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Duane Henderson: Joe McClash’s quest to squash Aqua by the Bay

Duane Henderson

In Bradenton, Florida, the Aqua by the Bay neighborhood is up for approval, with the potential to transform the forgotten Western part of Manatee County.

The neighborhood — a Medallion Home project by Carlos Beruff — incorporates the concepts smart-growth Floridians like to see: environmental preservation, a mixed-use design and revitalization in the form of new jobs and tax dollars for an area that has continued to struggle since the recession.

But a read of the Joe McClash-owned Bradenton Times would have you falsely thinking this project is out to slash and burn what’s left of Sarasota Bay’s natural resources.

So why is former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash on this misinformation mission? Sour grapes, retaliation, frustration, compensation, embarrassment …? You tell me. He’s a spoilsport after losing his seat and looking to harm anyone who did not support him. Joe all but names Beruff as the reason for his loss on his campaign website, AKA “displaced aggression.”

Joe, it’s time to give it up, man up and stop your “crusade.” You lost, pal. Go write a book or something — but just “let it go.” Don’t you think this country has had enough sore losers that can’t accept election results?

Joe’s loss could have been about his consistently being out of touch with the business community and its impact on our local economy. He stopped representing us. My whole family voted for Joe McClash at one time, but those days are over. We didn’t change. He did, transitioning from a public servant to yet another self-serving politician.

Joe moved here from New York and made a lot of money from our community in very low-income housing rentals as a “slumlord,” excellent at getting code violations (accruing violations from Code Enforcement and calls for service from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office). I worked the zone where most of his rentals are located during my law enforcement days and can…

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