Dear Honorable Mayor Elsa Paz and the San Pedro Town Council,
We respectfully request that you reconsider allowing the jumbo-trons on the new clock. San Pedro Town is a beautiful and authentic piece of paradise. Our guests choose to visit us because we are a pure and un-commercialized destination. The current jumbo-tron by Tropic Air is already a tacky monstrosity giving our guests a distasteful first impression of La Isla Bonita. We are genuinely concerned that a significant portion of our island's guests, especially our repeat guests, may choose to stop coming to spend their hard earned time and money in San Pedro if they believe that we have lost our soul, and sold out to commercial private interest.
It is in the best interest of the people of our community, as well as the Town Board, to not allow the jumbo-trons on the clock. It would be reasonable to simply put "welcome to San Pedro" on all four sides, instead of only writing it on two sides with the offensive jumbo-trons defacing the remaining two sides. Or, if Ramon's is adamant about gaining credit for their "donation" they could put a simple, painted logo on the clock instead.
We are not opposed to a town clock. However, we are requesting that you modify the embellishments on the clock and refuse to allow the jumbo-trons; thereby, keeping San Pedro's identity of authentic cultural and environmental integrity intact.
Both Front Street as well as Central Park belongs to the people of La Isla Bonita. It is a daunting precedent to set that a private for-profit company be allowed to advertise in the most prime location on the island for the small fee of a donated clock. We are also concerned that even though Ramon's is currently saying they will not charge rent to other companies to advertise, there is nothing to stop them from doing so in the future. It is the same concept as when we were promised no vehicles would cross the bridge when it was first built, and now vehicles are crossing. "If you build it, they will come." Why should a private business gain rent from public property? And if they do not charge rent, why should a private business be allowed to monopolize public property? If you allow Ramon's to put jumbo-trons on Front Street, then why would you not allow every hotel on the island to do so - and then what will we have. wall to wall billboards obstructing everyone's view of our beautiful crystal clear sea and barrier reef? We are not exaggerating; we are taking this concept to its logical conclusion.
The future direction of our island is in your hands. Please keep public spaces for the benefit of all the public – not one private business. Please do the right thing and say no to the jumbo-trons so that tourism will continue to thrive and the children of La Isla Bonita will have the same opportunity that we have had to make a living here on Ambergris Caye.
Alonzo and Ali Flota
Plus our 33 staff members and 11 guides
And all of our Guests
"Jumbo-tron please be gone!"
Honorable Manuel Heredia, Area Representative, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation & Culture
The San Pedro Sun
Mr. Richard Headrick, Ramon's Village