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The Villages
Thursday, June 8, 2023

Has Commissioner Estep fallen into the Developer’s sticky web?

To the Editor:

In 2020 Sumter County had the opportunity to vote for three county commissioners. For the first time in several years there were challengers to The Villages Developer’s loyal followers. The Developer’s chosen three were soundly trounced 2 to 1 even though each had over $60,000 in campaign funds delivered by construction contractors and business associates of The Villages. This is in comparison to the three challengers’ campaign funds which did not exceed $5,000. The residents of Sumter County had spoken loud and clear they expected fair representation.  But is that what we are receiving?
The answer is NO. Commissioners Estep, Miller and Search have been in office approximately three months with mixed results. The three ran on a platform to represent ALL residents of Sumter County not a select few yet Commissioner Estep is already falling into the sticky web spun by The Villages Developer. He has failed to support increasing the roadway impact fees to what is necessary to maintain Sumter County and what the BOCC’s own study shows to be reasonable and defensible.  If impact fees are not increased then the bulk of The Villages future roadway development will be paid for by all the residents of Sumter County whether or not they ever use those roads.
Do we want commissioners that are politicians or public servants?  Politicians spend their time and efforts in aligning with and supporting those that promise re-election instead of working on behalf of the public they were elected to serve. Thomas Jefferson enunciated the basic principle of public service. “Public service is a public trust, requiring you to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain. You shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.”
So, what did defeated County Commissioner Steve Printz receive from years loyally supporting The Villages Developer? He jumped the line for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Susan Ridgeway
Village of Lake Deaton

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