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FL Leaders Organized for Water (FLOW): Once a torrent, now  a drip. Saturday meeting cancelled.

By February 2013, FLOW was playing to a sparse crowds and a dearth of participants.

In the beginning, December 2011, what was to become FLOW played to packed houses.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – On December 1, 2011, the future seemed bright for what was to become Florida Leaders Organized for Water (FLOW). Reacting to the May 10, 2011 decision by the St. Johns River Water Management District to award a 20 year, 155,000,000 gal per day Consumptive Use Permit to the Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA), Columbia County's Jodi DuPree and the Columbia County staff organized the first meetings of what was to become FLOW.

As the months went by FLOW, now chaired by Columbia County's veteran County Commissioner Ronald Williams saw attendance dwindle as the organization became directionless; could not agree on a strategic plan; and had no structure.

A lack of funding was not the problem

 • The cancelled agenda defines the problem
 • Roll call of attendees
 • FLOW web site

Columbia County's County Commission had designated $500,000 of Columbia County taxpayer's money to finance FLOW. The County's infamous County Commission never asked the residents for input on this sum. A lack of funding was not the problem.

The FL legislature is in full swing

The Florida legislature is in full swing. Flow has a legislative committee that could be involved with the water legislation winding its way through the legislature in Tallahassee. As a group, FLOW could have taken a position on that legislation.

FLOW member and Keystone Heights Mayor Mary Lou Hildredth, who is also a member of the North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership, told the Observer, "There are a couple of bad water bills going through the legislature right now; that is what we should be talking to the legislature about."

Work shop cancelled

After a year of directionless leadership by FLOW's Chairman, FLOW had scheduled a workshop for tomorrow and hired a facilitator to help the group of leaders find itself and a mission.

Yesterday afternoon the Saturday morning work shop was cancelled when only six members agreed to show up.

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