Last night, Supervisor Ed Tinkle took to social media to voice his opposition to the Gateway Soccer Association and Gateway Flag Football League’s decision to endorse Vice-Chairman Bill Guy and Supervisor Doug Banks in the upcoming Gateway District elections.

Tinkle wrote: “Their (the Leagues) decision to endorse these two candidates, while legal according to the CDD’s Attorney, is questionable at best considering that both leagues use the Gateway common area facilities for minimal fees compared to the actual annual O&M costs incurred by the residents.”

In summary, Tinkle stated his case as to how a Gateway household’s GSCDD assessments for the Sherman Soccer Complex could be reduced from $50.80 to $34.00 per year if Pelican Preserve residents started paying for the fields as well.

That would represent a savings of $16.80 per household in Gateway.

Tinkle is the Supervisor who spearheaded the charge for spending upward of $30,000,000.00 on pond repairs, suggesting that the GSCDD was under mandate from the South Florida Water Management District to so. When this local blog filed a public records request looking for the order from the SFWMD to conduct these community-wide repairs, the SFWMD responded that there was no such directive from them for Gateway to spend that kind of money.

Additionally, Tinkle is also the sole Supervisor who pressed the GSCDD to spend upwards of (according to Gateway’s District Manager) $500,000.00 on irrigation wells that would solely benefit The Club at Gateway golf course.

This past Thursday at the most recent GSCDD meeting, Tinkle told the board he’s discovered secret documents that he says will lead to a cost to Gateway residents between “two to three million bucks”.

If everything Tinkle wanted to do came to fruition, each Gateway household would save $16.80 while spending up to $5,405.84.

The timing of Supervisor Tinkle’s post may be related to a request for an Op Ed piece I had asked Tinkle to write about some endorsements of his own. While the GSA and GFFL have endorsed Guy and Banks, Tinkle has endorsed their challengers: Delores Linscott and Jim Brann.

Over the weekend I wrote an email to ask Tinkle to tell the voters why he thinks Brann is a better option for Gateway than Vice-Chairman Guy, and why Linscott is a better option for Gateway than Supervisor Banks.

Tinkle instead instead decided to spend his time last night posting a piece objecting to the youth league endorsements, as well as heavily criticizing a 2005 GSCDD rule that separates Pelican Preserve from Gateway when it comes to paying for amenities.

Since 2005, Gateway residents have paid for Gateway amenities, while Pelican residents have paid for their own amenities.

Tinkle doesn’t like that set-up, and he’s got support from at least one 2018 candidate.

During the current election campaign Brann has come out repeatedly against the arrangement created by the 2005 rule. Brann has said that Vice-Chairman Guy should be ashamed of himself for visiting the soccer fields because he lives in Pelican Preserve – however, since Guy is one of five people ultimately responsible for the fields, it doesn’t seem out of place for Guy to show up there.

Tinkle said in his post that the 2005 rule “is subject to change by any future Board.”

Tinkle is correct. If three Supervisors decide to revoke the 2005 rule, it’s gone.

It is highly doubtful the rule is going anywhere, however. And Tinkle is savvy enough to know that.

If Brann won his election and then Tinkle, Brann and a third Supervisor did indeed decide to kick the hornets nest by revoking the 2005 rule, Pelican Preserve residents wouldn’t just say “oh well, sucks for us” and then sit back and watch it happen.

Tinkle is aware that Pelican Preserve residents wouldn’t need a single signature from anybody in Gateway to initiate recalling Tinkle if he did indeed try.

Secondly, Tinkle is well aware that Pelican Preserve is a politically active community that is growing far more quickly than Gateway is. While the 2018 election will be decided by Gateway residents if they turn out, that will not necessarily be the case in 2020 or 2022 due to the difference in appetite for local politics among the community’s bases.

Would Tinkle seriously risk earning the Pelican Preserve community’s ire when they could probably arrange to take over the Board of Supervisors – perhaps even all 5 seats if they put the effort in?

And remember, rules are “subject to change by any future Board.”

So what would a Pelican-controlled GSCDD board decide to do with Gateway’s roads? Gateway’s landscaping? Gateway’s amenities? Gateway’s natural resources?

We don’t know. But what we do know is they would immediately re-instate the 2005 arrangement. And then they would hold on to control of the board in to perpetuity to ensure nobody from Gateway ever tries anything like that again.

Right now Banks has an excellent working relationship with Pelican Preserve’s leadership. He is the ideal liaison between Gateway and Pelican. Plus, the GSCDD board and the Pelican Preserve Advisory Committee work very well together. Many in Gateway and Pelican Preserve would just like the arrangement left alone, while there certainly are some in Gateway who want the 2005 rule revoked.

So we’re left to wonder whether the divisive language coming from Tinkle and Brann, which is aimed at causing a rift between Pelican and Gateway residents, is simply political strategy … or whether it’s a blueprint for their plan of action.

We may never find out.

But as to whether the divisive politics will get Brann elected?

That question .. we’ll find out the answer to on November 6.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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