Dear Senator Simpson,
I have neglected to let you know how much I/we appreciate your and Representative Blaise Ingoglia’s personal interest and support for our efforts to shine a bright light on the attempts of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s governing board to move its HQ to Tampa. I apologize. Your visibility and personal presence, in particular, was crucial to bringing the point home to the community of folks north of Tampa, the district’s governing board, other legislators who could be affected and hopefully even the governor. It was an impressive show of multi-governmental and private sector collaboration that may be unprecedented.
Nevertheless, I am not confident our efforts had any effect on what district board members have already accomplished. Short only of taking the HQ name from Brooksville/Hernando County, all significant HQ functions and staff have already been relocated to Tampa. I truly believe they naively and arrogantly think they have outfoxed us, you and Representative Ingoglia. As time passes, it is becoming increasingly apparent their stated reasons for relocation of the staff to Tampa has little compelling validity. If one considers the cost for the relocations to date, as well as the $100,000-plus study to support the contention and the eventual cost they’ll certainly incur to build additional offices to house them, it is a very costly ruse. All because they simply don’t want to drive to Brooksville and because they have no clue or care why it was placed outside the urban core of Tampa Bay in the first place. All rural counties and cities, and especially the agricultural community, should be very nervous about their collective “water” futures.
Hopefully the legislature will see to provide the district with guidance that will successfully encourage them to reverse this unneeded and ill-advised exercise which is having and will continue to have such an economically significant impact north of Tampa, and upon the City of Brooksville and Hernando County in particular.
Again, your involvement and support is sincerely appreciated.
Emilio "Sonny" Vergara