Heartland Seat on SFWMD Board Draws 13 Applicants

Dan Florida, Industry News Release, Water


Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken, of Lake Okeechobee News, gives us a rundown of each of the 13 applicants for the vacant seat for the at-large member for an area that includes Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties. The Heartland seat has been vacant since March on the South Florida Water Management District board.

TALLAHASSEE — Thirteen people have submitted applications to the governor’s office for appointment to the South Florida Water Management District seat to represent the Heartland counties:

• George Hastings, of Kissimmee, is a partner in Business Brokerage Services. He owns Hastings Ranch and Farm LLC. “Living at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades for the last 50 years has offered me a great opportunity to see the health of our lakes, rivers and streams decline over time. I have worked locally to form the Family Boating Association to better coordinate state and local resources and educate the public about our natural resources. Since forming the Family Boating Association, I have aided county government efforts to preserve land and improve water quality,” he stated. He turned in his application Jan. 15.

• Alexander Johns, of Okeechobee, is employed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida as the natural resources director. “I have been involved in agriculture my entire life. I am a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The natural resources of Florida are very important to me and my tribe. I have managed natural resources for the Seminole Tribe for 25 years,” he stated. The application was completed on Jan. 23.

• Lee “Chip” Merriam of Orlando is vice president of Orlando Utilities Commission. He worked for SFWMD for 19 years. “Having watched the governor since the election, it is my sense he wants knowledgeable persons with the ability to …..

Read about the remainder of the 13 applicants.

Source: Lake Okeechobee News