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Senate approves water management takeover

by Dara Kam | April 7th, 2011

With no debate or discussion, the Florida Senate overwhelmingly approved a legislative take-over of the state’s five water management districts.

The measure (2142) is the brain-child of Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales. Although lawmakers set the maximum amount of property taxes the districts are allowed to levy, the governor, who appoints the district members, has the ultimate say over how they spend it.

That’s not fair, Alexander said. He wants the legislature to have more financial oversight of the districts. The South Florida Water Management District got into hot water several years ago for lavish spending.

Only three Senators voted against the measure: Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich of Weston and GOP Sens. Thad Altman of Melbourne and Paula Dockery of Lakeland.

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4 Responses to “Senate approves water management takeover”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Budget approval and “takeover” are two different things, so your headline is misleading.

    In fairness to the WM Districts, one large reason for their huge growth was DEP dumping a great deal of environmental regulation duties on them (unfunded, of course). While I’d prefer to deal with the Districts on such matters based upon their greater efficiency and local knowledge than DEP (District boundaries are set per various river watersheds, South Florida’s being the Kissimmee), the state shouldn’t have it both ways: budget control without responsibility.

  2. Very Expensive Group Says:

    The SFWM is excessive in their perks.

    Time to curtail their stringing up of the public taxpayer over and over again.

    Costly travel, costly hotel and food bills.

  3. Big Johnson Says:

    Folks, SFWMD did away with off-site training and curtailed travel years ago to cut costs. Now trainers are brought to their site instead of sending staff away. Their scientists, who are some of the best in the world, still travel to present papers at symposiums and consult with scientists from other countries, but for the most part foreign scientists travel to Florida to learn from them.

    I agree with Chuck, a lot was dropped on the WMDs with little funding. The suits in Tallahassee have no clue what the WMDs really do.

  4. Searcher Says:

    More control from Tallahassee? Do they even know where the C-51 Canal is?

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