If you are crossing the bridge from Eastpoint Florida into Apalachicola you will see a
billboard filled with Rick Scott election signs. What’s the deal? The election has been
over since November of 2010. So why do these signs remain a Rick Scott version of a
Andy Warhol print?
It is the continued stubbornness of a 74 year old Marine Veteran who personally met
Scott on the property he has occupied for 34 years. His name is Robert D. Allen and he
has occupied a beautiful property bounded to the south by a tidal creek, “Indian Creek.”
On the north it is bounded by Class II Federally protected Estuary waters of the
Apalachicola East Bay. It is the only Marina on the East Bay and an entrance for Sport
Fisherman, Crabbers, and Oysterman since the 1900’s. Robert D. Allen on purchasing
the property in 1974 aptly deemed it, “Paradise.” But since 2002 his occupation of the
property has been a battle to equal any, “Wall Street Occupation.” After being ignored
by both Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist he saw in Rick Scott a new rebel politician who was
really going to change things for the unincorporated area of Eastpoint. So he
campaigned at his own expense to get him elected and from his inauguration has
continually wrote him letters and made videos to plead with the Governor concerning
his battle and plight. But, Mr. Allen’s issues turned out to be issues Rick Scott dare not
respond to or even consider.
At the edge of Indian Creek amid supposed Federally protected wetlands a few
hundred feet from his property sat the Eastpoint Waste Water Treatment Plant. In 2002
the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District alleging he had made illegal connections to water
and sewer on his 11 acres of Paradise. But, all could be made well if he came up with
$8,500.00 in 30 days. Mr. Allen refused and gathered all the evidence showing that the
Water District was fully in error as to their claims. But when he tried to find who had
oversight of the District and would hear his appeal, from the County Commission all the
way to the Governor’s office no agency would admit any responsibility. So, Mr. Allen’s
protest of occupation began long before any crowds gathered at Wall Street.
Mr. Allen had long figured there was more to the story of the pressure coming against
his business. In July of 2005 with a video camera he decided to take a trip up Indian
Creek to the Eastpoint Waste Water Treatment Plant. He was not surprised to find that
the Treatment Plant was without cover-up flushing excess sewage into Indian Creek.
After rains he would smell sewage in the creek and knew something was wrong with the
water quality. So, for three years no agency had responded to the extortion of the Water
District. But with clear evidence in hand from his own video and fly-overs he paid for
himself he believed someone would listen. The other event of 2005 was “Hurricane
Dennis” which extensively damaged his property and forced him to close his R.V. Park
on the south side of his property. Mr. Allen received no funds when Jeb Bush came to
Eastpoint urging businesses to rebuild. His insurance claims and Fema claims were
denied. But, not only was Mr. Allen determined to occupy, he was equally determined to
rebuild and protest. Again he determined to go to every agency and stop the blatant
pollution of his creek and Bay.
From 2005 onward multiple offers came to buy his property. The final offer he
considered was from Bay point Marina in Panama City. A lucrative offer that with vested
interest in the townhouses, condos, and Marina could have netted him 25 million in his
lifetime. Unbelievably, he walked away from the offer citing the harm it would do the
Seafood Workers of Franklin County by denying them access. In late 2006 he was
offered an alternative to preserve the land as a public park through the “Florida Forever”
program. Strangely, after this acceptance suddenly in 2007 the Department of
Environmental Protection finally responded to his video and evidence of sewage
dumping. Promise upon promise was made to “make everything right.” But,
unfortunately in the process and to date nothing has been “made right.” As was shown
with the BP payoff of Florida this was only politics as usual.
There was a push from the beginning for Mr. Allen to sell all his property to the State.
But when Fly-overs and admission from FDEP came that the “Consent Order” to stop
pollution in Indian Creek had never been enacted. When money on the closing cost
started to be demanded and Mr. Allen was forced to pay $105,000.00 to hook up his
restaurant building to water and sewer, a hook up fee he had already paid twice. Mr.
Allen made a firm decision to occupy what was left of his “Paradise.
In May of 2009 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection was “urged by
people of substance” to investigate a structure at the Lodge property. The allegation after
34 years of occupation was he had built over “Waters of the State” without proper permit
and was guilty of “dredge and fill.” Again, Mr. Allen gathered all his permits and
evidence and hired a lawyer. Again, none of his evidence was admitted. The threatened
$10,000.00 dollar a day fines for not completing the “Consent Order” against him gave
him no choice. He had to close down his restaurant business and tear down his
Restaurant dock. Mr. Allen would not of understood any of it except for an Apalachicola
Times article where a group called the “Riverkeepers “ admitted “urging” FDEP to act.
Then came the dedication of “Indian Creek Park” the parcel of land Mr. Allen had sold
to the State of Florida for preservation. The Allen family was never mentioned or
included in the dedication. One group was given credit, the same group that had urged
FDEP to act: The Riverkeepers.
Rick Scott with his new plans and his “let’s get to work” slogan seemed to Robert D. Allen a new hope to make the truth known. But, after letters, calls, and personal visits to the Capitol Mr. Allen is still waiting for a real response.
“I know how to get results by holding people accountable.”
LOOK AT WHAT RICK SCOTT HAS DONE AND ASK YOURSELF, “WHO WILL HOLD HIM AND ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ACCOUNTABLE.”
Although negative publicity seems to now be the norm with Rick Scott and his kind I believe this story is one with a personal touch that does echo the causes of the “Occupy” movement. Below are a number of resource links that detail Mr. Allen’s occupation of his property and his protest against
corporatism and government’s blatant ignoring of the people. I ask anyone or everyone to take this story and any of it’s resources. Mr. Allen can be reached personally by phone at 850-670-1111 or by response to this e-mail. Media has always been a strong tool to keep our nation free and make Government accountable. Any information or release of materials will be gladly given.
http://rdausmc.blogspot.com/ This is Mr. Allen’s personal Blog and has a lot of info and videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWRrsgwQSzY This is Mr. allen’s youtube
http://whiteeagletimes.yolasite.com/ this is my blog for all things, “Indian Creek” Be sure to read Mr. Allen’s letters to Scott and take the “Is Rick Scott a Facist” test. Any further information or interviews you may need are welcome!!! OCCUPY!!!!