We won the comments 41-0. We won the attendance 400 - 0. It was an overflow crowd. The fire marshal told us it was the largest crowd he's seen in his 26 years on the job.
Our five county commissioners - the people whose vote will decide the future of the Outpost - will hear these stats and know that the only reason we didn't winThursday is that the majority of the PZA members have developer interests. One PZA member who voted against us was recently president of Florida Homebuilders - a hugely influential lobbying group in Tallahassee. He'd pave the Galapagos if he had the chance.
But right now, we need to be razor-focused on the next public hearing which will be in front of our county commissioners, Sept. 17th.
Thursday was the warm-up. And we couldn't be more pleased with the performance of our experts, our attorney, and most of all -- our incredible supporters who showed up in huge numbers, including so many who gave public comments with passion, eloquence, and knowledge of the issues. Our attorney Ralf Brookes said our public comments were among the best he's ever heard. He remarked on the intelligence of our commenters and their compelling testimony.
To our supporters, we THANK YOU for dedicating your afternoon and evening to this important cause.
To those who were not allowed inside by the fire marshal, your appearance made a difference too! We have photo evidence of how far beyond the 348-seat capacity of the auditorium our support was. That will be shared with county officials. To PZA members Bill McCormick, firstname.lastname@example.org and Jeffrey Martin, email@example.com we say THANK YOU for standing up for conservation land, for the Guana Preserve and for the needs of residents. Please email each of them a thank-you. They deserve it.
Regarding the other three who care so little about conservation land, wildlife and water quality, you have to wonder how anyone can vote for an initiative that not a single person came out to support, and is based on a weak legal argument. Roy Alaimo, Archie Wainwright and Gregory Matinova voted for taking "Vista Tranquila" one step closer to reality. Fortunately, it can be stopped in September.
Please continue spreading the word about the September 17th hearing
so that the county officials we elected to represent us will kill this project once and for all. Write emails to our county commissioners if you haven't already done so.
Contacts and support points here.
To those who were unable to attend Thursday's hearing due to travel, work or childcare, your emails to county officials still carry tremendous weight.
Thursday's hearing including all public comments will soon be viewable online
Look for the Aug.15 PZA hearing to be added. Catch our media coverage at the top of this page by clicking on the two images. Save Guana Now board member Sheila Hickson-Curran is interviewed by ActionNewsJax, and so is John Pilecki who has galvanized support for us in St. Augustine.
Our six experts' reports will soon be posted
You'll see how they found flaws and serious deficiencies in the opposition's reports. In the case of hurricane evacuation, Ponte Vedra Corporation did not even provide an expert. Thanks to your generous donations, we funded the following: ecologist, traffic engineer, hurricane evacuation expert, archaeologist and two planners,
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHOWING UP, SPEAKING OUT, AND STANDING STRONG! ONWARD TO SEPTEMBER!!