Polk Co. Commission removes Combee name from building

- The Polk County Neil Combee Administration building will no longer be known by that name.

Polk County commissioners decided to drop Neli Combee from its title.

“This is political, absolutely political,” Neil Combee told FOX 13. “It’s obvious... This is just spite, a vendetta with them."

Combee was on the commission for 16 years. By all accounts, his tenure in the position is the longest in recent history.

In 2004, his fellow commissioners voted unanimously to name the building in his honor.

He then went onto the Florida House and held a key position with the USDA. He has been at odds with county commissioners many times.

Commissioners wanted to raise taxes and increase the number of terms a county commissioner can serve - from two to three.

Combee opposed both.

He supported allowing voters to increase the homestead exemption from $50,000 to $75,000.

Commissioners opposed it.

“They are exacting their political revenge because they can,” said Don Gifford, who was on the commission alongside Combee.

Commissioners say the move is not personal or politically motivated. One says it is unusual for buildings to be named after someone living. Another says the name is confusing and needs to be updated.

New signs are expected to go up within the next few weeks.

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