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Guest opinion: A betrayal of public trust

September 27, 2013

On Sept. 18, 2013 at their final budget hearing, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners betrayed the public trust....

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Sep-27-13 11:12 AM

Why is that the city of Cape Coral which produces probably 24% to 27% of the total Lee County residential tax revenue had ZERO land assets purchased and set set aside? %0 cents of every taxable dollar and the residents in this city have to pay for 2020 program and all its own parks? Ray what did you do for us to take some of the tax burden off the residents of Cape Coral. While not the entire problem you were not part of any solution.

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Sep-27-13 7:54 PM

Mr Juda paid for wallowing in the slime pit of politics. I voted for him for years, but handing the wealthy ball club owners 80 million in working class sweat equity (the political equivalent of the oldest profession) jolted me into reality. He tried buying lands with the 2020 fund, but one or two men can’t move mountains.

If he was still in office I expect he would have went along with this theft and given 5 million plus to Hertz. He may have gone along w/robbing Lee Tran and I bet at some point he said incentives (dollars the working class must pony up) for business “helped the tax base and created more revenue from jobs” than the net economic/infrastructure impact. Ray, we know business pays politicians back in their campaign coffers (a few cents on the dollar it costs us).

I say engage, Mr Juda. Help breath life into honest debate uncontaminated by the corporate media. Or do you hope for a come back. We know what that means.

Removal from the infected zone wasn’t enough.

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Sep-27-13 9:48 PM

ConJob 2020 was to be a temporary program. It had noble origins, by design no doubt. Once the cash began to flow the career liars, cheats, & sociopaths moved in. It has reduced the amount of taxable land in the county and increased property taxes privately held parcels. The program overpaid for properties that no doubt benefited something or someone other than its stated intent. After years of corruption they placed a “freeze” on acquisitions. But the money kept flowing in. All that money! So we’ll just steal it outright says the current commission, no much of a surprise there. The program as acquired nearly 25,000 acres (nearly 40 square miles) and has fueled the religion of environmentalism locally, enough already! The sun sets every day, it is time for 2020 to sunset. Mission accomplished.

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Sep-28-13 8:42 AM

Which pristine portion of Cape Coral do you want them to buy, Lightswitch?

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Sep-29-13 12:13 AM

Hey Betty Crocker your buns are burning. You are telling me in all of Cape Coral their is no pristine land. How about along the Blue Way. Orlando built a park on one edge of a river. Plenty of wildlife from birds to alligators. Plenty of natural flora with bike and walking paths. Point is the 2020 program purchased NONE in the entire is 17 years this program has been in existence. Guess the wrong PEOPLE owned the land. I guess you would like more city purchased and developed parks with more quota being paid to the state (like $876,000) for scrub jay habitat? Wake up and small the wildlife droppings!!

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Oct-01-13 8:58 AM

Public trust, Ray states... The 20/20 program was implemented through a non-binding referendum in 1996 which was only to last 7 years. The commissioners continued to approve the collection of the tax even after the 7 year period expired. The funds collected continue to build, including those allocated for maintenance, at a rate far in excess of the need. Ray championed the County for doing the same with the General Fund reserves, where they over collected for many years, essentially getting an interest free loan from the taxpayers which they are still using to balance the budget. The public trust of which he speaks was betrayed many years ago by past commissioners who voted to continue the program without authorization by those now living here. Put it on the ballot as a referendum item in 2014, and let the voters determine where they want to trust the commissioners...

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Oct-01-13 10:46 AM

Ccrider- referendums don’t yield chunks of campaign funds. Wealthy Sports Team owners and car rental execs do. Besides, given the faith based nature of Republican voters (SWF is mostly so-called conservative Republicans) they vote as they are instructed from the pulpit. They don’t need no stinking facts or studies.

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