Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Straw poll coming on LWR incorporation; two sides debate

Tom Thomaides (left) and Bob Hendel (right) presented the pro and con, respectively, of incorporation for Lakewood Ranch. At center is Chris Wille, editorial page editor for the Bradenton Herald and Lakewood Ranch Herald. (Photo Jim Jones)
With a straw poll awaiting Lakewood Ranch’s registered voters in early August on whether they want cityhood for their community, proponents and opponents fought it out Wednesday before an influential business group.

Cityhood would mean more effective government for local residents, better access to state grant funds and incentives, more control over their community, and more say on where impact fees collected at the Ranch are spent, Tom Thomaides of the Lakewood Ranch Incorporation Group told members of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance.

Bob Hendel of the Friends of Lakewood Ranch, a group that says this is not the right time to consider incorporation, disagreed.

Incorporation now is too risky, and the economic feasibility study is flawed, Hendel said in the debate at the Fete Ballroom of the Polo Grill. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

For more, see Thursday's Lakewood Ranch Herald.

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