Please note: This is the online version of my petition that is already circulating through Collier County, Florida. If you've already signed the paper version, you don't need to sign the online version.
The Collier County Board of County Commissioners want Jackson Labs to build a facility here in Collier County (near Ave Maria). The Jackson Laboratory is a nonprofit genetic research organization based in Bar Harbor, Maine. Here's a link to their website: http://www.jax.org/
Here's the catch: The cost to taxpayers. $260 million. Jackson Labs will receive $130 million from the State of Florida (which will come from federal stimulus money), which will then be matched by another $130 million from Collier County taxpayers.
Proponents of this project say it's all about jobs. Jackson Labs itself will only bring about 200 jobs to Collier County over 10 years. Collier County commissioners HOPE that Jackson Labs will be an anchor for a whole biomedical village and that many more jobs will be created. However, the Collier County Productivity Committee (whose members are appointed by the Collier County Board of County Commissioners) researched the Jackson Labs project and voted unanimously not to recommend proceeding with it. The county commissioners ignored their own productivity committee's recommendation.
The Collier County Board of County Commissioners will not let the citizens of Collier County vote on the issue of taxpayer funding of Jackson Labs!
One commissioner, Tom Henning, twice made a motion to let the citizens vote on this issue, and both times, none of the other commissioners (Frank Halas, Donna Fiala, Fred Coyle, and Jim Coletta) seconded his motion, not even for the purpose of discussion. In November, Frank Halas was replaced by Georgia Hiller. Like Henning, Hiller is on the side of the people on this issue. The other three commissioners remain stubbornly pro-Jackson, despite growing protest.
If you think that Collier County citizens should be able to vote on the issue of taxpayer funding of Jackson Labs, please sign my petition!
I am opposed to taxpayer funding of The Jackson Laboratory.
Three of our five county commissioners have refused to allow the citizens of Collier County to vote on the subject of taxpayer funding of The Jackson Laboratory, so I am now turning to you, Governor Scott, for help.
Please do not appropriate any state money to The Jackson Laboratory until Collier County citizens are allowed to vote on this issue and the results show that the majority of citizens want it and are willing to pay for it.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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