Friday, November 10th, 2017 at 10:39am

What Bugs You The Most?

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There Are Many Issues Bubbling Beneath The Surface

Like most of you, Hurricane Irma drew our attention away from local government for a while.  As we refocus on the issues, there are some really odd things happening.  We want to know from you—what bugs you the most?  You can respond on our website or Facebook page, but the discussion needs to begin.

To get the conversation going, here are some issues that are bugging people in Lake County:

  • The broken promise by the Lake County Commission to lower property taxes.
  • The vote by the Lake County Commission to assess vacant lands with a fire tax.
  • The slow and poorly organized pick up of trash and debris after Hurricane Irma in Lake County.
  • The Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) scandal that is creating a split between Lake and Sumter Counties because of Lake County’s continued support of controversial Director T.J. Fish.
  • The controversy of possibly adding another Wekiva Parkway interchange near Mount Plymouth at a price of $20 million.
  • Lake County filing a lawsuit against the state of Florida because the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax renewal) it shoved through in 2015 is too broad and too vague after the state redefined the uses in 2016.

The two issues that bug us the most are the broken promises of lower property taxes and Lake County’s lawsuit against the state of Florida.

Like many of you, we are tired of the broken promises by politicians who will say anything to get elected.  Shame on the Lake County Commission for breaking their promises and basically continuing the failed leadership of the previous board.

When Lake County politicians rushed approval of the Penny Sales Tax renewal in 2015 in an off-year election with poorly defined uses and promises to groups they couldn’t keep, we knew it would be trouble.  The amount of money and the shenanigans being implemented to get the measure through were very troubling.  Well, they got caught when the state of Florida in 2016 clearly defined what infrastructure projects this money can be used for, because so many municipalities were abusing the system.  The money is to be used for real infrastructure not some local politician’s pet project.

We decried at the time the future money was not being properly allocated and it would become a slush fund for nonsense projects.  It seems the state of Florida has agreed with us.

Now, Lake County is spending $25,000 in a lawsuit to defend itself because the ballot measure was too vague.  The way this ballot measure was handled in 2015 may open up Lake County to a class action lawsuit, if not properly resolved.

In our view, the monies collected from the Penny Sales Tax should be held in escrow and the measure put back on the ballot for a vote in 2018 with clear infrastructure designations spelled out to the people.  Lake County should be forced to follow state law and spend the money wisely!

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