Pine Island - Matlacha Inc. Not On 2018 Ballot; Lawsuit Must First Be Resolved

On September 28, 2017 Florida's State Representative met with Noel Andress, Roger Wood and Michael Dreikhorn from the Greater Pine Island Civic Association along with their consultant, Joe Mazurkiewicz of BJM Consulting, and made the first request for an incorporation bill;   UPDATE

BJM Consulting having previously submitted the required feasibility study to the Legislature on August 31, 2017. Since the area of proposed incorporation falls within Representative's House District, any incorporation bill must be filed by him or her.

The proposal was never on any docket and consequently not scheduled for discussion in the House since the House staff reviewing the feasibility study identified 11 areas of deficiency where additional information was required to satisfy the statute.  Given the fact that the 2018 Session was an early Session (beginning in January instead of March) and that the Lee County Delegation hearing was scheduled for October 18, 2017, it was decided that all of the steps necessary could not be completed in time for the Local Delegation meeting.

Passage at a local delegation meeting was a requirement to be considered during the 2018 Session.  Also, the court case involving the Cape Coral annexation of property in Matlacha needs to be fully resolved in order to satisfy one of the statutory requirements. That case was still pending at the time of the local delegation meeting.

There is no path to an approval prior to the 2018 November election.  The House is no longer in Session and will not reconvene (barring a Special Session) until after the November election.  Therefore, no incorporation bill can be filed or voted on this year.

In order to be considered during the 2019 Session, the appeal of the court case needs to be resolved. Furthermore, the deficiencies in the feasibility study need to be addressed and the information submitted to the House of Representatives Local Affairs Committee for analysis.

The supporters of incorporation are working on petitions of support that will need to be collected and submitted to the Legislature.

(Michael Dreikorn sent in the following reply on 5-8-18)

"On your article on incorporation and the 2018 ballot, there are some confusing aspects... the first paragraph does not seem to be connected to the rest of the article.  My name is misspelled and the article characterizes me as a member of the GPICA, which I am not.   The first paragraph also suggests that an application for incorporation was made, which it was not.  Three island residents spoke with our representative to discuss the way forward, if incorporation was to be sought.  At that time in 2017, we were still investigating... I think if further investigation was made, it might be found that there is divergence in the incorporation objective at present.    I'd appreciate it if the entire first paragraph was removed.. the rest is accurate."

(editors note: The Pine Island News article is from a reliable "reliable" source. We weren't there so we won't second guess. But we appreciate Mr. Dreikorn's prespective.)