Here’s an item about canal restoration from the Key West Citizen. Now, as we know, the Citizen is about as reliable as Pravda when it comes to providing accurate information about their buddies at the county. So when they write an article that makes the county look this ridiculous, you know the situation is probably much worse than it seems on the surface. I’m sure the awful truth will someday come burbling up out of the ground like untreated sewage in Key Haven.
What’s really crazy is that the three worst, most consistently irresponsible commissioners on the board seem to be on the right side of this particular issue.
Last month, the commission discussed who specifically should pay for the maintenance and operation for the recently completed seven test projects.
The 117 canal-front property owners on Big Pine Key and Key Largo face $797 a year assessments to pay for the maintenance and operation of air curtains and 102 lot owners on Geiger Key and Big Pine Key face $67 a year fee for the maintenance of culverts, county Sustainability Program Manager Rhonda Haag said.
County Administrator Roman Gastesi asked the commissioners if they wanted the county to subsidize the operation and maintenance costs to make them more affordable for waterfront residents.
Commissioners Danny Kolhage, Heather Carruthers and Sylvia Murphy argued that the costs should be paid by the people living on those canals because the county kicked in more than $5 million for the initial installation work.
They also said that there is no scientific proof that poor water quality in the canals impacts the nearshore waters, arguing the canal-front property owners are the only ones who benefit.
When contacted last week, Carruthers, Kolhage and Murphy reiterated their objection to a county-wide assessment.
What’s even crazier still is what the property owners on the canals – the people who directly benefit from these huge expenditures – have to say.
Two Big Pine Key residents, who live on restored canals, sent emails to county commissioners last week stating they didn’t ask for the projects and should not be stuck with the ongoing maintenance costs.
Lol. Well, nobody else asked for these stupid projects either. They were rammed down our throats by the county. So if the people who benefit from this don’t want to pay for it, then why should anyone else? The fact that staff expects county-wide taxpayers to subsidize this idiocy is insulting and absurd. They didn’t think ahead, so the rest of us are obligated to pick up the tab? I don’t think so.
“Without future operations and maintenance work, any gains accomplished by the restoration work will slide backwards and be lost, the full value of the restoration work will not be realized, and it will be impossible to measure the gains of the restoration work,” Haag wrote in a memo to the commissioners.
Gee, maybe all that should have been sorted out ahead of time. The fact that Haag failed to do so is extremely disturbing.
Staff made the moronic recommendation to go forward with these poorly planned, poorly executed projects. The commissioners bobbed their empty heads up and down in agreement without a clue as to where all this was going to lead. And now staff expects to stick county-wide taxpayers with the cost of upkeep – forever and ever. It’s bad enough we had to contribute on the capital side. What bullshit.
Once again, the lack of accountability is rearing its ugly head. With all the money spent on studies and reports, with all the oxygen consumed blabbing endlessly about this at meetings, how is it possible that nobody nailed down the operation and maintenance costs ahead of time? How is it possible that no one can substantiate a county-wide benefit? There needs to be a unanimous “no” vote, and Ms. Haag needs to be shown the door, followed immediately by her boss, the iPhone Bandit.
The taxpayers can’t afford this nonsense.