Last Friday night the good governor flew down to Marathon in the Florida Keys. Saturday morning he rose to have breakfast with a reporter from The Keynoter. You can see the original article about the interview HERE.
The conversation went to what’s important to the folks there. One of the topics was about the fact that a large portion of the Florida Keys had been designated an Area of Critical State Concern. (Suffice it to say such a designation means development that trips certain thresholds there must receive a state level review and approval.)
“…oversight of development in the Keys … should be handled locally rather than through Tallahassee,” he waxed eloquently.
"I believe in local government.... It's closer to the people," he said, reflecting the wisdom that comes with spending a few months Tallahassee.
And here’s the kicker:
Now place these statements in context with the disbanding of eight basin boards and the dismissal of over 40 board members executed a week ago with the precision of an MK-9 Reaper Drone by the SWFWMD Governing Board, and apparently with about the same amount of prior warning.
With this kind of philosophical guidance coming directly from lips of the Supreme One, how is it that one of his own personal Governing Boards could make such a colossal blunder? Destroying the integrity of eight sub-taxing districts locally controlled by local, unpaid citizens from the area where the taxes will be collected for purposes they designate!
Actually, and seriously, as more and more folks share with me in good faith what they believe happened, I’m learning that there were a number of participants, including pawns, who brought about this very serious breach of a hallowed republican (make that, American) concept, that government should be carefully held closest to the people that will be most affected by it.
At the Governing Board’s next meeting, I’m told, it will discuss how to proceed from here. I’ll try to bring you what I learn as I learn it. Meanwhile, you should find out when that meeting is and plan to be there.
Before you leave here, though, I would err not to mention that the governor proudly and with some fanfare, I imagine, signed HB 7207 the day just before going to Marathon. You know, the bill that essentially dismantles the Department of Community Affairs and will render any area designated an Area of Critical State Concern meaningless … along with over 30 years of carefully constructed growth management laws.
Perplexed by the governor’s position on growth management, the Keynoter asked, “… how that would play out in a case such as one from 2008 on Stock Island, where a 300-room hotel was proposed. Monroe County commissioners voted on the plan just minutes after being handed revisions to the proposal by a lawyer for the developers, then ultimately rejected it due to opposition from DCA, as well as from the U.S. Navy.”
It was then that he responded, “I think that's what the expectation is, that local citizens are going to rise up and make sure the right things happen …"
Looks like Bwana Scott is saying he thinks we should do just that.