Polk Political Season Begins: Pay Attention

One candidate has announced for one of two County Commission seats that will be open in 2018, The Ledger reports.

Two incumbents, District 2 Commissioner Melony Bell and District 4 Commissioner Todd Dantzler, are leaving because of term limits.

Next year will be the first election for those seats since 2010. There was no election in 2014 for those seats because neither incumbent drew an opponent. That was the first time that had happened since 1954.

There are important decisions coming in the next few years that interest the environmental community and should interest others as well. Whoever is elected to the County Commission will be a key decision maker in that discussion.

Some of the main issues now are:

Water policy: How will Polk County deal with its water supply issues and will it do so in an environmentally sustainable manner?

Land Protection: This involves completing of the job of protecting Polk’s remaining wildlands. If Amendment 1 money ever becomes available, will Polk officials agree to provide matching funds to make purchases to fill gaps in existing conservation lands through purchases of additional property or conservation easements.

Roads: The location of new roads has an impact on existing conservation lands the movement of wildlife along corridors and the quality of life for rural residents because these roads typically attract additional development. Land and conservation planning should be part of the discussion of the siting of any new road project.


Posted in Group Conservation Issues.