JaxPoliticsOnline.com

Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Crist Backtracks and Signs Controversial Water Bill

Despite a prior statement that he was “leaning towards” vetoing SB 2080, the controversial water resources legislation that would severely limit accountability in the water consumption permitting process, Charlie Crist backtracked today and signed SB 2080 into law.  JaxPoliticsOnline.com had written about this legislation on more than one occasion and nearly every major newspaper in the state (as well as Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton) had called on the Governor to veto it.  He had previously given every indication that he would.  Until he quietly signed it today.

It’s a sad day for Florida’s aquifer and the St. Johns River.

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , , ,

Crist Should Veto SB 2080

“Imagine if a county administrator in Florida could make development decision in secret, without asking the county commissioners?  Only if the administrator denied a request would the commissioners have a say.”  That’s the question the Palm Beach Post asked in a recent editorial.  They were speaking, of course, in reference to SB 2080, which is currently sitting on the desk of Gov. Charlie Crist.

SB 2080 would eliminate public hearings that take place before the governing boards of Florida’s five water management districts and place one individual—an appointed executive director—completely in control over the approval process for removing water from Florida’s aquifer and rivers.  In fact, if this legislation had been passed (and signed into law) during the last legislative session, the hundreds who turned out to oppose the recent request from Seminole County to drain 5.5 million gallons of water per day from the St. Johns river…well, there would have been no hearing for them to speak at.  The withdrawal would have simply been approved by the Executive Director and the public would have had no input.

Volusia County Council Member Andy Kelly is one of those opposed to the new legislation.  He told the West Volusia Beacon that he had concerns over the political pressures that would be exerted on water-management executive directors when large, for-profit developers came requesting permits.

“I know that I wouldn’t want to be in that position,” Kelly told the Beacon.  “I would deny each one, so that it would go back to the Governing Board for public input and broad public discussion.”

Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton has been one of the rare Jacksonville politicians that have spoken up in opposition to this dangerous legislation.  Peyton penned a letter to Charlie Crist asking him to veto the bill.

As Jacksonville’s Riverkeeper so clearly states, this bill is a “poison pill” and should be vetoed.  Voice your concerns with the Governor by e-mailing him at Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com or calling him at 850-488-7146.

Let your voice be heard.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , , ,

Kill Destructive Water Bill

The Orlando Sentinel weighs in on the legislation (SB 2080) that would cut out the water management district’s Governing Board members in permitting decisions and turn those decisions over to the district’s executive directors. If the legislation becomes law, the only way Board members would hear permitting decisions were if the district staff recommended denial of the permit. As it turns out Kirby Green, Executive Director of the St. Johns River Water Management District, supports the legislation. Surprise! I guess he doesn’t need 19,000 pesky Floridians trying to weigh in with his Governing Board members anymore on the St. Johns River water withdrawal permit for Seminole County, among other things.  The Orlando Sentinel editorial requests Crist to veto the bill.

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , , , , ,

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