Polk Water Co-op Supports Hall For SWFWMD Board Vacancy

The Polk Regional Water Supply Cooperative’s board voted unanimously Wednesday to support County Commissioner John Hall’s application to be appointed to the vacant Polk County seat on Swiftmud’s Governing Board.

The seat has been vacant for more than a year after board member Paul Senft’s term expired and Gov. Ron DeSantis did not appoint a replacement. A second Polk seat on the 13-member board is held by James G. Murphy, who was appointed in 2017 by Gov. Rick Scott.

Hall will be leaving the Polk County Commission in November after losing to Neil Combee in this year’s election.

Combee served on the Swiftmud board from 2005 to 2012.

DeSantis has drawn criticism for his inaction in filling seats on some of the state’s five water boards, resulting in cases in which boards did not have or barely had a quorum to conduct business.

The role of the water management districts has been highlighted in recent years in connection with efforts to secure alternative water supplies and to protect the aquifer from overexploitation.