Rescheduled: SRWMD Board due to lack of Quorum 2019-09-18

We recommend Dennis J. Price, Practicing Geologist of Hamilton County, Florida, for the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board.

[Dennis Price explains, 13:50:12, 30.57871, -83.05231]
Dennis Price explains, 13:50:12, 30.5787100, -83.0523100
Photo: John S. Quarterman, January 27, 2018, at the Dead River Sink, off the Alapaha River

Received 11:23 AM this morning via email:

SEPTEMBER 10 GOVERNING BOARD MEETING RESCHEDULED

LIVE OAK, FLA., Sept. 10, 2019 — The Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board meeting for September 10, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at the District Headquarters has been rescheduled. The rescheduled meeting will be held on September 18, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at the District Headquarters.

[Rescinded and Timed Out]
Rescinded and Timed Out

That notice doesn’t say why, but this does. Cindy Swirko, Gainesville Sun, Posted Sep 8, 2019 at 2:50 PM Updated Sep 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM, Suwannee district to discuss budget without full board,

A Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. Among the agenda items is the first public hearing on the 2019-20 budget, but a full board is not seated currently.

Five of the nine members of the Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board are gone, either booted off or not reappointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, just as the district is starting the process of approving its new budget.

Gone from the governing board are Charles Keith and Alphonsas Alexander, who were reappointed last year by former Gov. Rick Scott, but were “rescinded” by DeSantis. Their terms were supposed to end in 2022.

Charles Keith was At Large and Alphonas Alexander was Upper Suwannee Basin. They were apparently rescinded some time ago, since their slots are listed as “Vacant” in the SRWMD Minutes for July 2019 (but not for May 2019).

Also gone are Kevin Brown, Richard Schwab and Bradley Williams, who also were appointed by Scott to terms that ended March 1, but were extended.

District spokeswoman Lindsey Garland said board members can remain an added 180 days past their term ending. That extra time has expired for the three, so they are no longer on the board.

All three were still listed in the SRWMD August minutes, so they apparently timed out since then. Hm, September would be 180 days. Kevin Brown was Santa Fe & Waccassa Basins, Richard Schwab was Coastal River Basins, an Bradley Williams was Aucilla Basin. These designations are according to the various SRWMD minutes.

Florida Statutes 373.073 Governing board.

(1)(a) The governing board of each water management district shall be composed of 9 members who shall reside within the district, except that the Southwest Florida Water Management District shall be composed of 13 members who shall reside within the district. Members of the governing boards shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate at the next regular session of the Legislature, and the refusal or failure of the Senate to confirm an appointment creates a vacancy in the office to which the appointment was made. The term of office for a governing board member is 4 years and commences on March 2 of the year in which the appointment is made and terminates on March 1 of the fourth calendar year of the term or may continue until a successor is appointed, but not more than 180 days. Terms of office of governing board members shall be staggered to help maintain consistency and continuity in the exercise of governing board duties and to minimize disruption in district operations….

For any governing board vacancy that occurs before the date scheduled for the office to be filled under this paragraph, the Governor shall appoint a person meeting residency requirements of subsection (2) for a term that will expire on the date scheduled for the term of that office to terminate under this subsection. In addition to the residency requirements for the governing boards as provided by subsection (2), the Governor shall consider appointing governing board members to represent an equitable cross-section of regional interests and technical expertise.

(2) Membership on governing boards shall be selected from candidates who have significant experience in one or more of the following areas, including, but not limited to: agriculture, the development industry, local government, government-owned or privately owned water utilities, law, civil engineering, environmental science, hydrology, accounting, or financial businesses. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general or special law to the contrary, vacancies in the governing boards of the water management districts shall be filled according to the following residency requirements, representing areas designated by the United States Water Resources Council in United States Geological Survey, River Basin and Hydrological Unit Map of Florida—1975, Map Series No. 72:…

(b) Suwannee River Water Management District:
  1. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Aucilla River Basin” hydrologic unit.
  2. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Coastal Area between Suwannee and Aucilla Rivers” hydrologic unit.
  3. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Withlacoochee River Basin-Alapaha River Basin-Suwannee River Basin above the Withlacoochee River” hydrologic units.
  4. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Suwannee River Basin below the Withlacoochee River excluding the Santa Fe River Basin” hydrologic unit.
  5. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Santa Fe Basin-Waccasassa River and coastal area between Withlacoochee and Suwannee River” hydrologic units.
  6. Four members shall be appointed at large, except that no county shall have more than two members on the governing board.

Dennis J. Price lives in the Alapaha River Basin, and he has experience in hydrology and local government, so he is qualified for the Upper Suwannee Basin Seat. We recommend him.

Don’t let any of this stop you from asking SRWMD not to let Nestlé withdraw more water from Ginnie Springs on the Santa Fe River, and maybe they should revisit Nestlé’s permit to withdraw at Madison Blue Spring on the Withlacoochee River.

The SRWMD board packet, also images page by page, is on the WWALS website.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

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