Suwannee River Water Management District blown off Water Working Group agenda again: Was it an oversight or will they listen?
Columbia County, FL (Posted January 23, 2011 04:50 pm)
All the counties and cities represented in the recently formed Water Working Group that is meeting tonight in Columbia County are represented on the board of directors of the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) or the St. Johns Water Management District (SJRWMD). It has yet to be established why the counties don't go to the water management districts and address them directly. That may be answered to night, along with the reason that the directors of the SRWMD and the SJRWMD were refused a place on the evening's agenda, again
The SRWMD is empowered by Florida law to take care of the district's water resources. In a few hours, in a meeting chaired by long time Columbia County Commissioner, Ronald Williams, the public may find out what it is that the Water Working Group is going to do, how they plan to do it and how they define their role. The meeting's agenda is here.
Earlier today, the Observer learned that once again the representatives from both the Suwannee River water management District and the St. Johns Water Management District were kept off the Working Group agenda.
Read the SRWMD, SJRWMD, and the FDEP interagency update here.
At three o'clock this afternoon, Columbia County assistant manager, Lisa Roberts, confirmed that David Still, the director of the SRWMD asked to be put on the agenda so that he could present and update of the results of the ongoing collaboration between the SJRWMD and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
Ms. Roberts said that she told Mr. Still that he would not be put on the agenda because this was an organizational meeting.
Is the Water Working Group interested in the facts?
The memo prepared as a result of the inter-agency agreement between the SRWMD, SJRWMD, and the FDEP answers many questions including a report on the Florida/Georgia coordination meeting held on November 17, 2011.
It is not clear why Commissioner Williams and the other commissioners from the other counties involved were again not willing to listen and ask questions of the people that are directly responsible for the region's water.
As the working group sits down tonight to devise its own plan they may have been helped by listening to the experts and asking questions.
It will be interesting to see if long time veteran Columbia County Commissioner, Ronald Williams, invites Mr. Still to the microphone before the Working Group commits to spending time, resources and a diminishing supply of the region's money on issues that are already being addressed.
They may even find that after listening to the experts that the Water Working Group is not the best plan for the region.
The question is: Will they listen?