Dear Friends of SLEAT:

It is with great sadness that we report the premature death of former Islands Commissioner Virginia Gunn. Virginia was not only a great inspiration, but the first dues paying member of the Sidney Lanier Environmental Advocacy Team.
Today’s Brunswick News editorial suggests a suitable memorial should be designated. Julian “puddy” Smith suggests:


Thank you for yesterday’s editorial honoring the late Virginia Gunn and especially for your final words: “Perhaps the county . . . can come up with a fitting lasting tribute, one that would memorialize her enchantment with the island and her admonition about the potential loss of natural treasures.”
One thing the County Commission could do is to name room 108 in the Saint Simons Island Casino in her honor. That’s the room where the Islands Planning Commission regularly meets.
And something members of the community who loved Virginia and all she stood for should do is attend the meeting of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee at nine o’clock this morning in the museum at 610 Beachview Drive on Saint Simons.
At that meeting, the public will have a chance to speak against the scheme to build a new groin to “protect” the Sea Island Spit–and to move twelve thousand truckloads of sand from a stable beach to build a dune above the rapidly eroding shoreline on the Spit.

Julian Smith

It seems we have a rather wide-spread authorities problem. Sea Island Acquisition, LLC seems to be operating under the delusion (https://hannah.smith-family.com/?p=14377) that having acquired the roads and some sand dunes on Sea Island has turned it into an authority, like the Jekyll Island Authority, an appointed governmental entity whose responsiveness to the citizens is also often questionable.

Then there’s the Brunswick and Glynn Development Authority, which has effectively ceded its ownership obligations for large tracts of land in Glynn County by entering into leases with “foreign” corporations (e.g. Solar Glynn, LLC) whose respect for our natural environment is slim to non-existent.
James Holland provides pictorial proof, as usual. (https://hannah.smith-family.com/?p=14385&page=2)

Of course, our harbor and the Brunswick waterfront are at the mercy of the Georgia Ports Authority, whose response to citizen direction is still being tested. S.L.E.A.T. is still waiting for documentary evidence that the Ports Authority is carrying out obligations in dealing with its tenants.

Finally, both the Brunswick News and the Georgia Times Union are reporting today on a lawsuit (http://www.relmanlaw.com/docs/SapeloIslandPressRelease.pdf) filed by residents and property owners on Sapelo Island, citing the Sapelo Island Heritage Authority for selling off land to build mansions while the needs of the local community are ignored.
It seems Authorities have evolved, at least in Georgia, as a means by which public officials can evade being accountable to the public for the obligations that have been delegated to them.
Delegating responsibilities isn’t to “divide and conquer.” Like predators cutting a lamb out of the herd, they divide TO conquer. IF WE LET THEM.