Typically, our commissioners kick a problem down the road or vote for the easiest way out. But not this time. I congratulate Holly Davis and Jeff Kinnard on their excellent decisions concerning Meadowcrest and the library.
I was interested enough in the Meadowcrest issue to ride over to Crystal River to see what the controversy was all about. After my walkabout, I was convinced that low-income housing could be integrated into the Meadowcrest neighborhood without the problems Meadowcrest residents anticipate.
I am not an architect, but it was obvious that traffic could be routed to avoid going through their community. The woods and perhaps a fence would buffer their neighborhood from the new community. Since the amenities at the complex would be similar to those at Meadowcrest, there is little need to worry about the residents using their facilities.
The commissioners saw through this NIMBY attitude and voted to do what was best for the county. Citrus needs affordable housing, and the commissioners are to be congratulated for voting their conscience and doing what is best for the majority of Citrus County.
I also congratulate these same commissioners, joined by Ruthie Schlabach, for standing up to a bigoted minority of our citizens concerning library displays. At the July 26 meeting, Eric Head, library director, presented a series of updated policies to the Board for their acceptance.
The Commissioners accepted the policies, but one of the commissioners, Ron Kitchen, wanted to inject a new policy into the 14 presented. According to the letter "Commissions voted against citizens," Kitchen tried to add "a no display of any sexual orientation" policy. Kitchen said displays could not violate "community standards," and no displays of "sexual orientation" would be allowed. The Board rejected this attempt to marginalize our gay neighbors and voted him down.
I am looking forward to the new Board of Commissioners. I have little hope that Kitchen and Scott Carnahan will do the right things for our community. Hopefully, the new commissioner will have the grit to vote for what is best for the county and not kick a problem down the road or vote for the easiest way out.