To the editor:
It's been almost two decades since the state of Florida ordered citrus tree destruction on personal property.
As a result of canker conversation, the state, in a storm trooper-type action, attacked and destroyed citrus trees belonging to residents. These were perfectly good trees but some bureaucrat decided that, in order to save the citrus crop, all trees within 1,900 feet of an infected tree should be destroyed. For compensation, the state gave each homeowner $100.
Walmart gift certificate for the first tree, and $55 for each additional tree. Subsequent lawsuits confirmed that the state acted improperly and the compensation was arbitrary and capricious.
The court delivered a judgement in favor of the homeowners which has still not been paid. It's long past the time for the appropriate compensation to be delivered to the harmed homeowners.
I have written to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, asking him to do his job and make the payments, but have received no response. I have also sent this commentary to a number of elected officials who, I hope, will end this travesty by speaking up for "the people" they have promised to serve.
Governments move slowly, but in this case, if they have an interest in re-election, it's time to do the right thing.