For a number of years, we have experienced drought, causing water shortages and numerous wildfires. Remember the Wellington blitz on water violators?
Today, we are visited by a surfeit of water on Lake Okeechobee, and the drain-offs/water releases that have caused numerous serious algae blooms affecting fish, wildlife, water quality, and recreational swimming, boating and fishing.
The governor and the state legislature are quick to blame the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; either they hold to much water or not enough. One causes potential dam failure, which would be catastrophic, the other our new friend, the algae bloom.
Now our elected state officials don’t want to talk about the warnings they were given. They don’t want to address the monies taken from environmental groups and budgets from organizations that try to address these issues They are content to do nothing, and then yell for federal assistance and national disaster status for a problem they ignored and is their responsibility.
We know the causation: fertilizers from farms, waste from ranches and septic tanks — all state responsibility. Only now is the daily press starting to address state responsibility.
But these are the major contributors of their campaigns (big agriculture, ranching, etc…). Is it any wonder they do nothing?
Now, here in Wellington, we have our own potential water crisis, and taking a lesson from state officials, our council, like the proverbial ostrich head in sand, does nothing about the reclamation of our canal banks to avoid tragedy down the road.
Oh, reclamation means simply to take back the canal bank right of way/easement from those who bought houses that the canal banks were planted already, and or those who chose to plant where they were not allowed. It is the same as if they planted on a neighbor’s property or a neighbor planted on theirs.
The canal banks must be cleared to:
1. Allow maintenance vehicles access.
2. To prevent tree and vegetation matter growing on the easement from falling into a canal blocking water flow in a storm.
3. To prevent backed up water from entering pools or houses.
4. For health purposes, and I would think, to avert liability of the village in the event they choose to continue malfeasance in this area.
They know the reality. They stopped the reclamation immediately before an election for political purposes!
With three attorneys now on the dais, I would hope that one would speak up to this circumstance. It certainly is ignoring their oath to protect, and it certainly is a no brainer.
It is always those who violate codes and laws who are the most vocal, whether it be those who planted in a right of way/easement or those who get a ticket for driving violations. Does anyone admit they were wrong?
What happened to our council representing those who might be afflicted by serious property damage because others encroached where they are forbidden to develop/plant?
It is a lot harder to make unpopular decisions, but that is what distinguishes mediocrity from greatness in leaders.
George Unger, Wellington