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Primary voting begins today with early voting. Read position statements submitted by candidates for Orange County Mayor. We will be publishing position statements about our septic system issue as we receive them, so check often. Also, an editorial opinion regarding “incumbents” that hopefully will help you make sound and factual choices.

As you know, early voting begins today. It is essential that you be informed about where candidates stand on issues important to you. The Orange County Mayor will necessarily be involved and influential in the issue of septic systems and the EPA water quality standards issues facing the property owners of the county. As voters and property owners, it is in your best interest to be informed about the position held by each candidate for this office. An invitation to submit a brief position statement was issued to Theresa Jacobs, Matthew Falconer, Bill Segal and Linda Stewart.

Our thanks to the following Orange County Mayoral Candidates, listed in alphabetical order, for providing this information to our homeowners. We also note that current Attorney General and candidate for Governor, Bill McCollum, has publicly gone on record as opposed to the EPA’s Numeric Nutrient Criteria, which will impact the entire state. Candidates at all levels of government are welcome to submit similar position statements. Submit to

Matthew Falconer:

“This is another example of how government regulations continue to strangle our economy and our freedoms. Our Constitution says no law should be made “ipso-facto’ or in arrears, but your state government is now suggesting the homes you purchase must be upgraded substantially. The small or non-existent additional benefit to the environment of these Performance Based Treatment Systems compared to standard onsite wastewater treatment systems makes imposition of such a rule impractical and an unreasonable burden on our citizens. As Orange County Mayor I will protect the rights of Orange County homeowners against unfair regulations by the State of Florida. There is no clear evidence these expenses will rectify the problem.” *

*Statement appearing here contains highlights of a two page position statement. Full statement is available from Mr. Falconer.

Theresa Jacobs:

“If the State of Florida determines that septic systems are adversely impacting water quality, the State of Florida needs to allocate the resources to convert existing septic system users to a central sewer system. Our water supply is a state resource, protecting it needs to be a state responsibility, not the responsibility of individual property owners.”
Bill Segal, Orange County Commissioner:

“I am opposed to forcing homeowners to spend their hard earned money on new septic tank systems. In this economy, it is even more egregious that the state would ask families to shoulder this burden. Unlike my opponents, I have a track record of voting against these systems and their costly requirements. Between the unproven science, the severe cost increases and the problems with these new systems, I vocally opposed this measure and voted a year ago to ask the state to not impose this measure. My opposition does not mean that I don’t care about the environment. In fact, I have worked to preserve 200,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land while I was the Chairman of the St. John’s River Water Management District. There is no reason to impose this requirement for scientific or financial purposes and I will fight to protect Orange County homeowners from feeling its burden.”

From the Editor: The term “Insider” is being thrown around a lot lately. In reality, it is just another word. Lately, however, it’s being used as a deliberately prejudicial word, for incumbent – meaning the candidate either currently holds the office or has held office in the past. The label “Insider” promotes the idea that an incumbent candidate is somehow tainted and not worthy of holding any office. In my opinion, this is insulting to both the candidate and the voter. We have engaged many of our state, local, and federal office holders – incumbents – during these past several years, and can say without hesitation, that voting records and actions speak much louder than any label possibly could.

In the Sludge Report, ( we have publicly thanked many “insiders” for their relentless and dedicated support of our position on this septic system issue. These “insiders” have listened, educated themselves, communicated with us, and then voted consistently to uphold our property rights, and demand that sound science and common sense prevail over partisan or personal political agendas. In the cities, counties, and in our state capital in Tallahassee, they have put sweat equity into educating and garnering support among other legislators, so that our property rights and common sense prevailed when legislation was being drafted and in budget negotiations.

Do your homework. Ask questions. Educate yourself before you vote. Accusations can be verified. Promises are easily made and just as easily broken by “wanna-be’s” as well as “insiders”. Labels can be misleading and most are non-productive. Let voting history, consistency, courage of conviction, and actions speak louder than rhetoric or labels. Now, go vote August 24, and again in November. See you at the polls!