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The Villages
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Florida Turnpike extension opponents vow to hold elected leaders accountable

Florida Turnpike opponents gathered this week to have the last word on the Florida Department of Transportation’s announcement of a “pause” for the Northern Turnpike Extension project before the upcoming primary and general elections.

“No Build” community activists from Citrus, Levy, Marion and Sumter counties minced no words when sharing their resolve to stop each and every attempt to ram a new toll road through rural Florida and responding to the legislators who voted for the  2019 and 2021 bills that created the costly M-CORES and the Northern Turnpike Extension threats to their communities.

Tillman’s Hammock activist Gay Lynn Light called on Sumter County voters to push forward with a clean sweep of the commission. Four Sumter County Commission races are on Tuesday’s ballot.

“As a Sumter voter, I think it’s time we elected a new slate of commissioners for Sumter County who actually represent long-time residents, and not developers,” the 75-year-old said.

Residents of Royal, who regularly took to the podium at Sumter County Commission meetings at Everglades Recreation Center, fought hard against the proposed turnpike extension and contend they have a right to be suspicious about their government.

“The state previously bisected our community putting Interstate 75 through Royal and it is unacceptable for politicians to try and put highways through our African American community like they have time and time again. Royal would have been ground zero for the Northern Turnpike Extension: Each of the four proposed routes would have cut Royal in half, dividing the fabric of a loving and caring community that has been there for generations. There are no viable corridors for Historic Royal and we expect FDOT and state leadership to continue to hold their word and nix the Turnpike Extension,” said Royal activist Kathy Towns.

No sympathy for homeless woman stealing food?

A Summerfield reader, in a Letter to the Editor, wonders if anyone has any sympathy for a woman arrested for stealing food from a local Wawa.

Where does Gov. DeSantis stand on Medicare and Social Security?

A Village of St. Charles resident wonders where Gov. Ron DeSantis, a former member of Congress, stands on Social Security and Medicare. Read her Letter to the Editor.

Answers needed for affordable housing

In a Letter to the Editor, a Big Bend reader contends that answers are needed for affordable housing.

Officials must take common sense approach to affordable housing

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Citrus Grove resident weighs in on the idea of affordable housing.

Response to Robert Moore’s letter about COVID-19

A Village of Pennecamp resident offers a response to a fellow Villager’s previous Letter to the Editor about COVID-19.