Wednesday, September 23, 2020
83.9 F
The Villages

Incumbent Sumter County commissioners lack integrity

Craig Estep

I hesitate to respond to advertisements approved by the incumbents, but I feel this one has to be addressed. The incumbents have gone too far with their latest Mail Chimp push full of incorrect information, thereby exposing their lack of integrity.  I will address each falsehood individually with facts.

“World class health care, high paying jobs, safe neighborhoods.”

The first two belong to the developer with his incentives and the outstanding employers in the county, the last one is the Sheriff.

“Low taxes (the lowest in the tri-county area and we just voted to reduce them even more)”.

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is the Taxing Authority on only one line on the tax bill.  It is the Sumter County line on the Ad Valorem tax statement.  It shows the millage rate at 6.7 for 2019.  Marion and Lake County have lower millage rates in 2019 than Sumter County.  Please do not spin the numbers by adding other items on the tax bill to what you commissioners passed.  To say you are lowering them even more is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Sumter County.

“It’s been our task the past several years to ready our County for such progress”.

The BOCC missed the boat on that one in 2015 when THEY asked the developer to grow south of HWY 44 as reflected in the public record.  There was a lack of foresight from 2015 until the 2019 hike in taxes.

“Strong Law Enforcement”.

Absolutely…and you have nothing to do with managing that law enforcement piece.  There is a Constitutional Officer (the Sheriff) that manages that agency and he even does all the budgetary planning.

“Delighted to see the development of more family friendly housing – neighborhood where people who work in Sumter County can live here too.”

Once again, this is the developers doing and not the County Commissioners.  Please quit taking credit for successes you have little or nothing to do with.  The people of Sumter County see through this.

“Now is not the time to hand over control of our County to Democrats and others who want to change direction – raising our taxes”.

This is a two-part response:  1) There are no Democrats on the ticket. I am a lifelong Republican.  The other challengers are also Republicans.  2) It is preposterous to even mention raising taxes.  No challenger has mentioned raising taxes, and the five incumbents raised it 25.5% last year. Conservative Republicans do not raise taxes 25.5%. I have never seen anyone in any party raise taxes that much before.  Yet you continue to call the challengers names.  Gutsy.

“Underfunding our law enforcement”.

Bald-faced lie.  None of the challengers have indicated a cut in law enforcement of any kind.  In fact, as a retired State Trooper, public safety in all areas has my total and unrelenting support.  Stop lying to the good citizens of Sumter County.

“Imposing job-killing fees and regulations”.

My apologies for not knowing my own platform.  I didn’t see that part in my platform.  The truth is we have 76 streams of revenue coming into the county less interest, and we have communications and compromise to work with.  There is no plan for job-killing or unnecessary regulatory changes planned.  Will there be adherence to comprehensive planning and back and forth communications…you bet.

“All we have to do is watch the evening news to see what happens to communities when Democrats hold control!”

This statement is a new low.  To accentuate the misery and pain others are suffering right now with what is going on around the country is unconscionable.  You should be ashamed of yourselves for even trying to politicize this issue.

“We have all worked too hard to create the great lifestyle we enjoy here in our community to allow Democrats to sneak into power!”

Again, no Democrats on the ticket, and we should let the voters decide who should serve the people.  This statement points out a critical difference in the challengers versus the incumbents.  Calling it “power” shows that the incumbents are focused on the “power” and not the public service aspect of the BOCC.  The challengers are all running to become public servants, and not focused on the power.  We will let the people decide Aug. 18 if they want to continue with lies and innuendos, or if they choose honest, open, and transparent government.

Villager Craig Estep is a candidate for Sumter County Commission.

More Headlines

4 more local residents die of COVID-19 as new cases crop up in Villages area

Four more local residents have died of COVID-19 as new cases of the deadly virus continue to be identified in and around The Villages.

Villager with multiple DUI convictions arrested when spotted behind wheel of BMW

A Villager with multiple drunk driving convictions was arrested Tuesday morning when he was spotted behind the wheel of a BMW.

Photos

Bellowing Bald Eagle Near Nancy Lopez Country Club

Look at this bellowing bald eagle spotted near Nancy Lopez Country Club. Thanks to Ron Clark for sharing!

Cooper’s Hawk Resting On A Fence

This Cooper's hawk was spotted resting on a fence. Thanks to Gary Robbins for sharing!

Alligator Swimming At Lake Sumter Landing

This alligator was spotted swimming around Lake Sumter Landing. Thanks to Jessica Winter for sharing!

Letters to the Editor

Save the water for The Villages

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Marsh Bend resident contends water should not be pumped outside The Villages to developments in Sumter County.

Business

$28.7 million Lake Sumter Apartment Homes now open to renters

Lake Sumter Apartment Homes, a $28.7 million affordable housing community, consisting of 158 apartment homes, is now open to renters.

Crime

Villager with multiple DUI convictions arrested when spotted behind wheel of BMW

A Villager with multiple drunk driving convictions was arrested Tuesday morning when he was spotted behind the wheel of a BMW.

Opinions

President Trump a true Robin Hood

Villager John Shewchuk, writing in an Opinion piece, contends President Trump is a modern day Robin Hood.

Top Stories

Sumter County sets hearing on future of tourism tax that helps fund music at squares

Sumter County commissioners have scheduled a public hearing about the future of the tourist development tax that helps fund music at the town squares in The Villages.

4 more local residents die of COVID-19 as new cases crop up in Villages area

Four more local residents have died of COVID-19 as new cases of the deadly virus continue to be identified in and around The Villages.

Villager with multiple DUI convictions arrested when spotted behind wheel of BMW

A Villager with multiple drunk driving convictions was arrested Tuesday morning when he was spotted behind the wheel of a BMW.

Letters to the Editor

Save the water for The Villages

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Marsh Bend resident contends water should not be pumped outside The Villages to developments in Sumter County.

Serial lying of Joe Biden

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Briar Meadow resident wonders how Villagers are “outraged” by President Trump, but can overlook the lies of Joe Biden.

CDD 4 residents can ‘serve and protect’

A Community Development District 4 supervisor is urging residents to step up and serve on the Architectural Review Committee.

Crime

Villager with multiple DUI convictions arrested when spotted behind wheel of BMW

A Villager with multiple drunk driving convictions was arrested Tuesday morning when he was spotted behind the wheel of a BMW.

Lady Lake man nabbed on drug charge after arrest at Summerfield Wal-Mart

A Lady Lake man found himself behind bars Monday after a theft was reported at the Summerfield Wal-Mart.

Pistol-packing Summerfield man jailed after raising ruckus at Circle K

A Summerfield man with a loaded gun in his boot was arrested for allegedly causing a disturbance at a Circle K store.