The Civic League of Port St. John

     In the June 2002 Happenings, The Civic League received an unflattering write up by Port St. John for Tomorrow.

     If some readers are not familiar with The Civic League, then we offer this short history. Spearheaded by Chuck Lowe, the Civic League came to life in early 2002 when a group of residents met with the express purpose of opposing incorporation of PSJ.  We have conducted numerous public meetings attended by hundreds of concurring residents.  We are opposed to attacking people, but we will vigorously attack their philosophies and tactics.  We believe that informed residents will reject incorporation.  Election Day is coming quickly and we are committed to our message:


Civic League supporters are opposed to incorporation.  Below we offer a partial list of reasons:

I .     The City of Port St. John will not be able to provide residents with the same level of services that we currently receive from Brevard County.  A Florida Today article, April 24, states, "David Laney, the (feasibility) study's author, concluded incorporation would be feasible, presuming... the city would start off providing bare bones services".  Sounds like the man who buys a car, but can't afford the gas.

2.      Port St. John for Tomorrow (PSJFT) has created a document they would like to pass off as a budget.  It is not a budget!  It is little more than a list of vague income and expense categories and fails to meet basic requirements in form and content to be called a budget. it clearly shows PSJFT is unqualified to present sound financial information concerning your future.  For example, they project $800.00/ year for local phone service. $800.00 will purchase one business phone line from BellSouth.  How do you run a city with one phone line?  If they flubbed something this simple, how can you have any faith in their other guesstimates?

3.      If PSJ becomes a city, what obligation would the city have to follow the financial recommendations of PSJFT?  The arxswer [answer] is - none.  The modest tax increase predicted by PSJFT will be out the window.  We should pay more attention to the problems of Palm Bay, where a 7 million dollar projected tax shortfall threatens to cause police and fire department cutbacks and increasing tax burdens.

4.      The Bare Bones City of Port St. John would be much larger than the current PSJ.  It will extend south to Camp Road, and Frontenac, Hardeeville and Williams Point will forever disappear.  Residents of PSJ have no desire to expand the boundaries over other towns, unless they are part of the land grabbing incorporation effort.  Likewise, residents of Frontenac, Hardeeville and Williams Point want no part of a city called Port St. John.

5.       For several years, incorporation advocates have been busy floating scare tactic stories around PSJ.  First and most effective is the scare tactic of hostile annexation by Titusville.  This tactic has even been printed in the form of question # 10 on the "survey" conducted last summer, " Some people say it is worth paying slightly higher taxes to incorporate PSJ to prevent any future attempts to annex PSJ ... ?  This type of question is a highly effective method to distribute misleading information.  The truth about incorporation is found in the Florida Statutes Chapter 171" 171.0413 Annexation procedures.  PSJ cannot be annexed against it's will ".... the ordinance(of annexation) shall be submitted to a vote of the registered electors of the area proposed to be annexed."

The second scare tactic finds incorporation advocates shamelessly playing on the fears of residents by suggesting incorporation will protect them from being forced onto sewers.  Interestingly, at one Civic League meeting, State Representative Bob Allen stated concerning sewers, the State is far more successful at bullying small cities than counties, therefore we are better off remaining unincorporated.

6.      Several times, Merritt Island has defeated incorporation attempts.  MI is much larger in size and population atidhas [and it has] a significant business base.  If they don't need a city government to function well, why should PSJ incorporate?  By comparison, PSJ has no large business base, therefore, the tax burden will fall on mainly on residents and the "mom & pop" businesses.

7.       Another glaring problem with their Non-Budget concerns the sheriff['s] department.  At present, we have 3 officers assigned to this area.  If we incorporate and "Bare Bones City,of Port St. John" attempts to operate under this Non-Budget, our police presence will drop by approximately half.  The incorporationists had to cut our deputy assignment to make their questionable figures to work.  Criminals will be pleased to discover that we are reducing our police by one half.

The Civic League believes incorporation will give residents another unwanted and unnecessary layer of costly and burdensome government, which feeds on your wallet.  There are many other good reasons to defeat incorporation than space permits.  The goal of the Civic League is to educate the public with provable facts, not rumors and scare tactics.  Help save Port St. John.  Come to the next Civic League open meeting at the PSJ Community Center on Corto Rd. from 7 to 9 PM on July 18 [2002].

For the record. The Civic League is monitoring proposed changes to the Tico Airport and would be opposed to any activity which could endanger PSJ residents.  Look for more information next month.

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Pd Pol Adv by Civic League of Port St. John, Inc