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Marina owner promises payment of past dues

(ran Beach edition)

A promise is a promise, even if it's made during heated island politics.

Minutes after a vote overwhelmingly in favor of a 30 percent quorum at all future meetings of the Tierra Verde Community Association, resident John Clement turned to marina owner Ed Medley and asked, "Well, Ed, how soon are you going to pony up your back assessments?"

Medley, who has been threatened with foreclosure on his island businesses because of about $14,000 in unpaid association dues, told the audience of about 40 at Tuesday's meeting that he would send a check within seven days. "The quorum is just now legal," he reminded them.

But patience has been used up on both sides of this dispute, which has cost the association $10,000 in legal fees. And Medley, a partner in the bustling corner lot at 200 Madonna Blvd. that includes Fort De Soto Joe's Seafood Wharf, still wasn't totally satisfied with the outcome.

The association had asked its 2,000 members to vote on a resolution that would approve the quorum as well as all past association actions and elections. This vote of confidence essentially would keep the association in the business of running the island.

At the Tuesday meeting, Medley said, "This tagging other stuff onto the quorum is an insult to our intelligence." He said in the future the association, which represents about 4,000 Tierra Verde residents and 78 businesses, needs to "be more honest to get trust going."

But after the 801-30 passage of the resolution, Medley mellowed. "Let's go for it," he said, meaning community unity. "Residents just need to be involved and not let the association do all the negotiating for us without our input."

Resident Jerry Meisels told the audience that the vote was "closure to all kinds of issues. Let's put this behind us and live together as a community."