PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis asked for their resignations, but some South Florida Water Management District board members are declining to step down.
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"I respectfully decline," said Brandon Tucker, the Vice Chair of the SFWMD governing board. "I look forward to continuing to work to serve my term over the next two years until 2020."
On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis followed up with a campaign promise and, along with Rep. Brian Mast’s recommendation, asked all board members to resign.
"Needed a fresh start at the South Florida Water Management District," Gov. DeSantis said on Thursday.
Tucker and his colleagues came under fire in early November for a last minute vote, approving to lease land to a sugar company needed for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to reduce discharges.
"I don’t regret anything to do with that vote because based on everything I understand about the law, understanding the realities, if we didn’t renew the amount of money, we could have lost that was allocated," said Tucker.
Rep. Brian Mast Friday sent out this statement Friday in response to board members declining to step down:
Yesterday the Governor made clear that he does what he says: he has a bold vision to fix Florida’s environment and improve our water quality. What’s also clear is that the board members of the South Florida Water Management District do not share this vision. The arrogance displayed over the past 24 hours by the board is indicative of how they have operated for the better part of the last decade—without transparency and with disdain for the people of South Florida who have been made to suffer through lost summer after lost summer. They have failed to exercise even the most basic, legally-required level of transparency, and therefore, should be removed for cause.
"I don’t agree with that at all," said Tucker, who hopes to work with the Governor on fixing our water issues.