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Our Common Bond - MANASOTA KEY
Posted on Mar 4th, 2018
Our common bond is that we all love Manasota Key. And no matter if this is a new love affair or one you have cherished for decades we all appreciate the beauty and serenity that makes it one of the most extraordinary places to call home.
We owe a debt of gratitude to early homeowners who back in the 1950s committed themselves to preserving the natural habitat where so many birds, animals, sea life, plants and vegetation thrive. Their persistent efforts culminated in first becoming Galleon’s Reach Protective and Conservation Association and in 1971, became what is known today as the Manasota Key Association (MKA) and a Conservation District that encompasses the area between the Charlotte County line to the south and North Beach.
These efforts have allowed the Key to remain a barrier island that retains its natural beauty rarely found in Florida. They also continue to guide MKA to educate our members and supporters and to protect horticulture, wildlife, marine life as well as the single-family characteristic of the Key.
Our all-volunteer board of directors meets monthly to diligently and actively defend the property rights of residents and nurture community. We do that by staying current on issues impacting our Key, focusing on relationships with our neighbors and county officials and intervening when needs arise. As members, you can easily spot some of our efforts such as:
- Our quarterly newsletter that arrives electronically to keep you informed;
- Social gatherings that aim to promote membership, cooperation, education and fellowship; our annual members directory that helps to keep us connected, and the important security patrol that aids in keeping our tropical paradise safe.
- The MKA Directory is a comprehensive resource available to every member with names, addresses, phone, email information, plus a copy of the MKA Constitution, Bylaws and Conservation Act. It is funded by advertisers so share our thanks when you patronize them.
- Our iguana committee was formed recently to address our concerns about managing this growing menace with practical approaches such alerting members to the challenges of controlling our unwelcome invasion and by making available cages for loan along with brief instructions for how to use them.
- Hurricane Irma - the MKA endeavored to keep abreast of conditions and to inform members on a timely basis (sometimes several times a day) of developments including weather updates, flooding conditions on the roads, evacuation notices and routes for the County, damage on the Key to property and roads, pictures of the Key, power and water issues. The MKA also kept track of residents on and off the Key to promote cooperation and communication.
-Beach Erosion – The MKA has worked closely with County Commissioners and staff on beach erosion following Tropical Storm Collin and Hurricane Hermine in 2016. Among other things the MKA Directors attended and made presentations at County Commission meetings, helped the County develop surveys which were sent to all Key residents and provided information to members on County requirements for erosion control measures. Erosion is a difficult issue with no easy or cheap answers – it afflicts many beaches in Florida. The MKA has worked hard to ensure that members are kept up to date so they can make informed decisions about possible solutions including beach re-nourishment.
- More recently the MKA has advocated for longer periods for the retention of large sandbags and also for the hiring of a coastal engineer by the County to advise on erosion problems. We are pleased to report that a three-year extension has now been approved by the Commission and staff members are working on amendments to the Coastal Setback Code to effect these changes.
- Security – The MKA security patrol continues to provide valuable surveillance to keep our Key safe and is solely funded by voluntary contributions from MKA members. Our emails and newsletters function as an early warning system to alert our members of any security issue (click on the safety link for additional tips for staying safe).
- Post Disaster Recovery Plan (PDRP) – Developed in conjunction with other barrier islands the PDRP specifies how and when services and resources will be allocated in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster to ensure that bridges and utilities are restored as rapidly as possible and to allow homeowners to repair-rebuild with minimum red tape.
As with any organization, some of what we do is less visible but very important to smooth operations. We diligently keep records of meetings, manage our finances responsibly and update by-laws to allow for changing practices in the way we self-regulate. We are in the process of updating the website to make it relevant and timely anticipating it will also streamline some time-consuming processes. Look for additional features to be up and running by fall as we fulfill our goal to work smarter not harder. It’s exciting, more than a little scary for some of us and promises to be more efficient.
The MKA appreciates your participation through your membership which in turn, strengthens our collective voice.
We recognize MKA is built on a solid foundation. To those who have previously served on the MKA board or committees, please accept our utmost gratitude for your past service. We continue to rely on past and non-board members to keep us thriving. It’s clear that we are NOT an organization of a few and it is this wonderful pool of talent, intellect, resources and willingness to give back to preserve our gem that is our greatest asset. We all have gifts that make our world better when shared.
If you haven’t yet lent your talents to assist us or are feeling rested after taking a break this may well be YOUR time to volunteer to help us. We especially need people who are detail oriented to help us with not difficult but important tasks and folks willing to help with a variety of small commitments. Please say yes! For many hands make tasks easier… and a lot more fun!
Jackie Ruthman, President Manasota Key Association