The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, March 1 to discuss Acreage incorporation efforts, as well as legislative priorities.
At a meeting Wednesday, Supervisor Betty Argue noted that Preserve the Lifestyle of the Acreage Now (PLAN) has been holding meetings to inform the public about its efforts.
PLAN took over the incorporation initiative as a political action committee from the Acreage Landowners’ Association, which researched incorporation initially but does not participate in political activities.
“They now have a feasibility study and charter on their web site,” Argue said. “I believe that in December, we invited them to do a presentation to our board, and they declined.”
ITID Manager Jim Shallman explained that PLAN had called a meeting the day before the ITID meeting, and supervisors had been invited.
Argue said it was important for ITID to get involved, because it is mentioned in the proposed charter that it become a dependent district.
“I would like to invite them, whether it be a workshop meeting or whatever, but I would like to invite them to do a presentation, sometime soon, because it’s my understanding, from the last meeting that I attended, that they plan to have this before the legislature in this session, not the next legislative session, and part of their charter is making Indian Trail a dependent district,” she said. “This is something that affects us, and I think we should be discussing it.”
Argue asked ITID’s legal staff to review whether ITID can be made a dependent district as part of the charter.
“The statutory requirements of making a special district a dependent district requires the vote of this board and the support of this board,” she said. “If you could please research that and be available to answer those questions when we have the meeting.”
Argue pointed out that they will be going to Palm Beach County Days in Tallahassee on March 7, and it is something they might want to discuss before that, as well as other legislative priorities.
“We have not had a discussion as a board in terms of what our legislative priorities are, and March 7 is right around the corner,” she said.
Shallman said folders had been distributed to supervisors.
“I know they have, but we have not as a board discussed it,” Argue said.
She pointed out that most public entities, including the county, take public input on its legislative priorities.
“We can consider that as part of what we’re going there for,” Argue said. “The public is the one, the taxpayers, who are paying us to go. I think we should be having a public meeting and a discussion about what our priorities are, taking public input into that.”
She made a motion to discuss the incorporation effort and invite PLAN to make a presentation.
“If they choose to attend, they do; if they don’t, I’d like a presentation to the board,” Argue said. “If they don’t [attend], we can do our own review at a meeting reviewing the proposed charter and how it impacts us.”
She requested that the meeting be held before the trip to Tallahassee and also include a discussion of ITID’s legislative priorities.
ITID President Jennifer Hager said the next regular meeting is set for Wednesday, March 15, but the board could move it up to an earlier date.
Supervisor Carol Jacobs, who was attending by telephone, pointed out that the board also has the Florida Association of Special Districts meeting coming up March 22.
“I think we should be fully prepared as the Indian Trail Board of Supervisors, to have all the issues, pros and cons, and I agree with some sort of a meeting,” Jacobs said.
She also agreed that legal staff should look into the legal implications of incorporation on Indian Trail.
Shallman pointed out that only one supervisor has reservations for the FASD meeting, and it is generally focused on administrative staff.
“I plan on going,” Jacobs said, adding that she plans on making reservations. “We need to ask these questions of what our powers are regarding being incorporated. We need to have both sides of the story.”
Jacobs seconded Argue’s motion to have a meeting early in March before those meetings.
Supervisor Gary Dunkley agreed that the board needs a plan of action.
“PLAN failed to inform us of what they were doing that is going to affect us,” Dunkley said. “Before we go to Tallahassee, we do need a meeting to sit down and plan a strategy. Doing one-by-one with each supervisor, we’re not able to feed off of one another and find out what is important for this district. Also, citizens should have a chance to express what they feel so we can represent everyone’s opinion.”
Hager asked if they could plan a special meeting to take action, if necessary, on an incorporation position, as well as public input on the legislative priorities.
ITID Attorney Mary Viator said they could advertise it as a meeting.
“There would be two issues, incorporation and legislative priorities,” Argue said.
The board approved Argue’s motion 5-0, and agreed to meet Wednesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m.
To learn more about PLAN’s Acreage incorporation effort, visit www.preservetheacreagenow.com.