10 Dollar Tuesday – Soil and Water Conservation Candidates

This post is a plea for everyone reading to pay more attention to Soil and Water Conservation Board candidates.  Few people even know that we elect members to deal with water issues, which inevitably means that the knowledge about candidates for this board is frequently inexcusably low.  Combined with the fact that many of these are non-partisan (as, in theory, water policy should be, in light of the fact that the Florida Constitution requires that the state protect water as a public resource), this race is frequently the one most skipped over.  If you look at down ballot performance around the state, many people vote and simply skip this one entirely.  Considering the importance of water to this state, this is a travesty.

These are the names on the ballot that are most skipped or people merely pick a name out of a list.  Candidate forums frequently do not include this position and many times, individuals are elected without opposition.  I looked at so many running for the seat, especially in south Florida, and many of them are developers and businessmen with absolutely no idea how to properly prepare for the water issues surrounding this state.  I was disheartened, so I decided to just do a call to action.

Water is the most important resource to this state and yet, water boards are constantly being filled by people with no knowledge of groundwater flow or the physics of fluvial geomorphology or the hydro-chemical balances needed to keep springs running clean.  This is one of those jobs that should require a good deal of science background, yet does not.   Not only are budgets constantly underfunded, but there is a huge power struggle in the way that water is managed throughout the state.  No issue will be more important to Florida’s future than water.

Please, educate yourself on these important elected officials.   Check out the Soil and Water Conservation Council under the Department of Agriculture.  Get familiar with these issues because these issues will be deciding elections in the very near future.  Massive amounts of policy is decided on these localized boards, yet they do not get the attention they deserve. Polk County has an especially easy and comprehensive website.

It is important to make sure people who understand what is at stake serve on these boards.   I have been impressed with Brian Lee, who is running in Leon District 4, and Shannon Blankinship, who is running in Duval District 3.   Please check them out and I encourage you to find some and put them in the comments.  Water matters and politicians deciding water policy are important.


  1. ben America · · Reply

    This post would be more effective if it began with a reason for soil and water board. Most people have no context for what it does and calls to abolish it completely have been made by some who were serving as members of their local board. A defense of S&W that can be repeated by progressives would be very helpful and a resource for future discussion as well.


    1. Excellent idea! I will make time to write that after the primaries – a most helpful suggestion.


  2. I have searched the web in vain for information on these races. If you have a good link, especially to the 1,3,5 races, please post it 🙂


  3. Bonnie Wilpon · · Reply

    Ditto on Steve’s comment. I am searching for ANY information on the 1,3 and 5 races and found absolutely nothing except for a general “vote for me” sheet from Proctor touting his support of Rick Scott.


  4. I am also having trouble locating information on these candidates. On another subjuct, this post would have much more impact with a more subtle background. When I first hit this page I could barely tell there was writing in front of the background. (IMHO)


  5. Yesterday I spent about an hour trying to find any information on the candidates for districts 2&4 but came up with nothing. Can anyone help?


  6. Ditto here as well. I went to the Hillsborough County website and found they don’t even have the same candidates listed as the mail-in ballot!


  7. How can I make an educated selection for Soil/Water Mgmnt. candidates if I have no clue as to where to look for info? I am voting for District Seats 2 and 4. This is an important decision for me.


  8. I am like most in District 2 and 4 who do not know where to find information on this race . Can someone help? mrjhaynes@cs.com


  9. Shirley Beattie · · Reply

    Try Googling the candidate’s name with the addition of “soil and water” – I did that and got a link for Seats 2 and 4: http://www.ocala.com/news/20161027/election-preview-marion-county-soil-and-water-conservation-district


  10. Carol Marquis · · Reply

    wish there was a website to help


  11. Anonymous · · Reply

    If anyone has any advice on finding candidate information, please respond. Any websites, search tricks, or even videos would be helpful. As someone in the 1/3/5 districts, i haven’t found anything at all.


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