Thursday, May 21, 2015

SWFWMD Governing Board members give Hernando BOCC and City of Brooksville 60-day reprieve

SWFWMD gives 60 day reprieve from moving SWFWMD from Brooksville to Tampa, but minds are clearly made up. 
Board members cynically claim there will be no further economic impact upon Hernando County and the City of Brooksville without pointing out that it's because most personnel have already been relocated and the damage already done.  
Hernando's bowing its neck.  Says impact will be harmful and long-lasting just as the county struggles to recover from the Recession. 
Senator Simpson says he is against the move.  He objects telling governing board members SWFWMD needs to give the legislative process a chance to work.  Implication is, if not, there may be legislative consequences.  In a news release, Both Senator Simpson and Representative Blaise Ingoglia have registered their objections to SWFWMD's governing board action. 

Watch the discussion on YouTube  HERE.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Scott yanks SWFWMD Headquarters from Hernando County

Hernando County should be real proud of the fact that after 53 years as the designated headquarters of the 16-county Southwest Florida Water Management District, Rick Scott has decided the District’s head office should be moved from Hernando’s regional airport to Tampa. Brooksville’s historic patriarch, Alfred McKethan - the fellow responsible for it being located here in the first place when the district was formed in 1961 - is probably seething (may he rest in peace).   

While the move has been in the tea leaves for anyone concerned to see, it is still a jolt.  Or, is it?  Knowing what I knew then, I asked former County Commissioner Dave Russell a few years ago if he knew about what was happening and if there was concern that a very significant employee base was about to be taken away from Hernando County (based on Scott’s slingblading of district staff and basin boards) and the response was basically no response.  As if to say, who cares? 

This current and actual turn of events revealed late Friday afternoon in the email below to all district employees from district staffer Robert Beltran raises several questions. 
For one, I wonder what role Blaise Ingoglia’s little skirmish with Scott over the Republican State Committee chairmanship played in this embarrassment for Hernando County, Ingoglia’s home county.  Ingoglia is our state House member as well as the state Republican Committee Chairman.  You’ll recall how he unceremoniously yanked that appointment away from Scott’s favored son a few months back and assumed the mantel himself, much to the embarrassment of State CEO Scott.  Such quid pro quo, screw me and I’ll screw you, mentality is common in Tallahassee, where ethics are as ephemeral as flatulence in a windstorm and foul play is fundamental human behavior.  Though it will surely be denied, it would not surprise me one wit.  Our boy Blaise, under any circumstance, should be red-faced PO’ed. 
Blaise, was this on your radar?  Where are you? 

I wonder if Senator Wilton Simpson, Hernando’s fair-haired rising star of the Florida Senate was aware this was going to happen, and did he bless this diss of one of his most important district counties?  If he did … wow!  Says how important he believes his political future depends upon being on the in with the folks in Tallahassee and that his constituents back home can go pound sand.  Hopefully, on the other hand, if he did not know, he will start raising sand instead, and lots of it, QUICKLY! 

Wilton, say it isn’t so! 
With all the talk by the Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and County Commissioners about Hernando’s lagging economy and the need to bring in new blood (jobs and money), I wonder how indignant the Chamber and the Commissioners are going to be when they learn one of the more significant payrolls in the County is leaving for Tampa.  Don’t be misled by Beltran’s attempt to deflect the reality by saying there will be no staff reductions here.  He can say that because it has already happened right in front of the Commission’s noses over the last three years and without a peep from the Chamber.  Additionally, his email is glaringly contradictory.  On the one hand he suggests the employment base is in Tampa and that’s a main reason to move the district there, while on the other he claims doing so will not impact staff numbers here.  If there’s no impact, why do it if not just to stick it to Hernando County/
Is this local reaction a ploy by the Republican Party in Hernando?  To bow low and say nothing in order to not appear disloyal to Tallahassee and spotlight the mounting incompetence of Rick Scott and the potential collusion of our two state legislators whose sights may be beyond any loyalty to Hernando County?  Everyone in the County should be outraged that this is happening, especially the County Commissioners, the county’s legislative delegation and the Hernando County Chamber of Commerce.  Will they not now say something?  Anything?
So far, the silence is deafening.  Guess all us unqualified and unavailable Hernando County country yayhoos should all just go pound sand.



Subject: FW: Message from the Executive Director: Resolution Designating the Tampa Office as the District Headquarters

From: Internal Communications
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2015 1:22 PM
To: All_Users
Subject: Message from the Executive Director: Resolution Designating the Tampa Office as the District Headquarters

Dear Staff, 

I wanted to let you know that based on the findings in the District’s Business Plan, there is a presentation and resolution on Tuesday’s Governing Board agenda recommending that the Tampa Service Office be designated the District’s headquarters or principal office 

The Business Plan, which was developed by staff, has identified an immediate need to begin planning for staff succession and recruitment to ensure our future success.  This is due to retirements and potential turnover within the next 10 years. As you are already aware, the District has consolidated Regulation and Legal staff in Tampa. Most of the Governing Board meetings and all of the Advisory Committee meetings take place in Tampa. One of the main reasons for this is that the Tampa Office is the most centrally located District office, and provides better operational efficiencies and accessibility to our customers. Looking to the future, the Tampa Bay region has the largest labor pool and a highly educated labor force to recruit from. 

The District is not anticipating closing any offices and there are no immediate plans to move additional staff to Tampa. In addition, there will be no changes to the level of service provided to any of the District’s regions. 

In fact, most staff and external stakeholders won’t notice any differences as a result of this change. If you have additional questions or concerns, please discuss them with your manager or bureau chief. 

Robert R. Beltran, P.E., BCEE
Executive Director
Phone: (352) 796-7211, ext. 4605
Fax: (352) 754-6874



Friday, May 15, 2015



South Florida water managers kill deal to buy U.S. Sugar farmland

Scott's actions convoluted, not convincing - Paula Dockery - League of women voters

Ocala Star Banner Editorial: Purge politics
Gainesville Sun Editorial: Political Purge
Miami Herald: Carl Hiaasen – Rick Scott no help in time of crisis
Tampa Tribune Editorial: Historic contempt for voters
WCTV Tallahassee: Groups angered over Florida’s proposed use of Conservation Money
Sun Sentinel Editorial: Water districts rejects buying sugar land for Everglades
Palm Beach Post: Algae bloom tests confirm presence of toxin in Lake Okeechobee
Lakeland Ledger:  Special Interests revisionist water history and the hijacking of Amendment 1
WLRN Miami:  Former Environmental Secretary Sees Lawmaker 'Hostility' Toward Land Acquisition
… the arrogance of Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature has no end. 


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scott Pledges Support for Everglades, Amendment 1 … What?

The Palm Beach Post, in its blog yesterday placed this banner above one of its posts:
           "Scott pledges support for Everglades work, Amendment 1" 

The post reads says,  

“Gov. Scott’s budget plan would advance Everglades work.” 

“Gov. Rick Scott proposed spending $150 million next year on continuing Everglades restoration efforts Tuesday, while largely endorsing land-buying and environmental preservation efforts of voter-approved Amendment 1.” 

“Scott said he is committed to getting the state started on the $5 billion over 20 years in spending that 75 percent of Florida voters approved in November.”  

Sounded promising!  Maybe a new guy?  But then I read,  

Scott said “During my first term, we made historic investments in our springs and Everglades and I am proud to continue to make important investments in our environment this year,”  

Historic investments?  He’s kidding? … No. the man is delusional. Understand this.  He has made no historic investments in our springs and Everglades.  It’s sheer misrepresentation.  A hallucination.  A revisionist lie. (Uneasiness stirs in my stomach.) 
He is also quoted saying,  
“We will keep working to make sure we preserve our natural treasures so Florida can continue to be a top destination for families, visitors and businesses,” he added.
Understand this also.  Rick Scott did more to damage this state’s ability to “preserve its natural treasures” than the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius did to preserve the natural treasures of Pompeii in 79 AD.  (My stomach is churning.)
Then it reports,   
“The sugar industry also praised Scott’s balancing act.”  

(My stomach begins to shift the natural direction of its contents.)  

Then, I read some guy named Brian Hughes is said to have said, “speaking” for the “Florida sugar farmers”  

“Governor Rick Scott’s financial commitment toward real solutions for the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers should help cut through the rhetoric and begin building storage and treatment where the estuaries need it most,”   

So, at last we know what’s been holding up Tallahassee's commitment to restore the Everglades.  It’s rhetoric!!! (Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.) Til now, even the Florida Chamber thought it was just Scott’s hubris and ignorance of the problem because he's not a scientist.  (I’m gagging.)  

Then I read,  

“…Florida Sugar Farmers applaud today’s announcement of Florida’s continued commitment to restoration.”  

(My stomach is in full revolt.  I need to find a latrine.)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Do not vote for Rick Scott

You should not vote for Rick Scott because he spoke the truth when he said he is not a scientist.  No, even though that statement is one of the few truths we’ve heard from CEO Scott in his almost four years of occupation of Tallahassee, we should not vote for him because it is true.  In fact you need to say loudly you will not vote for him, because this truth is highly suspect, as most of his pronouncements are, thickly underlain with obfuscation and deceit. 
This use of truth to mislead and fraud the minds of Florida’s public is characteristic of the man, a leadership style that directs without direction, a man in a dimly lit wheelhouse aimlessly turning the helm of his self-financed state vessel, dumbly looking for fair winds and a following sea in a monsoon of public ire and dissatisfaction, all the while speaking truths as if they were edicts of wisdom from Zarathustra and denying their injurious nature to our fair State. 
No, we should not, must not, vote for this shill of a man who has given away our children’s future to narrow focused special interests, the highest bidders for his enabling decrees so damaging to natural Florida.
He has done lasting, perhaps permanent damage to the very things that define Florida as Florida, all the while claiming against plain truth and human intelligence that what he is doing is The People’s will.  He destroyed the state’s ability to protect its natural systems and claimed it was needed to foster economic development when no study declared it was a rational path to forge; and even when a history of record-setting posterity under stiff environmental regulation offered prima facie evidence it was not. 
We must vote against another four years of this man’s shameless anti-Florida, anti-public, pro-special interest deceitfulness.  By destroying Florida’s capacity to plan for its future, he destroyed our State’s ability to determine its own fate, to determine how we as residents want it to look and function for our progeny, and has given it over to the vicious, unsympathetic control of shareholder-owned corporations whose only interest is profit; profit now, and as much as possible, even if it incurs the most cynical forms of abuse and destruction of our natural resources.

Under a sulphurous cloud of cynicism, deceit and subterfuge, he now hangs on to a poisonous political strength transfused by impossible promises of money to repair the very environmental rot he so enthusiastically fostered over the last three years.
No, you must not vote for Rick Scott.  You must exercise your right to take this ugliness from our midst, from our lives and from our children’s future.
And, yes, you must vote for Amendment 1 to change Florida’s Constitution and by doing so, look the tea-party destroyers of our State straight in their Norquist-jaded eyes and demand adequate, dependable funding be generated to repair the mounting environmental neglect they have fostered.
Go.  Now.