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Growth & Comprehensive Plan
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Continuing & New Threats


I have had an unusual role on our Commission for the past 16 years. I have been your taxpayer watchdog, your sentinel chicken, your canary in the coal mine. In critical votes to increase our county budgets, increase our employees’ salaries and benefits, increase residential densities, expand urban services outside our Urban Services Boundary, and degrade the protections of our award-winning Comprehensive Plan, my vote has consistently been the lone vote of opposition. I believe in conservation, in all things.

More than ever, we must be very careful with our tax dollars. That will include reining in our payrolls, insurance costs, benefits, and consultant services.

The departments whose budgets have exploded the most in the past decade must participate in these reductions. Public safety is our biggest expense. 70% of your property taxes are spent on the sheriff and emergency services. The sheriff’s budget ballooned 107% in the past decade. The emergency services’ budget skyrocketed 157%.

We must remain vigilant in order to safeguard the protections we take for granted here. Our four story height limit, our livable communities, our low residential densities, our low taxes, and the diligent protection of our natural resources are not guaranteed rights. Martin County residents point to the protections afforded by our Comprehensive Plan and tell us that the flamboyant overdevelopment that has happened in south Florida can’t happen here. That is simply not so. Thirty short years ago, Palm Beach County was beautiful. Forty years ago, Miami Dade and Broward counties were naturally lovely. Until commissioners there changed their Comprehensive Plans in order to allow that overdevelopment and degradation that characterize their counties now.

We now call it pay to play. Landowners and their hired lawyers, land planners, and engineers contribute mightily to campaign treasuries of county commissioners in order to influence the outcome of critical votes on changes to the Comprehensive Plans. In the past two decades, those special development interests have found a very compliant majority Commission in Martin County.

All of these changes will harm existing residents. They’re all Urban Service Boundary busters. They will make it impossible to reasonably and conservatively plan for our future. If you allow all kinds of development anywhere in your county, how on Earth can you plan for logical and timely extension of infrastructure?

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