Sumter County commissioners did not want to hear from public

To the Editor:

I attended the Sumter County proposed budget meeting Thursday. There were a total of 8 county residents in attendance including the three Commissioner candidates – Gary Search, Craig Estep and Oren Miller.  The meeting began with a public forum. A very well prepared resident, who had printed out and notated the entire proposed budget, was given only 5 minutes to ask questions which was no where near enough time.  He did get one question in.  He asked how much time each current Commissioner had spent reviewing the budget and asked for a response from each one. The Chairman, Steve Printz, refused to let the other Commissioners respond but stated he had received the budget on June 30, 2020 and had spent “several hours” reviewing it and he said he knew the other Commissioners did a thorough review as well. However, at the end of the one hour meeting when asked if there were any questions there were none from the commissioners.
Statements from the County Administrator, Bradley Arnold, gave me concerns. First Mr. Arnold stated that in 2015 the County encouraged The Developer to continue building south of 44. In 2018, the Developer continued to build both commercial and residential south of 44 which would provide necessary income to the County. Mr. Arnold stated that as of July 1, 2019 they had the information about the number of homes to be built as well as committed commercial areas. At this time The Brownwood Hotel and Advanced Medical Center had already broken ground. With this information there should not have been the need – other than reducing The Developer’s impact fees – to implement a 25 percent property tax increase. Those who were in attendance at the commissioner’s meeting last year and reading the commissioners’ comments in The Daily Sun were led to believe the County would crash and burn without the property tax increase. At today’s meeting it was noted the 2020/21 operating budget was done with a reduced increase of 19 percent. Additionally Commissioner Gilpin noted that they would continue to “roll back roll back roll back” the tax increase implemented less than 12 months ago. So why was the increase necessary at all?
It appears that if the incumbent commissioners running for re-election – but couldn’t get the necessary signatures to get on the ballot, paid their way onto the ballot, have been given massive contributions from Developer associated entities, do not use re-elect in their campaign literature – understand that they face certain defeat in the August election based on their callous disregard to the people they are elected to represent and support. The incumbent Commissioners – Steve Printz, Al Butler and Don Burgess – need to be defeated.

Susan Ridgeway
Village of Lake Deaton

More Headlines

Villager arrested after allegedly spraying insecticide at Village of Marsh Bend

A Villager who was suspected of illegally spraying insecticide in the Village of Marsh Bend was arrested after an altercation with an agent from the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Villagers facing potential fines for illicitly widened driveway

A Villages couple is facing potential fines over a driveway that was widened illicitly.

Photos

Snowy Egret Taking A Morning Stroll

This snowy egret was out taking a morning stroll. Thanks to Jan Betz for sharing! Share your local photos with us at https://villages-news.com/contact-us!

Eagle Nest On Multimodal Path

The eagles are starting to add material to their nest on the multimodal path between Briarwood and Walnut Grove executive golf courses. Thanks to...

Great Blue Heron On Fence In Brownwood

Check out this great blue heron spotted on a fence in Brownwood. Thanks to Richard Steiner for sharing! Share your local photos with us at https://villages-news.com/contact-us!

Letters to the Editor

The vision of The Villages has changed

A Village of Sabal Chase resident says the vision of The Villages has changed from the “friendliest hometown” to the “most crowded overgrown city.” Read her Letter to the Editor.

Business

Total Wine & More closer to popping cork on new superstore

Total Wine & More is growing closer to popping a cork on its new superstore at Lady Lake Commons.

Crime

Wildwood police seek help locating trailer stolen from Villages construction site

Wildwood Police officers are searching for bandits who stole a trailer recently from a construction site in The Villages.

Opinions

Addressing Post Office backlogs

Last week, Congressman Daniel Webster sent a letter to the U.S. Postmaster General regarding some operational changes being made without proper Congressional oversight. Webster offers an update for constituents.

Top Stories

Village of Fenney couple with $525,000 home can’t get out of driveway

A Village of Fenney couple with a $525,000 home say they can’t get out of their driveway and pleaded for help from the Community Development District 12 Board of Supervisors.

Villager arrested after allegedly spraying insecticide at Village of Marsh Bend

A Villager who was suspected of illegally spraying insecticide in the Village of Marsh Bend was arrested after an altercation with an agent from the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Villagers facing potential fines for illicitly widened driveway

A Villages couple is facing potential fines over a driveway that was widened illicitly.

Letters to the Editor

The vision of The Villages has changed

A Village of Sabal Chase resident says the vision of The Villages has changed from the “friendliest hometown” to the “most crowded overgrown city.” Read her Letter to the Editor.

Residents should have had chance to vote on apartments at Hacienda Hills

A Villager contends residents should have had a chance to vote on the idea of apartments at Hacienda Hills.

So many promises have been broken

A Village of Santo Domingo resident, in a Letter to the Editor, writes that things have changed a lot since she moved here in 2000 and so many promises have been broken.

Crime

Wildwood police seek help locating trailer stolen from Villages construction site

Wildwood Police officers are searching for bandits who stole a trailer recently from a construction site in The Villages.

Summerfield woman wanted on warrants nabbed after hiding in residence

A Summerfield woman wanted on outstanding warrants was jailed Monday after Marion County sheriff’s deputies saw her enter the back yard of a residence near the Little Lake Weir subdivision.

Villager’s grandson arrested after fleeing hospital after crashing vehicle

A Villager’s 32-year-old grandson was arrested after fleeing UF Health The Villages Hospital where he was taken by ambulance after crashing his vehicle on County Road 466.