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East County Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011 7 years ago



+ Moriarty letter a personal attack
Dear Editor:

Informed and respectful debate of topics as important as the incorporation of Lakewood Ranch is both inevitable and necessary.

Thoughtful discourse holds both sides to higher standards of fact and reasoning and hopefully gives the public enough information on which to decide.

Unfortunately, Daniel F. Moriarty’s argument against incorporation is instead a personal attack on Keith Davey and a dismissal of an unbiased expert’s report.

Davey is a member of the LWR Incorporation Study Group, a group of citizens — myself included — who have devoted hundreds of hours to research whether incorporation is good for all citizens of Lakewood Ranch. The group has sought input from neighbors and even changed some aspects of the charter based on this feedback.

Second, Moriarty discredits Dr. Tim Chapin, of Florida State University, who concluded that the work of Fishkind & Associates was “methodologically sound, employed the best available data, and utilized an appropriate set of assumptions.” Chapin’s unbiased analysis stands on its own merit despite this criticism.

I know those who have dug in their heels against incorporation likely will not budge. I also know that those in favor of incorporation will not listen to arguments like those presented by Moriarty. What I hope is that those who have not yet made up their minds will see the value in informed discussion and dismiss nonsensical and mean spirited rhetoric for what it is.

Chapin’s report, as well as all information and communication about incorporation, can be found on our website,

Michael J. Griffin
Lakewood Ranch

+ Palm-Aire ready to sue country club
Dear Editor:

Regarding Esther Halt’s letter “Not all Palm-Aire residents oppose tower,” the editor accurately points out that only 177 people signed the pro-tower petition compared to the 1,077 who signed the opposition petition. In the five communities surrounding the proposed cell tower, all five homeowner associations sent formal letters of protest to both the Palm-Aire Country Club and the county given the majority of their residents oppose the tower. This includes Halt’s neighborhood of Misty Oaks, so she is quite mistaken in thinking most of her neighbors support the tower.

In addition, a group comprising Palm-Aire Country Club members intends to sue the club for a deed restriction violation if the tower is approved. The club is aware of this and has been served a cease and desist letter. So, again, Halt is apparently unaware that many club members oppose the tower.

The pro-tower group amounts to only about a fifth of the club’s membership (about 100 couples signed out of 500 household memberships), showing a lack of support from even within their ranks.

The driver for the club is not improved cell service; it’s money. Halt and other pro-tower club members are eager to see the Palm-Aire Country Club financially benefit from the tower lease.

All of Palm-Aire would like to see the club thrive, but the question is whether its survival as a golf course should be dependent upon its diversification into the utility business. Perhaps the club would be better served by recruiting members from the community rather than pushing an unpopular tower proposal.

Halt pointed out that I do not speak for her. Indeed, that is because I am a spokesperson for the opposition. However, I’m curious if the Palm-Aire Country Club has chosen Halt as its pro-tower leader. I doubt it is thrilled with her repeated references to the imminent demise of the club.

Deborah Chapman
Palm-Aire Homeowners Against the Tower

+ Tower wouldn’t affect opposition
Dear Editor:

There were over 300 residents of Palm-Aire that signed a petition that supported the tower.

The people opposed to the tower were getting signatures at grocery stores, garage sales and from people who lived miles from the tower site. Many couldn’t see the tower with a high-powered telescope.

Deborah Chapman, major opponent, could not see the proposed tower from her house. Beware of petitions.

Jim LaRue

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