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The Villages
Friday, January 27, 2023

Official contends ‘too many unanswered questions’ doomed fire district referendum

An official contends that “too many unanswered questions” doomed the independent fire district referendum on the ballot for Villagers living in Sumter County.

The Villages Independent Fire Control and Rescue District referendum failed by about 2,000 votes on Nov. 8.

In a brief post-mortem discussion Friday on the failure of the referendum, Community Development District 8 Chairman Larry McMurry said the voters were not certain how the referendum would impact their pocketbooks.

“There were too many unanswered questions with costs,” said McMurry.

Fellow CDD 8 Supervisor Duane Johnson said it was a missed opportunity.

“To give the residents control of our fire district was what was appealing to me,” Johnson said.

While Fire Chief Edmund Cain made numerous public appearances over many months to explain the advantage of the independent fire district, there were plenty in the community sowing the seeds of doubt. The Property Owners Association board came out against the measure. There were also those who cast doubt on a board that would have initially been appointed by the governor. There were fears the Developer would wield too much authority over the board.

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