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Incorporation without Matlacha?

March 28, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

My take on last night's 2nd meeting of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association's Charter for incorporation of Matlacha and Pine Island.

The meeting went along at a somewhat slow speed but some really interesting facts came out when the suggestion to make two cities or take Matlacha out of the incorporation was suggested. Mr. Mazurkiewicz stated that taking out Cape Royal from the original study on incorporation thinned out the income for the new city, and taking out Matlacha would mean that there probably wouldn't be enough funds for the city to make it.

Mr. Mazurkiewicz went on to say that Matlacha made up about half the income for the city.

The next thing was how was Matlacha going to be represented in the city? Matlacha has 700 voters and Pine Island has 7,000 voters and yet Matlacha will contribute half the taxes. A decision to have one council member per district for the 5 districts and two elected at large was agreed upon. While this might appear on surface as a solution, it still leaves Matlacha funding half the city with probably only one vote.

While it wasn't discussed, some remarks I've heard Pine Islanders saying that they voted to raise the millage rate for the fire district in order for Matlacha to have a fire station. This is ridiculous, because the folks in Matlacha are currently supporting half the costs of three fire stations on Pine Island while waiting since 2006 for their promised fire station that is still nothing but an empty lot with a sign on it.

Maybe, the Greater Pine Island Civic Association should have donated the money they are blowing on an incorporation study, that appears to be not what anyone wanted to begin with, to pay for our much needed fire station in Matlacha. This would actually be a social benefit and a pay back for all the funds Matlacha has paid into supporting half the Pine Island fire stations all these years.

Leo Amos




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