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New Florida Cabinet meets for the first time

by Dara Kam | January 19th, 2011

The all-new Florida Cabinet held a very brief meeting this morning, the first since the all-GOP panel took office early this month.

Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam ran through the skimpy agenda in less than half an hour. The highlight: the Cabinet’s confirmation of Scott’s pick for Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard.

“Congratulations. You’ve got a lot of work to do,” Scott told Vinyard, a Jacksonville businessman and lawyer, after the vote. Scott’s transition team was highly critical of the agency and recommended merging it with two other departments to help streamline permitting and regulation.

Scott has revamped the Cabinet procedures and eliminated the until-now routine Q-and-A with reporters before and after the bimonthly meeting, at least for today.

Before the 9 a.m. meeting, Scott’s spokesman advised reporters not to rush the governor on the dais after the meeting ended and that Scott would not answer questions until noon when he is scheduled to address the Associated Press annual editors meeting on the 22nd floor of the Capitol.

Scott’s Cabinet colleagues weren’t so media-shy, however.

Bondi, Atwater and Putnam – all University of Florida alumni – posed for photos and shook hands outside the Cabinet room for about 30 minutes before the meeting started and remained for nearly as long answering questions from reporters after its conclusion.

Scott answered a single question after the meeting.

“Fine. Fine,” he responded when asked how his first Cabinet meeting went. He was then whisked away.

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One Response to “New Florida Cabinet meets for the first time”

  1. Wondering Says:

    Well, finally some interesting tidbits other than the AP article that is duplicated all over the web. Were you guys actually there?

    I ask because there were TWO Submerged Lands Leases on the Board of Trustees/Cabinet Agenda for today’s meeting, but the AP article only mentions the ONE in Ft Myers being approved with no mention of the 2nd one being approved or denied. Got any clues re the 2nd one?

    (Who knows how long before the meeting PDF transcript will be posted at the Cabinet site — Crist used to take a month! — & since the audio file of the meeting is RealPlayer which won’t work on my phone, I’m at a loss as to how to find out the vote on the 2nd SSL.)

    Thank you!

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