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Why was Buchanan against incorporation?

August 23, 2017
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

As most Pine Islanders are aware, the late Mr. Phil Buchanan is one of the most revered Island elders. In September 2015, I urged him to appeal the precedent-setting land case ruled the previous year, in Tallahassee. This was all done behind Phil's back by the County Attorney. He explained the case could be overturned, on its merits, stating "the moment had passed" for this. Then I asked his view, regarding incorporation, as maybe another means around it. He responded, that he didn't think it was a good idea.

Two months later, I presented him with the Lee County financial statements, indicating only 25 percent of the County's revenues were from property taxes. Pine Island property taxes, alone, paid for all of the Island expenses school, police, etc. Pine Island receives none of the federal and state revenue sharing distributed to all counties. We are subsidizing Lee County, as outlined in last week's Eagle, by Roger Wood (thank you, Mr. Wood). Again, this conversation all took place 2 years ago. After he reviewed the financial info, he was still, adamantly, opposed. Why?

Later, when the County was attempting to amend the Land Plan, I approached him, again, about incorporation. This time, he responded "Hell no." He refused to give me a reason, once again. It seemed all that was fought for over so many years was about to be reversed. So, I decided to investigate Sanibel's incorporation process, as I know they have kept their land plan in tact, for the most part. The little I could glean from the Internet was disheartening. They almost went bankrupt the first year.

I would like to ask the community, does anyone know why Phil was so against the idea? I am sure he had a very very good reason. His voice in this debate is sorely missed. Also, has anyone reviewed problems other communities encountered incorporating?

Diane Cherella




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