Rick Mansfield letter to the editor

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For the last four years, I have been a volunteer in the Read Out Loud program at Ocean Palms Elementary School. Overcrowded from the day I arrived, most of my classes were in trailer classrooms. For the coming year, two-thirds of the school population has been transferred to the new Palm Valley Academy near Nocatee. 

For the summer, I have volunteered for the reading program at Liberty Pines Academy, west of 95 off State Road 210. As I pass the construction of the new school, I cannot help but wonder if it will be completed in time for the fall semester. Continuing west I can feel the earth strain to handle the weight of a growing population. I am enveloped in a cloud of dust and dirt when I am stopped to allow construction vehicles to tear up the woodlands and destroy natural habitat in preparation for several new communities with utopian names. Thousands of new residents will flood into an area already overstretched for critical county services such as schools, police and fire service, plus infrastructure that now has more vehicle traffic than roads can handle.  

The St Johns County Commission, along with zoning, are complicit in allowing these mega developments just so greedy developers can line their pockets with dirty money.

How long before the citizens of St Johns County are going to be asked to pony up additional tax dollars for more services because of irresponsible county officials?

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