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The Villages
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Don’t tell me to be ‘thankful’ for The Villages

To the Editor:

It is more than a little irritating to be told I should be thankful for the development of The Villages. Since their existence, my taxes have doubled, the fragile ecosystem is being damaged, crime has dramatically increased as has traffic, and one is embarrassed to admit they live near them. Between the loofas and STD jokes, the fake history, the unnecessary roundabouts where trucks and emergency vehicles struggle to fit, the ticky tacky houses, the drunks on golf carts, and it’s embarrassing politics, and, of course, this paper which is obviously biased, the irony of being told to be grateful is astounding.
One fool weakly told me that surely I appreciated all the great shopping! Why? What I appreciate is living on the lake and seeing cranes, herons, bald eagles, hawks, raccoons, and fishing. The alligators that sun themselves on my dock are a given. If I want something exotic, I can order Amazon. Meanwhile, sinkholes keep popping up in the Villages because there are too many of you destroying the aquifer. Too many of the Villagers know nothing about Florida history, ecology, or customs— and don’t want to learn.
The small communities surrounding The Villages are bullied in local politics because the representation doesn’t represent one area but all areas— and represents the Villages and not the rest of us. I note that my doubled taxes has not put in a fire plug on my street—or lights or a sidewalk— but I’m expected to pay about 300 MORE next year for firemen. In fact none of those are available completely on the main drag of my community. Lake Panasoffkee that we spent 20 years getting renewed is now suffering.
The joke of course is the community itself. As it continues to be overbuilt and overpopulated, it is inevitable it will become a second rate place. How do I know? As a small child in Maryland, Columbia— a planned community was considered the cool place to live— was overbuilt and my parents in one of the small towns outside it became the exclusive place to live. My parents’ home of $25,000 is now worth $700,000. The home they intended to buy in Columbia? Half that.
I suggest The Villagers think about their reputation and work on their internal issues rather than imploding from external growth.

Deborah St. John
Lake Panasoffkee


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