Some changes are coming to Monroe County after the election. Long time County Commissioner Heather Carruthers has been ousted by a couple of hundred votes in the unofficial count, by Republican Eddie Martinez. The cruise ship ballots in Key West all won resoundingly. What that means in the short term is unclear but in the long run Key West is starting to turn away from mass tourism as wished by the mayor who already won her seat with 60% of the vote a few weeks ago. No runoff needed.
I walk around downtown and I see empty storefronts everywhere, so I wonder what will replace the businesses that have closed. Locals don't like to go to Duval Street not least because there is nothing there for people not on vacation.
Rents on Duval Street are astronomical, $30-$40 thousand dollars a month for modest storefronts which makes the prospects for small business without corporate backing pretty dim you would think. Beyond our local problems unemployment nationally is not great, stimulus checks are running out and rents in the Keys are very very high. So taking away more retail jobs is going to have a knock on effect on the make up of the city's population.