my new role is the opportunity to work closely with our exceptional Board of Directors. The Board combines deep expertise with new energy–a powerful combination. ln particular, l would like to introduce you to three of our newest board members. Mike Blasdell is an entrepreneur who has built and run several companies, most recently a technology consulting company. Mike is the force behind the new weekly online Singer Island Voice you might have seen–they are chock full of useful and timely information. Mike and his family exemplify the island lifestyle and are often found at the beach. Board member Beethoven Francois is also a successful entrepreneur. He has extensive experience in public relations and marketing and recently launched a new magazine called Taste of Singer Island. If you‘ve been to a local event lately, Beethoven has likely been there too–he’s everywhere! Beethoven is also the founder of Good News Riviera Beach, which promotes inspiring and positive stories within our larger community. Board Member Jonathan Knaus is our citizen of the world–he spent over 20 years working in finance and business development in Russia, Eastern Europe and Latin America before choosing Singer Island as his home. Jonathan now serves as our Treasurer. For fun, Jonathan sings, dances, is involved in church activities and is learning Japanese. What a diverse and talented team we have!

Our Board has put considerable thought this year into shaping our strategy and focus going forward. While we will continue to serve as your eyes and ears, and the voice of the island whether you are here or away, you will see some changes in how we go about doing that. Here‘s what you can expect from us:

  • Our evening meetings during season will be more interactive and designed for additional community input, encouraging spirited and thoughtful discussions with our speakers.
  • Our strategic priority issues will be beach preservation, proper zoning and development, the Ocean Mall, safety and security, and economic development. For more information on our positions and activities with respect to these issues, please visit our website at www.singerislandcivic.org.
  • While we will continue mailing postcard reminders for upcoming meetings, our future SICA newsletters will be distributed via email. Our largest yearly expenses are for printing and postage, and we can save dramatically by going digital–leaving more money for advocacy and issue-related activities. Drop us a line at info@SICAsingerisland.com with your email address to be sure you stay connected. If you are unable to receive email, please contact Recording Secretary Shirley Wells at (561) 848-6933 to make alternative arrangements.
  • We have begun distributing a weekly email, Singer Island Voice, with more topical information about island events, news and alerts. You can sign up to receive those at www.singerislandcivic.org. You can also comment from within those updates–we would love to hear from you.
  • We will operate more closely on a calendar year process for our dues. We will discontinue the practice of applying payments received in the summer to the following year; renewal notices will be issued in November-December and due in January-February.
  • In addition to monthly meetings in season, we will host several social events throughout the year to meet your neighbors and have fun. The first one will be a Karaoke Night on July 12th at the Seaspray Inn Beach Resort, in Palm Beach Shores. More details in the newsletter article.

We welcome your feedback, ideas and involvement. If you‘d like to join a committee or engage on an issue, please let us know at info@SICAsingerisland.com. Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you around the island this summer or when you return!

Warm regards,

Ann

Help Needed to Protect Our Beaches

Dear Fellow Singer Island Resident,

Your help is needed urgently in developing a permanent solution to the escalating beach erosion problem that threatens our property, the local economy, and enjoyment of our beaches. Protect our Beaches®, a county-wide organization founded by residents of Singer Island, is working on this issue, but to be successful, we need your voice. This is not a fund-raising request!
If you are a full-time resident of Singer Island, you are probably aware of the strong effort and leadership of our Congressman, Patrick Murphy, in addressing the problem of beach erosion. He and his staff are working closely with the staff and leadership of Protect our Beaches.

During a visit to Singer Island in late April, Congressman Murphy suggested a series of steps to create bipartisan support for beach re-nourishment and pilot projects that will protect our beaches from further erosion. But as Congressman Murphy pointed out, he and the other members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, who are working with him, cannot achieve these goals without bi-partisan support from Members of Congress from other states.

It is important to let Congressman Murphy know that we appreciate and support his efforts. However, it is equally important that those of us who vote elsewhere or who have connections with other Members of Congress throughout the country, solicit their support for resolving the problem of beach erosion in our area as well as all coastal areas around the country that are impacted by beach erosion. We urge you to write your Congressperson or other members of Congress with whom you have a connection and ask family members and friends to do the same in support of Congressman Murphy’s initiatives.

You will find a sample letter attached. You are encouraged to add whatever comments you feel appropriate and send it by e-mail or regular mail. If you need help finding contact information for your congressional representative, please use the following link: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.

This is an important initiative for each and every one of us. If we are to get Congress and the federal government on our side instead of in our way, this small step can help protect our beaches, our property and the economy of our area and other coastal areas impacted negatively by beach erosion.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.
Cordially,

Michael Sloser
Protect our Beaches®


Dear Representative,

I am writing to urge you to support funding for beach re-nourishment projects in the upcoming appropriation spending bills.

Beach re-nourishment and shore protection is critical for our communities where the beaches are central to the safety, environment and economic well-being of the region. Well-nourished beaches serve as an important buffer to homes and businesses along the coast and protect against flooding and coastal damage. The more our shorelines erode, the more the coastal infrastructure, local economy and residents like me are in jeopardy.

I also strongly encourage you to pursue and support policies that will result in efficient ways to promote the establishment of pilot projects and programs that can offer cost-effective and innovative solutions to beach erosion. While laws that protect the environment are important, Congress can and must find a way to balance environmental regulations that protect fragile ecosystems with a process that does not suppress inventive and effective approaches that will better protect our coastlines.

Thank you for your consideration of these important issues that directly impact my community.

Sincerely,