In a disheartening meeting yesterday, June 17, 2019, the one-time champions for the environment did a flip flop and voted to approve amendments to their County Comprehensive Plan in regard to new road construction which greatly lessens protection and greatly encourages development.
Charles Lee, Audubon, wrote an extraordinary letter Kristin Rubin, OSFR
The message from the developer, yesterday and last year, was that total shut-out would not give the county a “seat at the table” when it comes to state-wide discussion. We say “balderdash.” What a lame excuse, and even insulting, but it worked.
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson OSFR Sierra Club Guy Marwick Felburn Foundation and Silver River
What we have here is not something we have never seen before: a couple of developers for a development, and several dozen citizens, some representing large organizations with many members, for the environment. Money versus planet. Which one wins? A few stand to gain money, the large population loses quality of life.
Life is not fair.
Kate Gallagher multi-action advocate, Melrose Whitey Markle, Chair Suwannee St Johns Sierra Club
The best we can say is that these commissioners did not understand the full scope of their actions yesterday, and were unable to comprehend the devastating effects these unnecessary roads will bring to their county and the entire state. Anyone who loves Florida an understands this would most certainly and without hesitation oppose these roads and the changes they will bring.
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Whitey Markle, two of the strongest and most successful working to save Florida
An anonymous quote from an attendee at the meeting:
The road can be stopped, but it will take all the citizens involvement to do so. There were only about 3 people in favor of the highways in that audience yesterday versus more than 30 residents that spoke against it. It’s a road, a thing, a desire of big money destroying our natural resources for profit and gain. It is just rhetoric to hear that it cannot be stopped. Stand up and remain vigilant. Sitting on the “Task Force” will not help anything for Marion County. They should have voted for their constituents not for some ideal that if they sit at the table that they can do anything from that side. Shame on them.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-