Call the delay of opening the equestrian trails within Loxahatchee Groves whatever you want. Consensus on a reason is not as important as a solution.
The Roadway, Equestrian Trails & Greenway Advisory Committee (RETGAC) is comprised of five local residents and a council representative. Development of a trail system has been its focus for more than three years, and progressed with community benefit at its forefront, until Nov. 4.
At the Nov. 4 meeting of the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council, Councilman Jim Rockett motioned to put RETGAC on hiatus. Vice Mayor Ron Jarriel seconded. The council vote favored this motion.
Why did Councilman Rockett make the motion and the others vote in favor of putting RETGAC in hiatus? Perhaps they should answer to their neighbors and residents of Loxahatchee Groves.
There is a basket of libel, truth and conjecture floating about RETGAC’s hiatus. More importantly is the solution to move the trails project forward through common sense, transparency and legal parameters.
The Groves Horseman’s Association, 100 enrolled members and growing, seeks active citizen support who will put their influence before our town council, to take RETGAC out of hiatus, and create what was intended to benefit all of the Groves residents economically, socially and naturally.
Attorneys for the town council and attorneys for the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District are speaking about their “issues” pertaining to our (sort of) trails and waterways. Supposedly, once they reach resolve, trail development will be expedited.
March 2015 brings up two council seats for election. Groves citizens should install members who are more concerned about citizen wants and welfare, who will direct the LGWCD to do our bidding and not the sticky, low-hanging cloud of good-ol’ boy business as usual.
RETGAC was a committee of citizens; a think tank, not just council’s rubber stamp. RETGAC was empowered without specific council direction to conduct public meetings to review issues on roadways, multi-purpose and equestrian trails, greenways, parks, and other water-related issues within the town, and make solution recommendations to the town council.
RETGAC’s Oct. 23 meeting produced conflict and disagreement — but isn’t resolving conflict how things get done? Is the council’s spontaneity to put RETGAC in hiatus, their way of saying to the Groves that community trails are no longer valuable? Is the council closing its ears to advice from the citizens? Has the council become a red-hearted government that practices “off with their heads” should any difference arise?
Let us, the citizens, residents, horsemen, growers, etc. of Loxahatchee Groves unite and put our needs first.
Keith Harris, Loxahatchee Groves