I am writing this as a fellow Santa Rosa County resident supporting impact fees for our schools.

Phil Hoffman and I are two of the founding members of SRC Voters Against Overcrowded Roads & Schools, a group of non-political residents joined in January 2019. Our sole purpose is to ensure our infrastructure is fully capable of supporting the burdens continually being thrust upon it. Our commissioners do not appear to me and others to have our, and all our children's, best interests at heart.

We intend to continue encouraging our SRC commissioners to implement much needed and warranted fees, impact fees. On May 15th, Mr. Wyrosdick, superintendent of the Santa Rosa County School District, presented well-researched, irreproachable, fair and valid reasoning for a School Impact Fee. The commissioners dismissed the need for this fee. Instead supporting the developers and builders who have, and continue to, invest in them.

Do you know know that most developers/builders invest in every commissioner candidate running in every election? One example that can be viewed on SRC.gov under Campaign Contributions is the numerous investments made by the Olson Group under various guises. The commissioners also rejected Mr. Wyrosdick’s request for “veto” power to delay further Planned Unit Developments, subdivisions and other large (10-plus acre) upzonings when schools are at overcapacity. These rejections by your commissioners have created an untenable condition for our schools to be in.

It is understandable that non-residents with a profit-only agenda desire to attend and comment at SRC meetings. However, anyone who is not a current resident should not be allowed to “stump” on issues that strictly and greatly affect the daily lives and well-being of the families who reside, and will reside, in Santa Rosa County.

The sole issue before the commissioners, their support or non-support of obtaining additional funds for our schools, should strictly and solely benefit the children and families who reside, and will reside, in SRC. They are the sole constant contributors and are dependent on the county's schools. Business interests have no place here nor should they have a voice here.

If you combine your voices with ours I believe it will become too hard for our civic leaders to continue ignoring their constituents. I’d like to meet with you. Please respond if you are interested. I will coordinate a meeting with SRC Voters AOR&S and any and all residents who will strategize and work toward our goal of fair and appropriate funding for Santa Rosa County and it’s schools.

Elaine Smith - Pace

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