Marathon City Councilman Dick Ramsay is crazy. He has not been officially diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional, but take it from this editor – the guy is nuts. (His wife, Thea, and many, many others will support the claim.)
A couple weeks ago, he purposed auctioning a span from the Boot Key Bridge on eBay. The other day the massive steel structure had an opening bid of 99 cents.
Historic FL Keys Bridge for Sale – Boot Key Bridge, local pickup only, no returns accepted.
Ever since Marathon incorporated nearly ten years ago, the bridge and the eight acres of mostly unbuildable land attached to it has been a constant thorn in city government. In December 2007, FDOT office closed the bridge because the spalling is so severe that a swipe of the hand can send chunks of concrete splashing into the water below.
In March, the bridges fate seemed sealed when the span was locked into the upright position and as policy makers balked at $7 – 10 million repair bill, few idears seemed logical.
Then Councilman Dick Ramsay came up with a viral marketing campaign.
“It wasn’t just my initiative,” Ramsay told the Weekly. “But the rest of the Council as whole made this happen. We are the kind of city that thinks outside of the box and moves forward when others are standing still.”
Earlier this week, Ramsay told the Weekly the idear was simple, but two fold.
Why not try and sell the bridge for profit and at the same time, get Marathon some publicity by holding the not-so-ridiculous auction online?
And he has already taken in a few bids!
Earlier this week, a guy offered him $10 on the condition that the city delivered it to his yard telling Ramsay, “I am ready! I need it.’”
“You can’t buy that kind of publicity,” he added, noting how any kind of attention the bridge auction brings to Marathon is bound to be good for business all over town.
Since his election, Ramsay has purposed many initiatives aimed at saving his city money or increasing commerce. Some have passed, some have failed and even he recognizes the ridiculousness of some of his idears, but he also knows that progress comes from action.
He also understands how every so often, you need to sit back and enjoy your task at hand. “Life is serious enough and you will live longer if you laugh,” he said. “If everyone just thinks this is a joke, then at least I have extended people’s lives.”