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Council passes resolutions on pending state legislation

By Staff | Mar 18, 2009

Not wanting to tip their hand just yet, City Council members unanimously approved four resolutions opposing proposed state legislation, but will hold back in declaring Sanibel’s opposition of two items pending any movement on those bills.

Specifically, councilors agreed to pass resolutions opposing the following:

Senate Bill 1436 and House Bill 987 relating to Water Management Districts, which would prohibit their authority to issue certificates of participation unless approved by the electors of a district in a referendum.

Senate Bill 730, which proposes to abolish the Department of Community Affairs, and House Committee Bill and Senate Bill 360, which will significantly weaken the regulatory authority and environmental overview of the Department of Community Affairs, Florida’s growth management agency.

Senate Bill 2016 and House Bill 1123 relating to environmental permitting, which would significantly weaken wetland permitting regulations and programs in the state of Florida.

House Bill 1515 which relates to fertilizer application but provides a preemption on local governments’ authority to regulate fertilizer application and content.

In all four cases, each resolution calls for state legislators as well as Governor Charlie Crist to notify Senate and House members that they do not support action on those proposed bills.

Prior to passing any of the resolutions, Mayor Mick Denham suggested that the first one – related to Water Management Districts – be tabled until the next council session on April 7, since there did not appear to be any movement on the bill as legislative sessions began.

“We can hold this back for a week or two. I want to see what happens in Tallahassee,” said Denham, who warned his fellow councilors that they may have to go into “full battle mode” should any action at the state capital warrant their reaction.

After the council passed Resolution 09-33 (Department of Community Affairs) and Resolution 09-27 (environmental permitting), City Attorney Kenneth Cuyler suggested that they adopt and hold Resolution 09-28 (fertilizer application) because he did not anticipate and pending action on the bill since there were “two or three” draft languages of the proposed legislation still circulating among state officials.

“We can adopt this now, and then hold it until something happens,” said Cuyler.

Following a 5-0 vote to approve the resolution, councilman Jim Jennings suggested they revisit adopting Resolution 09-29 (Water Management Districts), since their next meeting would not be for another three weeks.

“My concern is what if something happens and we have to move on this quickly?” he noted prior to passage of the resolution.

In other business, City Manager Judie Zimomra announced that the council is currently accepting applications from residents for appointment to the Historical Preservation Committee, Parks and Recreation Committee and Vegetation Committee. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m.

To obtain an application, visit Sanibel City Hall, located at 800 Dunlop Road, call 472-3700 or visit www.mysanibel.com.