Water policy is one of the most-discussed issue in Florida and has been for decades, but you wouldn’t know it from the dilatory attitude from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office when it comes to filling vacancies on water management district boards.
Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board is functioning with a bare quorum of seven members out a normal 13-member panel.
St. Johns River Water Management District has only five of its nine governing board seats filled and that’s only after two recent appointments that had left the board without a quorum.
The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board has a full nine-member board, though there are vacancies in the Big Cypress Basin Board.
This is unprecedented and as far as we’re concerned unnecessary.
Part of the problem is that these appointments are more or less political patronage picks, which means you have to be a Republican who has not done anything to anger the governor or his friends.
That leaves many otherwise qualified people off the list, especially people from Florida’s environmental community. Many of Florida’s environmental leaders are Democrats, a logical choice since the recent Republican political leadership in Tallahassee have done little to excite the environmental community and done much to anger it.
Nevertheless, if DeSantis wants to be seen as an “environmental” governor, he would do well to think outside the political silos. Or failing that, maybe he could just do his job and fill the vacancies.