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Nancy Smith

SFWMD Board: Out with the Old, but ... Where's the New?

February 14, 2019 - 9:00am

After the public shaming to shoo out the old South Florida Water Management District board members as fast as they could, you'd think the new Administration would have been Johnny-on-the-spot getting their replacements appointed and cleared in time for the first meeting.

Which is today.

But they didn't, according to a Governor's Office source. And that means just four board members, thus no quorum for the only SFWMD Governing Board meeting during the month of February. Oh, board members can and will meet starting at 9 a.m, but there won't be any votes taken. A month wasted.

Not a flying start for an Administration that accuses the departing Governing Board of "delaying" Everglades restoration.

So, what happened?

Sanibel City Councilman Chauncey Goss, Gov. Ron DeSantis' first board appointment on Jan. 29, apparently didn't have his paperwork properly completed in time. Goss won't be sworn in today.

Broward developer "Alligator" Ron Bergeron, who does a lot of business with the District, won't be seated until he gets an opinion from the Senate Ethics Committee on whether he has too much of a conflict to sit on the board at all.

Meanwhile, there was major business on today's agenda. For example:

  • Major contract votes for work on some of the bigger projects, like the C-43 West basin storage reservoir, in the amount of $524 million; and
  • Approval of a near-$5 million material-hauling-and-stockpile contract for the EAA storage reservoir.

There's always the possibility that today's quorum failure was a planned event: Kill the meeting and the departing board gets no credit for the months of hard work putting together two big contracts. Maybe the Administration simply wants the new board to be able to vote on these contracts as if they're the result of the new regime's effort.

A planned no-quorum or an accident of bad luck for Goss and Bergeron, the bottom line here is the same: Expect a quick and hollow meeting as the board's old guard -- what's left of it -- bows out without the thanks and applause these members deserve.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


I didn't tell Ron to move forward yet. The new Board needs an immediate win to cement credibility. Nothing will be more important in the short fun than for them to be able to claim credit for the C 43 reservoir. The Foundations next move is to gain the funding necessary to buy the newspaper ads and tv ads to bring in more donations so we can sustain our effort. All in a days work! Ron is great to work with - just hope he isn't to unhappy when we swing our political support to the Democrat in the next election. No one should be surprised that we are all liberal Democrats. Go Andy!!!

The South Florida Water Management District has a deseredly high reputation for highly qualified scientists, engineeres and other professionals. The total staff is more than 1400 people. If all future decisions will be dictated by Ron Desantis, Brian Mast and the Everglades Foundation, then who needs scientists and engineers? Everybody withexperience, integrity and knowledge is getting the full bum’s rush out of SFWMD. A board with no experience or knowledge, no executive director, no general counsel. And all directed by our accidental Governor who is governor only because he was handpicked by Donald Trump.

WHAT?.. No chuckles from you this time, "Chuckles"?

Politics does, in fact, make strange bedfellows !... Or as "Willy Shakes" put it: "misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.." (Is there anyone more miserable, or stranger, than a politician,..other than maybe a 'group' of politicians..)

Ii is always better to make sound decisions rather than quick ones...patience grasshopper...

SWFMD should be abolished. Water (and all environmental) issues should be in the hands of scientists, not partisan political appointees - especially those with special personal interests.

Are you ignorant or just stupid? Scientists are 100% beholden to special interests or politicians or both. They fight among themselves day in and day out.

DeSantis handling of the Board and forced resignations has been nothing short of a debacle and quite frankly an insult to those Board members who under a lot of pressure and public criticism have done a good job. And they are all Republicans who supported him in the General Election. Could have and should have been handled in a completely different manner.

Enough of the whining, Nancy. No board votes are better than unethical board votes. Really - for the sake of the sake of your credibility and that of SSN, you’ve got to find another client other than sugar who will pay you to cover their issue in such a lopsided and biased manner. Get over it. You and your “sweet client” didn’t win on this issue - the people and clean water did!

Get off your "suger kick", it's become boring (as have YOU "Sugar") !

Lots and lots of misspelling please start using spell check.

A "typo" "Saily"

"Unethical"? Apparently, that's become an obsolete word, especially to wingnut Republicans and the TrumpNut Clan.

Comments are now closed.

nancy smith


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