Letter: Stop The Presses!

The Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District Board of Supervisors has reached out again to the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council to ask for a joint meeting about town roads and maintenance. Part of the issue revolves around the LGWCD hesitation to take over maintenance of town roads and turning remaining district roads.

Supervisor Don Widing said that he does not care about who winds up with the power or authority to manage the roads. “I look at this more as a resident,” he said. “I’m more concerned for the residents, the cost containment and the level of service. To me, it’s all in the numbers, and any government should be operated that way.”

Stop the presses! I can’t agree more… it is all about cost containment and level of service. To me, as a general contractor, the numbers indicate whether my family eats or not. Any business, any government should be operated that way, but Supervisor Widing, you are not looking at it as a resident. You have not attended council sessions on a frequent basis to ask in three minutes of public comment about cost containment and quality service. You have a vote while other residents do not.

For the LGWCD fiscal year 2014-15, with the LGWCD touting in local media, a built-in surplus of $150,000, which the town reduction of gas tax revenue resulted in a some $93,000 surplus; ended with a deficit of $116,000. Do the math: In one year, the LGWCD was overbudget $209,000. For the LGWCD fiscal year 2015-16, the LGWCD was overbudget $70,000.

Does the $279,000 over budget for 24 months indicate Administrator Steve Yohe has been operating at a monthly deficit of $11,625 under the supervision of former treasurer John Ryan? Is that cost containment?

Go to press: Widing said that the town appears to be spending a lot of money for its private contractor, Bergeron Land Development, compared with district costs, but a closer look is needed.

“When I look at the numbers, and what the town has already spent, it’s a lot of money, but I can’t say for sure that it’s apples to apples, because when I hear Bergeron is putting rock down, how much rock are we putting down?” he wondered.

Stop the presses: You get what you pay for!

Go to press: Supervisor Widing commented, “Either we’re going to be in the road business or we’re going to be out of the road business.”

Stop the presses: Did Supervisor Widing just call for the question? Turn the remaining LGWCD designated roads over to the town…

Go to press: Widing said he wants the community to no longer be divided over the roads. “This has been struggle for a long time,” Widing said. “How come we’re 10 years into this process and still haven’t figured this out?”

Keith Harris, Loxahatchee Groves