[In this PBPost commentary South Florida Water Management District exec. dir. defends as "effective strategies" the district's past "pay any cost" land buys. She makes NO mention of the US Sugar land purchase. The New York Times investigated and found the US Sugar deal way over priced, and that the state and district mounted a hige PR campaign to steamroll critics! So watch out taxpayers! Now the water district is engaging in land "swaps" instead of land buys. Who is making sure these are not going t cause a loss to taxpayers? And ... there is nothing to suggest the district and its supporters are going to check their reckless spending. They still expect taxpayers to write BIG blank checks to be spent as the district sees fit! Meeker writes below that Florida's "fast-paced real estate market" influenced past land purchases. Fast-paced real estate market for swamp land? Critics WITHIN and the district and media have questioned that thinking and the big land payouts for years -- with no effect on the district. Note, for instance, that Meeker does NOT say that the the district's first allegiance is to South Florida taxpayers. Instead, she writes that: "The District's responsibility as [CERP's] local sponsor was unambiguous: acquire land for the restoration projects." See more about all of this at EvergladesReview.com.]
By Melissa L. MeekerEnvironmental restoration took a much-welcomed step forward this month with federal and state consensus on a suite of projects to achieve Everglades water quality improvements.