Letter: Don’t Sell Mecca Farms To SFWMD

The sale of Mecca Farms to the South Florida Water Management District is an extremely bad idea. How short are county commissioners’ memories regarding massive flooding in The Acreage that the SFWMD caused single-handedly by refusing to allow the Indian Trail Improvement District to pump it out in satisfactory quantities.

The SFWMD has proven time and time again they are less trustworthy than a busload of Taliban with backpacks. Any county commissioner who deals with them should be recalled because they clearly don’t have the citizens’ best interests. [County Commissioner] Jess Santamaria has really disappointed me this time.

I contacted Gov. Rick Scott’s office about the SFWMD and it seems that their PR machine is spinning at full throttle. The governor’s office actually told me the SFWMD were the “good guys” because they loaned Indian Trail a water pump. But that’s no different from a mugger giving you a Band-Aid after he stabs you to death.

I understand that some want Mecca turned into a shooting range. This is a wonderful idea. But you can bet your bottom dollar that the SFWMD will never let that property be used for anything the public wants, regardless of how many promises they make. So the folks who think there is going to be a shooting range are deluding themselves.

After all, we are talking about the same bunch of crooks who illegally barricaded Youth Ranch Road, a privately owned public right of way that borders Mecca Farms to the north. For many years, this was the only access to The Acreage and the Corbett area, and is currently the only northern connection from Seminole Pratt to the Beeline. The SFWMD decided that even though it’s private property they don’t own, it’s OK for them to barricade it without the permission of the landowners.

When the SFWMD gets their greedy hands on Mecca, they will dig it out and sell all the dirt. More than likely, the sale of the dirt will get them more money than they spent. But that’s something the county could do itself and leave the devil out of the details.

The area would be better used for a hospital, shooting range, motor sports park and heavy industrial commercial area. Proponents say a retention pond will be used to drain water off The Acreage into the Jupiter Farms area. But my experience with the SFWMD says that they really plan to drain it the other way.

The sale of Mecca Farms to the SFWMD is beyond stupid. Selling it to them for less than half of what we paid for it is twice as stupid. Didn’t [former county commissioner] Tony Masilotti go to prison for similar dealings? The current Board of County Commissioners should be treated no differently. We should keep Mecca Farms and use it for the good of the public.

Dennis Hawkins, The Acreage