Soon-to-exit South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) governing board members offered parting comments at the SFWMD governing board meeting in West Palm Beach. The entire board was asked to resign and put under pressure to do so by Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Florida Congressman Brian Mast, who is advising the governor on agricultural and environmental issues. The resignations were requested even though board members were appointed for rotational set term limits by a previous governor and approved by a legislative body to serve for those terms.
So far, only two new board members have been appointed to start the replacement process, and their legislative approval process is not yet complete. As a result of several of the recent resignations already becoming active, a quorum was not met at this meeting, so no official votes or actions could be taken.
However, regular staff reports were given, some public comments were offered, and each board member attending today was given the opportunity to share their comments. Successes were reviewed, frustrations were shared, and some exposed the dirty tricks going on behind the scenes with South Florida water politics.
Expanding heated debate about South Florida’s water and algae issues has brought unprecedented criticism in recent months of the district’s operations and the governing board’s decisions. Some board members took issue at this week’s meeting with misinformation being circulated, even by some public officials who are pushing opinions without any scientific basis or knowledge whatsoever to back them up.
If you are among the growing number of people in agriculture and other sectors who are becoming concerned about how water politics are proceeding in Florida, you should be interested in the insights shared below that were recorded during today’s meeting. Other exclusive interviews with some of these folks and other interested parties who were at this week’s meeting will be coming soon.
Another piece of news from this meeting, Executive Director of the SFWMD Ernie Marks also resigned. Hear his resignation statement from today’s meeting: