To Eric T. Zwayer, Highlands County tax collector: I am writing about a catastrophic situation caused by poor engineering, poor monitoring and a very lackadaisical approach on the part of the managers of Sun 'n Lakes of Sebring.
Our property frontage (and several others) is bisected by a moat of dirty water with unknown micro- and macro-organisms swimming around in it. Several areas of our front lawn cannot be cut due to standing water, resulting in the overgrowth of some very new and strange looking plant life.
In order to collect our mail on the other side of the street, we have to don (and doff) heavy-duty galoshes to avoid getting our feet and clothing wet and, of course, to defend against possible contamination from the scrofulous critters floating around in our detestable moat.
As for our backyard, the flooding has rotted the roots and killed some of our fruit trees. The hedge planted at the property line in the back has lost several previously healthy and thriving (for years) plants.
We pay taxes and dues to the county and two other authorities, each of which exercise confiscatory authority over our property for "failure" to pay their one-sided and expensive levies. With the exception of the Manor Hill Homeowners Association, it appears that no one cares a hoot whether we sink or swim. I'm certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that were the shoes on the other foot - that is to say, were it possible to find a way to blame me for this incipient flooding on our property - the powers of the county and any other authority which could be persuaded to weigh in in this matter would be "drawn up in dread array" to give me a time limit to fix the problem and/or pay a fine and possible face eviction from our property as a public menace and public health miscreant.
I wonder, sir, if we could possibly gain your assistance in any and every way possible to address this longstanding water issue.
David E. McDonald
If had been a relatively new resident of Highlands County who has read daily of the operations of the Avon Park government in your newspaper, I might wonder if this city is being run by a bunch of idiots. Having lived here since 1970, I don't have to wonder.