TAo"PA TAi6 0-0-B
Water agency bill
The measure, which boards' budgeting power and diluted
urban influence over the district
passed a House level board by increasing the num-
ommitt w d ber of members.
committee, wouid The bill, written by citrus and
strengthen local water Polk County interests, also slapped
district board Chairman Bruce Sam-
boards. son by limiting the chairman's ser-
vice to one two-year term.
By PATRICE FLINCHBAUGH Samson, an unannounced candi-
Tribune Staff Writer date for Mayor of Tampa, chaired
the board last year when it consid-
TALLAHASSEE After several ered converting basin boards into
hours of debate Wednesday, the advisory panels. The move was
House Natural Resources Commit- made, Samson had said, to stream-
tee passed a bill 17-4 to radically line operation of the agency.
alter the way a regional water But Smith and his supporters saw
agency is managed. the move as subterfuge and a direct
In what state Rep. Peter Dunbar, attack on their ability to influence
R-Crystal Beach, called a "punitive water use and wetlands regulation
measure to the governing board of decisions through the basin boards.
the Southwest Florida Water Man- Tey vowed revenge in the 1985 ses-
agement District," rural interests sion.
prevailed in solidifying and strength- A counter measure, drafted by
ening the existence of local water former House Speaker Ralph
boards otherwise known as basin Haben, has been introduced in the
boards. Senate. Haben said the Smith bill is
Dunbar failed to win support for headed for a strong fight on tihe
an amendment which would have House floor.
gutted the Smith bill. Hillsborough County's lone mem-
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. ber on the committee, state Rep. S.L.
Charles R. "Chuck" Smith, D-Brooks- "Spud" Clements, voted in favor of
ville, also strengthened the basin Smith's bill.