And then there’s the Arrowhead pot farm.
Monday’s weekly email batch came randomly from Commissioner Holly Davis. It included a rather extensive and detailed email from the president of the Arrowhead Association laying out a case, point by point, of someone operating a marijuana grow farm that is supposedly licensed by the state but the circumstances are murky.
This commercial farm is in Arrowhead, a residential community in northeast Citrus County. The Arrowhead representative wants the county to shut it down.
I ventured out from Just Wright Citrus World Headquarters for a photo of said marijuana farm, but when the pavement ends on Stokes Ferry Road one is greeted with the sign that accompanies today’s blog and, by golly, I paid attention to it.
So, no farm photos today.
I’m shying away from the details of these allegations because they are quite detailed and specific.
But I will say this:
I learned a long time ago that Arrowhead is a community not to mess with.
One of my earliest memories is interviewing two men in Arrowhead about something they weren’t happy about. They were classic rednecks — and I mean that in the nicest way — and I was, um, NOT. They were mercilessly unfriendly toward me during the interview and then complained to the editor that the story “must have been written by an idiot.”
Years later, one of those guys and I became good friends. We laughed about that news story, though he never thought much of my writing skills.
Arrowhead doesn’t ask for much. Much of the community is on private dirt roads and the folks there tend to stay close.
But this email to the county is a plea for help.
“The residents are up in arms and not the least bit happy with anything that is taking place on that property,” it reads. “Need your quick and timely assistance to get this powder keg under control. We need information that is true, current, and correct.”
Davis forwarded the email to the county attorney. Good luck with this one, commissioners.
— As the Chronicle reported, County Administrator Steve Howard has shown two top staffers the door. One we knew about, John Pricher. The other, Public Works Director Mary Jensen, was a bit of a surprise.
Pricher went down through a series of unforced errors, though it seemed from the start he and Howard weren’t going to get along. Pricher was used to the arms-length administrative approach of the late Randy Oliver and Howard requires much more detailed accountability of his staff.
As for Jensen, who knows what happened there?
Look, this is how these things go. A new administrator comes in and wants people who fit into his team structure. Some stay and some don’t.
Now the county has no public works director. Just so happens that a former county public works director in Crystal River is recently married and out of work. Tossing it out there.
— The County Commission had an interesting discussion a few weeks ago about an application to create two commercial lots on C.R. 491 just south of Walmart.
Each lot has an application of some sort pending: One for a car wash, the other for — stop us if you’ve heard this before — a three-story self-storage.
Usually, these plat requests are approved in nothing flat. They’re on the consent agenda because, who cares if someone wants to divide commercial property into buildable lots?
Well, we’ve mentioned that these commissioners have heard from the public that fancy car washes and self-storage facilities are on the outs. So, they wondered, if we don’t vote to create these lots, will that stop the car wash and self-storage?
Great question. One the staff couldn’t answer. So, it’s back for a vote today though, oddly, it’s on the consent agenda again so I’m sure someone will pull it up for conversation.
Sometimes, land-use cases are about timing. For car washes, self-storage centers and gas stations, county commissioners are clear it’s not business as usual.
As for the Arrowhead pot farm, stay tuned. Something tells me we’re just getting started.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.