Last year, only 26 percent of Sebastian Daily readers favored the annexation. Fast-forward today, our poll shows 73 percent now support it.
The poll was sent Sunday to Sebastian Daily newsletter subscribers, which are mostly citizens in Sebastian. Over 6,300 people voted so far in the poll.
- 72% – Yes, I would support the annexation
- 28% – No, I do not support the annexation
There’s been a lot of misinformation and conspiracy theories debunked during the past year about the annexation.
Annexation in Sebastian is nothing new, as the Grave Brothers have offered their land repeatedly for about 100 years as our city grew. In fact, everyone today is living on land once annexed with the Graves Brothers.
If the Graves Brothers bring the property back to Sebastian for annexation, Sebastian Mayor Ed Dodd plans to have workshops with the public.
“I plan on trying to work with the County Commission to create an interlocal agreement between Sebastian and the county before we process any more annexations. I do not think that this is impossible and would like to try this approach. I also want the city to have Workshops before any annexation is voted on. I will note that we have open public meetings before anything like an annexation is approved both by the P&Z and Council. We just need to open a more informal meeting prior to these formal hearings,” Dodd told Sebastian Daily.
Councilman Jim Hill also spoke about the growing support for annexation based on the latest poll.
“I believe that the support we are now seeing for annexation is based fully on the public’s understanding and knowledge of the facts. During the process last year, there were many lies told in an effort to sway an election. It is imperative that the city of Sebastian control the growth and development around us so we can maintain the beautiful city that we have,” Hill told Sebastian Daily.
Last month, we interviewed Dodd about all the misinformation surrounding the annexation. Dodd cleared most of it up. You can watch the entire interview below.
Mayor Dodd and the other council members were not allowed to discuss the annexation until recently due to ongoing litigation. Also, the annexation didn’t fail because it was wrong; it failed because of a minor technicality with the map.
During a recent meeting, Councilwoman Pamela Parris admitted she never read the annexation agreement, even though she was given the information twice after running on a platform to stop it.
Sebastian is no longer a small town since its recent population boom during the past 30 years. The town is still growing, but there are local ordinances in place to keep it from being overly developed with high rises.
We also published an article last year informing voters that stopping the annexation does not mean stopping Sebastian growth.
Some voters thought the three candidates, Damien Gilliams, Pamela Parris, and Charles Mauti, were going to stop future growth. Unfortunately, you cannot tell people not to move to Florida, and you can’t tell land owners they can’t develop. But we can control the growth if it’s annexed with the City of Sebastian. For some reason, this part of the truth and how local citizens approve every step of the plan was never mentioned by the three candidates.
Also, the people against the annexation say there is still plenty of land available in Sebastian for housing, but most of the property is lots and owned by people to prevent over building in their neighborhoods. A lot of people live next to a vacant lot they own.
There is also the misinformation that our taxes will go up because we have to pay for the water & sewer. The developer pays for that, and the roads, not the taxpayers.
Other residents have legitimate concerns about the environment if the land is developed. No one wants to take the environment away from the wildlife. Also, those opposed to annexation have told citizens that allowing homes to be developed on the Graves Brothers property will ruin our water and lagoon. Most people believe that’s nothing more than fear-mongering to sway voters.
The local environmentalists suggest leaving the land with the county, as if it will never be developed. This is not a solution, and the tax base will go to the county while new residents use our local roads, boat ramps, docks, and other resources.
The county is also developing thousands of new homes south of Sebastian, but there doesn’t seem to be any outrage in that.
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