Proposal renews power struggle
for managing water resources
By PATRICE FLINCHBAUGH put control of financial support of to abolish local basin boards in what
Tribune Staff Writer regional water supply authorities di- they saw as an effort to streamline
rectly under the local basin boards, budgeting and modernize manage-
TALLAHASSEE State Rep. The proposal also seeks to keep ment of water resources.
Charles R. "Chuck" Smith, of expenditure of taxes collected for The move was accomplished
Brooksville, presented a proposed water supply authorities in the same through what was pitched as a rou-
committee bill to his colleagues area as they were levied. In addi- tine housekeeping bill. When it be-
Wednesday that would radically tion, Hillsborough and Pinellas coun- came apparent to legislators in
alter Florida's water management ties would be limited to one repre- southwest Florida what was afoot,
districts. sentative each on the district's gov- the lawmakers vowed to address the
The proposal, drafted by an at- earning board. That board would be situation during the 1985 session.
torney for Florida Citrus Mutual expanded from 9 to 11 members. Many objected to the reduced repre-
with input from Polk County and "If you pass this bill, you won't sentation of local citizens that abol-
local water managers in Hillsbor- need a governing board," said for- fishing the basin boards would cause.
ough County, would solidify the ex- mer House Speaker Ralph Haben, Smith said he hopes a consensus
istence of local water boards by stat- who likened the measure to a role bill will be used as the sole vehicle
ute. reversal "the tail wagging the to tackle the power struggle between
The proposal being floated now dog." the district governing board and the
also would create a separate basin Haben has been hired as a lobby- basin boards.
board to represent the water-rich ist to represent the governing board Smith said that by Monday a
area in the Green Swamp of Central during this year's session, decision will have been reached on
Florida; limit the chairman of the Last year, during the legislative whether the proposed bill before the
governing board to a two-year term session, leaders of the governing House subcommittee on Water and
as chairman; strip the chairman of board of the Southwest Florida Living resources, which he chairs,
voting except in cases of a tie; and Water Management District sought would be filed formally.
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