While we've been successful in fighting to a temporary stalemate, it's just one step in our battle, for local elections can always change the political climate and developers and those in state government who love what they do have time on their side and money. And now, on top of the original plan is an ambitious Florida Department of Transportation push for the Governor's desire to add more and more toll supported limited access highways through the pristine lands of North Florida. Our area is under the gun because it is the only part of the state with large acreage in the image of Old Florida and it is one of the things that not only local Floridians love but also visitors from out of state. But the push from Jacksonville to sprawl all the way to Tampa, if successful, would relegate North Florida to just another South and Central Florida with cookie cutter houses galore, huge retirement communities, and box stores, gas stations, fast food establishments and strip malls galore. And sadly, those who push these plans conveniently try to avoid public involvement with state-appointed task forces and very limited public input while packing the planning process with development gurus both governmental and private.
Tonight on North Florida Writer Live we'll highlight the issues facing us that were discussed at the great gathering yesterday. Yours truly was proud to be a presenter on the road issue along with Commissioner Mike Byerly who spoke on the local political climate for the upcoming election and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson who addressed the phosphate mining issue next door in Bradford and Union counties. Commissioner Byerly is the unquestioned leader in the fight to preserve rural lands where they make sense and Ms. Malwitz-Jipson is a great spokesman on environmental impacts impacting our rivers and streams. I hope you'll join us at 7:30 pm or later on demand. It's our land and our life so Stand by Our Plan while we also Stand by Our Land. Here's the link: