Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Be Informed.

Sun Coast Connector Meeting #6 — a subtle reaction–

RDcrisKristin In: Sun Coast Connector Meeting #6 -- a subtle reaction-- | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Sierra Club’s Cris Costello and OSFR board member Kristin Rubin wait their turn to speak against the toll roads boondoggle at a 2019 meeting. Photo by Jim Tatum.


Sun Coast meeting number six  had the virtual version but with the option of an in-person meeting in Trenton or Monticello.  The virtual meeting appeared to be the most popular, with the normal  160 plus attendees, which dwindled to about 125 by the time it got around to public comment.

Speaking of which, this was the first meeting where an overview was given of public comment up to now.  Presented by staff member Will Watts, the presentation was a disappointment to your historian as well as to at least  one Task Force member, who complained that there was no break-down as to support or dissent.

As anyone who has attended any meeting, virtual or otherwise, well knows, public comment has been overwhelmingly against the roads.  At today’s meeting the numbers were reported as:  original emails: 1,546;  form letters:  9,673; Task Force Meeting forms: 167; Open House comment  forms:  185.  Total is 11,571.

The  DOT staff most certainly did not want it to show, so they did not break it down but you can rest assured that the big majority of these were against.  Very much against.

Shame on the DOT for taking the easy way out and not offering this information.

We noticed a new tone in the Task Force today which was refreshing.  And at the same time a new note of reaction from the staff.   Three members, Charles Lee, Janet Bowman and especially Kent Wimmer all pushed for stronger, more specific language in the Guiding Principals dealing with aspects of the environment.

Mr. Wimmer even used the phrase “Outstanding Florida Waterway.”


Earlier we had included in some of our comments a complaint about the vague, non-committal language saying something like the wetlands will be avoided, “… as far as feasible, whenever possible…” etc. etc.”  which really promises nothing.


BECOME A MEMBER and volunteer in an Environmental Organization. Click here for more ideas.

Happily, this issue was discussed at length to the point that Mr. Ronald Kitchens of the Task Force voiced some irritability and used the word “filibustering” to describe his perception of unfair time allotments by the staff.

Dissent among Task Force members, another new, subtle note.

The staff also strayed a bit from its “all sweetness and light” mode and Mr. Will Watts and Ms. Wuiwei Shen, Chief Planner of the Department of Transportation, both denied Mr Charles Lee and friends their  request to distribute suggestions/information to the Task Force before the next meeting.

Another problems with virtual meetings.  There are restrictions.

There are three more meetings to go.  Keep the pressure up.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum


You might be interested in …


  1. No Build over these lands again and again. The studies are paid for again and again with the same findings. Build anymore on this sand bar called Florida will destroy what is left of the State. Developers have no shame so it is useless to appeal to their sense of right and wrong. They take the old studies and wipe it clean and say tell us what is important. I looked at the map before it was cleared. I did not know there is a sturgeon preserve in Florida. Find all the things they are pretending are not important. Space-X is sending up more satellites. Florida is already wi-fi covered. The issue is people cannot afford the monthly fee or the hardware. FL does not have any more locations to put the human sewage. No Build!!!!

  2. Thank you Jim for the updates. It’s unfortunate vital information is being skewered. Mr Charles Lee needs to be persistent in his request to distribute his information. There is something wrong when the public is being denied all the facts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content