letter-to-the-editor_web.jpgFor the last several years, most residents have been asking members of the Arcola Lakes Advisory Committee why our proposed Senior Citizens Handicapped Recreation Facility has not yet been built. The plan for this building was approved and voted on several years ago by the residents and the preliminary design was completed by the architect from the Office of Community & Economic Development (OCED).

The plan included a 28,000-square-foot building, an indoor heated swimming pool equipped for the handicapped, three whirlpools, a 500-seat banquet hall, an exercise room, a video room and a kitchen.

 Several years later, a town hall meeting was called by Parks & Recreation and then Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dorrin Rolle. Senior citizens were bused in to vote on their plan from as far away as District 3. After much discussion, the plan was not accepted. That plan included a 14,000-square-foot building and an outdoor swimming pool not equipped for the handicapped.

It has been officially documented that our advisory committee called a meeting with Parks & Recreation and OCED to make final plans for our senior citizens building. But such a meeting never took place, we never called such a meeting and we never attended such a meeting. We have been requesting the minutes and sign-in sheet, which they have yet to produce.

At a public meeting, this same Parks & Recreation official made the statement that the plan they designed for us is all “these people” need and all “these people deserve.” We have been trying to contact our new Commissioner Jean Monestine in writing and verbally and he has yet to respond. We have also been receiving messages from persons associated with his office on what damage can be done if we do not accept Parks & Recreation’s plan.

 We were surprised to learn that a groundbreaking has been scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. No one from the advisory committee was contacted or consulted about this event.

As taxpaying citizens, the members of this committee and residents of this community are entitled to and deserve more respect than that shown by county government officials.

West Little River-Arcola Lakes Park Task Force