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                              The above agencies came to be heard before
                   THE FLORIDA CABINET, The Honorable Governor Bush
                   presiding, in the Cabinet Meeting Room, LL-03, The
                   Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, on Tuesday, January 27,
                   2004, commencing at approximately 9:12 a.m.



                                         Reported by:

                                       MARY ALLEN NEEL
                               Registered Professional Reporter




                              ACCURATE STENOTYPE REPORTERS, INC.
                                       100 SALEM COURT
                                  TALLAHASSEE FLORIDA  32301




                            Representing the Florida Cabinet:

                                 JEB BUSH

                                 CHARLES H. BRONSON
                                 Commissioner of Agriculture

                                 CHARLIE CRIST
                                 Attorney General

                                 TOM GALLAGHER
                                 Chief Financial Officer


                                          *   *   *



                                          I N D E X

                   (Presented by Coleman Stipanovich)

                   ITEM                   ACTION                       PAGE

                   1                      Approved                        5
                   2                      Approved                        5
                   3                      Approved                        6
                   4                      Approved                        6
                   5                      Approved                        6
                   6                      Approved                        7
                   8                      Approved                        8

                   (Presented by Don Saxon)

                   ITEM                   ACTION                       PAGE

                   1                      Approved                        9
                   2                      Approved                        9

                   (Presented by Kevin McCarty)

                   ITEM                   ACTION                       PAGE

                   1                      Approved                       10
                   2                      Approved                       10
                   3                      Approved                       11
                   4                      Approved                       11
                   5                      Accepted                       11

                   (Presented by Martin Young)

                   1                      Approved                       12
                   2                      Accepted                       12


                   (Presented by Teresa Tinker)

                   ITEM                   ACTION                       PAGE

                   1                      Approved                       13
                   2                      Withdrawn                      14

                   (Presented by David Struhs)

                   ITEM                   ACTION                       PAGE

                   1                      Approved                       15
                   2                      Approved                       89
                   3                      Approved                       90
                   4                      Approved                       90
                   5                      Withdrawn                      91
                   6                      Approved                       91
                   7                      Approved                      102
                   8                      Accepted                      104

                   CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER                              105


            1                       P R O C E E D I N G S

            2               GOVERNOR BUSH:  We're going to start with the

            3          State Board of Administration.

            4               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on the minutes.

            5               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            6               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

            7          objection, Item 1 passes.

            8               Item 2.

            9               Good morning, Coleman.

           10               MR. STIPANOVICH:  Good morning, Governor and

           11          members.

           12               Item 2 is a request for approval of fiscal

           13          determination of amounts not exceeding 13,500,000

           14          tax exempt and 950,000 taxable Florida Housing

           15          Finance Corporation multifamily mortgage revenue

           16          bonds, 2004 series, Clipper Bay Apartments.

           17               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Motion.

           18               CFO GALLAGHER:  Second.

           19               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           20          objection, the item passes.

           21               MR. STIPANOVICH:  Item number 3 is a request

           22          for approval of fiscal determination of an amount

           23          not exceeding 10,600,000 tax exempt Florida Housing

           24          Finance Corporation multifamily mortgage revenue

           25          bonds.


            1               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 3.

            2               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  Second.

            3               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

            4          objection, Item 3 passes.

            5               MR. STIPANOVICH:  Item 4 is a request for

            6          approval for fiscal determination of an amount not

            7          exceeding 9,015,000 tax exempt Florida Housing

            8          Finance Corporation multifamily mortgage revenue

            9          bonds.

           10               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Motion on 4.

           11               CFO GALLAGHER:  Second.

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           13          objection, Item 4 passes.

           14               MR. STIPANOVICH:  Item 5 is a request for

           15          approval of fiscal determination of an amount not

           16          exceeding 7,350,000 tax exempt Florida Housing

           17          Finance Corporation multifamily mortgage revenue

           18          bonds.

           19               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 5.

           20               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

           21               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           22          objection, the item passes.

           23               MR. STIPANOVICH:  Item number 6 is a request

           24          for approval of fiscal determination of an amount

           25          not exceeding 2,500,000 taxable Florida Housing


            1          Finance Corporation multifamily mortgage revenue

            2          bonds.

            3               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Motion on 6.

            4               CFO GALLAGHER:  Second.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

            6          objection, the item passes.

            7               MR. STIPANOVICH:  Item 7 is the reappointment

            8          of two Investment Advisory Council members, Mr. Don

            9          Burton and John Jaeb, as an appointee of -- Don

           10          Burton of the Chief Financial Officer, and John Jaeb

           11          of the Attorney General.  These are reappointments. 

           12          The composition of the present Investment Advisory

           13          Council does not change.

           14               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Motion on 7.

           15               CFO GALLAGHER:  Second.

           16               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           17          objection, the item passes.

           18               MR. STIPANOVICH:  Item number 8 is the Florida

           19          Hurricane Catastrophe Fund's request that the

           20          Trustees approve the filing of a notice of proposed

           21          rulemaking.  There are five rules that are outlined

           22          in agenda item number 8.  The rules are largely

           23          technical, and they are non-substantive.

           24               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 8.

           25               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

            2          objection, the motion passes.

            3               Thank you, Coleman.

            4               MR. STIPANOVICH:  Thank you, Governor.  Thank

            5          you, members.






















            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Office of Financial Regulation.

            2               MR. SAXON:  Good morning.

            3               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning.

            4               MR. GALLAGHER:  Good morning, Don.

            5               MR. SAXON:  Item 1 is the adoption of

            6          amendments to Rule 3E-600.015.

            7               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 1.

            8               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            9               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           10          objection, the item passes.

           11               MR. SAXON:  And Item 2, we're submitting our

           12          quarterly report for the fourth quarter for 2003.

           13               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion.

           14               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

           15               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           16          objection, the item passes.

           17               Thank you.

           18               MR. SAXON:  Thank you.









            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Office of Insurance

            2          Regulation.

            3               MR. McCARTY:  Good morning, Governor and

            4          members.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning.

            6               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on the minutes.

            7               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            8               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

            9          objection, Item 1 passes.

           10               MR. McCARTY:  Item 2 is approval for adoption

           11          of amendments to Rule Chapter 691.54, Minimum

           12          Reserve Standards for Individual and Group Health

           13          Insurance Contracts.  These rules define minimum

           14          actuarial reserve and liability standards for

           15          accident and health policies.

           16               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 2.

           17               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

           18               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           19          objection, Item 2 passes.

           20               MR. McCARTY:  Item 3 is approval for adoption

           21          of amendments to Rule 690-176.013, Notification of

           22          Insured's Rights and Standard Disclosures Form for

           23          Personal Injury Protection Benefits.

           24               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Motion on 3.

           25               CFO GALLAGHER:  Second.


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

            2          objection, Item 3 passes.

            3               MR. McCARTY:  Item 4, approval for repeal of

            4          Rule 690-200.007, Motor Vehicle Service Agreement

            5          Companies and Cancellation Refunds.  This rule is in

            6          conflict with Section 634.121(5) of the Florida

            7          Statutes.

            8               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 4.

            9               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and second.  Without

           11          objection, the item passes.

           12               MR. McCARTY:  Item number 4 is for

           13          informational purposes to advise that --

           14               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Item 5.

           15               MR. McCARTY:  -- the Department and Office

           16          rules have been transferred.

           17               CFO GALLAGHER:  Accept the information.

           18               MR. McCARTY:  Thank you, members.

           19               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you. 

           20               Kevin was in a hurry.







            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Financial Management

            2          Information Board.

            3               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on the minutes.

            4               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

            6          objection, Item 1 passes.

            7               Item 2.

            8               MR. YOUNG:  Item 2 is a request for acceptance

            9          of the Enterprise Resource Planning Integration Task

           10          Force 2003 annual report.

           11               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 2.

           12               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Seconded.

           13               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           14          objection, the item passes.

           15               MR. YOUNG:  Thank you.












            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Administration Commission.

            2               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on the minutes.

            3               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  Second.

            4               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

            5          objection, Item 1 passes.

            6               Item 2.

            7               MS. TINKER:  Governor, we're going to withdraw

            8          Item 2.  We would expect it to come back the first

            9          Cabinet meeting in March.

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Why is it going to take so

           11          long? 

           12               MS. TINKER:  It's going to take a while for the

           13          staff to examine the actions that the local

           14          governments took, look at the rule that the

           15          Department of Community Affairs recommended, work

           16          with the interest groups to try to build consensus

           17          on the rule changes that will be necessary, and then

           18          bring, hopefully, something back to you that

           19          everybody can embrace.

           20               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.  But there is an

           21          agreement down there with the Department of

           22          Community Affairs and the County? 

           23               MS. TINKER:  The County took action a week or

           24          so ago, and I believe the Department was pleased

           25          with that action.


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.  Do we have to have a

            2          motion to withdraw?

            3               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion to withdraw until the

            4          first week in March.

            5               MS. TINKER:  First Cabinet meeting in March,

            6          yes, sir.

            7               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            8               GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion to withdraw

            9          and a second.  Without objection, the item is

           10          withdrawn.

           11               Teresa, after the Cabinet meeting, if you could

           12          come up and see me or come down and see me on

           13          housing issues in the Keys.

           14               MS. TINKER:  Will do. 

           15               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.












            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:   Okay.  Board of Trustees.

            2               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on the minutes.

            3               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            4               CFO GALLAGHER:  Of the October 12th and 28th

            5          meetings.

            6               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Good morning, Governor and --

            7               GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion on Item 1 and

            8          a second.  Without objection --

            9               MS. ARMSTRONG:  I'm sorry.  I thought I had

           10          heard that already.

           11               GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- the item passes.

           12               Item 2.

           13               MS. ARMSTRONG:  I'm standing in for the

           14          Secretary, because I -- he's somewhere up in the

           15          office, and --

           16               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Here he is.

           17               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Oh, here we are.  Very good. 

           18          Here's Secretary Struhs.

           19               GOVERNOR BUSH:  He didn't time it right.

           20               MR. STRUHS:  I was actually upstairs watching

           21          you all on TV, and I thought I had it on the wrong

           22          channel.  I thought I was watching the QVC channel.

           23               GOVERNOR BUSH:  That was my joke.

           24               MR. STRUHS:  Sorry.

           25               GOVERNOR BUSH:  It wasn't very good the first


            1          time.

            2               CFO GALLAGHER:  But it was much better the

            3          first time, Governor.

            4               (Laughter.)

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Item 2.

            6               MR. STRUHS:  You know, a number of months ago

            7          when we all learned, quite by surprise, that Cypress

            8          Gardens was being shut down and shuttered up,

            9          Governor Bush and Attorney General Crist and

           10          Commissioner Gallagher and Commissioner Bronson,

           11          each one of you approached us and said to me and to

           12          the Department, "Can you please do everything you

           13          can to use your existing programs and your existing

           14          funds to find a way to try to save and preserve

           15          Cypress Gardens." 

           16               That was an interesting challenge, because, as

           17          you know, that's not typically the business we're

           18          in.  We are typically in the business of

           19          conservation of natural areas.  And what this

           20          represented was a unique, perhaps a once in a

           21          lifetime opportunity to preserve something that's

           22          also important to Florida, but not necessarily a

           23          natural area, but rather an icon of early Florida

           24          and Florida's tourism industry.

           25               Back in the 1950s, when you thought of Florida,


            1          you thought of Cypress Gardens, or when you thought

            2          of Cypress Gardens, you thought of Florida.  They

            3          were one and the same.  And we recognize that the

            4          closing of Cypress Gardens would be the loss of a

            5          very important historical and cultural resource for

            6          the State of Florida.  So you assigned us the task

            7          of figuring out how we could be creative and use our

            8          existing programs to try to give you the option of

            9          saving this property.

           10               We did that by partnering with the Trust for

           11          Public Land, and you've all heard from Greg Chelius

           12          in previous meetings, and you'll hear from him again

           13          shortly this morning.  But what they did is, they

           14          purchased the option agreement from the existing

           15          landowner, and then they began looking for private

           16          partners to team up with to develop the property in

           17          a way that would make it economically viable for the

           18          future.

           19               What we have before you today, gentlemen, is a

           20          specific decision as the Board of Trustees as to

           21          whether or not you wish to approve a conservation

           22          easement.  That conservation easement valued at $11

           23          million would be part and parcel of a larger

           24          arrangement in which the Trust for Public Land and

           25          Kent Buescher from Wild Adventures would actually


            1          become the new owners of the property and the

            2          manager of the property.  But the public of Florida

            3          would have in perpetuity the understanding and the

            4          knowledge that Cypress Gardens would remain Cypress

            5          Gardens.

            6               Now, it won't be exactly the same Cypress

            7          Gardens as it was in the past, because things

            8          change, and business opportunities require that kind

            9          of change.  But the core property, the Gardens

           10          themselves, would be preserved in perpetuity, and

           11          indeed, the larger property would remain an

           12          important cultural and historical resource for the

           13          State of Florida.

           14               So the choice you have is to determine whether

           15          or not as a state we want to enter into that

           16          partnership or not.

           17               There are a lot of folks who would like to

           18          speak to this item.  And what I would propose is,

           19          given the numbers, is that we have a three-minute

           20          limit per person. 

           21               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Two minutes.

           22               MR. STRUHS:  Two minutes.

           23               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Two minutes, yes, sir.

           24               MR. STRUHS:  Okay. 

           25               MS. ARMSTRONG:  We have the timer set at two.


            1               MR. STRUHS:  We have a timer set at two minutes

            2          per person.  And what I would like to do is suggest

            3          -- lay out the order in which we're going to line up

            4          the speakers so that you can hear all the various

            5          viewpoints. 

            6               First you'll hear from Greg Chelius, the

            7          president of the Trust for Public Land here in

            8          Florida, followed by our elected representatives,

            9          J. D. Alexander, Senator Paula Dockery, and

           10          Representative Baxter Troutman.  And then we've got

           11          Paul Senft and Mike Easterling and Howard Beckert 

           12          from the local government, the local elected

           13          representatives; Nancy Daley, who is representing

           14          the Cypress Gardens employees, or former employees;

           15          and then we'll hear from Kent Buescher from Wild

           16          Adventures and Espan Tanburg, also with Kent

           17          Buescher. 

           18               And then what we'll do is, we'll switch to

           19          those who have a contrary view, who are not

           20          completely confident that this is the right

           21          approach.  We've got David Siegel, Burma Posey, and

           22          some of their friends and colleagues.

           23               And then to close with, we're going to hear

           24          from Dick Pope, who represents the family's

           25          interests in this property going way back to when


            1          they first started Cypress Gardens, and Rick

            2          Dantzler.

            3               We've got all sorts of technical folks here who

            4          can answer any questions that you might have as to

            5          the valuation and the determination of the value of

            6          the conservation easement, and we can take that

            7          either now or at the end if you have questions.

            8               So what's your pleasure?

            9               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I think you have a good plan.

           10               MR. STRUHS:  Okay. 

           11               GOVERNOR BUSH:  And I would ask that since

           12          Eva's tough, she be the one that politely yanks on

           13          the shoulder or the sleeve of the person to keep it

           14          within the limit so that everybody that wants to

           15          speak will have a chance to do so.

           16               MR. STRUHS:  Yes, sir.

           17               CFO GALLAGHER:  So basically, Eva gets the

           18          hook.

           19               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes, because we've had these

           20          events in the past, and there wasn't anybody with

           21          the courage to have the hook, so it went on a little

           22          bit longer.  But I'm counting on Eva.  I think she's

           23          capable of handling that.

           24               MR. STRUHS:  So if we could ask Mr. Chelius,

           25          Senators Alexander and Dockery, and Representative


            1          Troutman to start us off.

            2               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Now, Greg, if you need more

            3          than two minutes --

            4               MR. CHELIUS:  Thank you, Governor.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Go ahead and explain --

            6               MR. CHELIUS:  Thank you, Governor.  Good

            7          morning, and good morning to the members of the

            8          Cabinet.

            9               I first want to thank Secretary Struhs for the

           10          promotion to president of the Trust for Public Land

           11          from the state director of the Trust for Public

           12          Land.  Thank you, David.  I hope a nice raise comes

           13          with that promotion.

           14               Last month I came to you with an update as to

           15          where we stood with working on protecting and

           16          preserving Cypress Gardens.  At the time, I informed

           17          you that we had gone through a bidding process

           18          during the months of September, October, and

           19          November.  We had two bids that were not successful,

           20          and the third party interested in sitting down and

           21          negotiating to acquire Cypress Gardens was Wild

           22          Adventures, Kent Buescher. 

           23               So that's where we were a month ago.  We also

           24          talked about perhaps bringing the Cabinet meeting in

           25          before today so that TPL, with this exercise of


            1          January 22nd, would have a yes or no vote from the

            2          Cabinet.  We were able to work through those issues

            3          so that you didn't have to have a special session.

            4               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Oh, no special session.

            5               MR. CHELIUS:  Special Cabinet meeting.  Yes,

            6          that's one thing that you don't want to have again,

            7          Governor.

            8               Since that time, what we did was, we worked

            9          with DEP on creating a conservation easement that,

           10          in essence, acquires the development rights from the

           11          150-acre property.  There was much negotiation that

           12          went on creating that conservation easement.  And

           13          once it was done, I was able to sign a contract,

           14          having a financial interest in the property, that if

           15          we did acquire the property, then we were willing to

           16          sell that conservation easement to the State of

           17          Florida for $11 million.

           18               During the past week, a number of events have

           19          taken place that has led us to the vote today.  On

           20          Wednesday, January 21st, Polk County voted to

           21          acquire the 30 acres of the historic gardens from

           22          the Trust for Public Land, subject to a conservation

           23          easement, for $2-1/2 million.  We have a signed

           24          contract now between TPL and Polk County to acquire

           25          30 acres for 2-1/2 million.


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Do you have a map that you can

            2          -- you may want to -- do you have a map that we

            3          could -- it might make it easier to refer to these

            4          things.  Woops. 

            5               CFO GALLAGER:  They'll get it.

            6               GOVERNOR BUSH:  You've got to get closer than

            7          that.  Okay.

            8               CFO GALLAGHER:  There you go.

            9               MR. CHELIUS:  Okay.  It you look to your left

           10          toward Lake Eloise, you'll see "Protected Parcel,

           11          29.52 acres," and Eva is outlining that area, which

           12          includes the botanical gardens, the ski area, and

           13          essentially the shoreline of the historic gardens. 

           14          That will be owned by Polk County and will have a

           15          conservation easement by the State of Florida

           16          attached to it.

           17               In addition to that, on the 22nd of January, we

           18          signed a contract with Wild Adventures to sell the

           19          remaining parcel, and it's called the remainder

           20          parcel, and that's 120 acres, also subject to a

           21          conservation easement.  TPL has committed to lend

           22          Kent Buescher and Wild Adventures $7 million for up

           23          to 120 days in order to acquire that parcel.  We'll

           24          be taking back a mortgage and a promissory note on

           25          that parcel.


            1               I took that to our board of directors on

            2          Thursday, and there was a very lively and

            3          interesting discussion.  Our board in San Francisco

            4          recognizes the unique history of Florida in creating

            5          botanical gardens attractions and theme parks, and I

            6          think the underlying theme there was, "Only in

            7          Florida do we do this kind of thing at TPL." 

            8          However, they were willing to vote unanimously to go

            9          forward with the project and allow us to exercise

           10          our option contingent on your vote today. 

           11               Should you vote not to go forward, then

           12          everything ends at that point, and we walk away. 

           13          Should you vote to go forward, then we will close on

           14          the project on February 24th.  TPL will buy the

           15          entire 150 acres.  The first thing we will do is to

           16          sell a conservation easement to the State for $11

           17          million, and then would sell 120 acres to Kent

           18          Buescher, Wild Adventures, and 30 acres to Polk

           19          County.

           20               GOVERNOR BUSH:  And you would have a mortgage

           21          on the --

           22               MR. CHELIUS:  We would have a mortgage and

           23          promissory note on the 120 acres.

           24               GOVERNOR BUSH:  With no expectation that the

           25          State is going to bail out anybody if they don't


            1          make the mortgage payment.

            2               MR. CHELIUS:  That's correct.  And we have

            3          worked to provide security basically for my board of

            4          directors to allow us to go forward with that.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  You have security beyond the --

            6               MR. CHELIUS:  Beyond the land, yes.

            7               CFO GALLAGHER:  From Mr. Buescher?

            8               MR. CHELIUS:  Because we don't, obviously, want

            9          to --

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Yes, that sounds pretty bold.

           11               MR. CHELIUS:  -- own a theme park.  And I

           12          appreciate you thinking about that.  But we have

           13          other securities from Buescher.

           14               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'm not sure I would have been

           15          making a unanimous vote unless you do have

           16          additional security.

           17               MR. CHELIUS:  That's correct.

           18               CFO GALLAGHER:  Now, if in fact something

           19          happens that he can't go forward with this, then you

           20          obviously are going to get it back.

           21               GOVERNOR BUSH:  You may own two theme parks.

           22               CFO GALLAGHER:  And at that point, do you come

           23          back to us to talk about what's going to happen to

           24          it, or do you just figure out what you're going to

           25          do with it and sell it to --


            1               MR. CHELIUS:  If you don't go forward today?

            2               CFO GALLAGHER:  No, no.  We go forward.

            3               MR. CHELIUS:  We go forward.

            4               CFO GALLAGHER:  You make your deal, you now

            5          have Mr. Buescher on, and you now have a mortgage.

            6               MR. CHELIUS:  That's correct.

            7               CFO GALLAGHER:  It blows.  He can't get any

            8          additional financing, cannot do something, cannot do

            9          something there that's going to produce income for

           10          him to pay off the mortgages.  It's now back in your

           11          hands.

           12               MR. CHELIUS:  It's back in our hands.

           13               CFO GALLAGHER:  And what happens?

           14               MR. CHELIUS:  What we've done is, we've

           15          provided to secure that transaction with what we

           16          perceive to be enough revenue to carry the property

           17          until we can find another operator.

           18               CFO GALLAGHER:  Right.

           19               MR. CHELIUS:  Right now the economy is

           20          improving, and for the first time since 9/11,

           21          Universal Studios and Disney are actually doing

           22          better.  So we think we would have a greater

           23          marketplace to actually sell the property should

           24          Mr. Buescher, which we don't think would happen, but

           25          should something happen to him.


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Can you tell us what the

            2          additional security is, or is that --

            3               MR. CHELIUS:  It's things like life insurance

            4          policies, personal guarantees, securities in homes,

            5          different things that we could cash in.

            6               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Non-Cypress Gardens related.

            7               MR. CHELIUS:  Yes.  That's not related to the

            8          transaction, that we could cash in to give us

            9          holding power until we found another buyer-operator.

           10               CFO GALLAGHER:  Okay.  So that's basically the

           11          120 acres.

           12               MR. CHELIUS:  That's correct.

           13               CFO GALLAGHER:  Now, the 30 acres that the City

           14          takes over --

           15               MR. CHELIUS:  The County.

           16               CFO GALLAGHER:  The County, I'm sorry.  The

           17          County takes over.  And I got to see it Sunday for

           18          the first time in my life, and obviously, it's in

           19          pretty disheveled shape compared to what the

           20          pictures are I've seen of it historically.

           21               MR. CHELIUS:  Right.

           22               CFO GALLAGHER:  What's the obligation of the

           23          City once you close the deal with them and they buy

           24          it? 

           25               MS. ARMSTRONG:  The County. 


            1               CFO GALLAGHER:  The County.  I'm sorry.  I keep

            2          saying the wrong thing.  Thank you very much.

            3               What's the obligation of the public down there,

            4          the County, to get it back to where it was and keep

            5          it that way, and what do we do about making that

            6          happen?

            7               MR. CHELIUS:  The obligation would really be on

            8          Mr. Buescher, and Mr. Buescher and the County will

            9          be signing a lease.  And in that lease, it will call

           10          for Mr. Buescher to actually work to manage the

           11          Gardens long-term.  I think he can probably speak to

           12          you better when it's his turn as far as exactly what

           13          he's going to do, but I think everyone involved is

           14          convinced that he will attempt to bring the Gardens

           15          back to where they were as much as possible, and

           16          continue with shows and the beautiful belles, as we

           17          have sitting down here.

           18               CFO GALLAGHER:  So if -- I'm on the scenario

           19          that if the thing blows, and now he's obviously not

           20          going to be taking care of the Gardens if he can't

           21          get the other part going, so what happens to the

           22          Gardens? 

           23               MR. CHELIUS:  Right.  What we've recommended --

           24          and we've been involved in a number of projects like

           25          this.  McKee Botanical Gardens used to be McKee


            1          Jungle Gardens.  TPL acquired that and conveyed it

            2          to a non-profit called the Indian River Land Trust. 

            3          They raised $9 million and transformed this old

            4          roadside attraction into an incredible botanical

            5          garden that's used for educational purposes now, 

            6          and it's a major success.

            7               Fairchild is another one in Miami.  Fairchild

            8          is owned by the City, but run by a non-profit that

            9          has 500 volunteers and in fact is very successful.

           10               So that was my recommendation to the County

           11          should they lose the management entity of the

           12          historic gardens.  And I think there's a number of

           13          people that have already contacted me about the

           14          prospect of putting together a friends group, a

           15          volunteer organization that would even help

           16          Mr. Buescher accomplish his goals.

           17               CFO GALLAGHER:  Because it's my understanding

           18          that it's 40 or 50 thousand dollars a month easy to

           19          keep that garden up.

           20               MR. CHELIUS:  Yes.  We've been picking up the

           21          tab, so you're right.  It's excessive.

           22               CFO GALLAGHER:  Well, what you've picked up,

           23          you're on the absolute minimum, from what I saw.  I

           24          mean, you've trimmed back some things, period.  It's

           25          got a long way to go to be -- you know, what your


            1          minimum is compared to what needs to be done to have

            2          it, you know, where it was.

            3               GOVERNOR BUSH:  All right.

            4               MR. CHELIUS:  And as you think about this, that

            5          is the amenity or part of the amenity, why people

            6          will come to Cypress Gardens and spend money.

            7               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  Governor, if I could

            8          ask, could you show us also the exact area of where

            9          -- of the total map, what is covered under the

           10          conservation easement?

           11               MR. CHELIUS:  Everything you see completely

           12          outlined in red.

           13               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  Okay.  So it is the

           14          whole piece of property.

           15               MR. CHELIUS:  The entire piece, yes. 

           16               Just before I leave the podium here, I would

           17          really like to thank a number of people, because

           18          this has been an incredible effort and partnership. 

           19          And I would certainly like to thank first the

           20          Friends of Cypress Gardens and Burma Posey, who has

           21          done an incredible job of really bringing this to

           22          the forefront.  I would like to thank --

           23               (Applause.)

           24               MR. CHELIUS:  I would like to thank Bob Gernert

           25          with the Chamber of Commerce in Winter Haven, and


            1          former Senator Rick Dantzler, both who have been

            2          great supporters of the project, along with Dick

            3          Pope, whose family actually began Cypress Gardens,

            4          and Mike Herr and the County Commission of Polk

            5          County.

            6               And I think the greatest partnership for me was

            7          the partnership with your Department of

            8          Environmental Protection professionals, that being

            9          Bob Ballard, Eva Armstrong, and Rob Lovern.  You've

           10          got a great staff there.

           11               So thank you very much, and --

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Greg, for all your

           13          hard work on this.

           14               MR. CHELIUS:  You bet.

           15               (Applause.)

           16               SENATOR DOCKERY:  Good morning.

           17               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning, Senator.  How are

           18          you doing?

           19               SENATOR DOCKERY:  I'm wonderful, thanks.  We

           20          don't spend enough time up here, so we thought we

           21          would come and visit you in our time off.

           22               I'm here as Chairman of the Polk legislative

           23          delegation.  And I know that in issues that affect a

           24          certain part of the state, although we do believe

           25          that the impacts of this will be statewide, but


            1          being from Imperial Polk County, we wanted to come

            2          in person, not send you a letter, but come in person

            3          and let you know that the entire Polk County

            4          delegation, all eight members, have been informally

            5          polled, and we all feel very strongly that we

            6          support this project, and want to let you know that

            7          we support it and urge your support as well.

            8               The actual Cypress Gardens property lies within

            9          Senator J. D. Alexander's district, and

           10          Representative Baxter Troutman, so they're going to

           11          follow me and get into more of the details of why

           12          it's important.  But I will tell you as the author

           13          of Florida Forever, I am aware that the parameters

           14          of how we wrote the legislation does include this as

           15          a viable reason for spending state funds for a

           16          conservation easement.  And as you know, especially

           17          Commissioner Bronson, I'm a big fan of conservation

           18          easements, so I love the fact that part of this

           19          deal, part of this partnership is using a

           20          conservation easement rather than fee simple.

           21               I will tell you that I'm proud of all the

           22          parties that got involved, from the community, to

           23          the Chamber, to the City, to the County, to the

           24          State.  This is truly a partnership.  You have

           25          county involvement, and you have state -- hopefully


            1          state involvement.  You have private industry

            2          involvement.  And then thank you to the Trust for

            3          Public Land for being the facilitator in bringing

            4          this all together.

            5               So I just urge your favorable support, and I'll

            6          turn it over to my good friend, Senator J. D.

            7          Alexander.

            8               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Senator.

            9               Good morning, Senator.

           10               SENATOR ALEXANDER:  Good morning, Governor and

           11          Cabinet.  How are you all today? 

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  We're fine.

           13               SENATOR ALEXANDER:  Thanks for all your work in

           14          trying to -- allowing your folks to move this

           15          forward, because we wouldn't even be here today

           16          discussing this if you hadn't allowed your folks the

           17          full latitude to consider things that are a bit out

           18          of the box from the normal way we do things.

           19               You know, when I first heard about this, I

           20          thought back to when I was a senior in high school

           21          and I went with my high school class -- actually,

           22          John Lorenz's mom took us, who you used to know, up

           23          to New York City.  And we rode the train and came

           24          into Grand Central Station.  And as we walked into

           25          the big main room of Grand Central Station, and


            1          there on a great big billboard was a beautiful

            2          picture of Cypress Gardens.

            3               You know, Cypress Gardens has been the heart

            4          and soul and a great advocate for the beauty of

            5          Florida for generations, and it is critically

            6          important to the people in my district.  I heard

            7          within days very clearly that the vast majority of

            8          my district wanted it to be preserved, and if

            9          possible, wanted to continue a theme park that would

           10          help with economic development in our area. 

           11               You know, there have been a lot of good ideas

           12          brought forward.  I am convinced that this is as

           13          solid a plan as we can have. 

           14               Governor and Cabinet, I know how closely you

           15          steward the funds of the State, and I certainly

           16          don't want to get into the State operating theme

           17          parks, but we've got someone here that's bringing

           18          real cash to the table to help make this thing work,

           19          and we would strongly urge your support of the

           20          project.

           21               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Senator.

           22               Representative.

           23               REPRESENTATIVE TROUTMAN:  Good morning,

           24          Governor and Cabinet.  I come to you today also to

           25          support this issue.  I guess I'm a little closer to


            1          the heart than most, in that I live less than a half

            2          a mile from the Gardens itself.

            3               There are some concerns.  You might hear some

            4          concerns with those testifying behind me in regard

            5          to noise or traffic concerns, but I might inform

            6          you, or remind you, rather, that the Gardens have

            7          been here for some 60 years.  Traffic and noise has

            8          been an issue in the past.  I have had extensive

            9          conversations with Mr. Buescher and with the County

           10          and with the City, and the local issues relative to

           11          these concerns will be dealt with, will be dealt

           12          with swiftly and promptly. 

           13               Goodness, I have to live in the area as well,

           14          so I don't necessarily want to live in the mess and

           15          the quagmire of that as well, but I believe that,

           16          with the rest of the delegation and the others

           17          coming behind me, that this is the best thing for

           18          Winter Haven.  The economic impact from the Gardens

           19          is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of

           20          $130 million to the City and to the County.  That's

           21          big business for Polk County.

           22               As I testified to you some three or four months

           23          ago, we don't have the luxury of being an Orlando

           24          with Disney World, or a Tampa with Busch Gardens,

           25          et cetera.  So this is very important to us, and I


            1          would humbly encourage your support as well. 

            2               Thank you.

            3               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Representative.

            4               MR. STRUHS:  Governor, just a personal point,

            5          if I might, very briefly.  When Senator Dockery and

            6          I, actually then Representative Dockery, worked on

            7          the Florida Forever program at your behest, we never

            8          would have imagined we would be using it for this

            9          fine public purpose. 

           10               But the other person who deserves special

           11          recognition from our point of view is J. D.

           12          Alexander.  This has been a very interesting process

           13          for us.  It's a little out of the ordinary.  And

           14          more than once we would find ourselves in Senator

           15          Alexander's office for moral support and wise

           16          counsel, and he has served us extremely well, and we

           17          thank him publicly for his support.

           18               Paul Senft is the County --

           19               GOVERNOR BUSH:  You better say something nice

           20          about Representative Troutman too, just in case --

           21               (Laughter.)

           22               GOVERNOR BUSH:  He has actually come to more of

           23          the meetings, I think, and shown his support, to his

           24          credit.  How about that?

           25               (Laughter.)


            1               MR. STRUHS:  The Governor scratched your back.

            2               With friends like you, Governor, he doesn't

            3          need my support.

            4               Paul Senft is the County Commissioner who came

            5          up from Polk County to speak to you this morning. 

            6          So if Mr. Senft would come forward, and Mike

            7          Easterling, the mayor of Winter Haven, and Howard

            8          Beckert, who is the president of the Chamber of

            9          Commerce.

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Commissioner.

           11               MR. SENFT:  Gentlemen, Paul Senft,

           12          Commissioner, District 4, Polk County.  It's my

           13          pleasure to be here and to tell you that our County

           14          Commission has wholeheartedly supported this

           15          arrangement.  We approve of the deal, and we're

           16          comfortable with the business plan that has been

           17          presented.  We've done the research on the zoning,

           18          and it certainly is applicable and fits in.  We're

           19          satisfied that the roller coasters and things that

           20          might be of concern in the neighborhood are going to

           21          be close to the road. 

           22               And there's no denying we need the economic

           23          impact in Polk County of 300 jobs at the Gardens

           24          rippling out into the community, and restaurants and

           25          hotels, to maybe 500 jobs the first year.  And those


            1          500 families need health insurance, which they'll be

            2          provided.  They need work, and we need that economic

            3          impact.  Spending $130 a day, the first year

            4          attendance, around a million people even before the

            5          40 million of capital improvements are in place,

            6          this will ripple through, about $130 million of

            7          economic impact into Polk County, and we need that.

            8               We do have discussions ongoing with the

            9          Citizens Trust to help operate it in the event

           10          things did not work out so the historic botanical

           11          gardens would be preserved. 

           12               And in doing my own due diligence, when we went

           13          up to see Mr. Buescher's park in Valdosta and spent

           14          the night in Madison, Florida, and talked to some

           15          sheriff's deputies and people there who are

           16          intimately familiar, because Madison, Florida, is a

           17          neighbor of his operation in Valdosta.  It's only

           18          about 30 minutes, 35 minutes away.  And they had

           19          nothing but praise for the Gardens, and the safety

           20          of leaving children there all day and coming and

           21          picking them up at night, that it's a fun family

           22          place and something that we would welcome into Polk

           23          County.

           24               I'll be available for any questions, and we

           25          appreciate your favorable consideration.


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Commissioner.

            2               MR. SENFT:  Thank you.

            3               MR. EASTERLING:  Good morning, Governor Bush

            4          and members of the Cabinet.  Before I get started --

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Can you say who you are before

            6          you get started?

            7               MR. EASTERLING:  I'm Mike Easterling, mayor of

            8          the City of Winter Haven.

            9               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Mayor.

           10               MR. EASTERLING:  Before I get started, I would

           11          like to recognize my traveling companions, the

           12          distinguished City Commissioner Nathaniel Birdsong,

           13          and my PIO officer, Derrick Featcher.  They were my

           14          traveling companions last night as we came up.

           15               As the mayor of Winter Haven, I know firsthand

           16          the economic and historical significance of Cypress

           17          Gardens.  After all, our community has been home to

           18          the theme park for the past 67 years.  And now,

           19          after months of uncertainty, we approach this

           20          historic day with the hope that a new vision for

           21          Cypress Gardens will mean the dawn of a new day of

           22          prosperity and preservation of the legacy created by

           23          Dick and Julie Pope.  What an adventure that must

           24          have been for two young people starting out, to

           25          build a legacy, to build an icon for the State of


            1          Florida, to build the first attraction in this

            2          state.  And we're grateful for the speed and

            3          determination that you as state officials have shown

            4          in pursuing the Gardens' preservation.

            5               Our community embraces and applauds the vision

            6          outlined by Mr. Kent Buescher.  He has met with city

            7          officials, county officials, state representatives,

            8          residents, and the business community.

            9               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Have you met Eva?  If you could

           10          close up, I would appreciate it. 

           11               MR. EASTERLING:  In wrapping up, I would like

           12          to say that more than 50 million people have visited

           13          Cypress Gardens since it opened on January 2, 1936,

           14          and we're ready for the next 50 million.  The

           15          citizens of Polk County and the people throughout

           16          Florida strongly support the preservation of the

           17          icon of Florida tourism.  So on behalf of the 26,000

           18          people of Winter Haven and the 500,000 people of

           19          Polk County, we would like for you to give special

           20          consideration for this project that will forever

           21          protect a Florida landmark, and ask that you welcome

           22          Kent Buescher to our business community.

           23               Thank you.

           24               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Mayor.  Thanks for

           25          coming up.


            1               MR. BECKERT:  Good morning, Governor Bush and

            2          Cabinet members.  I am Howard Beckert.  I am the

            3          president of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of

            4          Commerce.

            5               Our Chamber took steps to encourage the

            6          preservation of Cypress Gardens within hours of the

            7          announcement of its closing.  We are one of several

            8          organizations that publish your e-mail address.

            9               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

           10               (Laughter.)

           11               CFO GALLAGHER:  It worked.

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I really appreciate it.

           13               MR. EASTERLING:  In the weeks following the

           14          Gardens' closing, the Chamber received more than

           15          5,000 pieces of correspondence, both written and

           16          electronic, advocating the preservation of this

           17          landmark.  Our Chamber has invested untold hours in

           18          search of a solution that would save both the park

           19          and put people back to work.  Tourism is an

           20          important local economic engine, and Cypress Gardens

           21          made it so.

           22               On behalf of the Winter Haven business

           23          community, we are thrilled with Kent Buescher's plan

           24          to revitalize Cypress Gardens.  I have met with

           25          Mr. Buescher several times, including a recent


            1          community meeting where he presented his preliminary

            2          plans to over 300 residents.  He received two

            3          standing ovations.  Chamber representatives have

            4          been to Wild Adventures theme park.  We have met

            5          with elected officials and the local business

            6          community.  Mr. Buescher, we believe, represents

            7          family values, honesty, and integrity.  Our business

            8          community stands ready to help him be successful.

            9               I have for you today a letter from 10 past

           10          presidents of the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce

           11          endorsing the conservation easement and

           12          Mr. Buescher's plans.

           13               We are truly grateful our local and state

           14          elected officials, as well as your respective staff

           15          members, have moved so expeditiously with the best

           16          interests of Cypress Gardens a priority.  This will

           17          make a win-win situation for the State of Florida,

           18          Polk County, the City of Winter Haven, and many

           19          former employees. 

           20               Thank you.

           21               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, sir.  You hit it

           22          right on two minutes.

           23               MS. DALEY:  Good morning, Governor and Cabinet

           24          members.  My name is Nancy Daley.  I am the vice

           25          mayor of Lake Alford, but I'm here representing the


            1          employees of Cypress Gardens.  I worked there for 25

            2          years.  I was a skier for 22 years and worked my way

            3          through management.  I was the operations supervisor

            4          on the day that it closed.  My husband also worked

            5          there for 30 years, and my daughter had a summer job

            6          there, so we had a lot invested in the park.

            7               Basically, I want to thank you for letting it

            8          get this far and that we have the opportunity today

            9          to present the case for the conservation easement,

           10          because I think it's the very best way that this

           11          could be preserved in perpetuity, and no matter what

           12          happens from here on, that the conservation easement

           13          will be in place and we can know that this

           14          historical icon would remain intact.

           15               I know that you've gotten a lot of e-mails, and

           16          I have, and we realize that there's different views

           17          about how the Gardens should persevere.  But out of

           18          all the e-mails, I'm sure 99 percent of them all

           19          agreed that preservation was the key, to keep it

           20          going and not let it be a shopping mall or a power

           21          plant, so I think that the conservation easement

           22          vote today is important. 

           23               But I also traveled to Valdosta, and I saw the

           24          theme park there, and the comparisons to Cypress

           25          Gardens were really incredible.  The concerts and


            1          the animals and the shows, the ice show, there were

            2          so many things that were similar, and the way

            3          Cypress Gardens would have become if it had a chance

            4          to grow the way it was growing.  And in the days of

            5          great economics, we had fireworks every night and

            6          night events and shows, and I think that that could

            7          continue and be economically viable and employ a lot

            8          of people.

            9               I want to thank my former employees that came

           10          to support us today, a lot of my friends in the

           11          back.  It was really a long trip to come up, and I

           12          really appreciate their support.  And I want to

           13          thank you, and I hope that we have a positive

           14          outcome.

           15               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much for

           16          coming.

           17               MR. BUESCHER:  Governor Bush, members of the

           18          Cabinet, supporters of Cypress Gardens, it's an

           19          honor and a privilege to be here today.  My name is

           20          Kent Buescher, and I'm the president of Wild

           21          Adventures theme park in Valdosta and majority

           22          owner, also the owner of Adventure Radio Group,

           23          president of U.S. Press, and the CEO and majority

           24          owner of a new corporation that has been founded to

           25          purchase Cypress Gardens.


            1               In April, sadly, what seemed like the last

            2          chapter to Cypress Gardens' storied history was

            3          written.  But today we have the opportunity, with

            4          your support, to revitalize Cypress Gardens and

            5          reopen the book and write a brand new chapter that

            6          will branch into the future.

            7               Before I make my comments, I would like to

            8          thank a few folks who made the opportunity possible. 

            9          And I know I'm going to leave somebody out. 

           10               First of all, Greg Chelius and the Trust for

           11          Public Land.  There's no way, if TPL had not stepped

           12          forward early in the process, that we would have had

           13          the time that we do today to reach this agreement.

           14               The local Polk County government officials,

           15          the County Commissioners, the Winter Haven mayor,

           16          and the City Commission, the Polk County manager and

           17          his staff, the Winter Haven city manager and staff,

           18          Bob Gernert and the Winter Haven Chamber of

           19          Commerce, Rick Dantzler and the Chamber Task Force,

           20          all the folks at the DEP, from David, Bob, Eva, Rob

           21          -- I know Sandra Stockwell worked so hard on this

           22          easement -- and just the entire staff who have been

           23          supportive from the very early days.  When I

           24          couldn't get an appointment early on, they helped me

           25          do that, and I am appreciative for all of their


            1          efforts.  The former employees of Cypress Gardens

            2          who have been so supportive, all those involved in

            3          the grass roots effort, the residents of Polk County

            4          and Winter Haven who have welcomed me so many

            5          times.  Dick Pope, Jr., my new friend who sent his

            6          airplane up even to pick me up to make sure I could

            7          make a meeting when our schedule was tight.  They

            8          have all made me feel like a member of their family.

            9          I would also like to thank my family, our 500 plus

           10          employees and staff members of Wild Adventures. 

           11               And finally, I would like to thank Burma Davis

           12          Posey and the Friends of Cypress Gardens who helped

           13          get this effort going.  While it's true today that

           14          we may have differences of opinion about how we go

           15          forward, we all want the same thing, and that is to

           16          see Cypress Gardens saved, preserved, and reopened.

           17               I'm not going to bore you with the details of

           18          our plans to make Cypress Gardens relevant once

           19          again to today's families, but I will make the

           20          following promise and pledge:  We will be a good

           21          steward to Cypress Gardens and its legacy.  We will

           22          preserve the essence of what Cypress Gardens means

           23          to all those with fond memories.  We will honor the

           24          legacy of Cypress Gardens founders, Dick and Julie

           25          Pope. 


            1               We will totally restore and revitalize the

            2          park.  To that end, we will spend $36 million in new

            3          improvements and attractions in the first 18 months

            4          of our ownership alone, and we commit to spend 3 to

            5          $5 million annually thereafter to invest in a new

            6          Cypress Gardens.  We intend to bring families,

            7          young families back to Cypress Gardens, and we

            8          intend to restore all those jobs that were lost when

            9          Cypress Gardens closed. 

           10               We pledge to honor the contract with Espan

           11          Tanburg and Southern Breeze Cruises, and we will

           12          work with him to make sure that he can continue to

           13          operate during the renovations.

           14               And finally, we pledge and promise to be a good

           15          neighbor and a good corporate citizen to all those

           16          in the State of Florida.

           17               I thank you for your support and look forward

           18          to beginning a brand new venture. 

           19               (Applause.)

           20               MR. BUESCHER:  I'm deeply humbled by all the

           21          support.  And every time I've been down there,

           22          that's what I've received, and I've got to tell you,

           23          I've got a lot of folks standing behind me.

           24               GOVERNOR BUSH:  There are a lot of people that

           25          are -- you know, that want this to succeed for


            1          economic development purposes, but I think for our

            2          heritage, and the cultural resource here is

            3          something that's significant.  And Greg's right, 

            4          only in Florida would this be a cultural resource,

            5          perhaps, but that's what distinguishes us.  And, you

            6          know, we live in paradise, and everybody else

            7          doesn't, so I don't feel bad about that at all. 

            8               But I do have a question for you which --

            9               MR. BUESCHER:  Sure.

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- relates to the financing of

           11          this.  It's a fairly unusual move for the Trust for

           12          Public Land to extend itself -- I mean, I don't know

           13          how much money they have, but normally they are an

           14          intermediary where a contract is assigned, and they

           15          don't take $7 million of risk, and I was curious to

           16          know why they had to.

           17               MR. BUESCHER:  Well, it's real simple.  Our

           18          primary lender is GE Capital, and they've pledged to

           19          support us in this project.  We also have two

           20          private equity firms that have pledged to support us

           21          as well and have issued written commitment letters

           22          to TPL with a takeout on June the 23rd.

           23               The problem is, there's so many things that

           24          have to be done to make this deal work, and we have

           25          less than 30 days for them to do their due diligence


            1          and all of those things to verify that --

            2               GOVERNOR BUSH:  This may answer my question. 

            3          The Trust for Public Land has a takeout letter.

            4               MR. BUESCHER:  Yes, they do.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  You should have mentioned that,

            6          Greg.

            7               MR. CHELIUS:  I know, and I --

            8               (Laughter.)

            9               MR. BUESCHER:  They do have a takeout letter. 

           10          And substantially, I'm the one at risk to be able to

           11          make this happen, so I'm committed.

           12               CFO GALLAGHER:  Now, I just want you to know,

           13          these wonderful people out here that are applauding

           14          you, if you don't close that deal with that 35

           15          million, they'll be right out here, and it will be

           16          the other way around.

           17               MR. BUESCHER:  I know exactly where I'll be.

           18               CFO GALLAGHER:  I just want to forewarn you.

           19               Let me ask you, you mentioned the Southern

           20          Breeze, that, one, you will carry out the existing

           21          contract with them.

           22               MR. BUESCHER:  Yes.

           23               CFO GALLAGHER:  And number two, you will let

           24          them operate while you're improving the park; is

           25          that correct?


            1               MR. BUESCHER:  That's correct.  And that will

            2          take some dancing, and I'm aware of that, but I will

            3          work with Espan to make sure that we can provide a

            4          safe route to his facility within the park, and

            5          we'll make sure we find a way to do that.

            6               CFO GALLAGHER:  Okay.  Because him sitting --

            7               MR. BUESCHER:  Oh, I understand that if he were

            8          forced to close for the three or four months it's

            9          going to take for us to get this job done, it would

           10          be detrimental to him, and we would never do that.

           11               CFO GALLAGHER:  And he has pretty much been

           12          closed for quite a while now, so --

           13               MR. BUESCHER:  I understand that. 

           14               CFO GALLAGHER:  Okay.

           15               MR. BUESCHER:  We hope to get him back in

           16          business quickly.

           17               CFO GALLAGHER:  Great.

           18               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Any other questions? 

           19               Thank you, sir.

           20               MR. BUESCHER:  Thank you very much.

           21               MR. TANBURG:  Good morning.  My name is Espan

           22          Tanburg.  I am the owner of the Southern Breeze

           23          dinner cruise ship.  It is a honor to address you

           24          fine gentlemen this morning.

           25               Basically, we have a dinner cruise ship, and


            1          needless to say, I am very supportive to get Cypress

            2          Gardens reopened for my own benefit, of course, but

            3          for the community as well.  Originally I am from

            4          Norway, and Polk County was known by Cypress Gardens

            5          overseas, always has been, and it has a very, very

            6          important place in history, and I'm glad you guys

            7          are recognizing that.

            8               I am glad to hear Mr. Buescher's willingness to

            9          work with us.  That has been a great concern to us,

           10          what our future entails.  My background -- by the

           11          way, this is the Southern Breeze, by the way.  I

           12          know it's no Queen Mary, but it is the Queen Mary of

           13          Polk County.  And my background is actually in the

           14          cruise industry, which has done a tremendous job to

           15          promote Florida as well.

           16               GOVERNOR BUSH:  The Queen Mary II would violate

           17          the height restrictions in Polk County.  Since it's

           18          23 stories tall, I'm not sure that it would be

           19          appropriate either.

           20               MR. TANBURG:  You're probably correct.  But my

           21          background is in the cruise industry, and that has

           22          been a tremendous industry for Florida as well.

           23               My concern, of course, they're held to a very

           24          high standard here, having to place bonds and really

           25          take care of the Florida businesses when they come


            1          in here, meaning they can't leave town leaving

            2          bills, not paying their due share.  They can't

            3          collect the passengers' money without placing bonds. 

            4          The government, both on the federal and state side,

            5          have been very adamant about that.  But yet they

            6          have brought millions of people into this economy,

            7          which is great.

            8               And my concern, obviously, as a big investor in

            9          Cypress Gardens, is our future.  And many issues

           10          were touched upon today, with your consumer

           11          protection program and everything else, and growing

           12          rates of bankruptcy --

           13               MS. ARMSTRONG:  You need to wrap up.

           14               MR. TANBURG:  I'm sorry.  I'm wrapping up. 

           15          Quickly, you know, when all this public money is

           16          handed over, I hope that anyone hurt by Cypress

           17          Gardens will be recognized and that this money won't

           18          disappear in a quick fashion, which will leave a lot

           19          of people hanging.  We have honored passes.  We have

           20          honored gift certificates sold by Cypress Gardens on

           21          our boat and never been paid for it, and many other

           22          problems, and I hope that can work itself out.  I am

           23          enthused by what I heard from Mr. Buescher today. 

           24               I thank you for your time this morning.

           25               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you for being here.


            1               CFO GALLAGHER:  Governor and fellow members,

            2          just to tell you how interested he was to come up

            3          here, he made sure his wife had their baby boy

            4          yesterday so that he could be here today. 

            5          Congratulations.

            6               (Applause.)

            7               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Okay.  Now we're going to

            8          switch to those that have some concerns with this

            9          plan.  David Siegel, Burma Posey, and Ed Houston are

           10          the first three up.

           11               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning, David.

           12               MR. SIEGEL:  Good morning.

           13               It's very symbolic that this is going to be

           14          Florida Heritage Month, because that's what we're

           15          trying to do.  We're trying to save, what I heard,

           16          the heart and soul of Florida's heritage here.

           17               This distinguished Cabinet voted a few months

           18          ago to save all of Cypress Gardens.  Well, you're

           19          not saving all of Cypress Gardens.  First of all,

           20          you're not saving the Cypress Gardens that we all

           21          know and love.  You're not saving all of it either. 

           22          You're not saving the point that was illegally

           23          cleared.  You're not saving the whole frontage along

           24          Cypress Gardens Boulevard, which is going to become

           25          fast food restaurants and gift shops.  And if you


            1          can imagine, coming here this morning, I tried to

            2          envision what the Capitol would look like if it was

            3          surrounded by McDonald's and Wendy's and gift shops

            4          and businesses of that nature.  So you're only

            5          saving part of what you said you were going to save,

            6          not all of Cypress Gardens. 

            7               The State is paying $11 million for Cypress

            8          Gardens.  You could pay a few more millions of

            9          dollars, and the State could own Cypress Gardens

           10          forever and take it out of private ownership.  You

           11          could use the money from those unclaimed treasures

           12          that you're talking about.  I heard numbers of $75

           13          million.  For another 8 or $9 million, the State

           14          could own Cypress Gardens, and then the State could

           15          decide what happens to it.

           16               You know, I heard Fairfield Gardens.  Can you

           17          imagine Fairfield Gardens in Miami with roller

           18          coasters and a carnival?  That's what Cypress

           19          Gardens is going to be.  It's going to be a

           20          carnival, roller coasters, ferris wheels, a lot of

           21          noise, fireworks.  I would hate to be a resident

           22          living within a mile of the Cypress Gardens area.

           23               You all heard my plans.  I don't need to go

           24          into those any further.  I wanted to take Cypress

           25          Gardens --


            1               MS. ARMSTRONG:  You need to wrap up.

            2               MR. SIEGEL:  Okay.  Whooo. 

            3               I heard Cypress Gardens described as another

            4          amusement park.  If that's the way people feel about

            5          Cypress Gardens, I feel sorry for them.  It's a lot

            6          more than that.  It is our culture.

            7               One final thought.  I have five small children

            8          under seven.  I really feel bad that they'll never

            9          see the Cypress Gardens that my family and I

           10          enjoyed.

           11               Thank you.

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, David. 

           13               (Applause.)

           14               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Burma.  And can we have Ed

           15          Houston come on up?  If we can get you up here, it

           16          will speed things along a little bit.  We have a lot

           17          of people that want to speak.  So Ed Houston and

           18          Sylvia Hitchcock Carson, if you'll come on up,

           19          please.  You can come on up.  And we'll have you

           20          sit, but if you'll be close to the podium, it saves

           21          that walking time for us.  That would be great. 

           22          Thanks.

           23               MS. POSEY:  Governor Bush, Treasurer

           24          Gallagher, Commissioner Bronson, and Attorney

           25          General Crist, good morning.  My name is Burma Davis


            1          Posey.  I'm the founder and president of the Friends

            2          of Cypress Gardens.  And seeing those goodies on the

            3          table, I think that one of your future destinations

            4          for auctioning those should be at Cypress Gardens,

            5          and it should be a fundraiser.

            6               We were incorporated to assist the State in

            7          saving the very cradle of Florida tourism.  People

            8          care so passionately about Cypress Gardens that our

            9          1,200 members now include people from 117 cities in

           10          Florida, all 50 states, as well as Australia,

           11          Brazil, Burma, Canada, Egypt, England, Germany,

           12          Holland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales,

           13          and Switzerland.  Our state could not create

           14          something that would bring so much positive public

           15          relations such as has been created by the beauty and

           16          the peaceful serenity of Cypress Gardens for almost

           17          seven decades.

           18               We greatly appreciate all the hard work that

           19          you've contributed to this very difficult decision. 

           20          Almost every person in this room is here for the

           21          same reason.  We all want to see Cypress Gardens

           22          saved.  Where we differ is how that should be

           23          accomplished.  We've been working for nine long

           24          months in this effort.  The majority of our members

           25          are throughout the nation, including some former


            1          employees, and the majority of our members are

            2          passionately opposed to adding roller coasters to

            3          Cypress Gardens. 

            4               Some of our members are former employees, and

            5          lately they've been filled with a fear that their

            6          only option is to allow Mr. Buescher to buy the park

            7          and put in roller coasters.  This horrendous fear

            8          tactic has frightened the people who have been out

            9          of work for nine long months, and for some of the

           10          state officials, it has also frightened them as

           11          well.  These wonderful employees have been hurting,

           12          and they're desperate.  Many have called me, and

           13          they really don't care who gets the park -- they

           14          just want to get their jobs back.  We understand

           15          their position, and we respect their position. 

           16               My comments today are a composite of the views

           17          expressed by the majority in our organization.

           18               Today you're being asked to contribute $11

           19          million to a plan that will destroy the essence of

           20          what made Cypress Gardens special in the first

           21          place, and it will turn it into yet another thrill

           22          ride amusement park.  The loud noise from the roller

           23          coasters, and especially the loud noise from the

           24          screams of the people riding the roller coasters

           25          would destroy the very integrity and the serenity


            1          that made the Gardens what they've been for seven

            2          decades.  Gone would be the peace and tranquility

            3          which she became famous for.  In would be loud

            4          colors, noise, and a 18-minute nightly show that

            5          could include lights, sounds, and fireworks, all

            6          this in the middle of an old established

            7          neighborhood of shocked, unsuspecting homeowners. 

            8               We believe this buyer is willing to carry the

            9          burden of maintaining the 30 acres of the famous

           10          original gardens, the ski show, and the belles

           11          simply so he can have a thrill ride park in Florida,

           12          with the bonus of having a famous name to draw

           13          people in.

           14               There are hundreds of amusement parks all over

           15          the country.  I would challenge you to name 10 that

           16          are under 150 acres.  Yet everywhere I go and ask,

           17          people have heard of, if they haven't personally

           18          visited, Cypress Gardens, and it's because it's

           19          different.  It's old Florida.  And once it's gone,

           20          it's gone forever.  It's the historical heritage

           21          that our Secretary of State, Glenda Hood, was

           22          talking about. 

           23               The Friends of Cypress Gardens have worked

           24          night and day for nine months to save this park. 

           25          And, Governor Bush, we didn't work this hard to have


            1          it desecrated with loud thrill ride noises and turn

            2          it into another ordinary amusement park.  To us,

            3          this would be desecrating this environmental spot,

            4          just as much, if not more, than a development

            5          itself.

            6               Mr. Buescher will be getting $11 million from

            7          the State, $2-1/2 from the County, and a $7 million

            8          loan from the Florida Trust.  We think that it's

            9          interesting that he's having to get this loan from

           10          the Trust instead of securing his own financing, and

           11          we're concerned that if he's having difficulty

           12          getting financing for $7 million, how in the world

           13          does he expect to get the 35 million that he has

           14          promised to put into the park the first year?  And

           15          all of this is being promised and done before the

           16          contract signing.  That's a pretty good deal when

           17          someone is putting up 13-1/2 million and you're not

           18          having to put in anything.

           19               It has been widely reported that Cypress

           20          Gardens closed because of numbers resulting from

           21          9/11.  We don't believe this entire story.  The

           22          owner-developer saw this sacred treasure as a gold

           23          mine for lakefront and commercial real estate.

           24               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Your time is up.

           25               MS. POSEY:  Okay.  I wanted to show the


            1          picture.  Okay.  Nothing speaks louder than

            2          pictures, so I would like to with the overhead show

            3          you some pictures. 

            4               This is Cypress Gardens.  This is the spring

            5          flower festival she's known for.  Millions of people

            6          have come in for the spring flower festival.

            7               This is the fall festival, the same thing. 

            8          Millions come in in the fall.

            9               In this picture, we have an international

           10          wildlife sculpture exhibit, and we have an Italian

           11          fountain.

           12               These are the belles, the famous belles that

           13          Cypress Gardens has become known for.

           14               And, of course, these are the world champion

           15          skiers, the best skiers in the world.

           16               On the other hand, this is Wild Adventures. 

           17          This is Wild Adventures, the roller coasters, the

           18          rides, rides, rides.  This -- you can turn it around

           19          sideways.  This is their dockside game room. 

           20          Everything from there was concrete.  From the time

           21          you walked in, it was concreted throughout the park,

           22          right up to the metal buildings and the wood

           23          buildings.  That has nothing to do with grass and

           24          gardens and waterfalls.  These are some of their

           25          buildings, classy, flashy yellow buildings.  This is


            1          a restaurant.  Metal is metal.  This is a rest

            2          room.  This is the rest room itself being held up by

            3          2-by-2 sticks.  This is another restaurant.  This is

            4          the silo that's their main sign, Wild Adventures. 

            5          This is their lake with dark inky water that has

            6          been polluted by their fireworks, and the dead

            7          trees.  This is their midway.  This is the entrance

            8          to the zoo.  You walk between the ice machine and a

            9          wagon.  They have a lot of signs, a lot of things.

           10               When we look at these, and we heard the young

           11          lady say Cypress Gardens reminded her of Wild

           12          Adventures, we thought, "What part reminded her?" 

           13          Cypress Gardens and this have nothing to do with it.

           14               In closing, when we were here in August,

           15          Governor Bush, you said some very nice things about

           16          my mother, who is 81 years old.  Everyone loves and

           17          greatly admires your mother as well.  We want to

           18          join, and we want to make this a Smithsonian of the

           19          South, and we want to make it the greatest field

           20          trip destination.  The collection of Gone with the

           21          Wind is worth $66 million.  That cost three times as

           22          much as the park itself, and we want to make this a

           23          depository of great collections.  So if Barbara Bush

           24          were here today, how do you think she would vote? 

           25          Would Mrs. Bush vote for supporting an establishment


            1          of something that's going to enrich and educate

            2          millions of children in the future, or would she

            3          vote to make this just another roller coaster park?

            4               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I'm ready to throw the penalty

            5          flag up. 

            6               MS. POSEY:  Governor Bush, we would like to

            7          join you making this one of the great educational

            8          projects, and so our request to you is that in

            9          addition to giving the $14-1/2 million that you're

           10          allowed to give from Florida Forever, we ask that

           11          you get the remainder of the cost of the park from

           12          the education budget and have the State of Florida

           13          buy this entire project so that Cypress Gardens can

           14          be a state park and be owned by all of the citizens

           15          of Florida.  We have a man who would run it, so we

           16          want you to buy the entire park, and that's our

           17          request. 

           18               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, Burma. 

           19               MS. POSEY:  Thank you.

           20               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you for being here.

           21               (Applause.)

           22               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.

           23               MR. HOUSTON:  Okay.  My name is Ed Houston.  I

           24          live on Lake Summit.  I'm about three houses up from

           25          the boat dock, if anybody knows that area.  I've


            1          been there for 25 years, and like all old people, I

            2          have a fondness for my lake and my home.  I love it,

            3          and my only reason for being here is to protect it.

            4               I would like to talk a little bit about

            5          pollution.  I've got a picture up there of a boat

            6          trip through the canal by the city people on May --

            7          I think it was May 10th.  And guess who led this

            8          thing?  It was my buddy back here who I'm sure is

            9          staring at me and glaring at me, Mayor Mike

           10          Easterling, and my buddy Rick Dantzler.  And I'm

           11          serious about that.  Mike is a member of my church,

           12          and he's usually collecting the offering.  And I sit

           13          on the opposite side of the church from him because

           14          I'm afraid he's going to hit me over the head with a

           15          hymn book when he comes by.

           16               GOVERNOR BUSH:  He wouldn't do that.

           17               MR. HOUSTON:  You know, I think he's a great

           18          guy.  I've heard his message probably a dozen times

           19          this summer, this year while we've been up to it. 

           20          He does a very good job of making his case.  Rick is

           21          a tremendous organizer, and I have high respect for

           22          both of them.

           23               Okay.  I want to talk about how we have

           24          pollution in the lakes.  I've got another picture

           25          here of this group.


            1               MS. ARMSTRONG:  I'll do it for you.  You need

            2          to keep talking.  You're running out of time.

            3               MR. HOUSTON:  Okay.  This little presentation

            4          was in The Ledger, and I want to read from it.

            5               "'People must remember and understand how

            6          important the lakes are to us,' said Mayor Mike

            7          Easterling.  'It's not just for recreation's sake,

            8          but it's for our future.'" 

            9               And over here when these people that looked at

           10          the potential damage in their lakes, one of them

           11          said, "Hey, we've got to spend a lot of money to fix

           12          this up."  And this picture here -- I'll put it back

           13          here -- is a picture of what the environmentalist

           14          did in that trip.  He took a piece of Lucite tubing

           15          two inches in diameter about eight feet long, and he

           16          drove it down into the bottom of the lake, and he

           17          came up with samples of sludge in those lakes from

           18          six feet to 12 feet in depth, showing the damage

           19          that has been done in the lake in the middle of the

           20          city.  And the situation that exists is that the

           21          city lakes are totally contaminated up to the border

           22          of our blessed lakes, Lake Eloise and Lake Summit. 

           23          And our concern is what are we going to do to stop

           24          that or slow it down in our lakes up here. 

           25               And I would like to list some reasons why I


            1          think that what we're planning to do is going to

            2          accelerate the pollution that exists now and in the

            3          future.  The new rides that are being put in are on

            4          the top of a hill right across from my home.  And

            5          those rides being up there will cause the

            6          contamination that causes the pollution of the lakes

            7          and the sludge that builds up.

            8               MS. ARMSTRONG:  You're out time.

            9               MR. HOUSTON:  Okay. 

           10               MS. ARMSTRONG:  You're out of time.

           11               MR. HOUSTON:  Okay.

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  You think you could wrap it up?

           13               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Thank you very much.

           14               GOVERNOR BUSH:  No, go ahead and wrap it up. 

           15          You can just summarize your thoughts.  No reason to

           16          finish without finishing a sentence here.

           17               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Summarize with one sentence. 

           18          Okay? 

           19               MR. HOUSTON:  Okay.  I've got about six cases

           20          here.  I'll try to make --

           21               (Laughter.)

           22               MR. HOUSTON:  The new water park, we -- 

           23               GOVERNOR BUSH:  If you could just summarize

           24          your --

           25               MR. HOUSTON:  -- have a map that shows that


            1          right across from my lake that Kent is going to

            2          build a water park across there.  There's going to

            3          be a chute to drive all this pollution right down

            4          into the lake.  That's just one case.  I've got

            5          about -- I've got about six more in there.

            6               GOVERNOR BUSH:  By the way, I think that's a

            7          point to bring up, and I assume that all of the

            8          modifications to the park will have to go through

            9          the development process, and this has kind of the

           10          flavor of a local City Commission meeting where

           11          probably -- and County Commission meeting where

           12          probably you'll have your chance to express those

           13          opinions, and the County will be obligated to make

           14          sure that this development doesn't degrade the water

           15          quality.  That's really not our business here. 

           16          You'll have your shot, though, I promise you.

           17               Just make sure you don't get hit by the Bible

           18          before then.

           19               (Laughter.)

           20               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Okay.  We have --

           21               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you for coming, sir.

           22               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Sylvia Hitchcock Carson is

           23          next, and then if Leslie Sakhaee will -- Sakhaee --

           24          I'm messing up your name.  I'm so sorry.  I did that

           25          the last time you were here too.  If you'll come on


            1          up, Leslie, and Patti Mills.

            2               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning.

            3               MS. CARSON:  Good morning, Governor Bush.

            4               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Nice to see you again.

            5               MS. CARSON:  Good to see you too.

            6               Well, for those of you that may not know me, I

            7          have lived in Florida for -- let's see.  I moved

            8          from Massachusetts when I was three years old.  I

            9          grew up in Miami.  And I explained to the Cabinet

           10          before that I lived there when the banyan trees were

           11          lining U.S. 1, when we had pine trees and coconut

           12          trees, and how all these things are now diminished

           13          for progress.

           14               I lived in Winter Haven for eight years.  I'm a

           15          model.  I was Miss Universe of 1967 and represented

           16          the United States as Miss U.S.A also, and Miss

           17          Alabama.  I'm a person that -- I'm an artist, and I

           18          appreciate nature.  I appreciate the fact that Julie

           19          and Dick Pope did what they did to preserve the

           20          heart of Florida.  The commercials I did there I was

           21          always so proud of.  And I can't help but think of

           22          the weddings, receptions, and all sorts of beautiful

           23          events that went on there and memories of many, many

           24          people.  But now, if we have roller coasters, I

           25          can't even imagine having a wedding or anything


            1          there.  I can't imagine sitting there and trying to

            2          go through a ceremony and hearing the roller

            3          coasters.

            4               I spent two days up in Valdosta, and

            5          unfortunately, I was unable to edit my video.  But I

            6          was told at one of the meetings which I took my

            7          grandchild to that Wild Adventures sits in the

            8          middle of a residential area similar to Winter

            9          Haven.  There's no way.  I saw a peacock in one

           10          yard.  There's cabbage fields.  It's a farmland

           11          area.  From Valdosta, I have plat here from the

           12          appraiser's office that shows an aerial view.  There

           13          are very few homes.  It's mainly all agricultural.

           14               And then the ironic thing of it all is when he

           15          said nobody ever complained.  I drove up, and no

           16          offense, but the first thing I saw was a cemetery,

           17          and I thought, "Those people, yes, they're not going

           18          to hear it," in all respect to them.  But that's

           19          about all that was there.

           20               MS. ARMSTRONG:  You need to wrap it up.

           21               MS. CARSON:  But today I come to you to say

           22          that this could be a source for education, just like

           23          -- we could talk about and educate our kids and have

           24          a place there as an ambassador of getting knowledge

           25          to our children today. 


            1               And I feel Cypress Gardens, and I feel Dick

            2          Pope also, he never -- roller coasters -- and I will

            3          stop with this.  To me, roller coasters have been

            4          alive.  I've been there ever since Dick Pope was

            5          there.  He was a great giant of marketing industry. 

            6          If he thought roller coasters was the answer for it,

            7          then I think he would have had it.

            8               And in all my travels, I can't imagine going to

            9          Niagara Falls and finding a roller coaster.  I don't

           10          think it would be needed.  And just like in Winter

           11          Haven at Cypress Gardens, I think we need to keep

           12          the serenity and tranquility that Dick Pope and

           13          Julie Pope hoped to preserve.

           14               Thank you.

           15               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much for being

           16          here. 

           17               (Applause.)

           18               GOVERNOR BUSH: 

           19               MS. SAKHAEE:  Good morning.  My name is Leslie

           20          Sakhaee.  I'm a 34-year resident of Polk County,

           21          Florida.  I'm also a former employee of Cypress

           22          Gardens.  I too want my job back, but not at the

           23          compromise of the natural part of Cypress Gardens. 

           24          I would like to see it preserved as a natural

           25          habitat.


            1               I would like to say that I have always been

            2          raised with the mind-set of getting at least three

            3          legitimate bids before making a large purchase.  I

            4          consider $11 million a very significant purchase. 

            5          Unfortunately, the TPL has only been able to provide

            6          you with one offer today.

            7               I understand that when a position with the

            8          state or county government becomes available, the

            9          position is posted for all to apply.  If the

           10          screened applicant does not meet the requirements

           11          for the position, the position is simply reposted

           12          until the appropriate individual with the proper

           13          credentials is found.

           14               We are all here today to personally witness

           15          your critical decision regarding the future of this

           16          beloved theme park.  I simply stand before you with

           17          one question:  Would any of you sitting in your

           18          position today honestly make an $11 million purchase

           19          using taxpayers' money without getting at least

           20          three legitimate bids to base a sound decision?

           21               Please, Governor Bush, use your power to stop

           22          Maxwell's threats of bulldozing.  Repost the

           23          position.  Personally, I do not think that giving 11

           24          million plus tax dollars to build a roller coaster

           25          on a sinkhole is a sound judgment call.


            1               Thank you.

            2               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you for being here.

            3               (Applause.)

            4               MS. MILLS:  Good morning, Governor Bush.  I'm

            5          Patti Mills.  I'm a Florida tile artist.  We built

            6          -- my sons and I built the Italian water garden, 

            7          and that's how I initially got involved in it. 

            8               I see this -- I see Cypress Gardens as our

            9          heritage, as our history.  We have someone here from

           10          Florida that will invest money in Cypress Gardens. 

           11          I don't know a whole lot about financing, but when I

           12          go -- I would like to buy it, and if you'll loan me

           13          7 million, I would be happy to do that.

           14               I see money being moved around, but I also see

           15          the State of Florida being able to come in, delay

           16          this process, and actually purchase this property,

           17          then put in someone knowledgeable that has the funds

           18          to run it.

           19               You surround yourself with very intelligent

           20          men.  I met David Siegel three months ago, and I

           21          could see that he is truly interested in Florida and

           22          reclaiming this.  He's just another Dick Pope.  He's

           23          another Walt Disney.  His heart is here.  He has

           24          been here.  He is not interested in developing this

           25          property as condos or timeshares, and he has already


            1          promised us that.  Mr. Kessler is also interested. 

            2          These men know Florida.  

            3               So I'm just pleading with you to make the

            4          decision -- either make the decision later or -- I'm

            5          not standing up here in a suit.  I'm up here in this

            6          silly red T-shirt, but my heart is from Florida.  So

            7          I thank you, and I know you'll do the will of God.

            8               Thank you.

            9               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you for being here.

           10               (Applause.)

           11               MS. KIEKHAEFER:  Good morning. 

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning.

           13               MS. KIEKHAEFER:  Governor Bush and Cabinet, I'm

           14          Anita Kiekhaefer.  My father brought in Mercury

           15          outboard motors manufacturing in Florida.  As you

           16          know, we had a part in Cypress Gardens from the time

           17          that Dick Pope, Sr. was there and he brought in the

           18          engines and we were part of the show.  I was the

           19          youngest employee of Cypress Gardens in 1952.

           20               I live on Lake Eloise closest to Cypress

           21          Gardens and right next to Swan Point.  I'm in the

           22          epicenter of all this that's developing today. 

           23               I know that you are going to make a great

           24          decision and will make history regarding the new

           25          owners of the Gardens affecting most of us and all


            1          of Winter Haven.

            2               I've lived on the lakes around Cypress Gardens

            3          at least 57 years.  We were always a part of the

            4          scene and the icon, and we are quite familiar with

            5          the environmental as well as the tourism that came,

            6          and so much of it is a great memory for us.  We

            7          couldn't be more privileged to be in the area.

            8               We certainly know that this is going to be a

            9          great day, and we know that this is all that we

           10          stand for, because we want to preserve the icon that

           11          we want all to preserve.

           12               However, as a taxpayer and a resident of Winter

           13          Haven, I would just like to see a little more

           14          emphasis on the conservation easement applied to the

           15          Gardens.  I know that, Governor Bush, you have

           16          started the Florida spring initiative, and I'm very

           17          thrilled at your program.  However, I would like to

           18          see this being applied even to the local level, and

           19          I would like to see especially that we would have

           20          the opportunity to take part and cooperate with each

           21          one of you to make this a viable thing.

           22               I would like to know -- because I have lived at

           23          the Gardens, I have experienced excessive noise and

           24          pollution.  However, I would not want to make this

           25          to be a negative point, because I don't think --


            1          that comes with any show, and it comes with any

            2          attraction.  But I would like to just point out the

            3          excesses, and anything that could be corrected,

            4          which I know can be done.  We've had noise

            5          pollution.

            6               MS. ARMSTRONG:  You need to wrap up, please.

            7               MS. KIEKHAEFER:  All right.  I just wanted to

            8          say that I want to be sure that we are addressing

            9          these problems.  I live in the environment next to

           10          Swan Point, which was completely torn down.  I have

           11          personally photographed and documented 100 pictures

           12          of the progress and the chemical contamination that

           13          has taken place by the owner of the Gardens.  And I

           14          would just like to say that if we do anything at

           15          all, make any decision, we would like to take this

           16          into consideration and have a complete environmental

           17          study, phase 1 and 2, to be made of every part of

           18          the park that's going to be vitally affected,

           19          particularly the horticultural section.

           20               GOVERNOR BUSH:  If you could wrap it up, ma'am.

           21               MS. KIEKHAEFER:  Therefore, I would like to

           22          make a decision to really sit down and consider that

           23          until we have a full environmental impact statement. 

           24          Thank you.

           25               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much.


            1               (Applause.)

            2               MS. McCARTY:  My name is Jana McCarty.  I live

            3          within 500 feet of Cypress Gardens. 

            4               I want to see the 30 acres preserved.  I want

            5          to see the 130 easement in conservation preserved.

            6               I do have concerns about the impact of a Wild

            7          Adventures type theme park, with its noise from

            8          concerts, roller coasters, and a water park, on the

            9          peace and quiet and the property values of the

           10          nearby homes.  I am concerned that the County does

           11          not appear to be putting safeguards in place to

           12          protect the neighbors through the planning and

           13          permitting processes.  This is evidenced by

           14          Administrative Determination AD-0401, which you can

           15          see on-line at  I am concerned about

           16          traffic congestion and parking shortages under the

           17          current plan, with 10 acres of land removed from the

           18          Gardens purchase and used for shopping centers.

           19               I am for jobs for the local economy.  I do not

           20          want the Gardens to be made into residential

           21          development by Mr. Maxwell.  I ask that you

           22          entertain Mr. Kessler's offer to buy and

           23          Mr. Siegel's offer to lease from the State if the

           24          State buys, if there's any way that you can

           25          encourage Mr. Maxwell to continue negotiations or by


            1          buying the entire park yourselves.

            2               I encourage all involved in this process to

            3          refrain from sending belligerent e-mails and making

            4          belligerent comments about each other.  We're all

            5          concerned about Cypress Gardens.

            6               Thank you.

            7               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much.

            8               (Applause.)

            9               MR. POSEY:  Good morning.

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Good morning.

           11               MR. POSEY:  I'm Jim Posey.  As Burma mentioned,

           12          we are here to represent the Friends of Cypress

           13          Gardens.  And as Burma mentioned, there are members

           14          of Cypress Gardens who are former employees who do

           15          support the roller coasters.  We acknowledge that,

           16          because they want their jobs back.  But you need to

           17          know that the majority of the Friends of Cypress

           18          Gardens do not support roller coasters and thrill

           19          rides, because it's not in keeping with the

           20          historical, the environmental, and most of all, the

           21          tranquil preservation of the Gardens.  We're all for

           22          preservation.  Adding roller coasters and thrill

           23          rides is not preserving that environment.

           24               This is one of the most special places in the

           25          world to people, because it's old Florida at its


            1          best.  You will not find this peaceful environment

            2          in many other places in the entire world.  The

            3          Friends of Cypress Gardens feel that roller coasters

            4          and thrill rides only yards from the famous gazebo,

            5          one of the most photographed spots in the world, and

            6          only yards from the famous banyan tree, will destroy

            7          the essence of the Gardens and will eventually

            8          destroy them.

            9               We realize that you have an important decision

           10          to make, so we request that you carefully consider

           11          the environmental impact, to have an environmental

           12          impact statement done by any buyer that might be

           13          considered, and to also consider very carefully the

           14          financial capability of any buyer.

           15               We were told by former employees from the

           16          beginning almost nine months ago that there were

           17          possible serious spills of diesel fuel and kerosene

           18          and fertilizer and pesticide contamination in the

           19          nursery area.  I don't know if this has been

           20          addressed.  It may be a county issue.  It may be a

           21          state issue.  But there has been no environmental

           22          impact statement done.  And what of the issue of

           23          building over the top of a sinkhole? 

           24               We trust that your possible $11 million

           25          investment for the people of Florida be provided


            1          with the assurance that our state has properly

            2          covered all the bases with any buyer.

            3               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Your time is up. 

            4               MR. POSEY:  We request that you continue to

            5          pursue any other option that you might have, as

            6          Burma mentioned, maybe taking funds from other

            7          sources.  The State would have complete control of

            8          Cypress Gardens and keep the peaceful, serene

            9          environment that's there.  It's not about being

           10          against a particular buyer or developer.  It's about

           11          preserving a Florida and a world treasure. 

           12               Thank you. 

           13               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you very much.

           14               (Applause.)

           15               MS. ARMSTRONG:  Okay.  Our final two speakers

           16          are Mr. Rick Dantzler and Dick Pope, Jr.

           17               MR. DANTZLER:  Thank you, Eva.

           18               Governor and members of the Cabinet, thank you

           19          very much for the chance to be here today.  For the

           20          record, my name is Rick Dantzler, and it has been my

           21          privilege to serve as the chairman of the Greater

           22          Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce Task Force on the

           23          Future of Cypress Gardens.

           24               This day has been a long time coming, but we're

           25          finally here.  I can tell you that I believe that


            1          Kent Buescher is the right person in the right place

            2          at the right time.  The more I get to know him, the

            3          more I like him.  He has been a tremendous corporate

            4          citizen in the Valdosta community.  He has talked

            5          about some of the things that he would be willing to

            6          do in our community.  I think that in two years,

            7          everyone, even those who now have concerns, will

            8          recognize that this was one of the great days in the

            9          history of our county if we're able to pull this

           10          off.

           11               And I must tell you, I have had lengthy

           12          conversations with Mr. Buescher about his plans.  As

           13          was mentioned by one of the speakers previously, he

           14          came to Winter Haven.  We had a public hearing.  He

           15          spoke for around an hour and a half to two hours on

           16          his plan.  There were nearly 300 people in

           17          attendance.  Everything that Cypress Gardens has

           18          been will continue, and more.  We'll have daily ski

           19          shows like we have always had.  The Southern belles

           20          will be there as they always have been.  The

           21          beautiful botanical gardens that have been there

           22          from the very beginning, they will be there.  The

           23          pool that's shaped in the State of Florida, the

           24          gazebo, everything that we think of when we think of

           25          the Gardens is going to remain. 


            1               There has been a zoo at Cypress Gardens for

            2          probably --- I don't know, 15 or 20 years.  He's

            3          going to keep a zoo, but he's going to change it a

            4          little bit.  Instead of having exotics, he's going

            5          to have it indigenous to Florida.   The animal

            6          species and the reptile species will be specific to

            7          our state, which I think opens up all sorts of

            8          educational opportunities. 

            9               So everything that Cypress Gardens has been,

           10          its very essence will remain.

           11               Now, a very small part of the park is going to

           12          have some rides.  But for those people who don't

           13          want to go to the rides, you don't even have to go

           14          by the rides to enjoy the rest of the park.  There

           15          will be a very clear fork in the road where you can

           16          go to the right if you want to go to this very small

           17          number of rides and very small acreage where they

           18          will be.  The rides will be behind a four-story

           19          hotel.  They will be right alongside a commercial

           20          development right alongside Cypress Gardens

           21          Boulevard, a four-lane road. 

           22               I'm not going to tell you that the rides are

           23          totally silent.  I was at Valdosta about two weeks

           24          ago, and I went through his park.  I even rode the

           25          largest ride that's going to be at Cypress Gardens. 


            1          And he has much larger rides at Wild Adventures, but

            2          that's not what's going to be at Cypress Gardens.  I

            3          don't like riding rides, and I can't tell you that I

            4          really enjoyed riding the swamp thing.  But I can

            5          tell you that if you back up 50 or 75 feet, I'm not

            6          going to tell you that you can't hear it, but you

            7          can't hear it much. 

            8               And there has been an allusion to -- it has

            9          been alluded that there will be screaming people. 

           10          Well, they're having fun, and they might make some

           11          noise.  But there has been noise at Cypress Gardens

           12          before.  There has been fireworks at Cypress Gardens

           13          before.  There have been concerts there before. 

           14               And I know Kent Buescher.  He is willing to

           15          mitigate those very legitimate concerns to whatever

           16          extent he can.

           17               So I really believe that this is our last

           18          opportunity to save Cypress Gardens.  And let me

           19          tell you what I mean by that.  I have been feeling

           20          for some time that if this didn't work, the current

           21          owners were going to get on with their development

           22          plans.  They shared that with me verbally on several

           23          occasions.  They even put it in writing last week. 

           24          And they are here today to confirm that if that's

           25          what you need to hear.  But I think this is our last


            1          chance to save Cypress Gardens, or it's going to

            2          turn into a very aggressive residential and

            3          commercial development.  So I think that's where we

            4          are.

            5               You look like you're getting ready to ask a

            6          question.

            7               GOVERNOR BUSH:  No.  I was wondering why that

            8          red light hadn't come on.

            9               (Laughter.)

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  What's going on?  Oh, he has

           11          five minutes.  I'm sorry.  I thought everybody was

           12          speaking two minutes.

           13               MR. DANTZLER:  That is fair enough, Governor,

           14          and --

           15               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I didn't know what the rules

           16          were.  Excuse me.

           17               MR. DANTZLER:  No, I understand. 

           18               And with that, I'm going to have the privilege

           19          of introducing my father-in-law, Dick Pope, Jr., who

           20          is going to offer a few comments.  But I can tell

           21          you that his dad has the saying, "If it's not fun,

           22          to heck with it."

           23               GOVERNOR BUSH:  That's a good way to live.

           24               MR. DANTZLER:  Kent Buescher is going to make

           25          it fun again at Cypress Gardens.  He is absolutely


            1          convinced, and I agree with him, that unless we make

            2          it relevant for young families, there's not going to

            3          be a Cypress Gardens to save. 

            4               So with that, let me introduce a former Marine,

            5          the 1950 world water ski champion, someone who was

            6          the national water ski champion on three occasions,

            7          someone who was president of Cypress Gardens for 25

            8          years, chairman of the board eight.  He ran it for

            9          the 13 years under public ownership.  Dick Pope,

           10          Jr., and I think he wanted to share a few words with

           11          you.

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you.

           13               (Applause.)

           14               MR. POPE:  Governor Bush and the Cabinet, it's

           15          really been something in the last nine months to go

           16          through.

           17               Cypress Gardens went through the Second World

           18          War.  We were the only ones that kept it open.  And

           19          this is a far cry from that.

           20               But anyway, I want to really thank the people. 

           21          I know they've been thanked today several times, but

           22          it has been great to see the Trust for Public Land,

           23          the Department and Division of State Lands, Polk

           24          County, the City of Winter Haven, the Winter Haven

           25          Chamber of Commerce, and all the other people who


            1          have really been with the Gardens for many, many

            2          years.  And the way we have treated them in the past

            3          has been a great thing.  I've been away from Cypress

            4          Gardens since 1985, and there have been a lot of

            5          changes go through there. 

            6               But I believe that our man, that we can't --

            7          that Kent Buescher, he's got an awful lot of get up

            8          and go.  He reminds me of my father.  And I've heard

            9          other things, that certain other people reminded

           10          them of my father.  Well, I can't believe that, but

           11          I can't believe a lot of other things.  But believe

           12          me, this guy, I've seen him in action, and I believe

           13          he is the man that can save Cypress Gardens and make

           14          it even bigger and better than it has been in the

           15          past.

           16               I think my two minutes are up.  Thank you.

           17               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank, sir.

           18               (Applause.)

           19               MR. STRUHS:  That concludes all the public

           20          comments on this item.

           21               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I appreciate all the people

           22          that came and spoke.

           23               Now, we have in front of us a request for

           24          approval of a perpetual conservation easement, a

           25          monitor designation, and a management policy


            1          statement confirmation; is that correct?

            2               MR. STRUHS:  That is correct. 

            3               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a motion?

            4               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 2.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Is there a second?

            6               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            7               GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a second. 

            8          Any discussion? 

            9               Commissioner.

           10               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  Governor, thank you.

           11               You know, this has been one of the toughest

           12          decisions to try to make, and I know my staff, I've

           13          had them asking questions and trying to get hold of

           14          people.

           15               As being a part of the legislative process, as

           16          many of the legislators that are here right now were

           17          on putting up Florida Forever, and all of the work

           18          we've done on this, it is a little bit outside of

           19          the box from where we normally go, but I'll tell

           20          you, the question in my mind is, do we want to keep

           21          the icon, do we want to keep something that has been

           22          pretty much almost as much of Florida as our oldest

           23          city, St. Augustine, as far as bringing tourists to

           24          Florida, and that is to the botanical garden.  The

           25          botanical garden is and has been in the past -- it


            1          needs a lot of work right now.  It can be brought

            2          back, but can it be preserved to the point that it

            3          is one of the top botanical gardens not only in the

            4          State of Florida, but in the world?  And it makes me

            5          think this is almost one of these "damned if you do,

            6          damned if you don't decisions" that we make

            7          sometimes.  We don't make a whole lot of them, but

            8          sometimes we do.

            9               Is putting up $11 million to save the botanical

           10          gardens and do what we can to save the waters edge,

           11          the lake, and all the things we're going to have to

           12          do to protect the water body, while we have other

           13          development around it that typically we would not

           14          invest money in or put a conservation easement on. 

           15          The one thing that makes me feel a little better

           16          about this is, there will be a conservation easement

           17          to the point to where no one will be able to do

           18          anything with this property, assuming this business

           19          deal goes through, other than coming back to this

           20          Board of Trustees before anything is done with this

           21          property because of this easement that we're going

           22          to put on it.  I think the Trust for Public Land has

           23          stuck their neck out on this to help out in the

           24          preservation. 

           25               It is not an easy decision for me to make


            1          personally.  And I'm not going to speak for any one

            2          of the three up here, but for the public, I'll tell

            3          you it has been a tough decision for me to try to

            4          come up with to put a commercial venture business as

            5          part of this overall plan.  But after hearing the

            6          testimony today and seeing all the facts and

            7          figures, I come back to the point of, is the Gardens

            8          itself worth saving, whether we have this project

            9          beside it or not, and I think the Gardens are worth

           10          saving.  The millions of dollars and time by the

           11          Pope family and many any others that helped them to

           12          put this garden together has made it one of the top

           13          in the world.  I think we have the chance to do that

           14          again, and we still have a chance to bring people in

           15          that want to see only the Gardens and the water ski

           16          shows and some of the things that have been

           17          typically Florida.

           18               So I would hope with us stepping out like this,

           19          assuming that we all would vote on this in the

           20          affirmative, that stepping outside the box is going

           21          to be a positive thing and not a negative thing.  I

           22          just hope that one day I can take my grandkids,

           23          assuming I have some one day, to see the Gardens and

           24          to take them into what is now the Cypress Gardens of

           25          the future by us making this move.


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  General Crist.

            2               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Thank you, Governor.

            3               I can remember going to Cypress Gardens when I

            4          was a kid, and more recently too.  And I don't know

            5          Mr. Buescher, but I do know some of the people who

            6          have spoken on his behalf, and that holds a lot of

            7          sway with me.  I know Senators Dockery and Alexander

            8          and Representative Troutman, and I know Espan

            9          Tanburg to be a fine businessman, and I served with

           10          Senator Dantzler.

           11               You know, some numbers have been talked about

           12          here today, and a figure of $35 million.  I'm not

           13          sure where they come from, but I am giving great

           14          confidence to Mr. Pope and to the others who have

           15          spoken on behalf of his plan and his vision.  And

           16          because of that, and because of the importance

           17          Cypress Gardens has for Florida, I'm going to

           18          support this motion.  That's why I seconded it. 

           19          It's a little bit of a leap of faith, but sometimes

           20          you have to do that.

           21               So thank you, Governor, for the time to speak.

           22               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you, General.

           23               Any other discussion?  There's a motion and a

           24          second.  All in favor say aye.

           25               (Simultaneous affirmative responses.)


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  All opposed?

            2               The motion passes.

            3               (Applause.)

            4               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you all for coming. 

            5          Thanks for coming.

            6               (Applause.)

            7               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.  Item 3.

            8               If I could have everybody's attention, we're

            9          not finished with our agenda, so if you all could

           10          either sit down or move out, I would appreciate it.

           11               (Pause.)

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.

           13               MR. STRUHS:  Item number 3 is an option

           14          agreement to acquire .653 acres for the benefit of

           15          the Florida Board of Education.

           16               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Secretary, excuse me, but we

           17          lost our -- they'll be back in a second. 

           18               MR. STRUHS:  Yes, sir.

           19               (Pause.)

           20               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.

           21               MR. STRUHS:  Item 3 is an option agreement to

           22          acquire .653 acres for the benefit of Florida

           23          International University and the Florida Board of

           24          Education.  It is an opportunity to expand an

           25          existing museum collection.  The property will be


            1          paid for with funds from the Lottery and matched by

            2          an estate gift.  The property --

            3               GOVERNOR BUSH:  If you could shut those doors. 

            4          Thank you.

            5               MR. STRUHS:  The property will be owned by the

            6          Board, and it will be managed by Florida

            7          International University.  We recommend approval.

            8               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 3.

            9               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second. 

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Any

           11          discussion?  Did you understand the motion? 

           12          Everybody heard it?  You heard it?  Very good.

           13               There's a motion and a second.  Without

           14          objection, the item passes.

           15               MR. STRUHS:  Item 4 is consideration of two

           16          option agreements to acquire 1.3 acres for the

           17          benefit of the Florida Board of Education and

           18          Florida State University from the Athena House

           19          Corporation and Delta Colony Housing.  I'll point

           20          out that this acquisition for FSU is consistent with

           21          that university's Master Plan.

           22               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 4.

           23               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

           24               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           25          objection, the item passes.


            1               MR. STRUHS:  We're asking that Item 5 be

            2          withdrawn.

            3               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion to withdraw 5.

            4               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a second

            6          to withdraw Item 5.  Without objection, the item is

            7          withdrawn.

            8               MR. STRUHS:  Thank you.  Item 6 is the

            9          disposition of a number of Murphy Act parcels. 

           10          These parcels were noticed to surrounding property

           11          owners, to local governments, to other state

           12          agencies.  There were no other offers, and we

           13          propose the sale of these parcels to Mr. Carrol

           14          Franklin.

           15               CFO GALLAGHER:  Motion on 6.

           16               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

           17               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded.  Without

           18          objection, the item passes.

           19               MR. STRUHS:  Item number 7 is modification of a

           20          25-year sovereignty submerged land lease for an

           21          existing city-owned commercial marina.  Deborah

           22          Getzoff, who runs DEP's operations out of Tampa, is

           23          here to speak to the item, and I believe she is

           24          right behind me.

           25               MS. GETZOFF:  Good morning, Governor and


            1          members of the Cabinet.  The item before you is for

            2          the expansion of this commercial marina.  The

            3          applicant proposes to add 82 additional slips net

            4          within the footprint of the existing lease area. 

            5          The applicant is in compliance at this time with the

            6          exception of one item I'll discuss in a moment.  The

            7          manatee conditions have been addressed, and we have

            8          a letter of no objection in the file from the

            9          Conservation Commission.

           10               So at this point, the only aspect of this item

           11          that bears discussion is the fact that when the

           12          staff went out to perform its inspection for the

           13          permitting and review of this item, we discovered

           14          the existence of two non-water dependent uses within

           15          the marina facility.  One of these facilities is an

           16          office on a floating barge that is used as an

           17          adjunct to a charter fishing operation.  And the

           18          other one, which is referred to as Structure 2, is a

           19          small prefabricated building that sits on the end of

           20          a floating dock for a boat and equipment rental

           21          operation.

           22               These facilities have been in this marina basin

           23          for an extended period of time.  Structure Number 2

           24          has existed at the facility apparently since at

           25          least 1978, and Structure Number 1, which is the


            1          larger facility on the floating vessel for the

            2          charter fishing operation, has been in the marina

            3          basin in one location or another for approximately

            4          20 years.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  How long -- when was the lease

            6          last renewed? 

            7               MS. GETZOFF:  It was last amended in 1999.  And

            8          from what we can see, there were two inspections in

            9          the late 1990s, one in '97 and one in 1999.  And at

           10          that time, the staff did not note the presence of

           11          these structures.

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  How could they not have noted

           13          it? 

           14               MS. GETZOFF:  I can't speak to that, Governor.

           15               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I mean, they're standing out.

           16               MS. GETZOFF:  They're large structures, and I

           17          can't speak to that.

           18               GOVERNOR BUSH:  So we've approved this.  In

           19          1999, this lease was approved with these -- whatever

           20          you would call them. 

           21               CFO GALLAGHER:  Facilities.

           22               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Non-water dependent structures.

           23               MS. GETZOFF:  Non-water dependent uses were in

           24          the marina facility at that time. 

           25               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.  And when was the lease


            1          prior to that? 

            2               MS. GETZOFF:  There were some lease amendments

            3          in 1980s.

            4               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Same question then?

            5               MS. GETZOFF:  Same situation then.

            6               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Okay.

            7               MS. GETZOFF:  The marina facility is divided

            8          into two basins.  There's a south basin and a north

            9          basin.  The south basin was originally

           10          grandfathered.  Although these structures were not

           11          in the basin at the time of the grandfathering

           12          cutoff in 1970, the structures were both originally

           13          in the grandfathered basin.  And the best I can

           14          assume is that the staff believed they were

           15          grandfathered structures because they were in that

           16          grandfathered portion of the basin for an extended

           17          period of time.

           18               After the 1999 lease amendment, which allowed

           19          new construction of dock slips in the north basin,

           20          Structure Number 1, which is the large structure,

           21          the one that's on the floating barge -- it's

           22          approximately -- I think it's about -- what is it? 

           23          Twelve by 24 is the dimensions of that one.  It was

           24          moved.  It was moved from the south basin to the

           25          north basin, to the newly constructed docks in 1999. 


            1          And at that time, when we came back in this past

            2          year to do the review for this amendment is when the

            3          structures were first noted.

            4               I do have some pictures of the structures if

            5          you care to look at them.

            6               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I think we've got them.       

            7               MS. GETZOFF:  Okay.  Structure Number 1 is the

            8          larger of the two.  It's -- there you go.  It's the

            9          one that exists on the floating barge.  As you can

           10          see from the lower left hand, it's permanently

           11          attached to the dock. 

           12               On the next sheet, Structure Number 2, is the

           13          interior.  It's an office.  There are computers,

           14          telephone lines, utilities, desks.  There are some

           15          bait refrigerators.

           16               Structure Number 2 is the smaller of the two

           17          for the boat rental facility.  It's in the old south

           18          basin, and it appears to have been in the same

           19          location since at least 1978, on the end of the

           20          dock.  And that one again houses telephone and bait

           21          refrigeration and adjunct equipment rental issues.

           22               Both of these uses -- there is a rule that's

           23          noted in the agenda item, it's Rule 18-21.004, that

           24          allows the Governor and Cabinet under certain

           25          circumstances to allow non-water dependent uses for


            1          exceptions to the general rules.  And both of these

            2          uses are uses that we typically see in the uplands. 

            3          There are many, many charter fishing operations and

            4          equipment rental operations throughout the state at

            5          commercial marinas that we normally see in the

            6          uplands.  And indeed, in the south basin today,

            7          there is a recreational boat that goes out, carries

            8          passengers, called LaBarge, that has its facility in

            9          the uplands in the south basin adjacent to the

           10          seawall, where they have a hut where they take

           11          tickets and have the passengers come through.  This

           12          is normally what we do see. 

           13               In this case, these facilities have been there

           14          for an extended period of time.  We've looked at the

           15          exception in the rule, in .004, and the staff finds

           16          that it cannot recommend that this fits squarely

           17          within that exception, because the exception starts

           18          out by requiring that it be a public project and

           19          that the exception be in the public interest.  Even

           20          though the lessee here is the City of Sarasota, the

           21          City of Sarasota has a separate agreement with Jack

           22          Graham, Inc. to operate the marina and the

           23          restaurant and the upland facilities.  So it's being

           24          operated as a private commercial marina for profit,

           25          and these uses further are being operated by other


            1          private enterprises for business and profit.

            2               So we don't find as a staff recommendation

            3          that it fits within the public project and public

            4          purpose aspect of the exception in the rule. 

            5          However, we do recognize that these have been there

            6          for an extended period of time, and there may be

            7          some concern about equities, given the longstanding

            8          period of time this business has operated.

            9               Another major staff concern has to do with

           10          precedent, particularly in the case of Structure

           11          Number 1, which is sitting on a vessel and is taking

           12          up a slip space.  The marina industry, as you may

           13          know, is advocating expansion of marina facilities

           14          throughout the state with more space for vessels,

           15          and the staff has a concern that allowing this type

           16          of use at a slip location, which could serve as a

           17          precedent for other facilities, would tend to

           18          mitigate against that type of situation where we

           19          have more slips allowed for vessels in new marina

           20          facilities.

           21               So the staff concern here is primarily

           22          precedent.  We're concerned that unless this is very

           23          specifically distinguished from any other situation,

           24          it would stand as a precedent for non-water

           25          dependent uses that we do see in the uplands in


            1          other facilities.  And we do take active enforcement

            2          action when these are identified.  I can tell you

            3          that in the past couple of years, we've been

            4          extremely active in eliminating non-water dependent

            5          uses in our district at other facilities where they

            6          have been identified.  So leaving these in place

            7          without some special consideration would be contrary

            8          to the past actions of the Department.

            9               GOVERNOR BUSH:  General Crist.

           10               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Thank you.  Just a

           11          couple of quick questions.  And Secretary, maybe it

           12          would be better if you -- whoever wants to answer

           13          them.

           14               Is there any sort of harm or eminent danger

           15          that these pose?

           16               MS. GETZOFF:  No, we have not identified any

           17          specific harm or danger, no public safety issues,

           18          and no identified environmental issues based on the

           19          location of these facilities.

           20               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Thank you.

           21               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Commissioner Bronson.

           22               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  I have a couple of

           23          questions as well, Governor.  And one of them is

           24          going to be if there has been any violation of water

           25          quality or any of the things you would be looking


            1          for, and I think you just answered that question.

            2               And quite frankly, I've got to tell you that

            3          the situation that's going on with Mr. Lewis also

            4          concerns me, that all of a sudden we have found

            5          somebody that has been operating for 20, 30, 40

            6          years, and now we're going to make some assertions.

            7               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Who's Mr. Lewis?

            8               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  He's the gentleman that

            9          is the shrimper, the commercial shrimper, I believe,

           10          down in South Florida that has been operating for

           11          two or three generations down there, and 40 years

           12          off of a dock, that I understand that now DEP is

           13          going to ask for $50,000 in back -- in arrearages,

           14          plus currently leasing the submerged lands from here

           15          forward.

           16               MS. GETZOFF:  Commissioner, if I might, we're

           17          not asking for 50.  We've asked him for $5,000,

           18          which would be the lease fees and arrears from 1991.

           19               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Does that have anything to do

           20          with this, or is this just another example of the

           21          same thing?

           22               MS. GETZOFF:  It's a different example.

           23               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  It's an example of the

           24          same thing, Governor.  It's not -- this one is not

           25          --


            1               GOVERNOR BUSH:  When you say South Florida, are

            2          you talking like Tallahassee South Florida?  That

            3          means any place near -- Crystal River southward?

            4               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  It's actually in --

            5               MS. GETZOFF:  It's in Cortez Village.

            6               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  -- Bradenton, I believe.

            7               MS. GETZOFF:  Yes.  It's on Anna Maria Island

            8          in Manatee County.  And actually --

            9               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Commissioner, I'm from South

           10          Florida.  That's like you start normally around Boca

           11          Raton and go south.

           12               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  Oh, okay. 

           13               GOVERNOR BUSH:  You got me confused.

           14               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  I'll have to be a little

           15          more precise next time, but I --

           16               GOVERNOR BUSH:  You got me confused.        

           17               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  The issue here is, it

           18          concerns me that after all this time that you have

           19          some facilities that evidently have been good

           20          corporate businesses.  These two facilities, my

           21          understanding is, actually have a service that both

           22          the hotels that are there and the City must deem

           23          being very positive to them.  I'm assuming they're

           24          paying taxes both to the State and to the local

           25          government for the business that they operate.  The


            1          hotels, as you know, when people come from out of

            2          state, even in state that want to go fishing in that

            3          area, they're going to lease out businesses. 

            4               And I'm concerned about what we're doing here. 

            5          If they're good corporate citizens, they're paying

            6          their due and not polluting, so forth and so on, why

            7          are we going to do away with these businesses that

            8          have been good stewards? 

            9               I would make the motion that if we accept this

           10          submerged lease, that we leave them.

           11               CFO GALLAGHER:  If I may.

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Treasurer.

           13               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  I'll yield to Treasurer

           14          Gallagher.

           15               CFO GALLAGHER:  Governor and fellow Cabinet

           16          members, I see this as a very unique situation.  And

           17          given the fact that these non-water dependent uses

           18          have existed at the marina since the 1970s with no

           19          objection from the Board or its staff to this point,

           20          and given that these uses seem incidental to the

           21          adjacent water dependent uses, I move approval of

           22          staff's recommendation, with one amendment, that

           23          Structures 1 and 2 identified in our agenda be

           24          permitted as if grandfathered, to remain subject to

           25          enhanced -- be permitted as if grandfathered, to


            1          remain subject to enhanced lease fees for non-water

            2          dependent structures allowed pursuant to Rule

            3          18-21.011.

            4               COMMISSIONER BRONSON:  Second. 

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  There's a motion and a second. 

            6          Any other discussion?

            7               Without objection, Treasurer Gallagher's

            8          motion passes.

            9               MS. GETZOFF:  Thank you.

           10               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Thank you all very much. 

           11               I had one other question just --

           12               CFO GALLAGHER:  There's Item 8.

           13               GOVERNOR BUSH:  I know, but I have one other

           14          question related to this, and it --

           15               MR. STRUHS:  On this item.  Yes, sir.

           16               GOVERNOR BUSH:  -- relates to the manatee

           17          protection plans.  I didn't ask it.  I want to make

           18          sure that what I was told yesterday is true, that

           19          there is work in progress to get approval for a

           20          county manatee protection plan.

           21               MS. GETZOFF:  Yes, sir.

           22               GOVERNOR BUSH:  The irony is that this -- it

           23          may not have been this marina, but a marina in

           24          Sarasota started us off on the journey of getting

           25          manatee protection plans approved in the counties,


            1          and I just wanted to make sure Sarasota, which was

            2          the first to get my tirade about four years ago, now

            3          is taking it seriously.

            4               MS. GETZOFF:  Actually, at that time, they had

            5          only passed one part of the protection plan, which

            6          was the siting.  They have now passed the second

            7          part, which is the speed zones, and it's pending. 

            8               GOVERNOR BUSH:  And it's up here.  It's

            9          somewhere up here now.

           10               MS. GETZOFF:  It's pending approval with the

           11          Conservation Commission, sir.

           12               GOVERNOR BUSH:  That's what I thought.  Okay. 

           13          Thank you.

           14               Item 8.

           15               MR. STRUHS:  Thank you.  This is the last

           16          item.  This item is simply to advise the Board that

           17          the Department is proceeding with the scheduling of

           18          three public meetings, one in Pensacola, one in West

           19          Palm Beach, and another in Tampa, to begin the

           20          process of reviewing our rules as it relates to

           21          ownership oriented facilities and fee structures. 

           22          This is something that we've talked about at

           23          previous meetings.  We are now beginning the public

           24          process to develop that rule.  And if you would just

           25          accept the item, we would be satisfied.


            1               CFO GALLAGHER:  Move acceptance.

            2               ATTORNEY GENERAL CRIST:  Second.

            3               GOVERNOR BUSH:  Moved and seconded. 

            4               MR. STRUHS:  Thank you very much.

            5               GOVERNOR BUSH:  The item passes.  Thank you

            6          very much.

            7               (Proceedings concluded at 11:39 a.m.)





















            2                      CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER


            4      STATE OF FLORIDA)

            5      COUNTY OF LEON  )


            7            I, MARY ALLEN NEEL, do hereby certify that the

            8      foregoing proceedings were taken before me at the time

            9      and place therein designated; that my shorthand notes

           10      were thereafter transcribed under my supervision; and

           11      that the foregoing pages numbered 1 through 104 are a

           12      true and correct transcription of my stenographic notes.

           13            I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative,

           14      employee, attorney or counsel of any of the parties,

           15      or relative or employee of such attorney or counsel,

           16      or financially interested in the action.

           17            DATED THIS 5th day of February, 2004.




           21                                 ___________________________
                                              MARY ALLEN NEEL, RPR
           22                                 2894-A Remington Green Lane
                                              Tallahassee, Florida  32308
           23                                 (850) 878-2221