Thursday, January 04, 2007
Hendry Commission Lop-Sided?
Opinion By T. W. Bill Neville
The recent election of a new Chairman of the Hendry County Commission has swung the gavel back into the hands of one of the three Clewiston based Commissioners, and if the past is an indicator of things to come, the western portion of the county will not see appropriations necessary to meet the overwhelming growth needs coming in 2007.
I understand that as long as the existing system of electing Commissioners continues, we will have this imbalance in the makeup of the BOCC. So what are our options as responsible citizens to manage this inequity so that the subject Commissioners can be impartial in their governing of all the citizens needs?
As I see it, we have two options. We can expand the Board by electing another Commissioner from the western half, or we can go the County-wide, at-large, County Commissioner elections.
These two options would require a referendum of the Hendry County voters, and in no way should be critical of the current Commissioners abilities to be impartial in satisfying what they are being called upon to satisfy in their individual districts.
I know this is not rocket science thinking on my part, and I hear the choruses starting up of, "it won;t work, been tried before, if it ain't broke, don't fix it", but that was then and now is now, or never.
With the current planned amending of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a done deal, the western half of the county, with a 50% growth projection in 5 years or less, without adequate funding and disciplines, will be another Lee/Collier County debacle.