News Press

Dec 1, 2014

 

Lee County is nowhere near becoming a replica of Miami

As an elected official it is my goal to ensure a sound government entity, including protection of your taxpayer dollars.

 

By Cecil L. Pendergrass

 

http://www.news-press.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/12/01/lee-county-nowhere-near-becoming-replica-miami/19711347/

It is the job of our elected officials to protect the best interests of all citizens. Each decision made should be carefully scrutinized, based on facts, the law and what is right for Lee County as a whole; this is how I govern. It is not the job of elected officials to cause fear among its citizens for an action that is protecting from impending legal matters that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

I read with interest my colleague's commentary in The News-Press regarding changing rural land designations and feel compelled to provide my perspective.

The intentions of our commission were challenged by a select few, including one of its own members, for considering a request to change an approved pre-planned golf course community classification from being designated as rural land. A prior board approved the respective community plan against the advisement of Lee County's counsel who warned about potential legal challenges. A difficult decision had to be made; however, this in no way changes my perspective of conserving our rural lands. On the contrary, I call upon the Lee County Commission and our citizens to work together to avoid future claims.

I support the current community plans and appreciate the devoted citizens who work to preserve our community. To manage growth however, we need to balance the interests of all parties.

While a community plan is created to protect the quality of life of its residents, it must not lawfully infringe upon the owner's property rights. Therefore, we must work together with the same goal of enhancing our comprehensive plans by making them legally stronger in order to avoid million dollar payouts to compensate for ill-fated decisions of the past.

Have no fear Lee County residents! We are nowhere near becoming a replica of the East Coast; this is not the intention. Lee County currently has over 25,000 acres of green space in conservation and a fund of $100 million for future purchases and maintenance of lands to preserve our quality of life. I completely support our conservation efforts and with strengthened community plans, we can ensure that our rural lands are safe.

As an elected official it is my goal to ensure a sound government entity, including protection of your taxpayer dollars. As a proud lifelong member of this community, I have a vested interest in maintaining our rural beauty. I will continue to protect our history, preserve our unique environment and provide for a prosperous quality of life for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.

Cecil L. Pendergrass, Lee County Commissioner, District 2