Sunday, May 16, 2004

Plans for growth

Congratulations to all of you who CARED enough to GIVE your very BEST, by
attending the Public Workshop with the County LPA, May 12th in Labelle. For
anyone doubting that there is not strength in numbers, you have the public
testimony of the LPA board members as to their respect and gratitude in
knowing that YOU, the citizens, are interested in the future of Hendry
County and your PLACE in it.
They, the LPA board, acknowledged that if they are to adequately address
all of the growth issues bearing down on the County, they must have your
input and support. Your Board of County Commissioners chose this method of
dealing with the results of a Northwest Quadrant Survey, by passing it on
to the LPA for their recommendations supporting SMART growth for the
County. Since this Board is made up of citizens, just like you, who else,
but you, is better
qualified to communicate what is best for all concerned citizens and
taxpaying property owners, large and small. Keeping in mind that the BOCC
has major concerns about how to fund the basic needs of the County, they
see a "pot-of-gold" glimmering in the "serendipity"" of the developers
dreams for Hendry County.
You as concerned, proactive citizens have to be the stabilizing influence
in this torrid romancing by the developers, and ask yourself the question,
"Will they still love us in the morning"? Following up on the Quadrant
Survey report, your part time planner indicated that "density", people per
acre, should be treated like a commodity, to be bartered and bargained for,
on an individual, entreprenurial basis, from and within development to
Who's to say that in an ideal world that this approach might not be
applicable. On the other hand where is the committment, up front, in the
form of Financial Impact Statements and committments from the developers
addressing roads and bridges, water and sewer, education, & health and
safety needs to be met? Isn't the BOCC aready on record about their
ability to meet existing basic needs of the current population, with a
diminishing agricultural tax base, and Tallahassee budget cutting?
See what you've got yourself into by CARING? I'm left with two completely
diverse bits of sardonic wisdom that I trust will encourage you to "pack"
the next and subsequent workshops. Each workshop is more imprtant than the
last, as the future of Hendry County is in your hands.
The two bits are, " To make a long story short, don't tell it", and "Don't
let your worries get to you. Remember, Moses started out as a "basket"
Keep the faith! Do a "Smuckers" on all future public "smart growth"
meetings, and "JAM" the joint!
T. W. Bill Neville, Hendry County, Florida