Save The Prairies Now!

Click above image for a PROXY

Okeechobee Prairies / Viking Estates Property Owners

(Updated 6/20/2022)

We're accepting PROXIES for 2022 election

Congratulations to Mitch Teardo for winning the 2021 election. Mr. Teardo has an expansive knowledge-base of construction and employee accountability. He'll be a much valued member of the Board of Supervisors.

Current Board is
Michael Vincent - background in law enforcement
David Law - State Licensed Electrician/Contractor
Mitch Teardo - Construction and site-prep

(Updated 6/20/2022)

Unless we maintain the correct Board of Supervisors this authority can and has been horribly abused. If you're a landowner you have a right and an obligation to vote - it's your communinty!

Our area (Viking Estates aka the Prairies) falls within a "Special District" known as the Coquina Water Control District (CWCD).

What if I'm not a resident? Unlike other elections, in a Secial District you only need to be a landowner (not a resident) to vote. Therefore ALL landowners (you) are entitled to vote for 'Special District issues' as well as for members of the 'Board of Supervisors' of that Special District.

How do I vote? Unlike other elections, all voting is in person and not via US Mail. Therefore to be heard you must be present or assign your voice via 'proxy' to someone who attends the landowner meetings and annual vote. I attend those landowner meetings and vote on behalf of the silent majority - thanks to your proxies. Consider signing a proxy to me for your vote!

Why would I sign over my vote? Having a proxy from you does not preclude you from appearing to vote on your own behalf. Having your proxy is a backup in the event you can't make it! If you are present I will remove your proxy from my list so you can vote. In any case, what's important is that your voice is being heard and your vote counted - and that's what's most important!

Landowners of our community living all over the US (including the Prairies) have executed the above proxy (click on the top image) giving me authority to vote on their behalf in an effort to maintain like minded suprervisors having the same common goals and interests of the majority of our landowners. Several years ago we managed to changed out the entire board with a new group of highly qualified people along with a new Board Attorney. Through your proxies we've taken control of the board and put a stop to the past aggressions of the prior board against landowners!

(1) to Stop abuse by the Board of Supervisors. We suspected one such board member as having a questionable financial arrangement. The State has subsequently charged this board member with a charge substantially to the effect of self enriching. Through proxy votes we were able to take control of the Board and get State of Florida attention for an alleged crime that the local Sheriff and State attorney refused to prosecute - yes the good 'ol boy system is alive and well in Okeechobee!
(2) to stop abuses by Board and the Sheriff. This is ongoing. Here's the background...

In June of 2017, Coquina's Board of Supervisors voted to hire the Sheriff to enforce traffic laws throughout the Prairies. This was done against the popular Landowner's vote held weeks earlier for them NOT to execute the agreement as it contained too many issues and liabilities for landowners. The Board executed this agreement anyways! This agreement has nothing to do with fighting crime, it's strictly a requirement to allow the Sheriff to enforce traffic laws on our private easements. The issues created include..

(1) Financial Abuse - The agreement obligated the landowners to reimburse the Sheriff for all expenses incurred without any limits. This was estimated to cost into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and landowners would have to pay for this. It would show up as additional taxes and failure to pay could lead to a tax-Deed foreclosure on our properties.
(2) Financial Liabilities - The landowners became financially obligated to "hold harmless" any of the actions of his deputies and provide liability coverage. It's not possible to estimate the totals this could have cost us with the right series of events.
(3) Abuse of Private Property Rights - The Sheriff has used this agreement to violate those who drive Off-Road-Vehicles (OHV's) on the easements or driveways (easements are driveways and not roads). For over 50 years the landowners and residences have enjoyed using OHV's on our private easements to pick up mail (avg round trip 2.5 miles), drop off children to their bus stop (avg 2.5 miles round trip), to take out the garbage - some residences travel as far as 18 miles round trip to the central garbage collection center for the community, to deliver feed to live stock, and to simply get around as the easements are often in very rough condition due to weather, and general use by residents. Some may ask why so far for the services mentioned above? The short answer is because our roads are actually easements and privately owned and maintained by landowners and not the County. The USPS, the County School board and the Waste Management will not authorize travel on private easements. Easements are actually driveways and can only be used by authorized people as defined in the recorded "Declaration of Easements". They are NOT open for general Public use.
(4) Abuse of Authority - Traffic laws do not authorize the Sheriff to stop landowners from using OHV's on private property. His abuse of power is noted by his authorizing the Deputies to attack citizens on their own or a neighbors property including CWCD's property. Landowners have been arrested from private property for using OHV's. These forms of transportation have been towed off private property for no reason other than to harass citizens who own the property and use OHV's. These attacks have extended to the issuance of drivers license points along with fines, probation, even arrests and jail time. For what??? driving an OHV on private property!

THIS NEEDS TO STOP! SO we voted that CWCD sue the Sheriff to stop what prior board members started!

Our new Board has legally terminated the agreement with the County and Sheriff. However, the current Sheriff (Noel Stephen) refuses to honor the termination and continues violating our private property rights and continues his abuse of our landowners and residents. As a result of the landowner's Proxies to myself and landowner's instructions to fight for our rights, CWCD has moved forward with this lawsuit against the Sheriff.

Think about it ... We can individually sue the Sheriff for allegedly violating State laws (FS 316), alleged violations of State and Federal Constitution violations of private property without due process or compensation, along with alleged inverse condemnation of our private property, or we can use CWCD to do so on behalf of us all ... all 12,000+. The logical choice is for us to support CWCD in their efforts to stop these private property violations on behalf of us all.

As a result, in 2019, with the overwhelming approval of landowners (via Proxy) CWCD proceeded to file a lawsuit against both the County and the Sheriff. The County reviewed the issues being sued over and issued a statement that they agree with our statements of facts and as such should not be included in this suit since there is no disagreement with CWCD and landowner's position. As a result they were not included in that lawsuit. However, the Sheriff has chosen to disagree and fight CWCD's claims. The claims are ...

(1) That the Interlocal Agreement has been terminated. The County agreed and issued a letter acknowledging its termination but the Sheriff refuses to accept the County's termination!!! The Sheriff through his attorney declared in court 'it is not terminated!' (did they commit purgery?)

(2) That as a result of the Interlocal Agreement's termination the Sheriff has no authority by law to continue enforcing traffic laws on our private property - he disagrees!

(3) Florida Statutes specifically permits CWCD to authorize recreational use of its property - the Sheriff disagrees!

As of this update the Sheriff, through his attorney, has declared all our roads (easements) to be open for public use. The Landowners who own these easements were never named failing due process and compensation as required by Florida and Federal Constitutional laws YET the Judge agreed (without knowing who owns them) and Judicially declared they're open for public use which further violates and harms our private property rights. This is unfortunate but does open the door for more actionable claims by Landowners and CWCD against the Sherrif and County. It has been discussed and advised by counsel that we consider moving subsequent actions into Federal Court as they are more astute to the preservation of Private property rights from State, County and Municiple abuses.

Additionally Florida Case law has determined that the County has an ongoing obligation to maintain any private property being held open for public use yet the Judge failed us again! We still have work to do! We have an obligation to our fellow landowners to continue this fight to preserve the private enjoyment of our property.

How bad is this really? Ask those who have been arrested on their own property while defending their children's right to ride an OHV. Ask those who defended their wives who were being yelled at and scolded by a Sheriff Deputy. Ask those who've filed complaints against the Deputies only to be arrested for trumped up charges days later after the complaints were filed. Ask those who wathced their vehicles be towed from private property completely undocumented = no record of it ever happening (Evidence via FOI request reporting zero vehicles ever impounded or towed)

I asked the CWCD Engineer this question. He stated that "this board is far more interested in Drainage than other boards." The canals being rebuilt are actually being completed instead of being postponed year after year. These canals are five mile long each and take a lot of effort to accomplish.

Additionally road maintenance (aka easement maintenance) has improved considerably. Rain will always be an issue for pathways created from sand, clay and shell-rock but the effort remains strong, affordable and effective.

The grass swales which are all 1/2 mile long each side of the grass easmeents are being cleaned and re-sloped for drainage. Some of these haven't been touched in over 10 years. All damaged culverts are being replaced and the culverts connecting the swales to the CANALS are being replaced with correct flow control versions

The equipment is being better cared for. Better scheduling of maintenance along with holding empoloyees accountable for their vehicles and equipment and its condition

The board has installed gates at the one-mile dirt easements stating "WARNING Anywhere off the Pavement is PRIVATE EASEMENTS NO TRESSPASSING" signs on each gate and at the Entrance of Peavine and 101 Ranch Rd. in an effort to thwart non-landowners from using our private property for their recreational uses .

(Updated 08/05/2019)

As a result you've missed NO critical votes to restore our landowner rights - we all thank you! Controlling Coquina Water Control District (CWCD) is crucial to our continued success and forward motion!

I hope you agree - our community is a better place when we have the freedom of respectful ATV/OHV use. This mode of transportation is necessity especially for those who live here.

The Viking Estates Community can be the GEM of Florida once we've established our lawful use of these vehicles on our private easements on a permanent basis.

Back in Fall of 2016 CWCD held a vote to fill an annual vacancy. Due to an unprecedented over flow of invalid votes that Dorothy Miles used for increasing her vote count Danny Faircloth won that election. After review of those votes I discovered that Michael Vincent actually won. The continued disregard for the landowners by Dorothy Miles and Danny Faircloth lead to the infamous "Interlocal Agreement" against the will of the landowners. This document single handedly created such a liability for all of us that it will take another 2-3 years and several tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars to unwind.

In Spring of 2017 we all joined together and filed a lawsuit against CWCD for the voting fraud and the unlawful handling of the voting process. The insurance company for CWCD saw no victory as the fake votes are clearly documented so they settled. The lawsuit placed Michael Vincent (the good guy) in his rightful place with a 3year term. It would have caused Danny Faircloth to step down but he did so in advance voluntarily.

During the Summer of 2017 (before the vote), with the help of landowners we were able to secure hundreds of proxies from landowners who aren't able to be present for the annual vote. The voting fraud did continue. I discovered many unlawful votes being used again by Dorothy Miles to increase her personal voting power. Regardless, your proxies lead us to an easy victory in the Fall of 2017. We voted in David Law, an owner of a State Licensed Electrical Contracting Company. SO now we have Michael Vincent and David Law, both solid members of the community and great Board Supervisors ....along with Dorothy Miles. Dorothy Miles was being investigated for alleged Embezzlement along with several other Ethics violations. She never showed up to another monthly meeting for the balance of her term (1 full year). Although the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Dept claims they found nothing they could charge Dorothy Miles with, the State Ethics Committee differs and on June 12th, 2019 they publicly announced the following...
The Commission considered a complaint filed against DOROTHY MILES, Chair of the Board of Supervisors of the Coquina Water Control District.
   •Probable cause was found to believe she misused her position to obtain a variety of unauthorized payments and additional compensation as a board member.
   •Probable cause also was found to believe she was doing business with the District when she billed it for accounting services, and had a conflicting employment or contractual relationship.

It Doesn't stop there though....
Many of you might be asking but what about restoring our riding rights.? CWCD actually has a lot of authority to help us. Their existence is for the benefit of our community and the landowners.

If it weren't for the Board members of CWCD we'd still have nothing - We're on a roll and the law is on our side. I need your proxy. We can't afford to lose momentum.

If you're a landowner then here's how you can help and it won't cost you anything other than a moment! Click on the very top image to trigger the downloading of a "proxy". Fill out what you can (be sure I can read your printed name as is on your Deed). I will fill in whatever is not conveniently available for you. Take a clear picture of it with your phone and text it or email it to me! A copy is a valid version. It's a good idea to provide your email and telephone number so we can be in touch with each other and I can provide updates! Should I need to fill anything in I assure you I do not commit fraud! My name is on that Proxy - it will always be factual and verifiable! You can rescind it at any time and if you show up in person to vote just let me know so I pull your proxy and we don't both vote. You keep the original, it has my contact details. I will correspond upon receipt.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions. We can't afford to get lazy and let down our guards to lose now!
Think of it this way....If you own land and you're not voting you're giving up control. You must be present to vote.... that makes it uniquely difficult for almost everyone. y providing me with your proxy, I will vote in your absence.

Together we can win - Let's WIN!

It's not anyone's desire to open our private easements to free riding by non-landowners. We all personally own these easements - they are created from a portion of our lots. We clearly seek to regain our private property rights of use and enjoyment as is protected by Florida Statutes and our Declaration of Easements. We have a right to pursue and restore the civil levels of enjoyment and community wholeness that we've enjoyed for over 40 years. I hope you believe your investment and why you chose Viking Estates - I believe it's worth defending, don't you? Please download the proxy, return it to me so I may vote on your behalf! - Thank You.

Click here or any of the links referring to PROXY above to open/download a copy. Print, execute, then text or email a clear image to me. Direction are on the proxy.

If you do this now it will take less than 3 minutes. Please don't procrastinate. If you want your riding restored - do this now please!

Save The Prairies Now!
Save The Prairies Now!

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