Members, Governing Board of SWFWMD:  Governing Board Protocol

Material Information

Members, Governing Board of SWFWMD: Governing Board Protocol


Subjects / Keywords:
City of St. Petersburg ( local )
Boards of directors ( jstor )
Business executives ( jstor )
Collaboration ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


Jake Varn Collection - Members, Governing Board of SWFWMD: Governing Board Protocol (JDV Box 108)
General Note:
Box 16, Folder 12 ( SWFWMS And Tampa Bay - 1997 ), Item 13
Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

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Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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* 09/30/97 12:04

Southwest Florida

Water Management District
2379 Broad Street Brooksville. Forida 34609-6899 1-800-423-1476 (Florkda Only)
or (352) 796-7211 SUNCOM 628-4150 T.DO.. Number Only (Florida Only): 1-800-231-6103
Internet address:

oy G. orr.l. Jr.
Choirmon. St. Petersburg
Joe L Davis. Jr.
Vice Chairman. Wouchula
Curtis L Law
Secretary. tnd O' Lokes
Saoy Thompson
Treasurer. Tampa
James L Alen
Eamon F. Campo
Re cca M. Iger
JohnP HaPIoee,
onido C. Johnson
Lake Wales
James E. Martin
St. Petersburg
*renda Menendez
E. D. "Sonny" Vergata
Executive Director
Edward B. Helvenston
General Counsel

Ex cliece

Quaij tt

170 Century Bodevard
Borlow. loH 3 3830-77rt
1-800492-7862 or (941) "5-1448
SUNCOMsn 5 200

11 Colootllon Way
Verice. Fooo 34292-3524
I0-320-303 a (941) 416-1212
secUsm ,n

2303 ghwy 44 West
h ner Florida 3453-3809
(52) 637-13d0

7601 HIhway 301 Noth
l mpo. carcdcS 6376759
140-4360797 or 813) 08e-7481
SuNCOMn 578-370

September 26, 1997

Members, Governing Board
Southwest Florida Water Management District

Attn: Joe L. Davis, Jr., Vice-Chair
Curtis L. Law, Secretary
Sally Thompson, Treasurer
James L. Allen
Ramon F. Campo
Rebecca M. Eger
John P. Harllee, IV
Ronald C. Johnson
James E. Martin
Brenda Menendez

Subject: Governing Board Protocol

Dear Governing Board Members:

This year has been the most issue intensive and time consuming period
that I have ever experienced on the Governing Board. We have had to confront
(i) both the Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director leaving at the
same time, (ii) the hiring of a new Executive Director, (iii) two changes on the
Board (my condolences to new Board members), (iv) the most intensive
legislative efforts affecting our millage, relationship with West Coast and
mandated minimum flows, (v) the Partnership Plan's formation with West Coast
and among ourselves, (vi) the SWUCA rule's adverse ruling, and the need to
determine alternatives, (vii) the St. Petersburg wellfield permit ruling, (viii) the
governance plan for West Coast that directly impacts on the District, and of
course, (ix) the mandated minimum flow and level rule, with the necessary
recovery plan. Those are the big issues, and there are still the many other issues
that must be addressed on a daily basis.

With those issues before us, there is undoubtedly pressure on each of us,
first to handle the issues and keep them straight, especially with differing
viewpoints of the public and ourselves, and second to advocate our positions
among ourselves.

&904 754 6874



__ 'o "090/97 12:05 '904 754 6874 SWFWMD EXEC @004

Members, Governing Board
September 26, 1997
Page 2

To ensure that the Governing Board acts in harmony, we have always strived to adhere
to internal protocols and courtesies. I need to discuss two specific protocols because they have
not been adhered to this year since the transition from Pete Hubbell to Sonny Vergara as
Executive Director.

The first protocol is that the Governing Board directs the Executive Director, and the
Executive Director controls the staff and operations. This protocol means not only that
members of the Board not interfere with the responsibility or the authority of the Executive
Director, but also refrain from making statements to staff about the Executive Director, his
authority, or about the staff under him and their abilities. It is not fair to the Executive
Director, to his staff, or to us. We need to bring such issues to the Executive Director and, if
not satisfactorily resolved, then place it on the Board agenda.

The second protocol is that the Governing Board works as a group and not individually.
This insures that Board actions and policies (which is a collective decision) are collectively
followed. We must be very careful that actions by any one of us is not misconstrued to be the
position of the Governing Board unless the Governing Board has acted. For that reason, if the
Governing Board acts, it is incumbent on each of us to not take any action in contravention of
that position unless first brought back to the Governing Board and discussed among us. I do
not care to get into specifics, but I was concerned enough with this that after the Board vote on
September 23rd about the Partnership Plan, I raised, without objection by any of you, that no
one should be further involved with the Partnership Plan until we hear back from staff. Staff
was directed to negotiate a proper agreement and to report to us the progress each month, and
no one, including me, should interfere with or affect that process. --

This letter could be summarized as "let us be kind." I would suggest that we have a
parliamentarian for that purpose. This person would ensure that we follow the above.
protocols and other basic courtesies among ourselves and with staff. Unless I hear objection
from you at the next Governing Board meeting, I am asking that Joe Davis fill that function.
Since we are all in the sunshine, the only way he can do this is investigate with staff any
instances behind the scenes, and if warranted, raise them publicly. We are talking about future
happenings and not the past.

You will undoubtedly also see a memo from the Executive Director about comments
from the public about staff. I totally support his position, with the exception that he might
have to fight me for the microphone in addressing people with bad manners commenting on

The last item I would like to mention is the question of us issuing warning notices to
local governments about wellfields. I am asking that Sonny Vergara put this on our Board

S 0- "0/30/97 12:06 V904 754 6874 SWFWMD EXEC 005

Members, Governing Board
September 26, 1997
Page 3

agenda for next month. When this was raised to me about a month ago, I expressed my
feelings to Sonny that it would be inappropriate to issue warnings or to commence enforcement
proceedings during the next several months during which we will be in the process of
attempting to amicably resolve the many issues between the District and West Coast and its
member governments.
Regardless, it is fair comment and should be on
the Board agenda for discussion.

I hope that each of you react to this letter in the manner in which I sent it, namely that
we in good faith and good feelings address the many substantive issues before us and resolve
them judiciously, expeditiously and in the public interest.

Kindest regards.

Verytrul yours

oy G. Ha 1l, Jr.