Maybe it is time for the screwball idea of a gate at the Southard Street entrance to Truman Annex to go. We had thought the idea had been abandoned by TAMPOA -- at least that's what it told members prior to February 2007. Suddenly, however, the gates idea was back with a vengeance when the federal complaint was filed and is also in the new federal complaint. This idea seems like something from Dr. Strangelove that springs like the uncontrollable hand from a TAMPOA fantasyland. The reality is there will NEVER be a gate at the current entrance to Truman Annex on Southard Street. When TAMPOA will get this, if ever, we don't know. But to avoid continuing to look like idiots, the TAMPOA Board needs to instruct its lawyers to abandon this albatross, and soon!
The truth is the Navy will never allow a gate at the Truman Annex entrance on Southard Street and everyone knows it, including TAMPOA if it were realistic. The June 26, 2007 letter the Navy sent to TAMPOA demanding that it open the gate next to Harbor Place
should be handwriting on the wall that a gate at the Southard Street will not be tolerated. (We'll have more to say about that up-coming fiasco in a future post).
Now, imagine what will run through the mind of the federal judge (or any judge) when the Navy or the City shows the judge this picture
from Cayo Dave's article
about what alternatives TAMPOA actually has. The judge, as anyone (including a juror) with common sense, is going to think, "that doesn't look so bad," and is a possible solution that meets TAMPOA's stated interests in a "gated community."
Such a plan also deals with TAMPOA's rather illusory fear of being sued by the ultra rich who bought mega homes allegedly thinking (if you can believe it) that they were buying into a gated community. Under such an alternate plan, Southard would remain open, and if TAMPOA insisted, it could have its gates, transponders and all, for those who want them, on Emma Street.
There are really two groups whose interests might not be totally satisfied by such an alternate plan. One will be the folks on the west side of Southard Street, but there are only about half a dozen or so of them whose homes actually face the street. For the other few Southard Street runs along the side of their residences giving them less to complain about as there are a number of fences in the Annex that run along the sides of residences.
The other group to complain will be the those in big houses near the intersection of Emma and Southard who will not want a gate on Emma near their residences. The solution to that complaint can be found in the design of the gate so as to make it less obtrusive, or to abandon the gate altogether for some other restraint like high tech retractable tire spikes.
The bottom line is there is never going to be a gate at the entrance to Southard Street, so why is TAMPOA wasting time and money on this issue when there are truly more important issues in the litigation? Beats us. It's just weird.