T H E C A B I N E T
S T A T E O F F L O R I D A
STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION
DIVISION OF BOND FINANCE
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
TRUSTEES OF THE INTERNAL
IMPROVEMENT TRUST FUND
The above agencies came to be heard before THE
FLORIDA CABINET, Honorable Chiles presiding, in the
Cabinet Meeting Room, LL-03, The Capitol, Tallahassee,
Florida, on Thursday, June 13, 1996, commencing at
approximately 9:40 a.m.
SANDRA L. DiBENEDETTO-NARGIZ
Registered Professional Reporter
Certificate of Merit Holder
Notary Public in and For
the State of Florida At Large
ACCURATE STENOTYPE REPORTERS, INC.
100 SALEM COURT
TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301
2 Representing the Florida Cabinet:
3 LAWTON CHILES,
5 Commissioner of Agriculture
6 BOB MILLIGAN
SANDRA B. MORTHAM
8 Secretary of State
9 BOB BUTTERWORTH
12 FRANK T. BROGAN
Commissioner of Education
I N D E X
3 STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION:
4 (Presented by Barbara Jarriel,
Acting Executive Director)
6 ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 11
8 2 Approved 11
3 Approved 11
9 4 Approved 12
5 Approved 12
10 6 Approved 12
7 Approved 13
11 8 Approved 13
9 Deferred 18
12 10 Approved 19
11 Deferred 19
13 12 Approved 21
14 DIVISION OF BOND FINANCE:
15 (Presented by Ben Watkins and Susan Leigh, Executive
Director, Florida Housing Finance Agency)
ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 22
19 2 Approved 22
3 Approved 23
20 4 Approved 33
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION:
(Presented by Wayne Pierson, Deputy Commissioner of
3 Planning and Budgeting)
ITEM ACTION PAGE
6 1 Approved 35
2 Approved 37
7 3 Approved 37
4 Approved 38
8 5 Approved 38
6 Approved 38
10 ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION:
11 (Presented by Gale Sittig,
ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 39
15 2 Approved 39
3 Approved 39
16 4 Approved 40
5 Approved 40
17 6 Deferred 40
7 Approved 40
18 8 Approved 41
9 Approved 41
19 10 Approved 41
11 Approved 42
20 12 Approved 42
13 Approved 42
21 14 Approved 42
2 TRUSTEES OF THE INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT TRUST FUND:
(Presented by Kirby Green, Deputy Secretary)
5 ITEM ACTION PAGE
1 Approved 44
7 2 Approved 44
3 Approved 44
8 4 Approved 45
5 Approved 45
9 6 Approved 45
7 Approved 45
10 8 Approved 50
9 Deferred 50
11 10 Approved 51
11 Withdrawn 51
12 12 Approved 122
14 CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER 123
1 P R O C E E D I N G S
2 (The agenda items commenced at 9:40 a.m.)
3 THE GOVERNOR: We need to approve appointments
4 to the Parole Commission. We have developed what we
5 hope will be a fool-proof procedure here. It will
6 work like this.
7 On the first ballot, the Governor and each
8 Cabinet member will cast three votes, casting one
9 vote for each candidate. The three candidates with
10 the highest vote totals would be the new
12 In the event there is a tie for third, then
13 there will be a run-off vote for that spot.
14 After the three members are selected, there
15 will then be a vote for the six-year term; and again,
16 the three members would be -- we vote for one of the
17 three on that. If there is a tie, then there would
18 be a one-vote run off.
19 Next will be a vote for the four-year term; and
20 when that is decided, then the two-year term will go
21 to the remaining person, the third person.
22 After the three commissioners are selected, it
23 will be necessary to approve the new commissioners by
24 a motion and a majority vote. And then there will be
25 a vote for the chair and the co-chair, and this could
1 be done by the nomination process.
2 The statute requires that one of the
3 commissioners be a minority, and write-in candidates
4 are allowed.
5 So I think everybody has a ballot that has the
6 names of all of the sitting commissioners plus a
7 space for a write-in candidate. So we'll proceed now
8 to vote.
9 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Do we sign the ballot?
10 THE GOVERNOR: I ask you to sign the ballot.
11 (Short pause.)
12 THE GOVERNOR: Okay. Mr. Fuchs, you want to
13 tally these votes? Anybody that wants to look over
14 your shoulder, that's fine.
15 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: While they are tallying,
16 let me say at the risk of sounding like I am paying
17 lip service, I think everyone on this dias would
18 agree this is not an easy chore. These are six very
19 fine individuals, very fine professionals. We are
20 doing this via change in the legislation, and trying
21 to cull from six good people to three good people is
22 not an easy thing for any of us to do. And I want
23 all six people to know how much I've appreciated
24 working with each and everyone of them. I know my
25 staff feels the same way, as do I am sure all of
2 THE GOVERNOR: Well said. I think that you are
3 right. Having to select three from six that are very
4 competent and very professional and have done an
5 excellent job is a difficult task for all of us to
7 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: This is fortunate, if one
8 of them decides to run for the legislature, it would
9 have been three out of seven.
10 THE GOVERNOR: If this is going to take any
11 time, we'll go forward.
12 THE GOVERNOR'S AIDE: Why don't you go ahead and
13 do the resolutions?
14 (Resolutions off record.)
15 THE GOVERNOR: All right. Maurice Crockett
16 got five votes and Edward Spooner got five votes.
17 Patricia Grogan got four votes and Judith Wilson got
18 four votes.
19 So there will be a run off between Patricia
20 Grogan and Judith Wilson.
21 (Short pause.)
22 THE GOVERNOR: It's four to three, Judith
23 Wilson is selected.
24 Let's see. Now we need a ballot. You have
1 While we are doing that, why don't we do the
2 resolution on the Girls State.
3 (Resolution off record.)
4 THE GOVERNOR: Do we have a ballot?
5 Edward Spooner is selected for the six-year
6 term. And we have a ballot for the four-year term.
7 Judith Wilson is selected for the four-year
8 term. Now, the floor is open for nominations for the
9 chair and vice-chair.
10 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: I nominate Ed Spooner as
11 the chair.
12 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
13 THE GOVERNOR: It's been moved and seconded.
14 Are there further nominations?
15 If there are no further nominations, as many as
16 favor selection of Ed Spooner as chair, signify by
17 saying aye.
18 THE CABINET: Aye.
19 THE GOVERNOR: Opposed, no.
20 And that is done.
21 I think also we should have a motion to select
22 the new commissioners and a vote on that so that we
23 make sure we have a clear majority.
24 This is not the vice-chair. This is a motion
25 for the selection of Commissioners Ed Spooner, Judith
1 Wilson, and Maurice Crockett.
2 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: I move.
3 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
4 THE GOVERNOR: It's been moved and seconded.
5 All those in favor, signify by saying aye.
6 THE CABINET: Aye.
7 THE GOVERNOR: Opposed, no.
8 That motion is carried unanimously.
9 Now nominations, is there a nominations for the
11 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Governor, I move the
12 selection of Ms. Wilson for vice-chair.
13 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Second.
14 THE GOVERNOR: It's been moved and seconded
15 that Ms. Wilson be vice-chairman. Are there further
17 As many as favor the motion, the nomination,
18 signify by saying aye.
19 THE CABINET: Aye.
20 THE GOVERNOR: Opposed, no. That motion
21 carries. So Mr. Spooner is chair, Ms. Wilson is
22 vice-chair, and we have fulfilled the obligation.
23 (Announcements off the record.)
1 THE GOVERNOR: State Board of Administration.
2 MRS. JARRIEL: The first item of business is to
3 approve the meetings of the May 14 meeting.
4 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Motion.
5 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: Seconded.
6 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded on
7 amendments. Without objection, the amendments are
8 approved as read.
9 MRS. JARRIEL: The next item, it's an approval
10 of fiscal sufficiency on Florida Housing Finance
11 Agency Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds and
12 Overplaced Project.
13 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Move it.
14 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
15 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
16 objection it's approved.
17 MS. JARRIEL: Next item are recommendations to
18 approve fiscal sufficiency of Florida Housing Finance
19 Agency Revenue Bonds Caribbean Key Project.
20 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Move it.
21 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Seconded.
22 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
23 objection, it's approved.
24 MS. JARRIEL: Fourth item, recommendation to
25 approve fiscal sufficiency Florida Housing Finance
1 Agency Revenue Bonds, Sterling Palms Apartments
3 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Move it.
4 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Second.
5 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
6 objection, it's approved.
7 MS. JARRIEL: Recommendation of approval of
8 fiscal sufficiency, Florida Housing Finance Agency
9 Multi-Family Revenue bonds, Spinnaker Cove
11 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Move it.
12 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: And second.
13 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
14 objection, it's approved.
15 MS. JARRIEL: Next, recommendation for approval
16 for fiscal sufficiency for Florida Housing Finance
17 Agency Revenue Bonds, Praxis of Deerfield Beach,
18 Phase III Project.
19 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Move it.
20 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Seconded.
21 THE GOVERNOR: Seconded. Without objection,
22 it's approved.
23 MS. JARRIEL: Next item, an interest rate
24 exception for Julington Creek, Plantation Community
25 Development District, not to exceed $11,225,000; a
1 request not to exceed 9 percent per annum.
2 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Motion.
3 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: And seconded.
4 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
5 objection, approved.
6 MS. JARRIEL: The next item has two
7 subcomponents relating to the Florida Hurricane
8 Catastrophe Fund. The first is a request that the
9 Trustees approve the premium formula for the 1996-97
10 contract year.
11 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Move it.
12 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: And seconded.
13 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded on parts 1
14 and 2 of the proposal. Without, objection it is
16 MS. JARRIEL: And that second portion was to
17 reappoint Jack Nicholson as the chair of the Florida
18 Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology Commission.
19 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and --
20 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: And seconded.
21 THE GOVERNOR: -- and seconded. Without
22 objection, it's approved.
23 MS. JARRIEL: The next item on the agenda is
24 the SBA budget for fiscal year 1996-97. And I would
25 like to take this opportunity to provide some
1 clarification, since I understand there have been
2 some questions on the part of the Trustees.
3 As you know, our primary mandate is investment
4 services for the state of Florida. We have
5 continually been a cost-effective manager for both
6 pension fund beneficiaries as well as for local
7 governments, the counties and municipalities in
8 Florida through the local government investment
10 Our performance has been stellar. We earned 27
11 and a half percent last year for the pension fund,
12 and the local government fund has consistently
13 performed its counterparts in the private sector.
14 Our concern has been that we continue to retain
15 quality staff. The option for us would be to utilize
16 additional external manager services.
17 On a cost comparison basis, we manage funds at
18 two bases points on assets under management, whereas
19 at a minimum, external fees for managers typically
20 run 20 plus basis points.
21 I would like to also clarify that the amount
22 that we have in the budget this year is not a 7
23 percent across the board. Rather, it's targeted
24 specifically at entry and mid level investment
25 management staff. This was done after an extensive
1 review of salary rates in the private industry and
2 the targeted market from which we are required to
3 hire, which is basically specified geographic areas
4 in the southeast.
5 We did want to clarify that the 7 percent is
6 not across the board; and in the past when the
7 Trustees have given us merit money, we feel that you
8 have been comfortable with the manner in which it was
9 used to reward excess performance and to retain
10 quality staff. So the budget has been submitted for
12 THE GOVERNOR: Discussion? Motion?
13 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: I will make a motion.
14 THE GOVERNOR: It's moved. Is there a second?
15 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Let me ask, how would --
16 explain to me the 7 percent increase.
17 MS. JARRIEL: Basically, Commissioner, what we
18 did is go through position-by-position and determine
19 what salary increases would be required to retain and
20 recruit quality staff. The 7 percent was simply the
21 mechanism to attain that.
22 We took the total dollars that were required,
23 the 7 percent on the gross salary base results in the
24 absolute number of dollars required to target those
25 particular positions. We'd be happy to provide more
1 detail if you would like.
2 COMMISSIONER NELSON: How does that interface
3 with the typical 3 percent increase for normal
5 MS. JARRIEL: We would provide a 3 percent
6 across the board to our employees as well. The
7 excess amount is the amount that's required to
8 provide the correct beginning and mid level salaries
9 for our professional investment staff to retain them.
10 COMMISSIONER NELSON: So everybody gets 3
11 percent, and then that additional 4 percent that
12 would be applied to everybody is used at the
13 discretion of the management in rewarding various
15 MS. JARRIEL: That is correct, for performance
16 and to adjust the salaries as needed to prevent the
17 loss of professionals to private industry which has
18 occurred over the last few years.
19 COMMISSIONER NELSON: I am not prepared at this
20 point to second it, Governor.
21 THE GOVERNOR: Maybe we need to study it some
22 more. I just would point out we are dealing with an
23 agency we just complemented the fellow that's leaving
24 because he's about doubled the investment portfolio.
25 Highly specialized people, competing, and we are
1 losing Ash Williams because he is going to make
2 probably three or four times as much money as he was
3 making before. We may have to pay more money to get
4 somebody to take his place.
5 So I just think you -- I understand that we've
6 got a situation which we are trying to run, and we
7 don't want other state employees to feel like they
8 are being treated unfairly. But the whole idea of
9 some merit raises -- maybe what we need to do is see
10 more about how the merit raises are selected.
11 It makes sense to me, if you look at our
12 universities and you see how we pay, you look at our
13 medical schools and you see how we pay, there are
14 many areas in which we pay on the basis of the need
15 and competence and merit. And if there is an agency
16 that is making a fair return on our money, I would
17 say it's this agency.
18 COMMISSIONER NELSON: I agree with all of that.
19 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: I, too, Governor, share
20 the concerns of perception and really thought about
21 this a long time before agreeing to go along with
22 it. And really what it turned on was the fact that
23 the incentives are really going to entry level and
24 mid management. Those are the areas that they have
25 difficulty retaining. And unfortunately, we lose a
1 lot of good people unless we are willing to pay the
2 price to continue the excellent performance of the
3 trust fund.
4 MS. JARRIEL: Our goal was actually to continue
5 to build the next senior management staff. And the
6 only way we'll be able to do that is to continue to
7 retain the entry level and mid level talented young
8 professionals that are coming in today. And with the
9 7 percent included, we're still on a total budgetary
10 basis managing the assets which are 50 too big for
11 pension and another 15 or so for local governments
12 and other activities at that two basis point on
13 assets charge, which is tremendously lower than the
14 cost to the state through private industry which
15 would be the only other alternative could we not
16 retain those professionals.
17 THE GOVERNOR: I assume that we'll defer this
18 item then.
19 MS. JARRIEL: The next item actually has two
20 components as well. The current acting executive
21 director for the SBA is operating under a delegation
22 of authority from the previous director which expires
23 today. We request appointment of the acting
24 executive director until such time as a permanent
25 director can be selected.
1 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Move it.
2 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: And I second that
3 portion of it.
4 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded for the
5 appointment of Barbara Jarriel as the acting
6 executive director.
7 Without objection, that's approved.
8 MS. JARRIEL: The other item is the initiation
9 of the search and selection process for a permanent
10 executive director, and it's my understanding that
11 the Trustees would like to agenda that item for the
12 July 9th meeting.
13 THE GOVERNOR: Without objection, deferred to
14 the July 9th meeting.
15 MS. JARRIEL: The last item we have attached
16 for your review, the reports of the acting executive
17 director which include investment performance and
18 bank designations.
19 COMMISSIONER NELSON: I move it.
20 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: I second it.
21 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and second. Without
22 objection, the report is accepted.
1 THE GOVERNOR: Bond Finance.
2 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Excuse me. A question
3 was just raised as to deferring that one item to the
4 9th of July? No, next meeting. And whether or not
5 we will have authority to even act upon it based on
6 attendance of the Trustees?
7 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Well, I will be there the
9 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: When is the next
11 THE GOVERNOR: June 25.
12 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: So if we delay it until
13 June 9, which means we'll not be able to start the
14 new year with pay raises, although we can retroactive
16 COMMISSIONER NELSON: As far as I am concerned,
17 we can do it at the next meeting. The next meeting
18 is fine with me.
19 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: It's a nonproblem. I am
20 sorry I brought it up.
21 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Well, is it going to be
22 June 25 or July 9?
23 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: Going to have to be
24 July 9.
25 THE GOVERNOR: So it's July 9. All right.
1 Another thing has been pointed out to me. We voted
2 just to continue that item. We need a vote to
3 continue their budget, which would terminate on July
4 1. So I think we should have --
5 COMMISSIONER NELSON: I move it.
6 THE GOVERNOR: So this will be sort of like a
7 continuing resolution.
8 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Yes.
9 THE GOVERNOR: -- to continue the budget until
10 we meet on the other.
11 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: I second that.
12 THE GOVERNOR: That's moved and seconded.
13 Without objection, it's adopted.
14 (The State Board of Administration was
1 THE GOVERNOR: Division of Bond Finance.
2 MR. WATKINS: Item number 1 is approval of the
3 minutes of the May 29th meeting.
4 THE GOVERNOR: Moved.
5 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Seconded.
6 THE GOVERNOR: -- and seconded. Without
7 objection, approved.
8 MR. WATKINS: Item number 2 is a report of the
9 award of a 11.2 million dollar bond issue for the
10 Board of Regents for construction of a student
11 apartment facility at Florida A&M University.
12 The bonds were sold at competitive sale on May
13 30 and awarded to the low bidder at a true interest
14 rate of approximately 5.77 percent.
15 THE GOVERNOR: Good interest rate.
16 MR. WATKINS: Thank you. Item 3 and 4, I am
17 going to turn over --
18 THE GOVERNOR: Let's get item 2 approved
20 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Moved.
21 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Seconded.
22 THE GOVERNOR: Move and seconded. Without
23 objection, it's approved.
24 MR. WATKINS:Items 3 and 4 I am going to turn
25 over to Susan Leigh, executive director of Florida
1 Housing Finance Agency.
2 SECRETARY MORTHAM: So moved.
3 MS. LEIGH: I appreciate the opportunity to
4 present my things in person today.
5 The first item on the agenda is adoption of
6 resolution authorizing negotiated sales of following
7 Housing Revenue Bonds on behalf and at the request of
8 the Florida Housing Finance Agency.
9 Item A is Praxis Deerfield Beach and item B is
10 Spinnaker Cove.
11 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: I believe it's moved.
12 Secretary, did you --
13 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Yes.
14 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: I will second it.
15 THE GOVERNOR: It's been moved and seconded.
16 Without objection, it's approved.
17 MS. LEIGH: Item number 4, I have spoken with
18 all of you, I think, except for Commissioner
19 Crawford, individually about this issue. It is
20 something -- and I have had several questions as to
21 why we are presenting this to the Cabinet this
23 And the board, my board has asked me to
24 represent to you that we heard your concerns a year
25 ago or in the last couple of years, that you would
1 like us to look at how we do business and perhaps
2 address it in different ways or to get people
3 comfortable with the way we do business or to change
4 the way we do business to do away with any perception
5 of anything going on other than the best thing for
6 the State of Florida.
7 What we have done over the past year is work on
8 the specific issue of competitive versus negotiated
9 bonds. And I think part of the concern comes from
10 the fact that everyone else that comes before you
11 does competitive transactions, and the Housing Agency
12 continually comes before you to do negotiated
14 Unfortunately, that has been a nature of the
15 type of transactions that we do, being housing versus
16 other lesser complex transactions. All be that the
17 case and what you will find in the report that your
18 staff has and that we have presented to you is a
19 compilation of information, not only from
20 professionals within the industry, but people that
21 don't make money off of this agency in the industry,
22 which I think is very important; with the Government
23 Finance Association and the Municipal Finance
24 Journal, you will find several articles that kind of
25 explain when do you do competitive and when do you do
2 I am happy to report that the board has
3 authorized staff to move forward on a competitive
4 transaction for the fall in September. We will be
5 doing a single family transaction which we think is
6 the easiest and the one that makes the most sense and
7 will be efficient for the state.
8 We have chosen or we are in the process of
9 choosing a structuring agent to help us with that.
10 We are working with the Division of Bond Finance to
11 try to figure out if there is a better way for us to
12 go through this process that will address everyone's
13 concern with it.
14 We are willing and able to, if anybody has any
15 suggestions or ways to make the process better, we
16 want to incorporate that into this process. Those
17 decisions will be made over the next month.
18 There is still time to incorporate anything
19 that anybody needs in there that would make them feel
20 it was more successful, because we intend, the board
21 intends and staff intends to make this a successful
23 And then from there, we will look at in the
24 future how we evaluate, so that we have a true
25 evaluation of whether we should be doing negotiated
1 or competitive.
2 I will say that all housing transactions in the
3 state, even though they do not come before the
4 Cabinet, are done as negotiated transactions. It
5 just so happens you get to hear about ours.
6 We also have information about what other
7 states do, if people want to look at that in greater
8 detail. Our bottom line is that we are supposed to
9 provide affordable housing for the citizens of the
10 state, and we have to do that in the most efficient
11 and effective method because we have no general
12 revenue. We do not have the full faith and credit of
13 the state of Florida behind our bonds. And we have
14 to structure each transaction so that it actually
15 cash flows on a deal by deal basis.
16 And the other thing I think that it's important
17 to understand is that the agency five years ago
18 implemented an ethics rule prior to the division,
19 prior to SEC regulations, that said if you do
20 business with the agency, you cannot make
21 contributions to the Governor or Cabinet, the
22 individuals that would look at our transactions; and
23 also, that there is a -- the Division of Bond Finance
24 sets the fees for these transactions, and the board
25 picks who participates in them.
1 So there is a separation that the agency does
2 not have the ability to set fees for those
3 individuals that work for us in terms of the bond
5 Are there any questions?
6 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Just a couple of quick
7 questions. Susan, you mentioned using a single
8 family versus multifamily for purposes of this first
9 go around. And let me also say that I applaud you
10 for hearing our concerns and wanting to take a
11 different look at this, and I appreciate it and I am
12 sure all the members do.
13 What specifically makes the first go around
14 more important to move for single family versus
16 MS. LEIGH: In these transactions, the
17 developer on the multifamily side is the ultimate
18 user of those bonds. And they -- what happens in
19 that process and how we structure that deal, most the
20 housing bonds are what you call story bonds. You
21 have to go out and say this is what this is about.
22 We don't have full faith and credit, but look, we got
23 this kind of coverage on the transaction.
24 One of the transactions that you approving
25 today has 1.35 deck coverage. We have to make each
1 transaction very specific, and that has to be sold
2 and talked about in the market to get your best rate.
3 The developer pays the fees.
4 In a single family transaction -- so there is a
5 failure in that process, there is an individual that
6 is hurt in that process.
7 In a single family, the state is issuing the
8 bonds, and we are setting the fee structure based on
9 what it's going to cost us to do the transaction. We
10 have done several single families recently that we
11 think that this one will be fairly similar to -- the
12 market is familiar with this transaction, so
13 therefore, it's not as important to discuss it in the
14 market. And it should sell because they should be
15 able to look back and see the last two we did were
16 Triple A or Double A. And it should sell fairly
18 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Would it be your intent
19 then to try for a multifamily in the future,
20 understanding what you said, but also understanding
21 it's half a loaf?
22 MS. LEIGH: Right. One of the things we are
23 looking at is we were looking at structure agents for
24 the agency, was what other types of experience that
25 they had, and there are several firms that have some
1 very specific experience in multifamily. And so
2 there are things we considered doing this summer that
3 I think we are going to try to work with them on to
4 see if we can do that.
5 So our intent is not to just say we are going
6 to do the single family, we are not going to think
7 about it again. Our intent is to create a situation
8 in which we can take an honest look, have somebody
9 that has that type of experience working with us to
10 help us get there.
11 So then you're evaluating each particular
12 transaction, whether it's multi-or single, but we
13 started with the single.
14 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: You mentioned making the
15 process better. I don't know if this will or not,
16 but I sense what we are going through here -- and I
17 think if you want to call it pilots, we can to see
18 how it works. You have finance managers that you
19 work with as a member of your team when you do these
21 MS. LEIGH: What we have had in the past, by
22 statute, the agency is not permitted to hire a
23 financial advisor, or they can but they cannot do
24 business with the agency again in terms of purchasing
25 bonds for two years.
1 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Would it be appropriate
2 -- and I am throwing this out for the members as much
3 as you. Is it a potential that we could use one of
4 the contracted financial managers through the
5 division to sort of sit as a member of this team as
6 we go through these pilots?
7 MS. LEIGH: Absolutely.
8 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: To sort of be able to
9 monitor for the Cabinet?
10 MS. LEIGH: Absolutely. We welcome -- the
11 division is notified when we first start a
12 transaction. They can participate at any point
13 forward from there to the extent they can sit in on
14 every conference call and everything that's involved
15 in it to the very end. They do the pricing, they do
16 the fees. They are more than welcome. We'd welcome
17 their participation in reviewing this. The more
18 eyes, the better.
19 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: That's certainly not an
20 integrity issue, it's just one of liaison as we work
21 through this because it is new.
22 MS. LEIGH: We welcome it.
23 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: I don't know what kind of
24 an act that would take, if it's appropriate.
25 THE GOVERNOR: I think she said we are looking
1 at the procedure, we hope that could be incorporated
2 into the procedure that you are talking about.
3 Susan, you mentioned that back in '91 I think
4 that we made some changes in regard to
5 contributions. That was again to make sure that we
6 were protecting ourselves and protecting the state so
7 that in the future, there couldn't be any problems.
8 So I think we continue to look for things that were
9 preventive problems, but also would give great
10 credibility to what you are doing and what we are
11 doing and what the public sees we are doing here.
12 And I applaud you for what you are talking
13 about now. I would think that looking at something
14 like a little further separation, saying the Division
15 of Bond Finance would be selecting some of the fiscal
16 advisers or fiscal agents for these housing things as
17 opposed to the authority itself would again be one of
18 those steps, just like we took in '91 in regard to
19 contributions, to just signify that we are concerned
20 and are going to continue to do everything that we
21 can to protect the integrity of the process.
22 MS. LEIGH: I think the agency has been a
23 leader in that and would go -- will always be the
24 first one ahead to try to do that. Because we
25 understand the perception problems that occur. And
1 with the kind of money that we deal with on a
2 day-to-day basis, it's a constant concern of ours,
4 THE GOVERNOR: The other thing I would say, I
5 am delighted that you are moving towards a sale on
6 the bid sale. Every argument that we are hearing
7 now, that we have continued to hear, we heard on the
8 basis of all our sales back in the time we did it.
9 And all sales virtually by most people, other states
10 even, were done, the kind of sales that we were doing
11 were done on a negotiated basis. That had been the
12 history of Florida forever. And there were a lot of
13 doom sayers as to what would happen.
14 Now, it's sort of infrequent, but sometimes we
15 have a negotiated sale, and we think that is the best
16 thing; but almost all of our sales are on the basis
17 of the public offering. And over the period of time,
18 we have done very well in our interest rates. I
19 think we are ahead of most other people doing that.
20 MS. LEIGH: One of the individuals we chose
21 did the first deal in Alabama for the Housing Agency
22 there, their first competitive. So we are hopeful.
23 The board is very enthusiastic and has made it very
24 clear that that's where we are going.
25 THE GOVERNOR: Again, I don't have the
1 expertise to know whether single family is the best
2 thing you should do or multiple family, but I hope
3 you would get the best advice you can get as to what
4 is the best way to have a good experience on that.
5 MS. LEIGH: I would also like to report to you
6 that one of the things, as I said, we are supposed to
7 address need. We have built 190,000 units, 36,000
8 single family and 14,000 multifamily, over the past
9 15 years.
10 The need right now is by the year 2000, 180,000
11 multifamily and on single family, about 400,000.
12 With one of our single family transactions, $40
13 million is usually about 600 families.
14 So we have a long way to go to try to meet some
15 of those. But we are moving down that road to try to
16 build a sense of community in the state and work with
17 the local governments to do that.
18 THE GOVERNOR: Thank you. Did we have a motion
19 on the report?
20 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: I move it and ask that we
21 include the issue of the financial manager through
22 the Division of Bond Services.
23 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
24 THE GOVERNOR: It's been moved and seconded.
25 Without objection, it's approved. Thank you.
1 (The Division of Bond Finance concluded.)
2 THE GOVERNOR: State Board of Education.
3 MR. PIERSON: Item one is minutes of meeting
4 held August 21.
5 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: So moved.
6 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
7 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
8 object, approved.
9 MR. PIERSON: Item 2 is statewide programming
10 contract for Florida's Public Television Stations.
11 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
12 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Seconded.
13 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded.
14 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Can I raise a question?
15 Tell me a little bit about the contract. I have a
16 little information on it. Apparently it was a
17 directed contract.
18 MR. PIERSON: It was directed in proviso
19 language in the appropriations bill.
20 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: Directed that it had to
21 go to a specific agency?
22 MR. PIERSON: Yes.
23 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: I find it interesting
24 that the agency that it went to is an active Florida
25 nonprofit corporation run by a particular individual
1 or registered agent, particular individual. And that
2 just recently, a nonprofit or for profit corporation
3 was formed, and that same individual is the
4 registered agent. Does that cause you any concern?
5 MR. PIERSON: I wasn't aware of it personally,
6 sir. Erick Smith is here who is the agent that's
7 administering the contract.
8 MR. SMITH: The nonprofit corporation is made
9 up of Florida's Public Radio and Television
10 Stations. There are some ventures that they were
11 looking at because of the demise of other funding for
12 public broadcasting.
13 The advice of counsel was that if they got into
14 any of these other ventures, they should form a for
15 profit corporation. The corporation has been
16 formed. It's not active in its operation at this
18 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Well, you know, we just
19 finished discussion on negotiated versus competitive
20 contracting. And I just find this to be a little bit
22 MR. SMITH: I can answer the reason for the
23 contract language. The legislature selects, has
24 selected this organization to produce Today In The
25 Legislature. They used the same facilities in the
1 Capitol, the same equipment, and it's just not set
2 up so that two separate organizations could use the
3 same equipment and work out of the same facilities.
4 That's the reason they directed that the same
5 contractor be employed for both contracts.
6 THE GOVERNOR: Generally the legislature works
7 in mysterious ways. It's wonders to perform.
8 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: I appreciate that,
9 Governor, and I thank you for your answer. And at
10 this point, I will just march on and see what
12 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Up the hill?
13 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Up the hill.
14 THE GOVERNOR: Without objection.
15 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: I do object.
16 THE GOVERNOR: All right. We note with an
17 objection, it's approved. Item 3.
18 MR. PIERSON: Item 3 is an amendment to state
19 board rule 6A-1.0014 on the Comprehensive Management
20 Information System.
21 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: So moved.
22 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
23 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
24 objection, it's approved.
25 MR. PIERSON: Item 4 is a State University
1 system item on eminent domain which we'd request you
2 withdraw from the agenda.
3 THE GOVERNOR: Without objections, withdrawn.
4 MR. PIERSON: Item 5 are appointments to the
5 Edison Community College District Board of Trustees.
6 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: So moved.
7 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Second.
8 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
9 objection, they are approved.
10 MR. PIERSON: Item 6 is appointment to the Polk
11 Community College District Board Of Trustees.
12 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move approval.
13 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: Second.
14 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and second. Without
15 objection, it's approved.
16 (State Board of Education was concluded.)
1 THE GOVERNOR: Administration Commission.
2 MS. SITTIG: Item number 1, recommend approval
3 of the minutes of the meeting held May 14, 1996.
4 SECRETARY MORTHAM: So moved.
5 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Second.
6 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
7 objection, minutes are approved.
8 MS. SITTIG: Recommend the transfer of general
9 revenue appropriations under items A and B in the
10 Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.
11 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move.
12 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
13 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
14 objection, A and B are approved.
15 MS. SITTIG: Item 3, recommend the transfer of
16 general revenue appropriations in the Justice
17 Administration Commission.
18 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: So moved.
19 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
20 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
21 objection, it's approved.
22 MS. SITTIG: Item number 4, recommend the
23 transfer of general revenue appropriations in the
24 Department of Juvenile Justice.
25 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move it.
1 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
2 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
3 objection, it's approved.
4 MS. SITTIG: Item number 5, recommend the
5 transfer of general revenue appropriations for the
6 Agency For Health Care Administration.
7 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move approval.
8 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
9 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
10 objection, it's approved.
11 MS. SITTIG: Item number 6, request deferral of
12 this item until the June 20 meeting.
13 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move.
14 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: Second.
15 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Motion to
16 defer is granted.
17 MS. SITTIG: Item 7, recommend the transfer of
18 general revenue appropriations in the Department of
20 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move approval.
21 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
22 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
23 objection, it's approved.
24 MS. SITTIG: Item number 8, recommend the
25 transfer of general revenue appropriations in the
1 Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
2 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
3 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
4 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
5 objection, it's approved.
6 MS. SITTIG: Item number 9, recommend the
7 transfer of general revenue appropriations under
8 items A and B in the Department of Health and Human
10 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move items A and B.
11 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
12 objection, A and B are approved.
13 MS. SITTIG: Item 10, recommend the transfer of
14 general revenue appropriations under items A and B in
15 the Justice Administration Commission.
16 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move.
17 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
18 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
19 objection, A and B are approved.
20 MS. SITTIG: Item 11, recommend the
21 establishment of three positions in excess of the
22 number fixed by the legislature in the Agency for
23 Health Care Administration.
24 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
25 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
1 objection, it's approved.
2 MS. SITTIG: Item 12, recommend the transfer of
3 general revenue appropriations in the Department of
4 Health and Rehabilitative Services.
5 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
6 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: Second.
7 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
8 objection, it's approved.
9 MS. SITTIG: Item 13, recommend the temporary
10 transfer of funds in the state treasury to the
11 general revenue fund in the Department of Banking and
13 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
14 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
15 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
16 objection, it's approved.
17 MS. SITTIG: And item 14, recommend the
18 temporary transfer of up to $154 million from the
19 trust funds in the state treasury to the county
20 revenue sharing trust fund and up to 27 million to
21 the municipal revenue sharing trust.
22 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
23 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: Second.
24 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
25 objection, it's approved.
1 MS. SITTIG: Thank you.
2 (Administration Commission was concluded.)
1 THE GOVERNOR: Board of Trustees.
2 MR. GREEN: Item 1, minutes of the April 23
4 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: Move approval.
5 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
6 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
7 objection, it's approved.
8 MR. GREEN: Item 2, consideration of adoption
9 of a policy on the use of eminent domain policy.
10 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Governor, I would like to
11 move this item, and also congratulate staff. It just
12 appears to us that you've heard all the concerns and
13 all the questions that have been raised on this issue
14 over the past months, and we appreciate the hard work
15 and it looks good.
16 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
17 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and second. Without
18 objection, it's approved.
19 MR. GREEN: Item 3, consideration of a request
20 to purchase 575 square feet.
21 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
22 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
23 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
24 objection, it's approved.
25 MR. GREEN: Consideration of a purchase
1 agreement, item 4.
2 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
3 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
4 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
5 objection, it's approved.
6 MR. GREEN: Item 5, consideration of an option
8 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move approval.
9 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
10 objection, it's approved.
11 MR. GREEN: Item 6, consideration of an option
13 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move it.
14 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Second.
15 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
16 objection, it's approved.
17 MR. GREEN: Substitute item 7, consideration
18 request to terminate an option agreement.
19 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Move.
20 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
21 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
22 objection, it's approved.
23 MR. GREEN: Item 8, consideration of
24 authorization to acquire.
25 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move approval.
1 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Second.
2 MR. GREEN: George Wilson would like to speak
3 to the board for a second.
4 MR. WILSON: Governor, Members of the Cabinet,
5 thank for you for the opportunity to speak today.
6 Because of Preservation 2000, nearly every month you
7 have the opportunity to vote on a conservation
8 project that's really of national significance, and
9 it's getting almost routine.
10 On this one I have been asked to speak. A lot
11 of people have put a number of years of work in on
12 this and wanted me to make a few comments about the
13 good work of your department and of the South Florida
15 Your vote on this project gives final approval
16 to the purchase of the largest single ownership on
17 the Kissimmee River. It begins the transfer to
18 public ownership of one of Florida's best privately
19 managed natural areas.
20 These lands are the product of 60 years of
21 excellent private land stewardship and wildlife
22 conservation and will pass to the joint custody of
23 the South Florida Water Management District and the
24 Trustees for restoration and preservation.
25 It's a significant challenge to both the
1 District and the State Park System.
2 On behalf of the Nature Conservancy, John
3 Flicker with the National Audubon, we would like to
4 recognize the extraordinary work of the South Florida
5 Water Management District staff and DEP, Division of
6 Recreation and Parks, in their work with landowners,
7 elected officials, the business community and the
8 citizens of Okeechobee County in the creation of this
9 river restoration and park opportunity.
10 Some 13 years ago I represented DER in the
11 final hearings for the restoration on Kissimmee
12 River. Because of the way the landowners were
13 whipsawed back between public priorities that the
14 ditch was good for you, the ditch is bad for you, it
15 was hard for a lot of landowners to really believe
16 government and what was good or bad for the
17 restoration of the Kissimmee.
18 I wouldn't have given you a plug nickel of that
19 time for the opportunity to be able to work with the
20 Latt Maxcy Corporation like this on a park of
21 national significance. But unique opportunities do
22 come along, and the district and the DEP were able to
23 coordinate the programs and were able to work with
24 the owners of the 128,000 acre ranch and cherrypick
25 48,000 acres and all the riverfront out of that ranch
1 to cut the ranch off from the river from some of the
2 traditional uses and basically preserve one of the
3 largest areas of rare Florida prairie and four unique
4 tributary streams to the Kissimmee River.
5 It's a very significant natural area. Because
6 of the program coordination, we are able to bring you
7 this transaction without costly condemnation suits
8 and a below-market sale at a bargain sale.
9 Governor, the people you appoint at the South
10 Florida Water Management District and the people that
11 all of you supervise in the DEP have done an
12 excellent job in coordinating their programs. We
13 have a landowner who is satisfied. We have a
14 tremendous amount of people in Okeechobee County that
15 are going to be happy to have a park.
16 There were two CARL projects you approved in
17 February that had a timeliness that had to be done in
18 a certain quick time period. One of them was Camp
19 Helen, Lake Powell. The Division of State Lands
20 closed that last Friday, and very successful and on
21 time. And this project should close on time also
22 with the help of the district.
23 We also -- the project participants would
24 especially like to recognize the project mentoring we
25 received from the long-time Okeechobee County
1 resident, landowner, cattleman and South Florida
2 Governing Board member, Sonny Williamson, who has
3 been especially helpful in this and also Nat Reed.
4 I would like to close by sharing the closing
5 remarks of the Okeechobee County chair, Cliff Betts,
6 who chaired a special joint county commissioner this
7 spring, meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, the
8 Economic Development Council of Okeechobee County, to
9 look at the tax ramifications of taking such a large
10 piece of land off of the tax roll in Okeechobee
11 County, and to also look at the river access
12 opportunities for the people of the county, for
13 tourists, and to look at the economic opportunities
14 of echo tourism by making a park here.
15 Chairman Betts' final remarks in supporting the
16 park concept was that this park may be the best thing
17 that ever happened to Okeechobee County. A very,
18 very positive meeting, and that positive work was
19 because of the really good work of the park staff and
20 the South Florida staff and in working with the
21 locals to find out what they wanted here.
22 On behalf of the Nature Conservancy and a broad
23 spectrum of environmental groups, we thank you today
24 for your vote to protect both the Kissimmee River and
25 to restore it. We thank you very much for the
1 opportunity to speak.
2 THE GOVERNOR: We thank you very much for your
3 appearance and for your kind words. We hear a lot of
4 things about why echo management doesn't work and all
5 of the failures that we are making. It's very, very
6 nice to hear something, and it is obvious that an
7 awful lot of people worked very hard for this. This
8 is going to be very meaningful for the state of
10 Again, looking at what happened to the
11 Kissimmee over the years, and how it looked like we'd
12 never untangle it. And even when we started, it was
13 said that we would never be able to do anything to
14 get the river back and put it back or have it be
15 anything like it was before. It's nice to see this
16 project, but very nice to have your supportive words.
17 MR. WILSON: Thank you for the opportunity.
18 THE GOVERNOR: It's been moved and seconded.
19 Without objection, it's approved.
20 MR. GREEN: Item 9, recommend deferral until
21 the July 9 meeting.
22 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move to defer.
23 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
24 objection, it's approved.
25 MR. GREEN: Item 10, consideration of an
1 application to modify a five-year sovereignty
2 submerged land lease.
3 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Move approval.
4 COMMISSIONER MILLIGAN: Second.
5 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
6 objection, it's approved.
7 MR. GREEN: Substitute item 11, request
9 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Move it.
10 THE GOVERNOR: Moved and seconded. Without
11 objection, it's approved.
12 MR. GREEN: Item 12 is consideration of a
13 five-year sovereignty submerge land use in Palm Beach
14 County, the Juno pier item.
15 Governor, we have a number of speakers on each
16 side today. This item has been before you three
17 other occasions. I would recommend that we give 20
18 minutes per side to make presentation.
19 THE GOVERNOR: Very well.
20 MR. GREEN: The county will start or the
21 applicant will start, and they have asked their --
22 some of their time be reserved for rebuttal at the
23 end of the meeting. And then the opposition will
24 make their presentation.
25 Commissioner Warren Newell.
1 MR. NEWELL: Good morning. You know, it's a
2 pleasure to be here today. And you know it's an
3 important issue when I get on a small airplane in the
4 middle of the summer, with those big thunder boomers
5 out there behind my house.
6 Sometimes we talk about the pier as being a
7 local issue, maybe a regional issue in the north part
8 of the county. But I can tell you that it's a
9 countywide issue.
10 Our commission is supportive. Ken Foster,
11 chairman of the commission, is also supportive. In
12 fact, Commissioner Erinson had written you a letter I
13 think just recently supporting it.
14 When I took office, I had all these questions
15 about visions and things about the county. And my
16 families lived in Palm Beach County for over 80
17 years. And my vision has always been creating a
18 better place for my family to grow up and giving more
19 opportunities for my family to recreate.
20 I still remember 25 years ago when I sat on
21 Juno pier and fished in the summer. My mom and dad
22 would bring me, drop me off with my neighbors, and
23 Juno pier was a small pier, a very safe pier. I
24 spent every summer on that pier. And not -- my
25 parents didn't worry about where I was or was I in
2 And it was sort of neat, too, because I always
3 remembered those days, and I still remember them very
4 vividly today. And I remember those three snook that
5 sat in the bottom of the pier I used to throw rocks
6 at to try to get them to move. And if you are a
7 snook fisherman, you know what I am talking about.
8 You know, I guess it was last Tuesday I spoke
9 to the executive of the Wackenhut Corporation. And
10 if you didn't know, the national headquarters of
11 Wackenhut is now in Palm Beach County. And he stated
12 to me the number one reason that Wackenhut moved to
13 Palm Beach County was because how the community
14 presented itself with recreational activities,
15 especially using the water.
16 And he also stated the pier was very important
17 to him because his company was moving many, many
18 families to the north part of the county. You know,
19 this is a very important issue to many, many people
20 in the community. And I know and I appreciate the
21 time you all have taken, all the lobbyists involved
22 from both sides, and as an elected official sometimes
23 you have to get past all that lobbying and think
24 about what's correct and best for the community and
25 all the residents of Palm Beach County.
1 And I can tell you there are thousands waiting
2 to hear what your decision is. And I hope you give
3 Commissioner Roberts and Commissioner Marcus a few
4 minutes at the completion of both presentations to
5 sum up.
6 And again, thank you very much for this
8 THE GOVERNOR: Thank you, Commissioner.
9 MR. TWIGHTFORD: Good morning, Governor and
10 Cabinet members, my name is Tom Twightford. I am the
11 executive director of the West Palm Beach Fishing
12 Club. We have currently over 1300 members I am
13 representing here today. And I have also been asked
14 to represent the members of the Jupiter Inlet
15 Off-Shore Fishing Club and the Mako Owners Club, two
16 other clubs in Palm Beach County, that all support
17 the proposed pier.
18 I want to make it clear for starters that as
19 fishermen, we understand, accept and are aware of the
20 restrictions that this pier is to operate under. I
21 think as a whole, recreational anglers are custodians
22 of the resource. We care about turtles just as much
23 as anybody. We understand the restrictions. We
24 support them.
25 But somewhere buried underneath this turtle
1 issue the people issue has been overlooked. This
2 pier is for the people, people who can't afford to
3 own a boat, people who don't have the money to hire a
4 guide, people who fish for fun, people who fish for
5 food, people in the audience here that are holding
6 these signs. Look at them. These are people that
7 represent the cross section of our community, young
8 and old, people from all walks of. These are the
9 people -- they endured a long bus trip last night to
10 be here. These are the people who represent the
11 folks that are going to utilize this facility.
12 I also have with me here 4,651 signed petitions
13 of other people that couldn't be here today that
14 support the pier. And I would like to submit those
15 for the record.
16 Don't be fooled into thinking that there are
17 plenty of places for people to fish from shore in
18 Palm Beach County to catch marine fish. There
19 aren't. At one time when we had a population of
20 200,000 people, there were three piers that supported
21 that population. We are up to almost a million
22 people living in Palm Beach County, we are down to
23 one pier.
24 If you think that the bridges across the
25 intracoastal waterway, the several jetties that we
1 have that are still accessible are substitutes for a
2 pier, you are wrong. They are not. They are not
3 safe places for kids to fish. They are inaccessible
4 to many handicapped people. They are not safe places
5 for many elderly people. It's no substitute for a
6 fishing pier.
7 A fishing pier, this one, will extend almost
8 900 feet into the ocean. And what a pier does is it
9 gives anglers that don't have the boat a year-round
10 opportunity to catch fish and be more productive at
11 it and catch a greater variety of fish.
12 You are going to hear from other people that we
13 got all these miles of beaches that people can fish
14 from. At best, fishing off the beach is only good
15 seasonally. And again, it's not accessible to people
16 that are confined to a wheelchair, for example.
17 So don't be mislead. We need greater access.
18 We care about the turtles. But the need for this
19 facility greatly outweighs any impact, real or
20 perceived, that this structure is going to have on
21 the community or marine turtles.
22 We are asking you to do what's in the best
23 interest of the majority of the people and not a
24 vocal few. Thank you very much.
25 MR. McROBERTS: Hello, Governor and Cabinet
1 members, people for the pier and people for the
2 turtles, my name is Samuel J. McRoberts. I have been
3 a resident of Palm Beach County for 33 years, and I
4 spent some of the better times in my youth at the
5 Juno Beach fishing pier. I also went to Florida
6 State University and graduated with honors in the
7 business college.
8 I've got to say I saw hundreds of turtles lay
9 their nests, even some under the pier, and nobody
10 back then said anything about it. That pier was
11 there for 25 years and it hasn't survived. The
12 turtles have survived fine, though.
13 I have never seen a pier ever hurt a turtle,
14 that's never kept a turtle from laying its eggs nor
15 have I ever heard of a pier keeping hatchlings from
16 making it back into the ocean. The big problem are
17 boats, nets, and condominium lights.
18 The very people that are here against the pier
19 are the people from the Town of Jupiter and
20 condominiums that are on the west side of AIA.
21 It's a public beach down there, and the
22 property we are talking about is Palm Beach County
23 property. It's five acres, the parking is all
25 Recently they made a trade to tear down the sea
1 grapes to a short height in order for the condominium
2 owners to replace the exotic trees that were there.
3 They knew then when they did this trade off, that
4 condominium lights caused turtles to get disoriented.
5 And it's in yesterday's local section that 15 nests
6 got disoriented and many turtles died. This is
7 the wrong thing for responsible government people to
9 Anyway, my main point is here is there is 45
10 miles of ocean front in Palm Beach County. I am just
11 asking all of you up here to be responsible to the
12 children especially and also to the senior citizens.
13 All you are asking here for the people that are for
14 the pier are less than six inches per mile, or if you
15 factored it in one ten-thousandth of the ocean access
16 in Palm Beach County. It's not much of a
18 It's your duty to let common sense prevail
19 here, and don't take heed to the false alarm of the
20 people that are against the pier. There hasn't ever
21 been a pier even harm one turtle alone. Thank you.
22 MR. KENNEDY: Good morning. I am Michael
23 Kennedy, and this is the other part of my family.
24 All of us couldn't make it, like the many, many other
25 people in Palm Beach County who can't take the time
1 to come here.
2 But this family, like the thousands of other
3 people who have signed petitions since 1988 for this
4 pier, support this pier. And a lot of them live in
5 Jupiter. Look at the addresses, and please, please
6 look at the people. It's a broad cross section of
7 the people from our county and our town.
8 We also support these restrictions. And that's
9 what I am here to tell you about. That these
10 restrictions will protect turtles. I fished on that
11 Juno pier. I lived on that beach as a kid. I would
12 like these kids and the thousands and thousands of
13 other kids in our town to be able to do that. It's
14 better than hanging out at the mall, isn't it? Much
16 You can give these kids a legacy, a chance to
17 go and fish, our handicapped, our elderly, poor
18 people who can't afford a boat, kids who want to go
19 fish on a summer afternoon. And these turtles will
20 be protected.
21 We are not against turtles. This family goes
22 to beach clean ups, and I am proud of that. We
23 fought for the net band, we fought for turtle
24 excluding devices on nets. We are not oblivious to
25 the concerns of turtles. This pier meets it. Your
1 recommendations meet it. Don't let us down, please.
2 MS. MURRAY: Good morning. My name is
3 Catherine Murray, and I am here with my daughter
4 Alison and her friend Megan, and I have an eight-year
5 son at home who wasn't able to make it.
6 We are proud to be natives of Palm Beach County
7 and support the Palm Beach County Juno Beach pier for
8 many reasons, most of all for the rich experience a
9 fishing pier provides for the young people. Spending
10 time in nature and interacting with the elements and
11 other people teach respect, reverence and stewardship
12 of our valuable resources.
13 In my youth, I had the opportunity to spend
14 many enjoyable days fishing off the Juno Beach pier,
15 and I encourage you to support this proposed pier in
16 Palm Beach County, which our community also
18 Today, I can take my children to the beach, I
19 can teach them about the water, the weather, the sea
20 life and sea turtles, but we need to have a safe
21 place for our children to fish and provide the needed
22 opportunity to grow Florida style.
23 MR. BREWER: Governor, members of the Cabinet,
24 actually Trustees, my name is Chester Brewer. I am
25 here on behalf of and represent the board of the Palm
1 Beach County chapter of the Florida Conservation
2 Association. With me is Ted Foresgren on behalf of
3 the statewide board of the Florida Conservation
5 Members of our board have been involved with
6 the issue. I've got to tell you when it started,
7 there was no issue with regard to a pier. Everyone
8 wanted the pier. We are aware of the pros involved,
9 and we are very aware of some of these I guess lately
10 voiced cons with regard to this pier.
11 We have been involved since the beginning. We
12 urge you, please let northern Palm Beach County have
13 its pier. It's been a 10-year process that we have
14 been going through, and this entails probably the
15 last necessary step.
16 MR. FORESGREN: I know our time is running
17 short. I will be very brief.
18 The Florida Conservation Association, I myself,
19 have personally looked at all the issues involved in
20 this pier. And the issues are difficult ones; they
21 are ones that are properly before you as Trustees,
22 on both the marine resources and the public resources
23 of people of Florida. But we believe that a fishing
24 pier, with the stringent conditions that have been
25 imposed, which are far more stringent than any
1 conditions that have ever been proposed for any pier
2 in the state of Florida, we believe that you can
3 strike a balance between the need to provide some
4 recreation for the average citizen, the person who
5 can't afford a boat, and the real long-term
6 protection of marine sea turtles.
7 I, too, have fond memories when I was growing
8 up. My family could not afford a boat. When I was
9 fortunate enough to have my father home on weekends,
10 we would go to the Balast Point Pier in Tampa, and
11 that was big game fishing for me at that time.
12 So I know that this type of recreational
13 opportunities is important. We also know that
14 protection of sea turtles is important. But we
15 believe that this proposal with the stringent
16 conditions, which we very firmly support, will
17 provide the proper balance.
18 And we urge you to approve the lease. Thank
20 THE GOVERNOR: Thank you, sir.
21 MS. FLETCHER: I am Ellen Fletcher, the turtle
22 lady of Juno Beach. I was the first and only permit
23 holder, 006, in 1969.
24 For 15 years, I worked, I call it turtling,
25 night, day and Sunday, for 15 years, and the pier was
1 in the middle of the highest nesting records and is
2 still is without the pier.
3 But -- we had a green turtle -- we had many
4 turtles underneath the pier, where before it reaches
5 the water was a nice pier. We must replace that.
6 It's for everybody. The restrictions are not bad.
7 We didn't open nights. If they ran it, if they run
8 it, with the same rules as the old wooden pier, it
9 will be excellent, just excellent.
10 And it covers the children and the elderly.
11 And I know how much it means to those, and the school
12 children. I went to the schools. The children in
13 the schools, they must -- the worse restrictions are
14 from the turtle people, protection and all that,
16 But those people have not even dug a nest.
17 They haven't even had the experience the kids have
18 had for the last 27 years. So we need that pier for
19 all people. Thank you.
20 THE GOVERNOR: Thank you.
21 MR. YOUNG: Thank you, Governor and Cabinet.
22 My name is Lorenzo Young. I work with the community
23 base group out of Jupiter called the Limestone Creek
24 Community Development Corporation. And as we were
25 looking at strategies to help revitalize our
1 community, one of the major things that we looked at
2 were the amenities that would help youth, those who
3 were we considered troubled or at-risk. And we
4 looked at the Juno Beach pier as an opportunity, not
5 just for people of Palm Beach County, but part of the
6 strategy that we would also like to see come about.
7 I think a key thing here to look at is
8 youth needing things to do and places to go. This is
9 an opportunity that a family can take their kids and
10 enjoy the amenities of Palm Beach County.
11 For low to moderate income people, who may not
12 be able to afford a motor boat of their own, this is
13 an excellent opportunity. And I think fishing is one
14 of the greatest resources that Florida has to offer.
15 So when we come as a community -- and there is some
16 other residents of our small community, which mostly
17 the minority -- we are very excited about the
19 And we hope that the Governor and Cabinet take
20 a real serious look that we, as part of our strategy,
21 have opened up our community with the Greenways
22 project. And we know a lot of times that it might
23 not be what we want it to be, but it's doing the
24 right thing.
25 I think we need to look at that as being a
1 serious issue here rather than succumbing to the
2 interest of a few. I think the consideration of the
3 turtles is there. And just look at what's best for
4 Palm Beach County. Thank you.
5 THE GOVERNOR: Thank you.
6 MR. BERRY: Good morning, Governor and Cabinet
7 members. My name is Jim Berry. I am with Palm Beach
8 County Environmental Resources.
9 As an environmental permitting agency, we have
10 really worked hard and long, and we tried to address
11 head on all of the turtle issues that really have
12 been brought before you.
13 With that and to that extent, we have placed
14 specific conditions on this permit that are more
15 stringent than any fishing pier in the state of
16 Florida, and as far as I am aware, any fishing pier
17 in the world.
18 Other piers in the state of Florida have
19 turtles, but nothing of the magnitude that we have
20 placed on this pier with the specific conditions.
21 All of the professional permitting agencies --
22 the National Marine Fisheries, U.S. Fish and
23 Wildlife, Army Corps of Engineers, DEP -- all agree
24 that with the prudent and reasonable measures that we
25 have placed on this pier, we will not -- underline
1 the word not -- have a significant impact to marine
3 That doesn't mean to say that they haven't
4 written in that there will be some take. There will
5 be absolutely minimal take. That's not -- that's a
6 tremendous trade off for the recreational advantage
7 we are getting here.
8 We have gone to the extent to hire two outside
9 consultants, gave them our information, said take
10 it. Don't try to read into it one way or the other.
11 We want to put a pier here. Give us your information
12 and see what your results will come out as.
13 Both of those came out supporting the pier,
14 specifically tagging in specific and reasonable
15 prudent conditions that we have placed on this pier.
16 So you can verbalize all you want. You can
17 rant and rave, but the agencies are all behind it.
18 And if we thought for a moment as an environmental
19 permitting agency ourselves that we were going to
20 create a problem for turtles, I can guarantee you I
21 would not be here and the agency would not be here
22 trying to get a permit for this pier. Thank you.
23 THE GOVERNOR: We have a question.
24 COMMISSIONER NELSON: You represent the
25 environmental department in Palm Beach County?
1 MR. BERRY: Yes, sir, I do.
2 COMMISSIONER NELSON: And you made the
3 statement about all the different agencies that
4 support this. See if you can comment and help me
5 understand this.
6 I have a letter here from the National Marine
7 Fisheries, and I quote: However, we believe that
8 operation of the pier and associated activities may
9 adversely affect loggerhead, green, leatherback and
10 hawksbill turtles during the nesting season.
11 Then I have a letter dated -- from National
12 Marine Fisheries a couple of weeks ago -- May 31,
13 that says the Juno Beach fishing pier biological
14 opinion and included incidental take estimate that
15 even with all protective measures prescribed in the
16 opinion, one green, leatherback or hawksbill turtle
17 and two loggerhead turtles will be taken each year as
18 a result of the pier project, end of quote.
19 MR. BERRY: That's correct.
20 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Now, give me your comment
21 on that.
22 MR. BERRY: I am not standing before you right
23 now telling you there will not be a single turtle
24 impacted. That would be an absolute ridiculous
25 statement to make.
1 And I am in agreement with those statements,
2 that they are; but what the agencies are all saying
3 that they will permit, is that that is too an
4 absolute minimal level.
5 You have 100 or more turtles at piers at Lake
6 Worth, for example, with no specific conditions on
7 it. You have a Jupiter inlet district thing that was
8 just permitted with no specific conditions on it.
9 Those will be takes, too.
10 If you look at the entire area of fishing, if
11 you said let's look at fishing along the Jupiter to
12 Juno area and you said the issue was whether we are
13 going to have fishing or not fishing -- that's
14 certainly not the issue right now -- but National
15 Marine Fisheries would have to come back and write
16 that same kind of comment because somebody could
17 potentially hook a turtle. I am not saying there
18 won't be any.
19 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Is the Lake Worth Pier
20 Beach area, is it a high concentration nest area like
21 Juno Beach?
22 MR. BERRY: No, sir, it is not.
23 COMMISSIONER NELSON: And the Jupiter Beach
24 inlet, which you referred to as a pier, are there
25 nesting turtles there?
1 MR. BERRY: About 200 per mile, yes, sir, not
2 anywhere near to the magnitude that there are at this
4 COMMISSIONER NELSON: At Juno Beach?
5 MR. BERRY: That's correct. We have about
6 1100 per mile at Juno Beach. We have about 200 per
7 mile per at the jetty. We have about 100 per mile at
8 Lake Worth Pier.
9 (Attorney Butterworth exited the room.)
10 COMMISSIONER NELSON: And how many at Juno
12 MR. BERRY: About 1100 per mile.
13 COMMISSIONER NELSON: 1100 nests per mile at
14 Juno Beach?
15 MR. BERRY: Nest per mile, that's correct. And
16 higher north of that, about 1700 nests per mile on
17 the other side of the jetty at Jupiter Island.
18 THE GOVERNOR: Yes.
19 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: One person before you
20 stated that were some sea grapes cut down or
21 something? I know you were explaining about in Juno
22 they cut down some sea grapes?
23 MR. BERRY: Yes, sir, the Town of Jupiter
24 permitted 1800 lineal feet of sea grapes be cut down.
25 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: Is that in a high turtle
1 nesting area?
2 MR. BERRY: That is exactly the same area we
3 are talking about, just a little bit north of it, the
4 same nesting, 1100 per mile or higher, or whatever.
5 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: And there was some
6 comments made that that had the effect of taking
7 about 15 turtles? What was that?
8 MR. BERRY: The Marine Life Center did the
9 monitoring on that, and they showed disorientation,
10 total nest disorientation of 17 nests that were
11 totally disoriented. All the juveniles went the
12 wrong way through light that was let in from that
14 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: Who let the cutting
16 MR. BERRY: The Town of Jupiter.
17 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: Town of Jupiter?
18 MR. BERRY: Yes, sir.
19 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: So the county has no
20 control over that. The city has control.
21 MR. BERRY: No, sir, we lost that control.
22 That ordinance was taken away from us, yes, sir.
23 THE GOVERNOR: Thank you, sir.
24 MR. GREEN: For the opposition, Dr. Peter
25 Pritchard with Florida Audubon.
1 DR. PRITCHARD: I am Dr. Peter Pritchard. I am
2 vice-president of the Florida Audubon Society. And I
3 have to bring the board vote of 39 to 1 in opposition
4 to the Juno Beach pier.
5 And I personally am a sea turtle specialist,
6 and I've worked worldwide on sea turtles and sea
7 turtles issues and conservation and science for about
8 30 years.
9 We have a number of speakers, and I hope they
10 won't get carried away. We are going to try to keep
11 them in the available time.
12 Important to remember that Florida protected
13 sea turtles first. They did it several months before
14 the Feds did in the early 1970s. And since then, the
15 Feds have recognized Florida's expertise in the field
16 by delegating responsibility for turtle management
17 and conservation to the Department of Environmental
18 Protection and various antecedents.
19 Juno is famous worldwide. It is a place where
20 loggerheads nest in almost unprecedented numbers.
21 The only comparable numbers would be a little north
22 on Jupiter and in the areas of the Indian River
23 County and South Broward County that are slated to be
24 the Archie Carr Refuge.
25 We have taken the Archie Carr Refuge very
1 seriously at the state, local and national levels.
2 Tens of millions of dollars have been spent for a
3 target of 100 million dollars expenditure to make
4 sure that beach is safe and included in the refuge
6 We are not suggesting that Juno be acquired
7 inch by inch by the state or anyone else and included
8 in the national refuge system. But we would consider
9 it as sort of almost a bazaarly opposite treatment
10 that would make little consistency or sense to allow
11 it to be developed with a thousand foot pier right in
12 the middle of it.
13 (Attorney General Butterworth enters the room.)
14 DR. PRITCHARD: The issue was discussed among a
15 gathering of international sea turtle
16 conservationists and scientists at Hiltonhead, South
17 Carolina, earlier this year. There was a caucus
18 meeting to decide on a policy. And basically, 400
19 signatures were gathered in opposition to the pier.
20 THE GOVERNOR: Excuse me, for interrupting you,
21 but what position did you all take before the City of
22 Juno in regard to the cutting of sea grapes?
23 DR. PRITCHARD: We didn't take a position on
24 that. We would have done --
25 THE GOVERNOR: You didn't have 400 scientists
1 meet on that and you didn't do that? This is the
2 world's best turtle beach, you just told me?
3 DR. PRITCHARD: I agree. We have incomplete
4 coverage of the issues. Some come to our attention
5 and some we don't learn about in time. And many
6 things get by us. And I am not saying that the Juno
7 pier is the worst thing that ever happened to sea
8 turtles. It's simply the issue before us today.
9 But certainly we were distressed to hear about
10 the cutting at Jupiter. Twenty-six countries,
11 representatives from 26 countries signed this
12 petition and about 10 Fish and Wildlife Service and
13 Natural Marine Fishery Service biologists signed it
14 as well in their capacity as private individuals.
15 But these are the people in the federal government
16 who know most about turtles.
17 We are disturbed about the pier for a number of
18 physical reasons -- the lighting that will be
19 necessary at the end of the pier is still not being
20 completely defined. We heard there will be one
21 light; we heard there will be three. There have to
22 be some lighting on the coast guard regulations just
23 so boating doesn't collide with it at night.
24 And if I may allude to maybe titles of various
25 films, I think titles have Basic Instinct and there
1 will be a Fatal Attraction with those lights out
3 We don't have Sharon Stone to testify on our
4 behalf, but as the turtles come out of their nests,
5 they orient strongly towards light because that's the
6 only way they can decide what is the right way to
8 And when they reach a light, whether it be a
9 port hole of a boat illuminated or light on the end
10 of a pier, they will swim up to it and continue
11 swimming right there rather than continue on past
13 (Commissioner Milligan exits the room.)
14 This being the case, they become very
15 vulnerable to the concentrations of predators that
16 gather under -- the fish predators that gather under
17 piers and other what they call topographic submarine
19 The turtles are making fragile recoveries. The
20 numbers are getting better each year. We protected
21 them for 20 years now. The fishing industry had to
22 go to enormous lengths with TEDS. Many things have
23 been done. Hatcheries have been operated, and thank
24 God we are getting some recovery. The species are
25 picking up, but it's a fragile recovery. And if we
1 allow development in the middle of the nesting
2 beaches, we'll set it back.
3 I am aware, too, that for the Trustees to issue
4 a permit for development of submerged sovereign
5 lands, this is not anybody's right. This is a
6 privilege extended under special circumstances when
7 you are totally convinced that it is in the public
8 interest. It's not something that simply you are
9 obliged to issue to someone who used the right form
10 to make the application.
11 There seems to be no dissent that there will be
12 an impact on endangered and threatened turtles.
13 Rehabilitation has been proposed. Fish and Wildlife
14 and National Marine Fisheries have projected some
15 anticipated numbers, rather small numbers of the
16 number of turtles they feel will be impacted.
17 My problem with them is that the numbers are
18 frankly pure speculation. My friends at the agency
19 concede that. They had to put numbers down. Here
20 are some numbers.
21 The question is: What happens when the quota
22 is reached? And I would put to you that there is no
23 mechanism in hand for removing a pier or stopping
24 operations or anything else when a quota is reached.
25 We saw this with the Texas shook fishery and they had
1 a permit for a certain number. The number was
2 exceeded three fold, four fold, five fold. And
3 everyone looked confused. But the fishery went on
5 So there is a serious deficiency in mechanisms
6 right there.
7 We have the problem of piecemeal development,
8 trickle down development. What will happen following
9 the pier? The pier is closed at night, so the people
10 come off the beach and -- off the pier and they will
11 fish from the beach, or they may tie up small boats
12 to the beach, under pilings, et cetera.
13 But we worry that precedent is crucial. You
14 won't lose every loggerhead in the United States if
15 this pier is built, but you would have made the
16 wrong step which will lead to comparable steps, some
17 inevitable, some future government decisions, which
18 together will ultimately destroy the nesting habitat
19 for these endangered and threatened species of
21 I would like to go on for another hour, but I
22 won't. I will stop, and we have a number of people
23 from various organizations who will speak to the
24 cause. The first one is David Godfrey from the
25 Caribbean Conservation.
1 MR. GODFREY: Again, I am speaking on behalf of
2 the Caribbean Conservation. We have over 2,000
3 members in Florida. We are here also to ask that you
4 deny the submerged lease requested by Palm Beach
6 Caribbean Conservation was founded over 35
7 years ago by Dr. Archie Carr for the purpose of
8 studying and protecting marine turtles around the
10 One of the things that we have ascertained
11 after three decades of research is that it really is
12 the gradual chipping away at important sea turtle
13 nesting sites that is one of the most serious,
14 long-term threats to the survival of these species.
15 And quite simply, Juno Beach is really a gem as far
16 as sea turtles are concerned. I mean, there are very
17 few places in the world, much less in Florida, where
18 sea turtles come to nest with such great quantity and
19 in such great variety.
20 We are simply saying why risk this extremely
21 important area to build a pier that could be built in
22 a more appropriate site and which, if built at Juno,
23 would come with serious restrictions on its use as a
24 recreational asset?
25 Even with those restrictions, we've heard a lot
1 of support for them. Even with those restrictions,
2 there are going to be significant adverse impacts
3 from the pier on turtles.
4 (Commission Milligan entered the room.)
5 MR. GODFREY: Additional light, additional
6 development in the area, monofilament line and hooks.
7 I am not sure why the issue of grapes being cut down
8 is so correlated with this issue. But the thing that
9 I ascertained from that is that if the cutting down
10 of the grapes had such an impact on the turtles
11 because additional light was in that area, what do we
12 think the pier is going to do?
13 This is the same area. What impact is the pier
14 going to have?
15 Basically, we just recommend that you oppose
16 this pier in this site, allow the conservation
17 community and others who are willing to work with the
18 county to find a more appropriate site and we will
19 support that. Thank you very much.
20 DR. PRITCHARD: Bruce Ryan from the Center for
21 Marine Conservation.
22 MR. RYAN: Good morning. As Dr. Pritchard
23 said, I represent the Center For Marine Conservation.
24 I am Director of Programs with this Washington, D.C.,
25 based marine conservation group. Thank you for the
1 opportunity to come before you in person to express
2 our concerns.
3 This Center for Marine Conservation represents
4 over 120,000 members nationwide and 10,000 members in
5 Florida. We ask that you do not issue a submerged
6 land lease for construction of a fishing pier on the
7 currently proposed Juno Beach site.
8 The Center for Marine Conservation has worked
9 on sea turtle conservation issues around the world
10 for 20 years. From this perspective, we can state
11 that degradation and loss of nesting habitat is
12 rapidly becoming one of the top conservation issues
13 for endangered and threatened marine turtles
14 globally. And looking from a global perspective,
15 only several sites in the whole world compare to the
16 importance of sea turtle habitat in this part of
18 Along with the beaches of the Archie Carr
19 National Wildlife Refuge, Juno Beach has some of the
20 highest densities of sea turtle nesting in North
21 America. It is very likely that so many turtles nest
22 on Juno Beach in large part because of the relatively
23 dark, undeveloped nature of the area.
24 This pier does not have to be built on this
25 particular site. It is our understanding that there
1 are several alternative sites in the vicinity with
2 much lower potential for disrupting sea turtle
4 The Center for Marine Conservation urges you to
5 reject the proposed lease and recommend its
6 proponents consider one of the alternative sites. We
7 are not against a pier. We are opposed to this
8 particular location.
9 Thank you for this opportunity to address you
10 and for your consideration of this matter.
11 DR. PRITCHARD: Manley Fuller with the Florida
12 Wildlife Federation.
13 MR. FULLER: Governor and Cabinet, we have
14 friends on both sides of this issue, we think, as I
15 know you all do as well.
16 THE GOVERNOR: You are standing with your
18 MR. FULLER: I will make our position clear,
19 but we do -- we feel that the opposition in this --
20 and a lot of these are honorable people and they are
21 dedicated to both recreation and conservation of sea
23 We oppose, the Florida Wildlife Federation
24 opposes the proposed pier in this location. We
25 support recreational opportunities for the public.
1 We support fishing. If this were not in such a high
2 sea turtle nesting area, we would not be speaking
3 against this pier in this location.
4 (Commission Nelson exits the room.)
5 MR. FULLER: There is tremendous variation in
6 the density of turtle nesting in the county, and we
7 would like to see other opportunities fully
9 We recognize that the department has put a lot
10 of work in attempting to develop restrictions which
11 would minimize impacts on turtles. We think that
12 over time, future Cabinets will be addressing
13 attempts to peel back those restrictions. We think
14 that will occur.
15 We think that -- we find it puzzling that this
16 proposal is necessarily the best proposal for fishing
17 opportunities in the county as well, because these
18 restrictions are in place from March to the end of
19 October. That's seven months out of the year when
20 you cannot fish at night.
21 I know a lot of fishing opportunities are late
22 afternoon and early morning. There are some people
23 who like to fish at night during those seasons.
24 Specifically between -- more interest in the period
25 from March through May and September and October. We
1 would like to see a pier constructed that could be in
2 a lower turtle nesting area that could have less
3 restrictions placed on it.
4 That's our position, and I will be glad to take
5 any questions. Thank you.
6 DR. PRITCHARD: Bram Canter with Florida
7 Defenders of the Environment.
8 MR. CANTER: Good morning, Governor, Cabinet
10 On behalf of Florida Defenders of the
11 Environment, I delivered a letter from Ms. Margery
12 Carr to each one of you a month ago when the matter
13 was on the agenda before. And Florida Defenders of
14 the Environment is opposed to this lease.
15 We hope that you will follow what should be a
16 general policy of the state to safeguard those areas
17 that constitute the best, the highest quality, the
18 most pristine for any particular habitat, creature or
19 natural system. And in this case, we think that's
20 what Juno Beach represents.
21 That's not the place we believe you should
22 experiment or take a risk. But rather, if you want
23 to try to compromise the interest of the human
24 population with the wildlife population, then that
25 should be in areas that are already disturbed. Thank
1 you very much.
2 DR. PRITCHARD: Thomas Moliterno with the
3 International Fund For Animal Welfare.
4 (Governor Chiles exits the room.)
5 MR. MOLITERNO: Governor, Members of the
6 Cabinet, thanks for the opportunity to come here
7 today and speak to you. My name is Tom Moliterno. I
8 am a director of the International Fund for Animal
9 Welfare, one of the world's largest international
10 animal protection organizations with 1.5 million
11 supporters in 72 countries around the world.
12 And the International Fund opposes the pier at
13 Juno Beach.
14 I believe we need to be very clear about what
15 it is that's at issue here today. We are not talking
16 about public rights to fish. We are not talking
17 about citizens' rights to access public waters and
18 public lands. We are talking about endangered sea
20 And I urge you to put this discussion into the
21 context of national and international opinion towards
22 endangered species protection. And we can talk about
23 a lot of cases over the past year that illustrate
24 this, but I think the most telling to today's
25 discussion is the December 1995 ruling of the US
1 Court of International Trade that places the United
2 States under a court order to embargo shrimp imports
3 from 52 nations around the world because the fishing
4 fleets from those nations do not have sufficient
5 protections for endangered sea turtles.
6 Now, if it's that important, if sea turtle
7 protection is that important to the United States, it
8 should be that important here at Juno Beach.
9 I encourage you, I urge you to put sea turtle
10 protection in the mainstream of Florida policy and do
11 the right thing by denying use of this submerged land
12 lease. Thank you.
13 MS. CAPLOWE: Good morning, Governor and
14 Cabinet, my name is Susan Caplowe. I am here today
15 speaking for Florida Consumer Action Network, which
16 is a 40,000 member organization statewide, and the
17 Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club which has 20,000
19 The local Sierra Club group, the Loxahatachee
20 group, debated this issue. They met with the
21 commissioners, and the board unanimously voted
22 against this project.
23 We echo the comments of the previous speakers.
24 It's a valuable nesting ground. The leatherbacks,
25 green loggerheads and hawksbills need a place to nest
1 that is unencumbered.
2 (Governor Chiles enters the room. )
3 MS. CAPLOWE: A pier built in this area is
4 going to bring garbage from humans, left over bait.
5 Other birds and animals are going to be attracted to
6 this area, thus you are diminishing the ability for
7 these turtles to have a safe area to nest.
8 Species become extinct and endangered by
9 incremental destruction of their nesting areas and
10 their habitats.
11 (Commissioner Crawford leaves the room.)
12 MS. CAPLOWE: Every little bit here and there
13 causes them to go extinct.
14 Please vote against this. You have the ability
15 to do this because of the submerged lands. You can't
16 control what they do. The county does in uplands.
17 So please vote against this. Thank you.
18 MS. HOMCY: Good morning, Governor, members of
19 the Cabinet. Nice to see you all again. My name is
20 Jennifer Homcy, and I want to give you a list of the
21 organizations who oppose this project without being
22 able to be represented here today for various
24 We have Save the Turtles, which is an
25 organization based in the keys, Wildlife Conservation
1 International which does wildlife conservation
2 projects in 32 countries around the world. The Palm
3 Beach Divers Association, which takes 140,000 people
4 diving each year on the reefs in Palm Beach County
5 and helps promote conservation efforts. The Humane
6 Society of Americas, Reef Environmental Education
7 Foundation, the Florida Marine Conservation
8 Corporation and the Sea Turtle Preservation Society
9 who are the stewards of the Carr Refuge.
10 (Commission Crawford enters the room.)
11 MS. HOMCY: We have petitions signed from
12 hundreds, I reiterate, hundreds of beach residents
13 stating that they would like to see a pier built in
14 their area.
15 We also have symposium positions. We also have
16 petitions signed from the public, and I will submit
17 those for public record.
18 Some things that I wanted to talk about that I
19 think are taking away from the issue but need to be
20 cleared up is the sea grape cutting issue. Palm
21 Beach County permitted a condo in 1994 that violates
22 their own county ordinance, that regardless of the
23 sea grape trimming issue would have caused
25 DEP and Palm Beach County employees did several
1 lighting surveys down there prior -- after the
2 construction of this condo and improper permitting
3 which was pushed through in one single day, from
4 December 22 to December 23 when the permit was
6 So I think that this is not really the proper
7 issue to be focusing on right now.
8 I am a resident of Palm Beach County. I was
9 born and raised there. I grew up on that fishing
10 pier. I spent much of my time down there after
11 school fishing, and a good portion of my weekends and
12 summers there. And I also commercial dive. I am not
13 against fishing, I support the fishing activities. I
14 am a fisherman. I was a fisherman before I was ever
15 a sea turtle biologist.
16 I just graduated from school and I got eight
17 nesting seasons worth of experience in working on the
18 beaches of Juno and Jupiter. And I surveyed the
19 Jupiter inlet for Palm Beach County for three years
20 when I worked for the Department of Environmental
21 Resource Management.
22 And I can also tell you that the nesting next
23 to the inlet is incredibly low, that the average in
24 that entire stretch is a couple hundred nests per
25 mile. The nesting in the immediate area adjacent to
1 the jetty is very low and will have very minimal
2 impacts there.
3 I am going to rush this. I would like to allow
4 time for the rest of the speakers to speak. But I
5 will be available for questions.
6 THE GOVERNOR: When you were there and using
7 the pier before, do you think that was any
8 obstruction, hurt the turtles?
9 Working with the same number of turtles?
10 MS. HOMCY: I don't believe there were the same
11 number of turtles on that beach. Ms. Fletcher's data
12 I reviewed when I worked for Palm Beach County, and
13 you would be more properly informed to ask her about
14 the numbers of turtles that were there while she
15 monitored the beach. And I could tell you what we
16 got now, which you heard several times.
17 But in terms of my perception of what happened
18 while the pier was there, I don't think that we knew
19 enough, and sea turtles had been so severely
20 disseminated up until the '70s when they first
21 started receiving protection that they didn't start
22 really making their strong recovery until after
24 So I don't think we can speculate as to what
25 the impacts were. But I do remember seeing turtles
1 get hooked. And yes, turtles did nest around the
2 pier. And that structure was closed at night. But
3 it was a private pier. It was very localized. It
4 wasn't advertised and not very many people knew it
5 was there.
6 I think the parking lot there only has about 44
7 parking spots.
8 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Do your surveys coincide
9 with the gentleman who tested from the Department of
10 Environmental Protection? I think what he said down
11 at the Lake Worth pier, there were 100 nests per
12 mile. He said in the Jupiter area, there were --
13 yes, in the Jupiter area he said 200 per mile. And
14 he said at the Juno Beach site there were 1100 per
16 MS. HOMCY: I will agree with the 1100 per
17 mile. Last season we had record breaking numbers.
18 It was almost 1500 nests per mile in that particular
19 stretch of beach.
20 The thing is when we talk about nest surveys,
21 they are broken down into zones. And when we average
22 it out, we are averaging out all of the nesting
23 activity per zone for the entire nest survey area
24 that one particular turtle surveyor does. So when we
25 say there are 100 nests per mile in the Lake Worth
1 area, we don't know whether that's directly adjacent
2 to the pier or not because of the way they have those
3 zones broken down. And when we say there is 200
4 nests per mile at the Jupiter inlet, we don't know,
5 unless you look at that specific zone and the average
6 of nests per season in that specific zone that's
7 adjacent to that area.
8 I thank you for your time.
9 MS. COMERFORD: Good morning, Governor Chiles
10 and Cabinet members. Greetings from the Zoological
11 Society of the Palm Beaches. I am Kathy Comerford,
12 secretary of the board of directors.
13 The zoo is part of the American Zoological
14 Association and its national mission is
15 conservation. We have over 200 zoos and aquariums
16 that are part of this group. The board of directors
17 of the Prairie Park Zoo is unanimously opposed to
18 this site of the Juno Beach pier. This site would
19 have a detrimental effect on one of the largest
20 nesting habitats in the western hemisphere.
21 Please deny this use or lease of this public
22 land, our lands, I guess my lands, which affect three
23 federally protected endangered and protected species
24 of sea turtles. Thank you.
25 MR. DANIELS: Good morning. My name is Don
1 Daniels, vice mayor of the Town of Jupiter. I came
2 here with a little different kind of speech until I
3 heard some of the accusations.
4 I would like to point out before we get into
5 that issue, though, that we have done an
6 investigation on the available fishing opportunities,
7 at least in our north area. And these presentations
8 that you see, I believe you have copies of those, you
9 will see that these are definitely attractive fishing
10 opportunities. The Jupiter inlet jetty, I thought
11 that issue about safety was closed. There was an
12 article in the June 9 paper that states that the
13 Jupiter inlet district has hired safety consultants
14 to take care of any safety issues that may appear on
15 that platform.
16 It is permitted. It is ready to be built.
17 We did ask Palm Beach County to co-participate
18 with Jupiter in that district in '94. We suggested
19 that, and that suggestion was not taken up by the
21 (Secretary Mortham leaves the room.)
22 MR. DANIELS: As far as the children go in our
23 community, we have one of the -- probably the most
24 prolific recreation department opportunities for
25 children that there is in Palm Beach County. We have
1 a private organization also called the JTAA that
2 gives kids opportunities for sports activities and
3 other activities throughout our community, and that
4 is for all the residents of all the surrounding
5 municipalities in northern Palm Beach County.
6 It's a huge operation. I donated the remainder
7 of my campaign fund to that organization because I
8 believe strongly in supporting the children in our
10 (Secretary Mortham enters the room.)
11 MR. DANIELS: I definitely would not try to
12 prevent them from doing something that I thought
13 would be possible to give them -- that would be of
15 So as far as the sea grape issue goes, the DER
16 had just lost their permitting capabilities, that's
17 the Palm Beach County DER, through a court action.
18 We had no permitting facilities in place for that
19 type of activity.
20 The condo owners could have gone in on their
21 own without any permitting at all and cut the sea
22 grapes to any height that they wanted to.
23 The first condo that wanted to do any trimming,
24 they came to the town. We acted like we did have
25 some permitting capabilities. We hired a landscape
1 architect to set the height. It was no lower than
2 five feet for any trimming on that particular piece
3 of land.
4 Unfortunately, when the next condo came in,
5 right after that, this particular landscape architect
6 was not available. But our staff made up a permit
7 that did not -- that left out the five foot height
8 and the workers on the site cut and cut and cut. And
9 by the time the Town of Jupiter discovered what was
10 going on, by the time our inspectors got there, we
11 were upset, horrified, embarrassed and you name it.
12 And we have since then set an aggressive action so
13 this will never happen again.
14 THE GOVERNOR: You letting those sea grapes
15 grow back up then?
16 MR. DANIELS: Yes, sir, at this point they are
17 back up at their normal height. Now it's just
18 starting turtle season. It's worked out rather
20 So we are aware of the problem. We addressed
21 the problem immediately. We were embarrassed. And I
22 can guarantee you that something like that will never
23 happen again in our community.
24 If you have any questions, I will be happy to
25 field any questions. I would like to introduce
1 Mr. Jon Moyle who is representing the Town of Jupiter
2 who can maybe wrap up some of your concerns. Thank
4 MR. MOYLE: Governor and members of the -- or
5 perhaps I should say Trustees of the Internal
6 Improvement Fund, my name is Jon Moyle, and I am
7 representing the Town of Jupiter.
8 You have a difficult choice today, a difficult
9 decision to make. You have two public policy options
10 that are conflicting. You have the providing of
11 recreational, nonboat saltwater fishing on piers,
12 bridges and jetties, colliding with preventing or
13 prohibiting adverse environmental impact on one of
14 the best remaining habitats for turtles in Florida
15 and the United States.
16 They both are very valid. They both are
17 important public policies, and both are supported by
18 well-intentioned, well-meaning citizens, not only
19 of Palm Beach County but of the state and country.
20 I would mention that in the opposition
21 testimony that you have heard, the only folks
22 representing the Town of Jupiter are the vice mayor
23 and myself. The rest all represent either local
24 citizens or the environmental organizations of this
1 In making the choice that's facing you today, I
2 suggest that a balancing of the benefits of the pier
3 against its environmental risk is the best route to
4 take. And in doing that, it is very important, I
5 think, to recognize that your choice, your balancing
6 exercise today, is not a regulatory decision of a
7 local matter. It is not a permit application with
8 criteria being satisfied, thereby establishing
9 entitlement of a permit.
10 What you have today is the lease of sovereign
11 owned lands. The decision by the Trustees today is
12 about land held in trust for the citizens of
13 Florida. The guiding principles in your rules
14 involve public interest in fulfilling the fiduciary
15 responsibilities for protection and disposition of
16 sovereign lands and on natural resources.
17 Activities on sovereign lands must not be
18 contrary to the public interest, and it is well
19 established that you have very wide discretion in
20 this balancing that you must do today.
21 I would like to just take one moment before I
22 summarize some balancing points to comment on the sea
24 It was a mistake. The town council
25 apologizes. They have taken aggressive corrective
1 action, and the very news article that was referred
2 to rather gleefully is a news article that talks
3 about the aggressive corrective action that was taken
4 so that this will not happen again.
5 It occurred over a year ago, the cutting
6 occurred over a year ago, and the sea grape has grown
7 back. I would suggest that one mistake does not
8 necessarily support another mistake.
9 I would like to summarize and mention several
10 areas that we believe are important in this balancing
11 or the choice that you have to make between two
12 policy options.
13 One is access. There are existing saltwater
14 nonboat fishing opportunities either approved or in
15 existence in northern Palm Beach County. This chart
16 illustrates these, with the red being limited to
17 saltwater fishing opportunities so that the
18 facilities are not just bridge facilities. They are
19 restricted for the use of fishermen.
20 The blue are bridges that can be fished on.
21 The linear feet that I am talking about on this chart
22 are 2,334 linear feet, either existing or approved.
23 By approved, I mean this is out to bid and will begin
24 construction sometime this summer. That's the
25 Jupiter pier, the Jupiter inlet district. The rest
1 of them are all existing.
2 In addition, we asked the engineering
3 department of the Town of Jupiter to do from aerial
4 photos, a survey of the bridge, catwalk, jetties,
5 types of saltwater fishing opportunities in north
6 Palm Beach County, they came out with 11,198 feet
8 You take these two numbers and you add them
9 together, and you apply these to the need formulas in
10 the state comprehensive outdoor recreational plan and
11 you can reach a conclusion that there is access for
12 nonboat saltwater fishing in northern Palm Beach
14 I suggest that's important not to get into a
15 debate over the linear feet or the number of
16 opportunities, it's important in balancing whether
17 there is access against the environmental impact.
18 The DEP made two findings -- this is your
19 agency -- which I think are important. I won't cite
20 the whole quote in the interest of time, but the
21 first one was on February 13. They say that
22 historically, this has been the heaviest nesting
23 beach in the state.
24 And secondly, they say the effect of fishing
25 piers on nesting beach site selection has not been
1 previously studied. Therefore, the potential effects
2 of the fishing pier on nesting beach selection and
3 nesting densities within the vicinity of the pier
4 cannot be accurately assessed.
5 I suggest that these two conclusions, objective
6 ones from your own agency, are important and equal
7 environmental risk for endangered and threatened
8 species and are not appropriate for the use, the
9 lease of sovereign owned lands.
10 Another quick point. The relative need index
11 for 1995 for resource based recreational activities
12 in your state comp plan, activities for region 10,
13 the next-to-the-last activity in terms of priority
14 and need is saltwater fishing, nonboat, with an index
15 of 18.54. The highest is bike riding with an index
16 of 553.87.
17 Again, this information supports existing
18 access for the nonboat saltwater fishing, and that it
19 is not a high priority recreational need for Palm
20 Beach County.
21 An additional balancing factor, again the
22 difficult choice you have to make, is the Archie Carr
23 acquisition. This is an example of the state's
24 concern for protecting nesting habitat for turtles.
25 And in making the choice today, we must test the
1 public's interest, the public policies, between the
2 acquisition of these lands as a very important turtle
3 nesting area against the policies inherent in the
4 allowing of sovereign owned lands in a highly
5 sensitive environmental area for a pier.
6 I suggest that when you consider the testimony
7 you heard today, the scales tip in favor of not using
8 public land in this manner.
9 And I would like to make one last point, which
10 is more I guess kind of a personal observation. If
11 it doesn't have an impact, please -- or has a
12 negative impact -- please attribute it to me. But it
13 seemed to -- and not my client and not these folks,
14 these environmentalists who have come up here.
15 But yesterday, in talking to the aides,
16 somebody said -- I was going to say Jon, but they
17 didn't. They said Moyle, what are you doing up here?
18 Where is your developer? What's going on? Why
19 aren't you representing your developer?
20 And that started me thinking. It made me think
21 of a possible analogy that may be helpful as you
22 balance. If I were up here today representing a
23 private developer who owned upland, and I were here
24 today asking to lease sovereign owned land to build
25 an 850 or 890 foot pier in this very same place, a
1 pier that was open to the public, where we charged
2 admission, where we had a concession on the pier,
3 just like the county is proposing, if I were up here
4 for that private developer, what would your decision
6 My guess is that I would not get very much
7 support for this, and the interesting point is that
8 the reason I wouldn't be getting support is the
9 environmental risk for putting that kind of pier in
10 this area.
11 I believe that the very same environmental risk
12 exists for the county project, and that your decision
13 today should be exactly the same as it would be, I
14 believe, if I were representing a private developer.
15 Thank you very much for allowing me to present
16 your attention. I will be happy to respond to any
18 COMMISSIONER NELSON: May I ask Dr. Pritchard,
19 Dr. Pritchard, we had a lot of testimony on both
20 sides about the density of the nesting and it's been
21 characterized as 1100 per mile or it's been
22 characterized as one of the heaviest concentration of
23 nesting in the world and in Florida. Since you have
24 some credentials as a turtle expert, would you
25 characterize the density of this nesting area as
1 compared to other parts of Florida?
2 DR. PRITCHARD: It would appear to be in the
3 top two, as I mentioned; that the Archie Carr Refuge
4 lands or the acquired or to be acquired are
6 Turtle nesting, especially for loggerheads
7 which is a species that doesn't nest every year -- a
8 given loggerhead will nest two years later or three
9 years later or four years later, so you can get
10 fairly striking year to year fluctuations. You can
11 get a year with let us say 500 per mile; you can get
12 a year with 1500 per mile. And we are still not
13 quite sure what are the factors that make a good year
14 and a bad year.
15 But basically, Juno and Jupiter are one of the
16 two areas that I would describe as the best
17 loggerhead nesting in Florida and are comparable with
18 a tiny island off the coast of Arabian peninsular
19 called Masira which attracts virtually all the
20 loggerheads in the Indian Ocean for reasons we don't
22 So that's where the action is, in those two
23 places in Florida.
24 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Dr. Pritchard, you made
25 a statement today that this would not be the worst
1 thing, this pier would not be the worst thing that
2 could happen to turtles, and based on conversations
3 that we had in the past, that the impact of the
4 bridge or the pier by itself is not that significant,
5 not a significant impact. But your concern is future
6 activity, the expansion of activities in that
7 particular area, and perhaps even additional piers or
8 other requests for that type thing.
9 Is that a fair statement of your position?
10 DR. PRITCHARD: It's a fair statement, but it's
11 important to emphasize that you can't make a decision
12 in complete isolation, that there are the trickle
13 downs such as I described, what do the people do when
14 they leave the pier at closing time? And I think
15 quite a few of them will continue to fish probably
16 with lights from the beach itself.
17 So you will be encouraging something that's not
18 illegal now, but simply the action in having a pier
19 there would make it happen to a greater degree and
20 cause greater disruption.
21 But the thing I would emphasize is the
22 piecemeal aspect. If this decision were to be
23 promised -- accompanied by some kind of a promise
24 that there will never be anything ever done again to
25 develop Juno Beach, that would be great. But it's
1 not being offered. It's not a real world promise.
2 And there is the important matter of
3 precedent. We allow this, even if it is a Trustees'
4 decision which means you don't really have to justify
5 your action, it's your consciouses that count.
6 Nonetheless, if a comparable question comes up, you
7 tend to look for precedent to see what decision was
8 made the previous time.
9 So it's both the immediate ramifications of
10 what will the people do around the pier, what kind of
11 physical development may it precipitate in the
12 immediate area, and so on. And as the concept of
13 piecemeal bit by bit, nickel by dime, finally losing
14 Juno Beach in the decades to come of a key nesting
16 THE GOVERNOR: Thank you, sir.
17 MR. GREEN: Carol Roberts and Karen Marcus.
18 MS. ROBERTS: Thank you. It's a pleasure to
19 say hello again to the Governor and the Cabinet.
20 I sat here today and I listened to both sides.
21 And I do represent citizens of Palm Beach County. I
22 just wonder if we are really talking about
23 environmental issues?
24 Because most people understand that Palm Beach
25 County has not permitted any of those condos. They
1 are permitted by Jupiter.
2 Palm Beach County has gone out of its way
3 through passing bond issues in order to purchase
4 beachfront because we understand the importance of
5 sea turtles.
6 Palm Beach County feels very strongly, for
7 instance, if the Town of Jupiter is really that
8 concerned about sea turtles, that they make an offer
9 to close their Civic Center which sits on the most
10 density populated turtle habitated beach, 1700 nests
11 per mile. It's open unrestricted at night. It has
12 music; it has people and it has lights. I myself had
13 been there later than midnight, but not during turtle
14 season because I don't want to contribute to anymore
15 problems on beaches. Yet Jupiter has not offered to
16 close that Civic Center. It's open now and we are in
17 the middle of turtle season.
18 I guess I would like to say that Jennifer, who
19 is 23 years old -- and I just asked her -- has
20 wonderful memories, only they are memories of a child
21 12 and younger because the old pier unfortunately was
22 destroyed in 1984. It was open at night, unlike what
23 she said.
24 I'd also like to say that you and I -- I am
25 going to be very brief. You and I sit and represent
1 people, you the people of Florida and myself the
2 people of Palm Beach County. We make decisions that
3 impact today and impact the future. I believe in the
4 future of Florida, as you do. And I believe in the
5 future leaders of Florida, as I believe in the future
6 leaders of Palm Beach County. I do not think that
7 those future leaders, whether they be sitting here in
8 your position or sitting in mine, would want to do
9 anything to harm Florida or to harm Palm Beach
11 So if you -- and I believe you do -- believe in
12 the future of Florida, if you believe that kids and
13 people, seniors, ought to have a place to recreate in
14 Palm Beach County like they did, and if you truly
15 believe that turtles co-existed before 1984 -- I saw
16 it, and I'm a little older than Jennifer. I, too,
17 went and took my six kids, mostly to turtle watch
18 because we live near the Lake Worth pier and they can
19 go fishing off the pier. But because it was a beach
20 that had the greatest amount of turtles, I went there
21 many a night to teach my five sons and my daughter
22 about marine life.
23 And I can tell you I never saw turtles that
24 were involved with fishing lines. I did see young
25 people who were able to go to the beach at night, and
1 I saw other people on occasion when we did go up
2 there during the day who were able to recreate
4 I think this is all about people and who wants
5 whom on their beaches. I am sorry to say that, but
6 that's what I believe. Because I think if we were
7 truly all together on the environment, we would have
8 made a lot of other changes not permitting condos,
9 closing civic centers.
10 Thank you.
11 That was a request for your vote. I just
12 wanted you to know that.
13 MS. MARCUS: Hi, my name is Karen Marcus. I am
14 the county commissioner who actually represents this
15 district and have been working on siting of this pier
16 for the last 10 years.
17 I would like to make a few points and see if I
18 can respond to some of the comments and information
19 that's been presented to you.
20 First of all, there is no other site for a
21 pier. Some of the folks came up here and represented
22 there are other choices. There are no other
23 choices. This is it. If we do not get your
24 submerged lands lease, we will not have a pier in
25 northern Palm Beach County. And I think we attempted
1 to show many of you that when you were nice enough to
2 come on the tour.
3 The signatures of the petitions of the people I
4 think are very important because I think there has
5 been a request to see community support for this pier
6 in our community, the over 4,000 signatures in
7 support of this pier in that location, with the
8 restrictions -- and we made sure that the petition
9 stated that -- I think shows overwhelming support.
10 And as the elected official who represents not only
11 Jupiter but Juno and Tequesta and Lake Park and North
12 Palm and Riveria Beach and all the communities to the
13 west and unincorporated Palm Beach County, I can tell
14 you, as someone who has to stand in front of my
15 constituents, that overwhelmingly they support this
17 Palm Beach County also recognizes our
18 responsibility -- and I am pleased to hear we are on
19 a worldwide tour of turtle nesting of importance. We
20 have long recognized that, and we have long taken
21 objective steps to do turtle protection. And when we
22 -- I listened and we talked about the pier. And it's
23 like one structure, and we talk about Juno Beach
24 pier. But Juno Beach is a big area. And I think you
25 saw that on your tour.
1 And Jupiter to the north, where there is even
2 higher nesting, is an even bigger area.
3 What I would like to describe for you is the
4 things that we have done in Palm Beach County that I
5 think everybody from the environmental communities
6 who are here today that are concerned about what this
7 one thing might do, the things that we have done to
8 enhance turtle nesting without anybody asking us to
9 do it.
10 First and foremost, as was referenced in Archie
11 Carr being real important, so you are buying it all
12 at a huge amount of money so you can protect turtle
13 nesting and we are right up there with them. Palm
14 Beach County has bought 300 acres of oceanfront
15 property to do exactly the same thing that you were
16 doing with Archie Carr. We are paying the money, we
17 are doing it because it's important, and it provides
18 recreational benefit to our residents.
19 So in that section from Juno to Jupiter, and
20 you saw many of the parks, we have done that.
21 We are the ones who are willing and agreeing
22 and have talked to the Town of Jupiter about spending
23 an additional million-five. They are getting ready
24 to do an AIA beautification project, and we like
25 that, but we are not going to support doing that
1 unless we take the road, move it a little bit over to
2 the west. We are willing to pay for it, so that we
3 can rebuild that entire dune line there. We have
4 several blow ups that I think most of you saw. We
5 want to rebuild that. We want to replant that. And
6 we want to provide dune walkovers.
7 That in itself, having that darkness at night
8 on the beach for the turtles, I think will enhance in
9 allowing that space for turtle nesting.
10 I would also like you to know -- and I don't
11 know a lot of these people who came here from other
12 organizations, other environmental organizations. I
13 know they haven't called me. I know they haven't
14 been in my county that I am aware of.
15 The 26 nations that they talked about that
16 wrote letters, I am honored. But I don't know if
17 they have been on our beaches and in our community.
18 And I would like you to know that our local Audubon
19 Society supports this. That before we ever moved
20 forward to issue a request to permit on this, we went
21 to local the Audubon and we said: We know there are
22 turtle impacts. We would like for you to look at the
23 site. We would like for you to tell us if you have a
24 problem with this.
25 And they went and they spoke with Dr. Pritchard
1 who indicated at the time to them that there was not
2 a problem, and they came back to us and they said
3 this is okay. We can support this as long as you
4 have the conditions.
5 And we agree with the conditions. We went to
6 our fishing community and we said if we want to fish
7 and we want to protect turtles, here is how we
8 balance this. And they said, fine, we understand
10 This still gives us 365 days out of the year
11 that we currently don't have -- and four months -- of
12 night fishing which is fine with us, because as you
13 can see from the interest of our youth community,
14 they are probably the ones and we don't want them out
15 there fishing that late at night.
16 There was discussion about development could
17 potentially happen in the future. This is the only
18 section of development in Palm Beach where we have
19 any zoning rights, Palm Beach County. All other
20 zoning rights are either in the Town of Juno or in
21 the Town of Jupiter. They have total control of any
22 kind of commercial activity or any other activity
23 that would occur along the section of AIA, not Palm
24 Beach County.
25 In order to work with the communities, we have
1 agreed or I have agreed to annex this park into the
2 Town of Juno after we have complete construction of
3 the pier, hopefully with your support, so that they
4 can have then total control. We would have to go to
5 them apply for any permits if we wanted to put any
6 type of use, which we have not done in our county
7 parks in Palm Beach County at all.
8 But they would then have zoning control over
9 that. So we are willing to do that.
10 There was discussion about lights on the pier.
11 There will be no lights on the pier during turtle
12 nesting season. Even beyond it actually, but during
13 the season for sure. The only light that I think was
14 referenced was the coast guard light which is a red
15 light which is at the very end of the pier. And we
16 are required to have that.
17 Certainly the jetty that was referred to is lit
18 up very bright. We want it to be lit up because we
19 don't want the boats running into it, but there were
20 no restrictions put on that jetty in terms of clean
21 up from monofilament. I think 200 nests is important
22 and that we need to try to protect those also.
23 I think I have answered most of the questions
24 that I have heard here today. I want you to know
25 that Palm Beach County really takes this very
1 serious, too. I think by the activities and the
2 actions that you heard that way precedes any concerns
3 have been raised to you today about turtles. We have
4 done more in doing that to protect turtles. We see
5 the balance and as stewards and elected officials
6 like you are, we have to make that balance.
7 Some of the environmental organizations have
8 the luxury of just getting to make an environmental
10 We have to make a balanced decision. And as
11 stewards of our community, we take that very
12 serious. So we believe today we are here protecting
13 people, given them access to our wonderful ocean, and
14 protecting turtles along the way.
15 We would respectfully request your support.
16 Thank you.
17 MR. GREEN: Governor, that concludes the
18 presentations by the applicant and the opponents.
19 Unless you have questions of staff, the question is
20 before you.
21 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Governor, I have a question
22 of DEP.
23 Just to come to closure on the issue of the
24 restrictions, it is true -- and I understand from the
25 county commissioners they believe it's also true, but
1 I want to know from you -- that if, in fact, there
2 were any changes to any of the restrictions, that it
3 would, in fact, have to come back to the board of
5 MR. GREEN: Ms. Secretary, that is not a
6 current condition in the lease. We can make that a
7 condition of the lease, so it's written in the lease
8 that any changes or any requests for changes have to
9 come back to you. Yes, we can do that.
10 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Okay. Governor, I would
11 like to move approval with that stipulation in the
13 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Second.
14 THE GOVERNOR: So I understand it, you are
15 moving approval, but with the stipulation that any
16 change in the current restrictions would have to come
17 before the Board of Trustees?
18 SECRETARY MORTHAM: That's correct.
19 THE GOVERNOR: Could not be changed by the
20 county and/or the City of Jupiter if they later
21 became the recipient of the bridge.
22 SECRETARY MORTHAM: That's correct.
23 THE GOVERNOR: And it's seconded.
24 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Second.
25 THE GOVERNOR: Is there discussion?
1 COMMISSIONER NELSON: Governor.
2 THE GOVERNOR: Yes.
3 COMMISSIONER NELSON: It comes to the moment of
4 voting, and I want to thank all of the people from
5 Palm Beach County. I guess most of us have gone down
6 and been out on the beach and seen all of the various
7 sites at one time or another.
8 And I want to compliment Palm Beach County in
9 their aggressive environmental outreach with regard
10 to the acquisition of parks. They're trying to
11 preserve a lot of this beach area as public land.
12 And I have some reason, some history for saying
14 As most of you know, I had the privilege of
15 serving in the Congress for 12 years representing the
16 11th Congressional district, which includes the
17 Archie Carr Preserve and, in fact, was instrumental
18 in getting the first federal appropriations for
20 Now, my vote will be against the pier. And the
21 reason it will be is that we have clearly had the
22 testimony here today that this is one of the two
23 highest density nesting areas in Florida, and
24 combined with that island in the Indian ocean, in the
25 world. And the other one is in my old Congressional
1 district -- South Brevard County and Indian River
2 County. And we committed a lot of resources to
4 From that initial appropriation that I got in
5 the appropriations bill in Washington, and I might
6 say to his credit, he Sheparded it through, my senior
7 senator, through the appropriations bill and in the
8 Senate. But the combination of money spent for the
9 acquisition of lands for the Archie Carr Preserve to
10 date is about $96 million with another 21 million
11 more to complete the project, or about 117 million of
12 which we are saying that the public policy of
13 protecting these high density turtle areas are so
14 important that we would spend that kind of public
16 And the testimony that we have had here today
17 is this is another high density concentration, so
18 much so, I am quoting from figures from the DEP from
19 Mike Sole, the Bureau of Protected Species. We had
20 testimony here that it was about 1100 per mile at
21 Juno Beach. Mr. Sole's figures are a little bit
22 less. He has 523 loggerhead nests in the 8.34
23 kilometer stretch of beach as compared to his figures
24 of 418 loggerhead nests in the 40 miles of the Archie
25 Carr Beach in Indian River and Brevard.
1 So the density, according to DEP's statistics,
2 here at Juno Beach are even a lot greater than at
3 Archie Carr.
4 If the figure that was presented to us, and not
5 contradicted, by the gentleman from the environmental
6 section of Palm Beach County is accurate, that there
7 are 1100 per mile, that is one nest for every five
8 feet, or a span of space like this head table which
9 is about 30 feet would have 6 nests.
10 Now that is a high density concentration. And
11 it seems to me that where I have to come down when
12 you balance interest against interest is if this is
13 one of the highest concentration areas in the world,
14 then the public policy that I will have to declare
15 will be that we should not disturb that nesting
16 area. Thank you, Governor.
17 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: Like everyone sitting up
18 here, I think we've got an incredible number of
19 hours, important hours, invested on this subject as
20 do the members of our staff. We met with people on
21 both sides of the issue, people without any
22 particular vested interest. We have reviewed
23 statistics, reviewed charts, reviewed graphs, had
24 telephone calls, faxes, editorials written, public
25 commentary. I think we all weighed in on this issue
1 in prior meetings, and I think done our best to be
2 open minded, and will be, I am sure, in the vote.
3 But before the vote takes place, I think
4 it's important to say -- and I have done my share of
5 lobbying in my days, so I am a little familiar as to
6 how it works. But I also know that this is not, as
7 someone characterized it, a vote of sea creatures
8 versus people. It's not a vote for or against
9 fishermen. I am one. It's not a vote for or against
10 children. I know a little something about them as
11 well. It's not a vote against the elderly, I've
12 heard mentioned, the poor, handicapped. It's not
13 even a vote for or against the pier, I believe.
14 I believe what the essence of the vote is going
15 to be about is location, because in talking with
16 staff and others, I don't believe I have heard anyone
17 who suggests that Palm Beach County doesn't want or
18 need a pier.
19 But in hearing and talking to and with and
20 listening to people on this subject, I think it does
21 boil down to an issue of location. And even in
22 listening to Eleanor Fletcher, who is the turtle lady
23 -- and remember that I lived down in that area, so I
24 know something about that area, visited the site
25 again myself. Even though I am very, very familiar
1 with it, have been on that beach many times, I think
2 if we can eliminate from all of the debate and all of
3 the discussions, some of the characteristics that
4 others have tried to bring to it, I think it really
5 does boil down to an issue of location, and whether
6 we agree or disagree with the location of the
7 proposed pier.
8 Thank you, Governor.
9 THE GOVERNOR: Further discussion? Well, I
10 intend to vote for the pier. And I have listened to
11 discussion. It's certainly a close question. I know
12 of no county in the state that has protected the
13 environment more than Palm Beach County. I know of
14 no -- and if you think back of all of the different
15 areas, I know of no county which has tougher
16 environmental standards than Palm Beach County.
17 I am persuaded that the pier itself, there is a
18 drop off from the road and the place, people will not
19 be even walking down the dunes. They will be -- the
20 pier itself will be extended from the road level
21 which is considerably higher.
22 I don't think that the pier will disturb the
23 nesting habitat.
24 Is there going to be some possible change?
25 Given there will be predators, fish around the end of
1 the pier, given that there will be some increased
2 use, I think there certainly could be some.
3 But I think you do have to weigh, and this is a
4 high nesting area. It's a high children's area. And
5 I am thinking about if there are 1100 nests, how many
6 children are there per mile?
7 And I listened to whether those kids are going
8 to get a chance to go out and use that pier, whether
9 a lot of other people are going to get a chance to
10 fish there.
11 We know there was a pier there before. It was
12 open at night. And while we can question as to
13 whether there was some damage, most people enjoyed
14 the use of that pier, it seems to be it was well used
15 at that time.
16 I think on balance, trying to see what the
17 handicaps will be and even listening to some of the
18 testimony that we are more worried about what happens
19 if you change from this, well, you can have that
20 about any statement that you make at any time about
22 With the condition that we placed in here, that
23 any change would come back to the Board of Trustees
24 -- I trust it will be some future board, I won't be
25 here -- but I feel satisfied with that, that this is
1 something on balance the people of Palm Beach County
2 and the children of Palm Beach County are going to be
3 served by this pier, and that we can and are and
4 have, as the Board of Trustees, as county
5 commissioners or other working hard and members of
6 Congress to protect turtle habitat. I think that's
7 essential for Florida, but I think our children and
8 people habitat and their use and recreational value
9 is important as well.
10 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Governor, one other quick
11 statement is that I think General Milligan, when he
12 asked of Mr. Pritchard the issue of if it were just
13 specifically this pier versus maybe ancillary usages,
14 and I think with the confirmation that they will in
15 fact have to come back to this Board of Trustees if
16 there was a change at all in the use of that property
17 is also -- and could be very significant and I think
18 that question brought that to mind.
19 And I think there is one other issue, and I
20 think that's one of home rule, and the fact that
21 Commissioner Roberts and Marcus and Warren Newell who
22 are, in fact, elected officials there, are going to
23 be held responsible for this pier, just as we are.
24 But frankly, I believe very strongly that this is an
25 issue where local officials need to be held
2 And frankly, the conditions that are put on
3 this pier are pretty onerous. In fact, I am quite
4 surprised that they would want to place the pier
5 where it is. And obviously there aren't lots of
6 other locations for this pier, or I don't think they
7 would subject themselves to those sorts of
8 stipulations like closing it down for a good part of
9 the year.
10 So I think that it probably is the best of all
11 worlds. And frankly, I think that we ought to give
12 the county what they want.
13 THE GOVERNOR: Any further discussion? Call
14 the roll, if you will, please ma'am.
15 THE REPORTER: Commissioner Brogan.
16 THE GOVERNOR: This will take five affirmative
18 THE REPORTER: Commissioner Brogan.
19 COMMISSIONER BROGAN: I am going to vote
20 against the submerged land lease in this particular
22 THE REPORTER: Commission Crawford.
23 COMMISSIONER CRAWFORD: Yes.
24 THE REPORTER: Commissioner Nelson.
25 COMMISSIONER NELSON: No.
1 THE REPORTER: Comptroller Milligan.
2 COMPTROLLER MILLIGAN: Yes.
3 THE REPORTER: General Butterworth.
4 GENERAL BUTTERWORTH: Yes.
5 THE REPORTER: Secretary Mortham.
6 SECRETARY MORTHAM: Yes.
7 THE REPORTER: Governor Chiles.
8 THE GOVERNOR. Yes.
9 By your vote, you have approved the pier.
10 MR. GREEN: That completes the agenda.
11 THE GOVERNOR: All right, we stand adjourned.
12 (The Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust
13 Fund was concluded.)
1 CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
4 STATE OF FLORIDA:
5 COUNTY OF LEON:
6 I, SANDRA L. DiBENEDETTO-NARGIZ, do hereby
7 certify that the foregoing proceedings were taken before
8 me at the time and place therein designated; that my
9 shorthand notes were thereafter translated under my
10 supervision; and the foregoing pages numbered 1 through
11 120 are a true and correct record of the aforesaid
13 I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative,
14 employee, attorney or counsel of any of the parties, nor
15 relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, or
16 financially interested in the foregoing action.
17 DATED THIS 21st day of June 1996.
SANDRA L. DiBENEDETTO-NARGIZ
21 100 SALEM COURT
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32301
22 (904) 878-2221