Letter: District 6 Should Form Its Own County

Now is the right time for the District 6 western communities to become its own county.

Since moving here three years ago and attending many meetings, most conversation points I have been hearing includes preserving and protecting our open spaces, parks and recreation, limiting major unwanted development and protecting the quality of life that we all have come to expect. Here is why I believe the leaders in the western communities should immediately begin having meetings to develop a sound workable plan to protect what we want to preserve: There seems to be extreme differences between what we desire and what other districts are pushing for in the way of major development.

It bothers me that there appears to be little thought given by some in other districts that are ready and willing for tax income to change property that was to be preserved in perpetuity. Here are some facts that many may not know: District 6 has more land area (square miles) than all the other six districts combined in Palm Beach County, in fact, almost double; District 6 has more land area than more then 46 of the 67 counties in Florida; and District 6 has more population than 40 of the 67 counties in Florida.

Simply put, the large land mass also creates the largest opportunity for major developers, land speculators and their ilk to challenge our way of life that we deem most important. We have but one vote of seven on the Palm Beach County Commission; I don’t like the odds. Most voices I have heard in the western communities are open to sound and reasonable growth, all the while protecting against uncontrolled growth that could have adverse effects on our environment and water supplies. It is not unreasonable to believe that should a major developer come in with big bucks and we only have one vote out of seven, that we could lose much of what we wish to preserve. Remember, money talks.

While I am not a “horse person,” at 82 I do not plan on becoming one. However, one does not need to be a rocket scientist or a world-renowned economist to understand the values to our area of the horse people. Those who I had conversation with, even those far more affluent than most of us, strongly believe in protecting the environment, and I would strongly urge our community leaders to encourage more of this type of growth in the District 6 western communities.

Please remember, our one strong vote will be term-limited. That is why it is so important to proceed with a new county that will have five commissioners that will be of like minds and better able to directly represent citizens in each community. Isn’t that what we all want — closer-to-home representation?

Come on, “western communities” — not only would the name fit, it would also enable each community to maintain their own name recognition. I also believe this would be a uniting process that would show the more affluent horse folks and business people that we mean business. They will be the more permanent solution that is likely to create jobs.

No, this will not be easy, but it can be done. I started a process like this before.

Lee LeAndro