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Incorporation: Let’s get the facts

November 29, 2013
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

In response to Frank Lohlein's letter in the Nov. 13 issue of the Citizen, I think degrading people that have helped Lehigh Acres in so many positive ways is outrageous. Ruth and Rick Anglickis are well-know because they get things done.

The residents of Lehigh Acres need to think about the wonderful schools we have because of the hard work Ruth and Rick put into getting them.

Hope Hospice in Lehigh Acres wouldn't exist without them starting the ball rolling and their financial contributions, the widening of Lee Boulevard wouldn't have been six lanes as the county officials only wanted to widen it to four, the athletic contributions they've made to Lehigh Senior High School have increased the schools ability to be top notch; Veterans Park is another example of their hard work.

Sorry to say I don't know Jere Carrick and his "gang" at the Lehigh Acres Community Council but I'm sure they are doing as good a job as they can working with the residents and Lee County officials. Now on to the real purpose of my writing to the editor. As residents of Lehigh Acres let's get the real facts, the updated facts not facts that go back to 1996 and the facts that were used recently in the paper that go back to 2010. One of the facts is it's going to take a long time to incorporate.

Another fact is we will still have the services of the Lee County Sheriff's and the fire departments - we pay for them now and we'll pay for them when we incorporate. The elected city officials we will have to pay for - we pay for them now to Lee County, but if we incorporation we'll have our own officials working just for Lehigh Acres.

I was a city commissioner in Harper Woods, Mich. I served on the Building Authority Board and the Board of Review. The citizens of Harper Woods didn't get paid for sitting on these boards, we were appointed by the mayor and gladly served our community. Perhaps we have residents in Lehigh Acres that would do the same, to help and care about Lehigh Acres to improve the impression that people have of our community.

I'm not saying I'm for or against Lehigh Acres becoming a municipality; I do believe, we have to educate ourselves about how much it will cost.

I'm asking the people that are going to put in a lot of time and work to propose we incorporate have more town meetings, information in the newspapers and let us decide whether or not we want to incorporate based on facts. We don't need negative information about incorporation - no one has the facts yet because there hasn't been a recent feasibility study, there isn't a current charter. We just need the facts and nothing else - no negativity about people and about what happen years ago because that doesn't help us make the intelligent decision we must make.

Florida's municipalities are creatures of statute. The power to create an incorporated city rests almost exclusively within the discretion of the Florida Legislature, which is generally said to have inherent and plenary power in the creation and establishment of municipal corporations.

The Legislature's authority to create has been somewhat limited by the Formation of Municipalities Act. The act provides that a charter for incorporation of a municipality may only be adopted by special law upon a legislative determination that the incorporating community satisfies the requirements of the act.

After we've been satisfied with the proposed city charter and the feasibility study, we the people will make a decision - not Ruth and Rick Anglickis, not Jere Carrick and not the Community Council. How about we the people decide just on the facts.

Diane Turrill

Lehigh Acres



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