Commissioner Byerly is an activist for many things, but none are in this writer's opinion more important than our local environment. To maintain a "where culture meets nature" philosophy in the leadership of this community, Byerly and Hutch Hutchinson both need to be reelected, but Byerly is particularly vulnerable due to his outspoken voice in support of keeping the rural spaces we have predominantly rural. If you are a naturalist, love conservation or just enjoy peace and quiet in the way you live, then it's imperative that you vote for Byerly. And if you are a Conservative, remember that land conservation is an important component of that original philosophy. His opponent is a mouthpiece for the Chamber of Commerce push for development everywhere, never taking into consideration those who already live rural, the dwindling status of our natural environs and the major concern over water which is always avoided like the plague by the development community.
The Chamber of Commerce is not what it used to be. It is now a behemoth organization at the national level which has targeted many politicians in Washington who oppose crony-capitalism and are more concerned about small business. Just by being a member of the national body, the local chapter supports that underlying viewpoint and it can be seen by the limited impact small businesses have on its philosophies and policies. And with its tight link to Plum Creek, now Weyerhaeuser, those who have been involved over the fight for Envision Alachua know that the average citizen is of no concern to their game plan. So while the majority of the county opposes the huge land development push, the Chamber has identified candidates, including Byerly's opponent, to heavily fund campaigns with lots of out-of-town money in order to complete a takeover of the County Commission.
Now there is nothing illegal with what they do, but it surely shows where their interests are and they are not in the best interests of the "little people" who pay property taxes and follow the law and in times of huge development frequently lose that property. After all, many are of limited means or on fixed income and they never gain the fruits of big business operations. They merely are stuck with paying for it and losing their life style and their property, many of whom have been in their families for generations.
That's what this Democratic primary election tomorrow in Alachua County is all about, folks, so think carefully about what you do. Don't settle for hype and bullet points that don't say anything and remember what we've faced in the past and will face more of in the future. If you do, you'll vote for Mike Byerly tomorrow and return him to the County Commission for another term. And don't forget to vote for Hutch also. While he has an easier likely path to victory, never take anything in election politics for granted. And please share these thoughts with anyone who is uncertain of what to do.
The pictures below offer the contrast. Beautiful rural and peaceful Florida against what man so recklessly does. If that doesn't help you decide, nothing will.
RE-ELECT MIKE BYERLY TO THE ALACHUA COUNTY COMMISSION BY VOTING FOR HIM IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY TOMORROW, AUGUST 30TH. Let's keep some of the great heritage that we have. If we lose it, it's gone forever.