ICYMI: Senator Negron’s Visit to the Glades Met With Disappointment, Anger from Residents Threatened by Senate Bill 10

gladesOn Friday, Senate President Joe Negron visited Pahokee High School to meet with Glades residents and answer questions about the negative impact Senate Bill 10 would have on the Glades communities, including Pahokee, which is located in Senator Negron’s own district. According to Senate Bill 10’s staff analysis, the bill has a “negative fiscal impact… due to the reduction in available farmland.”

In case you missed it, despite the meeting, residents of the Glades communities still have strong concerns about the bill. Here is an overview of the frustrations they expressed with the Negron plan:

“’The way to kill this industry is just methodically take away the land,’ said State Representative, Rick Roth. He also has thousands of acres of land in Belle Glade. He’s among the land owners not looking to sell their land to the state. ‘We’re saying we’re not giving up anymore land. There’s no more willing sellers left,’ Roth said.”

“Hundreds of people who live in the Glades communities voiced their concerns about SB-10 to Florida Senate President Joe Negron Friday night at Pahokee High School. Negron, a proponent of the plan to buy at least 60,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee for water storage, rarely makes visits to Pahokee, according to residents… ‘Mr. President, please don’t make this issue about saving one area of your district at the expense of another,’ said Clewiston resident, Janet Taylor.”

“Senate President Joe Negron talks about SB 10 with hundreds of Glades residents,” WPTV

“Dozens of machinists union members wore black T-shirts emblazoned with ‘Save our Jobs’ in white letters. Sugar cane and vegetable farmers bore green-and-white ‘Stop the land grab,” and “Hands off my tractor…Police estimated the total number of people who turned out at 1,000…‘We cannot, do not and will not support SB 10 as it is today,’ said Lynda Moss, a Pahokee resident whose family owns and operates Moss Towing and Trucking in South Bay. ‘The devastation from the loss of jobs is unimaginable at this point.’

“The auditorium at Pahokee High School accommodates only 400, leaving a large overflow crowd outside, though many made their voices heard via signs, the media and petitions in the hour before the meeting began.  Margaret Smart, a Methodist pastor from Pahokee, had gathered large stacks of petitions reading ‘I do not support Senator Negron’s plan to waste billions of taxpayer dollars to take 60,000-155,00 acres of farmland out of production and cost Florida more than 4,000 jobs.’”

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