LETTER: Just say 'no' to special treatment for special interests

Published: Friday, November 15, 2013 at 09:00 AM.

It seems a new special interest group calling themselves the Walton County Small Business Association wants a special committee approved and appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. This group all of a sudden popped out of the woodwork in September when the BCC stepped up to the plate to address the parking and traffic problem in South Walton. Where has this group been for the past 10 to 15 years when all the decisions were made that created the problems?

I have very little sympathy for this new organization since many of these same people are responsible for the mess they themselves have created in South Walton. I do have a great deal of sympathy and empathy for the permanent and part-year residents, and short-term tourists who have to put up with the mess created by selfish special interest developers.

It’s well known these problems have been exacerbated by the county government making poor decisions favoring development sometimes in violation of their own rules and regulations. Homes and businesses have been squeezed into small spaces without regard to long term planning and any negative fallout on neighborhoods. The result has been a mix-mash of conflicting development design with inadequate roads, drainage, and parking space.

The failure to adequately plan for traffic control and parking facilities has brought about a crisis in some minds.

Now that the county has woken up and is trying to take some positive steps to address the issues we hear some of the same perpetrators of the mess crying wolf. It seems some of the business-supported past actions that were once wonderful have now created a backlash of negative issues and the ox has been gored.

For years individuals and neighborhood representatives have sounded the alarm on what was happening to South Walton. They knew exactly where the community was headed but were stiff armed by the Board of County Commissioners of the past.

Everything was hunky dory so long as developers got what they wanted. Now all of a sudden what they wanted has turned out to be an albatross around their necks. So they come up with a “blue ribbon committee” idea to help fix the problem. Give me a break. We have already seen what one sided special interest has done.

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