Special district law does away with public oversight
To the editor:
Florida State Sen. Baxley, who originated the bill, and the whole Florida legislative body along with the governor have set Florida back into the dark and secret ages of the past by passing a bill gutting 189.069 f.s. requiring special districts to post certain documents online.
Gutting this bill of requiring all special districts to post their documents that they use in their meetings online 7 days prior to their meetings now means they no longer are required to post their minutes of the meetings online.
So how does this work? If we want to see what took place at the last Board meeting we have to go to the special district and copy or read it there? That’s what the law states under 119 f.s. It takes a lot of plain stupidity to pass a bill like this in the middle of major epidemic to force citizens to go to a special district just to read the minutes of the last meeting of their special district not to mention multi-county special districts that are 60 to 70 miles away.
This bill sends the message that we are now officially the banana republic of the South. The boards of the special districts can do as they please without even worrying about what the public will think because they know the we won’t trot down to every special district to see how they are spending our money in minutes that will never get posted to their website. Especially when everyone is hunkered down because of the COVID-19 virus.
We should vote everyone that is in office out of office that voted to end the ability of folks to see what is going on in these special districts.
Looking at who voted for this bill would include the entire State Legislature and the Governor.