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East County Thursday, Jun. 10, 2010 5 years ago

Group spurs incorporation debate

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by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

The group formally opposing the incorporation of Lakewood Ranch says the risk for doing so is too great to move forward with the concept at this time.

The Friends of Lakewood Ranch formally presented its findings to a crowd of nearly 200 during a presentation Wednesday night at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.

Members of the Friends of Lakewood Ranch detailed reasons why they do not feel incorporation is appropriate — at least for now — citing concerns with the city charter, as well as flaws with a feasibility study that says incorporation would be both feasible and sustainable without raising taxes, among other reasons.

“The objective was to make sure the issue has both sides,” Friends of Lakewood Ranch member Bob Steplemen said. “There are very significant risks and, in our view, very few benefits (to incorporation).”

Jo Ann Dain, who is leading an incorporation advocacy group, said the Friends of Lakewood Ranch did a good job presenting their information.

“I think they started an honest debate,” Dain said. “I think our organizations have the same goals, and I hope we can work together for the long-term benefit of Lakewood Ranch.”

Contact Pam Eubanks at peubanks@yourobserver.com.

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