To the editor:
Attendance at the Lee County Commissioners’ meeting on April 17 was record breaking and described as a “painful” day. Every meeting should be filled with standing-room only, as it is the people’s room, and does not belong to the commissioners.
My observation, as an eye witness, is the majority of commissioners voted out of fear based on the opinion of one county employee, a lawyer. They are afraid to make a stand against the threat of possible litigation from King Ranch and the mining industry.
What is more important than the residents who will live next to the devastating landscape created by lime rock mining? The landscape will change from lush green orchards to white dust. It should remain agricultural.
All commissioners are to represent those of us, all residents who will live with the consequences near the proposed mines on a daily basis.
I reviewed some campaign contributions.
Campaign contributions create a cloud, and political contributions can cloud judgement. Campaign contributions can buy influence.
The commissioners represent Lee County citizens, but the support for these mining amendments has the appearance of serving and voting for those who benefit financially.
Why approve housing developments and then support lime rock mining so close to these developments?
And why ignore input from not only the public but other officials?
After Jason R. Maughan, councilman from Sanibel spoke, the citizens clapped. Commissioner Brian Hamman said he would clap, too, but he is not on our side. So Commissioner Hamman, as well as Commissioners Cecil Pendergrass and John Manning, are not for the residents.
Heartfelt personal stories were revealed during public comment, but this was just a painful procedural meeting for the commissioners because they had to sit through our public three-minute allowance of time.
The decision was made many months in advance because the commissioners are influenced and fear litigation.
The majority of commissioners are drunk with power and ignored the wishes of the grassroots citizens in attendance, which included Sanibel, Estero, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach elected officials.
Shame on them!
Lee County resident