Joel’s Journeys: Florida Sen. Wilton Simpson asks supers to ‘come talk to us’

By |  October 22, 2014 0 Comments
Wilton Simpson

Florida State Senator Wilton Simpson

The Florida Turfgrass Association (FTGA) recently held it’s conference and show in the Orlando area. The FTGA is the umbrella organization that unites all of the Florida turf-related businesses and organizations. This year was the 62nd annual gathering.

Florida State Senator Wilton Simpson was the keynote speaker at the event. His message was one we should all, as turfgrass professionals, take to heart. “Please come and talk to us,” he said. “We need to hear your side of the issues. The environmentalists are in our offices all the time telling us their horror stories.”

This makes the fourth time I have heard that message recently. The first was from the chief of staff of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson last March, then two Florida state representatives at a government relations meeting at the GIS in Orlando last February, and now I add Senator Simpson to the list.

During the Q&A period after Senator Simpson’s presentation, I asked him what is being done on the state level to restrict the discharge of sewage treatment plants’ effluent directly into the state’s water bodies?

He said that the effluent issue was being addressed in the “Springs Bill” that is under consideration right now. It provides for more protection of Florida’s many natural springs and rivers. Meanwhile, the coastal rivers, bays and estuaries are still dumping grounds for the bulk of Florida’s population, which lives close to those beautiful beaches.

On the positive side, several superintendent chapters around the U.S. are doing annual state and federal Capitol Hill trips to talk to ag committees or environmental committees.

That’s great, but we also need to hit more rank and file members, especially those locally in key regions where issues are on the front burner.

Photo: Florida Senator Wilton Simpson (R)

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