Much has been discussed relative to three separate and different referendums that are meant to improve safety and to preserve our paradise island community of Highland Beach.  The discourse however has shocked me to the core.

What is wrong with our community and each of us that as neighbors we engage in the politics of personal destruction in our discourse?

Please permit me to be transparent. I support the referendum that proposes to permanently fix the flooding problems that we have in Highland Beach. Anyone who denies the problem has their heads in the sand. 

The danger to drivers, walkers and persons on bikes creates such a safety issue that we are putting the lives of human beings at stake. How can we put our heads on the pillow at night knowing that we could have fixed this problem and saved lives, I ask?

I also support hardening the electrical grid, which will enhance safety and sustain life for those whose lives (just like my late wife) require electricity for their health. Such improvements will also enhance property values. 

I am not sure of my position on the expanded walking trails.

However, voters should be given the facts accurately and our discourse should be about the issues and not about people on either side of the debate. Some have brought the politics of personal destruction to the table. Why are they encouraging neighbor to oppose neighbor on a personal level? My parents taught me to always debate the issues and never the people.  They also taught me to believe that those who choose to “get in the gutter” by attacking people, usually have weak arguments on the issues. They taught me to not be influenced by such people.

I respect those who have different opinions than I on these three referendums. I stand ready to engage in a respectful debate with them. However, I do not respect those who are engaged in the politics of personal destruction.

Why are some afraid of letting the voters decide?

Let us rise above the negative discourse of the national political forum and find a way to be good neighbors in Highland Beach and to respect one another and then vote as good people. Thank you to the Town Commission for giving the voters the opportunity to vote. Thank you to those great neighbors who desire a respectful discourse on all issues. Let us all do the right thing for the right reasons! 

— Mark E. Hamister

Highland Beach

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