Sunday, May 29, 2011

GB Member Ron Oakley Withdraws Request to be Reappointed

SWFWMD Counsel says Basins no longer exist after 5/31; Member talk okay

Scott and J. D. Deal - Cut WMD's budget for no veto of J. D.'s Pork ?

Here's an article published in a BLOG by the Palm Beach Post (link to original article: 

Gives insight on the quid pro quo nature of political dealings that occur when the gangs in town.  Point to note here,  J. D. Alexander, the Senate Budget King grants the Governor his wish to cut water management district budgets.  (Some concern there but probably appropriate.)  What does J. D. get in return?   Apparently a promise from the Gov not to veto J. D.'s little $35 million pork project to construct Polk County's first USF campus building, the Science and Technology Building .   Wonder why that project is so important to the Senate Budget King?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

St Pete Time Editorial

May 27, 2011

Undoing Florida's water management system

By Times Wire
It's hard to imagine how local officials could compound the damage that Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature have caused to the environment. But this week, the Southwest Florida Water Management District found a way.

The agency that oversees water resources on Florida's west coast agreed to disband the boards that see to the needs of local water basins. The move was a rash response to bullying from Tallahassee that undermines the environment, transparency and local control.

Board members of the agency known as Swiftmud voted to get rid of the seven basin boards in a move agency officials said was prompted by demands from the governor and Legislature that Swiftmud cut its budget. The boards are volunteer, though the move will save Swiftmud about $400,000 in staffing costs. The real savings from disbanding the boards comes from putting an end to their tax levies. Officials said absorbing the boards' work under Swiftmud would help the agency reach its mandate to cut its budget by 40 percent, or $112 million, next year.

Swiftmud concedes it had no directive from the governor and was reading the tea leaves from Tallahassee. The governor - as usual - was on radio silence; his environmental protection agency thinks the idea is great. But this is much more than a paper loss. Swiftmud has lauded the basin boards for their focus on the unique hydrologic needs across the district's 16-county region. The boards provide a local perspective on the specific problems these watersheds face, and they serve as forums for communities to prioritize what they need, from environmental programs to new water supply projects. Basin board tax money has played a key role in helping local governments afford the expensive costs of developing new drinking water resources, such as the desalination plant that serves millions of residents throughout Tampa Bay.

It also is essential to view the agency's retreat in the broader context of how this governor and Legislature are rolling back environmental protections. The agency is letting down its guard at the same time Florida's Republican leadership is easing development rules, fighting the federal government over cleaner water standards and making it harder for communities to stand up to abusive land-management practices. The state's natural resources are being weakened by the same politicians whose model for Florida's economic recovery revolves around the availability of land, open space and clean water.

The move also plays into Scott's penchant for secrecy. The proposal to disband the basin boards was not publicly debated; the district board member who cast the lone vote against it said it had "been in the works from Tallahassee" for months. The vote came two days before the agency's longtime director suddenly resigned - a move the board chairman suggested also was influenced by Tallahassee. Fewer protections, less local control, and more secrecy are bad for public health, the economy and open government.

Whose idea was it? Reasonable notice?

Dear Friend,

Have you seen the editorial in this morning’s St. Pete Times?  If you remain interested in trying to find the fire under all the smoke boiling from SWFWMD, take a look.  You can go directly to the SPT website HERE (control – click) or pasting into your web browser.  Very close to the points I’ve made earlier.

Several issues are beginning to bubble to the top of this conversation: 1) Did SWFWMD make the decision to disband the Basin Boards using statutorily required procedures to insure the public was reasonably notified? And, 2) Where did the idea originate to get rid of the 50-year-existing, successful basin board process that guarantees local control of water management taxes and assures that those who don’t benefit from those taxes won’t have to pay them?  First:

1.         Did SWFWMD make the decision to disband the Basin Boards using statutorily  required procedures to insure the public was properly notified?

Understand, I'm not a lawyer, but HERE’S where you can find the "Sunshine" required by Florida Statutes (or just paste this in your browser:

Based upon what I'm told, the governing board probably has the authority to do what it did, but it may not have followed the right procedure.  I can't say definitively that it didn't, but here are some excerpts from the documents found at the website referenced above that may provide insight.  The purpose of Florida's "Sunshine Law" is to insure government in Florida operates transparently and openly to the affected public.  Here are some quotes from relevant Attorney General Opinions:

"Even though the Sunshine Law does not prohibit a board from adding topics to the agenda of a regularly noticed meeting, the Attorney General's Office has advised boards to postpone formal action on any added items that are controversial. See AGO 03-53, stating that "[i]n the spirit of the Sunshine Law, the city commission should be sensitive to the community's concerns that it be allowed advance notice and, therefore, meaningful participation on controversial issues coming before the commission."

"While the Sunshine Law requires notice of meetings, not of the individual items which may be considered at that meeting, other statutes, codes or ordinances may impose such a requirement and agencies subject to those provisions must follow them. See Inf. Op. to Mattimore, February 6, 1996. For example, s. 120.525(2), F.S., requires that agencies subject to the Administrative Procedure Act must prepare an agenda in time to ensure that a copy may be received at least seven days before the event by any person in the state who requests a copy and who pays the reasonable cost of the copy. After the agenda has been made available, changes may be made only for good cause. Id. Therefore, agencies subject to the Administrative Procedure Act must follow the requirements in that statute "

Also, according to Attorney General Opinion (AGO) 75-305, responding to the propriety of acting on a matter not on agenda under the Sunshine Law, the Attorney General’s office stated:

“Accordingly, I am of the opinion that the failure of a specific item to appear on a published agenda does not preclude discussion of that item at an open, public noticed meeting of a governmental body. Of course, whenever possible, covered boards or commissions should discuss only those matters of which the public has been properly advised. I should also caution that if this procedure were to be designedly used in such a manner as to circumvent or frustrate the Sunshine Law, I do not believe that the holding in Hough would prohibit appropriate legal action being taken under such circumstances.” (

So, did they do it "right"?  You’ll need to ask your closest lawyer-friend. 

Even if they didn't, though, would it make any significance difference to do it over again, properly, given what’s obviously in the cards? 

Yes, and here's the difference.  The affected public would have reasonable notice of the impending decision, have an opportunity to consider its impact upon them and would have the opportunity to communicate those impacts to the decision-makers.  Who knows, after hearing from THE PEOPLE and learning about the history, purpose and performance of Basin Boards, they might even change their minds.  As it stands now, it appears they just don’t want to know what the public thinks.  This is where the District is wrong.  Let them prove it isn’t so.  They need to take the matter up again and give the public its say.  Even if they just made the same decision all over again, at least they'd know what it truly means and what the public thinks about it.

2.         Where did the idea originate to get rid of the 50-year-existing, successful basin board process?

This is stuff really interesting for wonks.  Probably not so much for others. 

Almost everything the legislature did this past session affecting water management districts and the subsequent actions by the SWFWMD governing board can be traced directly back to a seven-page document entitled, “Governance of Florida’s Water Management Districts Options for Legislative Consideration”.  It was produced on December 19, 2007, by an obscure auditing group of the legislature called the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.  The person whose name on the report is the Director of the group, Gary R. VanLandingham, Ph.D. 

Ever heard of him?  I haven’t either, but he (and his legend of gnomes) is apparently the wizard behind the curtain.

Here’s the report summary:

“… This memo is part of a series that reviews the districts’ operations, and focuses on district governance and options for legislative consideration. These options include requiring the Legislative Budget Commission to review and comment of district budgets (Option 1), revising dates for the water management district budget review process to match the state fiscal year (Option 2), directing districts with basin boards to assess the value of their basin boards (Option 3), eliminating the authority of district governing boards to designate basin boards (Option 4), and providing for the election of governing board members (Option 5). For each option, we describe the advantages, and disadvantages.”

Sound familiar?  You can find this seven-page report to the legislature HERE (or  I won’t bore you with details but if you read it, you’ll recognize the questions and the answers it provides.  It is very interesting, I promise.

After all I’ve read and heard so far, I’ve concluded that the disbanding of SWFWMD’s basin boards is misguided.  Some will call it boneheaded.  Others could say it’s evil, dangerous and non-republican by a Republican-controlled body (the legislature, not necessarily the board).  It moves the power of decision-making further from the people and concentrates more of it in the governing board which is already significantly controlled by the Governor and will now be even more controlled by the legislature (explained further below).  Will it save money, be more efficient?  Maybe a little.  Will taxes be collected in one basin for projects in another? Yes, once the funds on hand are spent and the District becomes one big basin, or maybe two or three smaller mega-basins. 

Why doesn’t the governing board just do away with basin taxing districts altogether?  Because if it does, it will lose the taxing capacity of the basins altogether.  Basin board taxing authority is separate from the governing board’s, and because it’s described by Florida Law, and maybe the constitution, a higher level authority than the governing board may be required to change it.  So, in order to prevent the loss of any of its total taxing capacity, the board will have to keep at least one basin intact. This is what the governing board might be considering.  It appears it can declare itself a district-wide basin board, as well as remaining the district governing board and thus be able to continue levying the “basin” tax and the governing board tax.  As such, all the talk about greater efficiency and saving money becomes somewhat bogus because the basin board concept, after all, will remain intact.

Did the legislature need to go as far as it did in increasing its control beyond that of the Executive Branch?  No, very strong control over the five districts’ operations, authority and budgets already extends from the Governor through his authority to appoint individual board members and the Secretary of the Department Environmental Protection.  DEP also has lawful authority to exercise “supervisory” oversight of the districts. This results in very significant control.

So what’s really going on here? 

The legislature has always been envious of the funding capacity of the districts because they have demonstrated over and over again for years that they can actually get things done, things residents of the individual districts wanted and needed.  This has made the legislature ambivalent and disingenuous.  While it covets the taxing capacity of the districts for state purposes, it also wants the districts to be the whipping boy, i.e.,  a shield to protect against the ire of a public that abhors government spending. 

Over and over again, legislators have schemed to gain control of water management districts’ constitutional right to levy a property tax (approved in 1976 by statewide referendum), without tripping that nasty constitutional prohibition that says the legislature shall not levy a property tax.  They do this anyhow, however, by transferring state programs to the districts which effectively offloads the state tax burden for the programs onto the backs of property owners.  Clever, huh?

One of the most prominent examples of these “unfunded mandates” was the Warren G. Henderson Act of 1984 which gave authority and responsibility to the Department of Environmental Regulation (now DEP) to protect wetlands and surface water of the state for public interest.  The Department promptly pushed it off on the Districts, as planned.  The dumping of that state responsibility on the five districts alone triggered a monstrous increase in their respective taxes which was the only way they had to fund this huge, state-required regulatory program.  The districts took the political bullets, of course, while the legislature smugly and disingenuously berated the staffs and boards of the districts for building empires. 

Understand, this program and others, such as those intended to constrain growth to thoughtful and desirable parameters that prevent sprawl, urban decay and destruction of environmentally sensitive lands and water, have been the saving grace of Florida’s greatest assets, its natural systems.  These laws have been immeasurably beneficial to this state.  The extent to which so many good laws were so methodically dismantled this session, however, was a little like removing our state nose because we don’t like our state face.  It’s not going to be pretty.

Many businesses recognize the super-critical relationship between Florida’s world renown quality of life and the viability of its natural systems.  The two are one and the same.  It’s why people want to live here.  They understand this and want to see Florida’s natural assets protected.  There are others, however, who couldn’t care less.  The vindictiveness of those who view environmental protection as unnecessary constraints on their businesses can be seen in play here.  Some are very powerful people who cynically work the halls of Tallahassee to get laws off the books, like this past session, that will only return Florida to the days when wetlands were for draining, rivers and lakes were for getting rid of sewage, panthers were nuisances to be shot, and gopher tortoises were for dinner. 

But I digress.

The part of this year’s legislation that relates to SWFWMD and the basin boards was designed and executed by a vindictive legislature, in my obviously humble opinion, that used an ailing economy as reasoning to gain more control of them and their taxing capacities.  Remember, however, the more control they gain over the independence of the districts, the closer they get to levying an ad valorem tax by definition and the free ride could stop.

A final point needs to be made.  The appointment process can be used to provide oversight and control of water management district budgets, operations and policies for good reasons but it can also be used to disrupt and subvert … and to achieve personal vendettas.  This, it appears, may also be a negative force now at work within SWFWMD.

I recognize that much of what is happening to get our economy back on its feet can be justified because changes are truly needed - changes to give businesses as much opportunity as possible to thrive under a free economy and increasing global competition.  This does not justify killing the layer of the golden egg in the process, however.  There are many ways to be reasonable about effecting desirable change.  Killing the basin boards isn’t one of them.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Media Report On Dave's Resignation: Lakeland Ledger

Original Story Link:

 Dave Moore, Executive Director of Swiftmud, Resigns
Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 9:53 p.m.

BROOKSVILLE | Dave Moore, executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, has resigned.

Moore announced his resignation in a letter Thursday to Paul Senft, chair of the agency's Governing Board.

Moore said he would be willing to remain in his $194,875-a year position to aid with the transition to his successor.

Moore, a geologist, had been with the agency since 1984. He was named executive director in 2003.

In his one-page letter, Moore, 53, gave no reason for his resignation, focusing instead on what the agency, which oversees water permitting in a 16-county area that includes most of Polk County, had accomplished in recent years.

He specifically listed better water-conservation efforts, streamlined permitting, land stewardship and other efforts that he said "serve as a model for Florida and the nation."

Senft issued a statement Thursday saying the board's next step will be to decide on a process for picking a successor.

Senft said board members will also consult with Herschel Vinyard, the secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the water management districts.
Board member Neil Combee said Moore had discussed his intentions to resign earlier this week.

He speculated that Moore had picked this time to step aside at a time when there's a new governor and a new head of the DEP, and possible changes in state water policy.

Combee and Senft are Polk County's members on the governing board.

Combee said over the past two years board members had been pressing Moore to reduce the budget and the staff in light of reduced workload and and reduced revenue because of the decrease in the tax base.

Gov. Rick Scott successfully pushed a measure in this year's legislative session to force water management districts to cut their tax rates and reduce their budgets.

That move led to this week's decision by the Swiftmud Governing Board to abolish the eight basin boards, which would save an estimated $400,000 a year. The current year's budget is $279 million. (Emphasis added by me)

Moore is the second water management district head to resign suddenly in recent weeks. Carol Wehle resigned abruptly in April from the South Florida Water Management District.

[ Tom Palmer can be reached at or 863-802-7535. Read more views on the environment at . ]

Swiftmud's longtime chief resigns - St. Petersburg Times

Media reports on Dave's Resignation: TBO.COM

Original Story Link:

Published: May 27, 2011
Home / news / local /

Swiftmud chief resigns after 8 years

By Neil Johnson

Dave Moore, executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, resigned Thursday after eight years as head of the agency.
Moore, appointed to run the district in March 2003, gave no reason for quitting in his resignation letter to Paul Senft, the district's governing board chairman.
He said he will continue working as executive director through the search for a replacement.
"If they want me to stay until the new executive director comes on, that's going to be the call of the board," he said.
Moore said he has no specific plans or job lined up after he leaves the district but intends to take several months off before searching for a new job.
"I have no firm commitment at this time. I don't know what I'm going to do," he said.
His resignation comes as state-mandated millage reductions and shrinking property values resulted in a 33 percent cut in ad valorem revenue for the district in next year's budget.
The district's governing board will pick Moore's replacement, who will need approval by the governor and confirmation by the Senate.
The Senate confirms the state's five water management directors every four years. Moore was up for confirmation in the 2012 legislative session.
"That did not have anything to do with my resignation," Moore said.
Hugh Gramling, the board's vice chairman, said he expects the board will hear from the governor and state Department of Environmental Protection about Moore's replacement, especially if the board picks a leading candidate.
"The DEP has been given responsibility for water management districts. I suspect they will have a good deal of input. If we decide to hire someone, it doesn't count until the governor gives his blessing," said Gramling, of Plant City.
Gramling, the Tampa Bay Wholesale Growers Association executive director, said he did not believe there was pressure for Moore to resign.
Moore said he felt it was time to leave a high-profile position after eight years. "It was my decision and my decision solely," he said.
"If I was two years into this position, I wouldn't be making this decision. The longer you're in this position, the closer you are to making this decision," Moore said.
"I'm ready to move on to the next phase of my life," he said.

(813) 259-7731 © Copyright 2011 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General company.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What's really going on at SWFWMD?

Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 3:54 PM
To: Sonny's Friends
Subject: What is really going on at SWFWMD?

Dear Friend,

There is much interest in what might be going on behind the scenes at SWFWMD.  I’m being asked a lot of questions.  Here’s what I’m beginning to piece together. 

Caution, much of this must be considered speculation.  (Which, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not accurate, does it?)

What are the real objectives for doing away with the Basin Boards?  The unblemished word that I’m getting is that the Governor is bent upon reducing the overall number of taxing districts in the state (“for his presidential run”, it was stated).  Killing useless taxing districts, per se, is not a bad idea actually, but SWFWMD’s watershed-basin-based taxing districts definitely do not fall into this category.  Because of blind adherence to a broad objective, however, they are being summarily discarded with the bath water, supposedly in the interest of “greater efficiency.”  Unfortunately, there is virtually no interest in keeping taxing decisions at the lowest public level as they are now, or keeping the cost of expenditures upon the backs those who will benefit from them. 

Will the trashing of the basin boards result in one river basin’s taxes now going to other river basins?  The current claim that basin monies will continue to be spent only in the basins from which the taxes were levied will only be operative until the current basin funds have been expended.  After that, basin boundaries will be “virtual”, i.e., without distinction as it relates to where taxes will be levied or spent.  The Governing Board will be levying the taxes and targeting the benefactors, with one not necessarily relating to the other.  So, the answer is, yes, inevitably.

Was the Sunshine Law violated the way this was handled?  I don’t know.  But I do know I can’t find where the subject was specifically mentioned on the meeting agenda although an Item 64b mentions, “Governor Scott’s Direction on Water Management”.  No mention of a resolution or any suggestion of an intent to do away with the existence of over 40 basin board members.  If the way it was decided and action taken didn’t violate the law, the law failed us because “the public” has not had any indication this was coming and it should have.  The Governor needs to hear the voice of the public else he run without bit and rein and by definition become something other than a governor of a state in the United States of America.

How did the Governor’s Office force the Governing Board to do this?  I am informed they were basically told, if you don’t disband the Basin Boards, we just won’t make any more appointments and they’ll wither like a peach on a dead tree, which is exactly what happened.  By June 2011 the District was faced with having only one functioning basin board of seven due to lack of quorums.  The Governor had simply stopped making the appointments needed to keep them functional and the governing board felt it had no choice.  It literally chewed its own arms off to stay alive.

How will any new arrangement affect water resource protection and development in SWFWMD in the future.  To answer this question, one needs to understand what the legislature did to the districts.  The legislature placed new limits on how much revenue they can raise to carry out their responsibilities, the same responsibilities it gave them in earlier years.  SWFWMD is being reduced 36%.  The legislature also gave itself the right to veto any specific expenditure it might not like in a proposed district budget (this needs to be confirmed.  not 100% certain).  This means of course that any disgruntled despoiler of the state’s natural systems can lobby a perennially hyper political legislature to have the district punished for doing its job.  Never mind that this is what the courts are for and why regulations are subjected in the first place to a horrendous review and appellate process before they can be implemented to be certain they are fair, effective and needed.  Overall, the legislature continued its quest to remove as much existing protection from the state’s remaining sensitive natural systems as it possibly could.  This was just part of that scheme.  By controlling water district budgets, the political control of the boards and how they will carry out the district’s statutory mission is complete.  My answer:  We’re in for a decaying state of affairs and quality of life.

Isn’t additional legislation or constitutional authority needed to do all this?  Word is that it has all been run through the Department of Revenue and they say, no.  However, at some point the fact that the legislature is prohibited by Florida’s Constitution from levying an ad valorem tax may come into play.  If the legislature gets too possessive of water management district funding capacity and it reaches the level of “control” in a constitutional sense, someone might file a law suit and turn all this obsession on its legislative head.  This may very well happen.  The history of water management is filled with such court filings.  Having said as much, though, it would only be another battle in the war.  In the end, the legislature does have control of the water management districts as it should have, but the people have control of the legislature, at least theoretically.

Is Dave Moore’s resignation the result the of pressure from the Governor’s office?  In a word, yes.  Street conversation (Monroe Street) has it that the Gov is determined to move the present guard out in favor of his own pickings.  New ED’s and General Counsels.  Over the last 40 years that I’ve been involved in water management, this is what it has come down to.  The Governing Board is being reduced to just a group of mannequins talking a lot but not really doing anything because it’s the governor behind the curtain pulling the strings doing the doing.  Tallahassee has concluded, most apparently, that local, respected, hard working citizens can’t be trusted to do it right on their own.  This is a shame, and it’s dangerous.

In my humble opinion, Dave Moore has given public service his all for over 30 years and has done a tremendous job.  Florida is indebted to him. I thank him and wish him the best.


Request for copies of the Effecting Resolution "Merging" Basin Boards

To Bill Bilenky, SWFWMD General Counsel

Could you please send me a copy of SWFWMD Governing Board’s resolution, apparently adopted today, that “merge(s)” the District’s Basin Boards.  While I can understand what the thinking that might be behind such a thought, there are important related questions that need to be answered and the public educated regarding the impact the decision might have on the District’s overall taxing capacity and the corresponding reduced ability to carry out its statutory responsibilities (if the basins’ collective taxing authority is lost, for example).  Other questions relate to how the District Governing Board will be able to supplant the knowledge that a local board of appointed local citizens has of the needs of their basin area, and, will the taxes presently being collected and spent only in a given basin now be collected in one and spent in another for purposes not benefitting the basin from which the taxes were generated?  Also, how will this “merge” be implemented, i.e., will further legislative or constitutional authority be required to effect the “merge”? 
I’m certain careful analyses have already been made of all these issues by the staff and/or the Legislative and Governor’s offices.  As a public records request, therefore, I would appreciate copies of any and all documents generated by district staff or received by the district from the governor’s office or the Legislature in the last six months that pertains to this subject, including electronic communications.
If there is a cost for this request, please let me know the amount before complying.
As always, thanks for all you do.

Internal emails to Basin Board Members announcing their demise

Dear Friend,
Please note the two emails below sent yesterday (5/24/11) and the day before from the District apparently to all SWFWMD basin board members.  If you’re like me, other than getting the sense that something really bad is about happen to the process of water management within SWFWMD, you are otherwise probably not quite ready to decide just what to make of it all.  But having said as much, it seems increasingly clear the Governor is taking advice from somebody who hasn’t a clue as to what they’re about to wreak upon our part of Florida.

Nevertheless, perhaps concerns should be limited at this point to the way in which this was handled without public notice or input and the lack of consideration for alternative actions that could achieve the conservative principles we all want and hope for, short of taking a machete to the workhorse.  At least one governing board member stated to me today that they made the decision because, “they had no choice.”  The word from Tallahassee was, “Do it or we’ll do it for you.”   To which one can only wish the response had been, “Then, you do it.”  I was also told by a basin board member that while there had been rumors in the air and casual conversations, there had been no meetings or written notices to them in any formal fashion indicating specifically what was about to happen.

More just wishful thinking perhaps but in my humble and largely irrelevant opinion, one might hope that at its very next meeting the Governing Board might gather up its discarded fortitude, rescind the errant resolution and tell Tallahassee unequivocally to reform itself first before messing with something that has worked remarkably well for fifty years.


From: Lou Kavouras []
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4:17 PM
Subject: Governing Board Merges Basin Boards

Dear Basin Board Members –

The Governing Board approved a resolution during their meeting today to merge the Basin Boards and their functions into the District, effective May 31, 2011. Therefore, all scheduled Basin Board meetings have been cancelled, including the Basin Board Land Resources and Basin Board Education Committee meetings. Over the next several days I will be contacting each of you by phone to discuss this matter further, if you desire.

Comments were made about the importance of the local perspective the Basin Boards have provided over the years, and there is a lot of interest in continuing local outreach in the future. The Governing Board is now faced with establishing protocols for the expenditure of reserves that were collected in the Basins, and considering their options to administer Basin projects and consider future funding requests going forward. I will keep you apprised as these budgetary and logistical details are worked out.
It has been my absolute pleasure working with all of you. We truly appreciate the time, expertise and commitment you have given over the years and I look forward to speaking with each of you soon. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact me. – Lou.
Lou KavourasDeputy Executive Director1-352-796-7211 (x4606)

From: Lou Kavouras
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 3:02 PM
To:Subject: Governing Board to Discuss Basin Board Options Tomorrow

Dear Basin Board Members –
As you know, Governor Scott has not appointed or reappointed Basin Board members since his term began, resulting in two Basin Boards that have not been constituted since last August (Manasota and Withlacoochee River).  Additionally, he rescinded eight Governor Crist appointments that did not receive Senate confirmation during the 2010 Legislative Session. The eight Board members in the rescinded seats will no longer be able to serve after June 20th at which time four more Boards will not be constituted (Alafia River, Coastal Rivers, Pinellas-Anclote River, and Peace River). The last Basin Board (Hillsborough River) will not be constituted after August 31st when eight additional Basin Board seats are scheduled to expire.
On top of that we are also preparing for budget reductions that could approach 35% for the District and examining the role of the Basin Boards relative to the reductions. Therefore, in light of the budget and lack of appointments, the Governing Board will discuss at least three Basin options as outlined below at tomorrow’s Board meeting in Brooksville.

·        Option 1 – merge all Basins and consolidate them into the District.
·        Option 2 – hold Basin Board meetings in June as scheduled and have them adopt a budget and millage for the next fiscal year to be included in the District budget
·        Option 3 – hold no further Basin meetings and levy no additional Basin taxes.

We expect the Governing Board to make a final decision relative to the Basin Boards at tomorrow’s meeting. If Option 1 or 3 is chosen, we will cancel the June Basin Board meetings and the July Basin Board Land Resources and Basin Board Education Committee meetings. I will let you know the outcome so that you can plan accordingly. Give me a call if you have any questions. – Lou.

Lou Kavouras
Deputy Executive Director
1-352-796-7211 (x4606)

Dave Moore Resigns from SWFWMD

From: Dave Moore
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:11 AM
To: All_Users
Cc: Dave Moore
Subject: Executive Director Resignation

To all my colleagues and friends at the District:
I would have preferred to meet with each of you personally to convey this news, but sending an email was the only way I could ensure that you would hear this first from me.
I have tendered my resignation as executive director. My 28 years at the District have been incredibly rewarding and it has been a privilege to serve as your executive director for these last 8 years. It is simply time now for me to move on to the next chapter in my life. I’m excited about what the future holds for me, especially the opportunity for additional time with Pam, our kids and grandkids.
One thing we learn in life is that the only constant is change. We succeed by adapting to change and embracing new possibilities. I know that the news of my resignation may cause some anxiety. But it’s important to recognize that you have strong leadership and a solid plan for moving forward. The District is well-prepared to fulfill its responsibilities and protect the water resources while also ensuring a sustainable water supply. I have offered to continue as executive director through the successful transition to the next executive director, so I may be around awhile yet.
I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished professionally here at the District: developing and implementing management plans for SWUCA and Dover/Plant City; helping to create in the Tampa Bay area one of the most diverse and sustainable water supplies in the world; modernizing the FEMA flood maps and IT systems; continuing improvements in water quality and habitats in our three outstanding estuaries and the springs coast; implementing successful conservation and outreach efforts that can serve as models for others to follow, our land stewardship, and many others.
All of these accomplishments were possible because of you. Whether dealing with droughts, floods, hurricanes, freezes or recessions, you have demonstrated a world-class ability to persevere and succeed, and this state is a better place because of your efforts.
As proud as I am of all our professional accomplishments, most meaningful to me are those personal moments we shared during the course of a day, all the “little” conversations in the lunchroom or the hallways or the parking lots about our prides and joys, our aches and pains, our hopes and our regrets. Sharing both the good times and the bad, helping to bear the burdens and to celebrate the triumphs of life. It’s the personal connections with you that will endure and that I will always treasure.
Always be great!!!
David L. Moore, P.G.
Executive Director
Southwest Florida Water Management District
2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604-6899
352-796-7211, x4604 or 800-423-1476 (FL only)