Explicit graffiti not a welcoming sign for snowbirds
MANATEE COUNTY - An act of vandalism depicts disdain toward those commonly known as snowbirds and it’s not quite the welcome sign they expect.
Long time Sarasota resident Mark Arba has some strong words for the person or persons behind the spray paint.
“I think there’s a bunch of idiots that don’t know where the supplemental income and our taxes and stuff come from. I think that’s biting the hand that feeds us," says Arba.
Florida’s population tends to boom during the winter months as many part-time visitors come for an extended stay to beat the cold.
Licensed psychologist Dr. Eddie Regnier says the frustration being expressed is clear.
“It’s not art, it’s not real graffiti, it’s not art. It’s a message," says Dr. Regnier.
However he recommends practicing patience with out-of-towners, particularly since snowbird season coincides with the holidays.
"There’s great expectations and then suddenly we have a lot of people coming in to share our environment and our restaurants our world with us. They require that we make changes that we be more thoughtful that we accommodate each other. The snowbirds are a part of us, they live here too," says Dr. Regnier.
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the brazen graffiti southbound on I-75 at the Linger Lodge Road overpass and say that are looking into the incident. Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Brian Rick says their contractor is required to remove or cover the graffiti within 36 hours of notice.
"That’s just stupid and now it’s going to cost more money because of the vandalism. They should be arrested," says Arba.