Given that no one serving under Rick Scott is allowed to say "climate change" or "sea rise," and the fact that he often appoints colleagues with little or no background to various jobs in his administration, the latest personnel shuffle at a state agency should come as no surprise.
Following an election where voters overwhelmingly came out in favor of Amendment 1 and saving the Everglades, and where it was ignored, much like everything else Floridians tell their lawmakers to do, the district’s board of governors appointed the man who served as Rick Scott's general counsel to take over at the South Florida Water Management District.
This new appointee, Pete Antonacci, has no science background. What could possibly go wrong?
On Thursday, the district’s board of governors named Pete Antonacci to run the sprawling agency after announcing that director, Blake Guillory, an engineer, would resign at the end of the month. Antonacci becomes the only director overseeing one of the state’s major districts without a background in science.
“It appears that Antonacci’s primary qualification is his close relationship with Gov. Scott, but it doesn’t change the fact that the water management district is facing a budget crisis that will undermine Everglades restoration, water supply and flood protection,” said Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper.
Guillory’s resignation follows a contentious summer in which the board first voted against a tax cut, then reversed itself. The board hoped to avoid having to dip into reserves to balance its $754 million budget as it struggles to provide services for expanding South Florida. But the move defied Scott’s record of cutting taxes and slashing environmental budgets that include steep cuts to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. The vote marked the first time in five years that taxes might have been raised.
But within two weeks, the board hastily called a second meeting and reversed its vote. Last week, Guillory’s chief of staff resigned.