Excuse me, Governor Scott, but you and the other Florida Legislators puzzle me.
But before addressing this point, I’d like to thank you for reading my blog. I realize you’re busy trying to attract more people and jobs to Florida, doing your best by going to other states and marketing Florida’s low wages to those frugal corporations willing to change ships. And the last time I checked, Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was under five percent in April 2016, the same as the nation’s unemployment rate. I believe most people would agree the Sunshine State’s workforce needs better paying jobs with premium benefits before it needs more low paying employment.
It puzzles me the way you and other Florida Legislators consider yourselves leaders of the new corporate conservatives, the chosen ones. It seems you are today’s masters of economics; pro-business, pro-development, pro-jobs and conveyors of smaller government. You seem to pride yourselves on standing up against the dreads of unnecessary environmental red tape. You’re fighting to stop things like septic tank inspections on aging systems bordering our polluted waterways. You’re doing your best to prevent laws limiting sales of fertilizer when we know these products are extremely harmful to our lagoons, bays, lakes, and springs. You and the Florida Legislators refuse to listen to the vast majority of voters wanting you to buy pristine land, not develop it, to better protect our waterways with Water and Land Conservation Initiative Amendment funds.
Also between you and I, it’s not a secret anymore; you’ve either fired or demoted many of Florida’s Environmental Protection Agency employees who were fighting on the side of limiting growth and protecting our natural resources. Yes, Governor Scott, you are one busy man.
Explain why, instead of fighting on the side of genuine conservatism, you and the other Florida Legislators pick the tired campaign slogan of the late Florida Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (1905-1909) “Drain the Swamps to Build!” Governor Scott, the problem is you’re leading a team chasing Broward’s dreams a hundred and ten years past its time. This “Drain the Swamps to Build!” mentality is killing Florida’s iconic waterways, the very reasons 20 million-plus Floridians live here in the Sunshine State. Governor Scott, it’s clear to me Florida’s Everglades, springs, lakes, rivers, and lagoons are not the riches you and other Florida Legislators cherish or understand and appreciate.
To be clear, who could rightly blame you for the century-long fight waged against Florida’s natural treasures by government and developers? No sir, it is not all your fault. You’re only perpetuating and following Governor Broward’s dream.
I believe, Governor Scott, we are people with similar concerns and convictions. We want to see a better future for all of us. We’d all benefit if you’d consult with a broader coalition of advocates, including those of us lobbying for a more responsible vision and plan for a healthier future for Florida’s waterways, their habitats, and the wildlife depending on it.
Governor Scott, today is the time to seize the moment and get on board with conserving Florida’s natural resources. Is designing a comprehensive plan to save more of Florida’s natural beauty today for tomorrow by limiting Florida’s growth such a bad idea? Is appropriately allocating funds from Florida’s Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment One, to protect Florida’s Everglades, and the Indian River Lagoon, even possible?
Governor Scott, I realize asking you and Florida Legislators for such an abrupt turn of course is somewhat absurd and unrealistic, but we can only hope you will soon see the light of Florida’s past errors when it comes to protecting our waters.