Let’s start off a brand new post-holiday week with 14-day-old county commission email.
Last week was somewhat hectic and I never got around to looking at the weekly commission email batch, which by random selection was from Commissioner Jeff Kinnard.
But the good thing about commission email is it’s practically timeless. Especially when I really need it. Like now.
— Gotta hand it to those Sugarmill Woods folks. First they sent dozens — probably more — emails to county commissioners in the runup to the vote on the apartments zoning case in Oak Village.
Residents inundated commissioners with pleas to vote no. And commissioners did so unanimously.
Sugarmill residents turned around and sent thank-you notes to commissioners.
“I just wanted to…express my sincerest thanks for supporting the property owners in Sugarmill Woods. A great burden of fear has been lifted,” one said.
Just as he did with emails asking for denial on the zoning case, Kinnard generally sent form responses to the thank-you emails.
“After listening to both sides of the proposal, it simply was not compatible with the surrounding community,” he wrote.
When someone noted that the Citrus County Commission isn’t as crazy as governments portrayed in media, Kinnard added a little p.r. to his Sugarmill Woods form reply:
“Contrary to what you may see or hear from local, national, or social media you have local governments working hard to do what’s best for those we represent.”
— Speaking of zoning, the comments are coming in on the Ozello glampground case that comes to the county commission in June. Unlike Sugarmill apartments, this one has a more balanced response from the public. While still overwhelmingly opposed, proponents are making their case.
Kinnard’s form response on the Ozello glampground:
“Thank you for contacting me about this application. I’ve received many emails from others expressing similar concerns. I will certainly keep your concerns in mind when this application comes before the BOCC.”
Purposely vague. Some people might not like that but commissioners can’t risk the perception that they’ve made up their minds prior to the public hearing.
— Here’s an interesting idea from Kinnard:
“I’d like to ask the state to consider naming the Suncoast Parkway from 98 to 44 in Jim Kimbrough’s honor.”
Kimbrough is the retired SunTrust executive who, more than any single person, spearheaded the Suncoast Parkway’s construction through Pasco, Hernando and into Citrus counties.
No one is more deserving of that honor.
—George Rusaw, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County, says the new $12/hour minimum wage taking effect Sept. 30 will qualify many people for Habitat homes.
“While we understand folks will have a hard time living on minimum wage, it is amazing that a minimum wage worker can qualify for a new Habitat for Humanity home at Citrus Springs. Of course, other debt and credit factors must all be within acceptable parameters, but just the fact that Habitat can sell a new home to a minimum wage worker is truly an accomplishment.”
For all the political noise “affordable housing” gets, Habitat for Humanity quietly goes about its business of putting hard-working families into new homes.
— Finally, an issue I just can’t wrap my hands around is ownership of the Chassahowitzka boat ramp. The county says it owns it. The Southwest Florida Water Management District, which we all know as Swiftmud, says it owns the boat ramp.
Swiftmud took the county to court to ask a judge to decide. I’m sure there’s a big picture here — Kinnard, for one, is pretty hyped about it — but I’m generally not a big fan of government vs. government.
That said, I did enjoy an email Kinnard received from Brad Rimbey, a retired engineer and 17-year resident of Chassahowitzka. During my Chronicle days, Brad was a valued go-to for all things Chassahowitzka.
Brad is of the opinion that Swiftmud owns the Chassahowitzka boat ramp/campground and the county is barking up the wrong cypress tree.
“I served as a forensic engineering consultant to many attorneys before I retired. I was pretty good at spotting winners and losers. I was rarely surprised by the outcome of cases on which I was retained and my clients usually won. Based on what I know now, this case is a real loser for the County.”
A real loser. Hmmm.
Brad has my attention. We’ll keep an eye on it. Have a great Tuesday friends.
Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.