--- On Tue, 10/28/08, Mariella Smith wrote:
Please forward this message to other Hillsborough County voters you know.
Vote YES for ELAPP
Way down at the bottom of your ballot is a Hillsborough County referendum on ELAPP. The main challenge facing this referendum is simply that many voters don't know what ELAPP is.
A recent poll showed that when people are informed about ELAPP, the majority will support this referendum, so in hopes that you will vote YES for ELAPP, I present these key points:
ELAPP, our county's successful Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program, is set to expire after 20 years, unless we vote to renew it in this election. We must act now to preserve our last remaining environmentally sensitive lands to:
• Protect drinking water sources
• Improve water quality in local rivers, lakes and Tampa Bay
• Preserve wildlife habitat
• Provide outdoor recreational areas
"Moreover," as the Tribune points out,
The Tribune also points out, what everyone who is supporting this referendum is quick to point out, including the campaign brochure: [emphases added]
The non-partisan effort to continue ELAPP is led by former Gov. Bob Martinez (R) and former County Commissioner Jan Platt (D). Broad-based support comes from the cities of Tampa & Plant City, businesses like TECO and Mosaic, the Tampa Bay Partnership, as well as every local & regional environmental group including Audubon & Sierra Club. Both the Tribune & Times have endorsed it.
Need more convincing? Visit one of ELAPP's 55 nature preserves. Take a walk and feel your spirits lift. Contemplate the idea that the preserve would be a subdivision or strip mall if it were not protected. Consider, too, that if the preserve had been developed, it would cost us taxpayers much more for infrastructure than it costs to maintain as a nature preserve.
Although we are all facing tight budgets at the moment, it is important to take the long view as we consider whether to renew this program into the decades ahead. Today's economy provides excellent opportunities to acquire land at bargain prices, and there is still over 40,000 acres of environmentally valuable land in this county that we need to protect while we still can. This land will undoubtedly be paved over eventually if it is not purchased for preservation.
In addition to the links above, you can find out more in this video produced by Preserve Hillsborough, Creative Loafing's article, and the Tribune's multi-media report.
I hope you will join me in voting YES for ELAPP.
Written by Mariella Smith, published on SticksofFire.com.
You can comment on this article (and find all the links to background information if they don't work in your e-mail) here: