STATE OF FLORIDA – OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR Executive Order Number 12-10 (Review of Special Districts)
“The Governor has determined that it is appropriate and necessary to conduct a deliberate and thorough review of all special districts in the State of Florida in order to determine whether such districts are: serving a legitimate public purpose; governed efficiently; levying taxes, fees, and assessments appropriately; being held accountable to the taxpayers whose lives they directly impact; operating in a transparent manner; and prudently spending taxpayer dollars.”
“After nearly a decade of investigating the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District in Eastpoint Florida, I have gained both knowledge and direct experience of the workings of “Special Districts.” In 2001 neither I nor others even knew what a “Special District” was or how it functioned. In 2002 I was the object of this Special District’s abuse of power against my business. As I began to research and seek accountability and oversight, it did not take long to find out that oversight did not exist.” – Robert D. Allen
Letter to Rick Scott and Executive Office
Finally, the State of Florida is taking oversight seriously over special districts. This is not a Commission just to study the issue, but a task order to the Office of Policy and Budget to start a program to “Examine” ALL 1600 districts in Florida for performance, etc. These are not the routine CPA type financial audits performed for most district financial statements, but much broader scope reviews to determine efficiency, justification, and lack of accountability to taxpayers. With an annual budget of 15 billion dollars “Special Districts” affect everyone in Florida and our economy. Yet, they operate without oversight and have “police powers” to use as they will. As the Governor stated, “With such a significant impact on the lives of every Floridian and our economy, it is critical that we get a firm grasp on how these special districts are operating and hold them accountable.”
One of the immediate problems will be to review 1600 agencies, they will stretch it out over several years and may be constrained by budget and staffing limits. My own story with one such District clearly shows the ability of a District to abuse it’s power and be accountable to none. I have been on my property in Eastpoint for 37 years and have run as environmentally sound a business as any agency would desire. But, when I showed clear evidence in 2005 the District’s operation was environmentally detrimental to the Esturine, Class II, Federally protected waters of East Apalachicola Bay I became the focus of what is a near unbelievable abuse of power. An abuse that cost me personally over half a million dollars and is still costing me the full progress of my business. I showed clearly the District Waste Water Treatment Plant was dumping sewage in Indian Creek which flows through my property and into East Bay. But, three Governor’s later, their abuse continues.
As difficult as it is to condense that story and evidence I have attached a summary of what I have sent to the Executive Office. For a more detailed information please visit my blog site which details my struggle: http://rdausmc.blogspot.com/ I am sending this to all media and relevant agencies and persons asking that we keep this issue in the forefront and please contact our Governor and Lawmakers so this issue is not side stepped.
The first reason being the taxpayers of Florida need to know about it.
The second reason being the actions of these Districts are impacting each and everyone of us economically.
The third and most important reason is that these Districts without oversight and accountability can without opposition break State and Federal laws that endanger our health and welfare. Whether you use my own story as an example or not please forward the need to support and expedite this Executive Order.
I thank you for this consideration and please contact me at anytime for more information or interview.
Robert D. Allen
“NO MAN STANDS SO TALL AS WHEN HE STOOPS TO HELP A CHILD.”