Letter: People Deserve Right To Vote On College Campus

Currently, there is a petition to allow the people of the Town of Loxahatchee Groves to vote on a monumental development being allowed in this town. Whether you are for or against development does not matter. Being in the United States of America, the majority understands it is a right to vote, not a privilege. Our current town council is unanimously fighting the right of the people to vote.

Up until now, the people have had the chance to ask the council members to not allow the development of Palm Beach State College in our rural town. The council has since said they do not want to take the chance on allowing the people to have a binding vote with regard to this matter. We are demanding the people have the opportunity to tell the council what they want.

For our patriotism in asking for a vote, we have been threatened with code enforcement action by the town, legal action by the town and downright slander.

Councilman Jim Rockett has stated we have been disingenuous. Well, let’s talk about “disingenuous.” The councilman has said the state college has “private property rights.” Since when does the State of Florida own “private property?” This property already belongs to us and the rest of Florida. There has been talk that every landowner will have to pay $4,713 to purchase the property. Residents in town 3,200 times $4,713 equals $15,081,600. Did the value of the property increase from $4.5 to over $15 million? It was also stated that a referendum could cost over $100,000. To add two questions on a normal election, this would be the cost? Councilmen who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Here is what we have stated as fact:

1) The college is a monumental change to the town.

2) The college will bring commercial development.

3) According to professional planners, the town must incorporate affordable housing for the commercial activity.

4) Affordable housing is not 5-acre home sites.

5) The people should have the right to vote on such a monumental impact to our community.

Someone please explain how the council is being open and honest, and how we are not being. To sign the petition so you can either vote for or against the college, call me. All we have ever asked for is to allow the people to vote.

Todd McLendon
Loxahatchee Groves