Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Send The Water South!"? A few questions for Lake Worth Commissioner Ryan Maier:

How would you explain your position to fellow Palm Beach County elected officials in Belle Glade, Pahokee, South Bay, and Clewiston? How about all the people in unincorporated areas too who have lived all their lives south of Lake Okeechobee? How would you respond, Commissioner Maier, to the former mayor of the City of Pahokee, J. P. Sasser (see below)? RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF U.S. HOUSE BILL 4793 EVERGLADES LAND ACQUISITION ACT OF 2016* [see the vote result below]

Under public comment, J. P. Sasser, former mayor of the City of Pahokee read the following from a letter to the editor:

"The community activists pushing to buy the lands, send the water south are quick to point to numbers that support their cause, but there is one number that they will not use when making their tired argument. 35,561. [emphasis added] That is the population of Belle Glade, Pahokee, South Bay, and Clewiston. I want to add that is within the city limits. (He stated there are probably another 10,000-12,000 in the unincorporated areas).

It suggests the coastal elites are doing a better job with their land then we are with ours yet we are not the ones flushing septic tanks into our own waters. Our farmlands are feeding people, not only our communities, but yours as well. They provide jobs for real people just like you, people who certainly deserve better than what you propose for our future.

To the people of the Treasure Coast and the Southwest Florida, we live here too. We care for the same rivers, lakes and streams you enjoy despite the fact that as South Florida Water Management District data shows, 97 percent of the water and pollution in Lake Okeechobee is coming from somewhere other than south of the lake. Why then should we be responsible for 100 percent of the cleanup? You would not tolerate calls to buy your neighborhoods and businesses to clean up someone else’s mess and neither should we."

[the vote on the resolution:]

Chairman [Michael] Davis stated the current motion is to table this item. Councilmember [Tobin] Overdorf stated this was not the original motion. Keith Davis stated the substitute motion is to be considered first and if that does not pass, then the original motion will be considered. He stated that if the substitute motion passes that will be the action of Council. Upon being put to a vote, the substitute motion passed by a vote of 11-4.

*From the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meeting on May 20th, 2016, page 18 from approved minutes.