Glades Commissioner Storter's Gambling Views
MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades County Commissioner Donna Storter Long has this week written a letter in respose to inquiries about bringing in additional Glades county money. Storter wrote to Eric Kopp of Independent News:
"I received your message of yesterday and offer this response: About 10 days ago, John Austin Collier brought me the idea of countywide gambling as a viable revenue option for Glades County in reversing the negative impacts on the economy that is expected by the sale of US Sugar to South Florida Water Management District.
Since gambling is legal, regulated and already exists in Glades County at Brighton, the possibility of obtaining revenue from legalized gambling definitely warrants further discussion.
Governor Crist supports gambling in Florida, and though revenue to the state was down a few years ago, the temporary decline was because the lucrative expansions were under Indian control and not subject to state taxation.
Should we embark on this course, with careful planning and management of the initial revenues, Glades County can restore and recreate the amenities that will make our county the new family vacation destination of the freshwater frontier, with more attractions than just gambling establishments.
Produced without environmental pollution and with little demand on government services and infrastructure, the revenue can be used to enhance services and infrastructure while lowering ad valorem tax millage. That has been the consensus of the many constituents that have been approached by this idea.
I have conferred with Sen. Alexander�s staff and Rep. Grimsley�s staff and learned the procedure for offering this choice to the people of Glades County. It will take 600,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot for Florida voters statewide to decide if they want to amend our constitution to allow Glades County to conduct its own referendum to authorize gambling in Glades County.
That Glades County referendum would require affirmation by 60% of Glades County voters, the PEOPLE would decide if the option merits opportunity.
We have the climate. We have the geography. Maybe this can be a viable opportunity. It certainly should not be ignored, but carefully examined to determine all the positive and all the negative results we could anticipate from this proven moneymaker and give the people of Glades County the facts to make their own decision; is this the direction our County should take?
There is no panacea for the economic woes of Glades County, but, because this is one option that could bring a lot of revenue to Glades County, I feel we should at least explore it. Therefore, I will request that Governor Crist direct his resources to help us in this exploration."
-Donna Storter Long (R), Glades County Commissioner, (863.673.2661- Cell 158*17* 36430-Nextel