The following is an open letter to state Rep. Tom Goodson, R-Rockledge, by Al Grubman, President of TOOFAR, Inc. -Sandspur
TOO FAR against HB 1103
Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 12:00 am
When the TOO FAR board voted to oppose HB 1103 (Ordinary High Water Line or OHWL), I was proud to announce the results: “At our last meeting Thursday evening, the TOO FAR board of directors voted unanimously to stand against this legislation.” Al Grubman, president.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response from you, the sponsor of the bill. I took your comments very seriously. I not only read every word of HB 1103 but I also read the staff analysis (both the Summary Analysis and the Full Analysis). I listened to every word of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee discussion on the subject. I set aside your conclusions about the opponents — “In all fairness, HB 1103 has been misunderstood…” and “Unfortunately there are certain groups resorting to scare tactics when it comes to this very clear and simple piece of legislation.” I question your accusations and prefer to hear and read statements directly.
It was difficult to ignore my prejudices, such as respect for established environmental groups and others, but I believe I was objective. Since I have no prior familiarity with you, I was objective.
I considered statements and positions from many sources including Florida Conservation Coalition, Audubon, Sierra, Florida Wildlife Federation, EARTHJUSTICE, Florida Airboat Association, United Waterfowlers of Florida, Florida Sportsman, 1000 Friends of Florida and Florida Cattlemen’s Association. Only the Cattlemen supported the bill and they appear to be a beneficiary.
Friends, blogs and associates, most with substantial experience and technical backgrounds, are unanimously against the bill. Numerous newspapers have spoken up against the bill and I have found none supporting the bill.
The bill, as I read it, clearly would move property lines downhill to the advantage of property owners and to the detriment of the public and the state of Florida. Knowing Florida topography, the estimated loss of hundreds of thousands of acres of public land seems to be a reasonable expectation.
Having researched the basis of the TOO FAR board decision and examined even more information, I continue to support and am proud of the board’s decision.
TOO FAR is an environmental and water activist organization of only about 1,000 members, but we stand with the many thousands of others who are opposing this legislation.
Subsequent statements reported to be by you and the subcommittee chairman indicate that the bill “…. it’s not going anywhere” and “is most likely dead.” We hope this is not a big disappointment for you and that maybe it is like getting an ugly monkey off your back.
Al Grubman is president of TOO FAR Inc.