Interlocal agreement backlash grows in Lakewood Ranch

srocco@bradenton.comMarch 18, 2014 

Vehicles wait to pass through the Balmoral Gate off Lakewood Ranch Boulevard back in December.JAMES A. JONES JR./Bradenton Herald

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- As an interlocal agreement among districts 2, 5, and 6 for the cost and procedure sharing of Legacy and Balmoral gates moves closer to approval, frustrations are mounting among district residents.

About 20 residents showed up to a District 6 agenda review meeting Monday to voice concerns about the written agreement, which they say was not properly explained to them and is unclear.

"Those who have read it intently are not in favor of it because they do not feel that the board has adequately explained it or has given residents a clear opportunity to discuss it," Silverwood resident Jim Rogoze told the board.

A written petition to strike down the interlocal agreement has close to 330 signatures, Rogoze added. Another petition circulating online has just as many.

Residents are upset a public meeting to discuss the agreement has not been scheduled.

"There is no trust between residents, Town Hall and the board. The only way we change the situation is if you all demonstrate willingness to listen to residents so they can demonstrate their frustrations in an open manner," said Thornhill resident Angela Johnson.

CDD 6 supervisors Jim Hill and Douglas Ferry said they would be open to having a town hall meeting to explain the agreement to residents.

"I believe it's the right thing for 2, 5, and 6 to have the right understanding about the gates," Hill said, adding that he would like to delay voting until mid-April to provide opportunity for a meeting.

Thornhill resident Sheldon Goldklang said he would support the agreement if the

costs allotted for each district were clearly listed.

"I don't see clarity in it. ...I don't think the agreement should be signed in its present form," he said.

A date and time for a public meeting to discuss the interlocal agreement has not been set. The agreement will be further discussed at a districts 2, 5 and 6 agenda review workshop at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

In other news, Eva Rey, Town Hall executive director, announced CDD 6 chairman Robert Burstein is resigning and will remain on the board as a regular member.

"After three and a half years, I decided that I've put in my time and I'll let someone else take over at this juncture," Burstein said Monday.

The board will elect a new chairman during a meeting April 17.

Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow @sabrinarocco on Twitter. f

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