Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District Supervisor Robert Snowball told the Town-Crier this week that he is seeking re-election to keep things moving forward in the community.
Snowball will face challenger Roy Parks in an election set for Monday, June 25. It is the first time an LGWCD seat will be awarded based on a direct vote of qualified electors, rather than via a one-acre, one-vote system.
Qualified electors are defined as registered voters who are also property owners or spouses of property owners.
Snowball, a 12-year LGWCD board veteran, said initially he did not intend to seek re-election to another three-year term. He is being challenged by Parks, who ran unsuccessfully for a board seat several years ago.
Snowball said he is concerned about paving projects currently underway in the district and seeing that gas tax money being funneled to the district from the town is spent equitably for all property owners.
He was also sharply critical of the petition-driven change in how the election is now being run. Snowball called the added expense a “total waste of money” for a change that will not make much of a difference in the long run.
“I don’t think they got out of it what they thought they would get out of it,” Snowball said. “I think all they did was double the cost of any normal election. Nobody wants this job to begin with, and the amount of people who signed up for it just proves my point.”
In fact, even Snowball was surprised that only one other person entered the race, noting that Parks wasn’t even one of the people who led the petition effort to change the election procedures.
“We were supposed to have all these people in a popular election and the little guy could possibly have a voice,” he said. “Roy hasn’t been to a meeting since the last election. That whole exercise was a waste of time and money.”
Snowball, who has a home on five acres, considers himself to be a small property owner by Loxahatchee Groves standards.
As far as LGWCD policy, Snowball said he wants to keep assessments low for property owners, which will require continued cooperation with the town.
“We are not separate any more as far as I’m concerned,” he said, explaining that both entities are working toward the same goal, and that the town needs to treat the district as its roads and drainage utility until the council is ready to step in and take over the job entirely. “They don’t want that job yet, so it’s up to us five guys on the district board to take care of what needs to be taken care of, but it will be up to the town to make sure that we don’t have to raise taxes to keep doing it.”
Snowball pointed out that the district, with the town’s help in recent years, has held assessments steady except for last year when it had to raise assessments slightly to cover the additional cost of the new election process.
That is a far cry from the town’s early years, he said. “The council and the board have moved this district forward in leaps and bounds in the past two and a half years,” he said. “Things are getting done, money is getting spent, people are happy, the dust is down. We have improved the quality of life tenfold in the last two months since that pavement went down. I think the town and the district are working perfectly right now.”
Snowball said he does not intend to spend any more money on the election than he has already. “I’m not going to go out and put signs up,” he said. “I’m not going to do meet-and-greets. They all know who I am. I’m not going to spend any money on this thing.”
He predicts the election will be decided by just a small handful of votes.
Snowball, 46, has lived in the Groves for 15 years. He is married and has two children, ages 18 and 15.
The Loxahatchee Groves Landowners’ Association meeting on Thursday, May 24 will host a forum featuring the two LGWCD candidates. It will be held at Palms West Presbyterian Church (13689 Okeechobee Blvd., Loxahatchee Groves) at 7 p.m.