News Cast for May 9th:
More frustration on lake
Many are angry about the delay in implementing the new Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule.
The LOSOM process could drag into 2024.
The National Marine Fisheries Service came forward at the last minute asking for more review on how this schedule will impact red tide on the west coast and sea turtles.
Congressman Brian Mast said they should have come forward sooner.
“Imagine if any group came to the project delivery team for the last how ever many years we’ve been doing this, and said this is a big consideration that could hold up the entire thing, potentially for the long term, but I can’t tell anybody about it. We all know that would be total garbage, and that is my opinion.”
He said he’s highly skeptical about who is actually behind the delay.
The Okeechobee Utility Authority Board has been discussing ways to improve employee morale, customer service and hiring and retaining employees.
That includes pay hikes for employees.
Vice Chairman Steve Nelson says they need to take good care of their employees.
“For the record I don’t care what the city pays or the county pays. I want to make sure that members of this board are well taken care of so we don’t lose you because in order to replace you, it will cost us twice the amount of dollars.”
The chairman Tommy Clay has invited department heads to recent meetings asking them about their departmental needs and issues.
He said there have been some whistle blower complaints about the utility that must be taken seriously.
“As a board we have an obligation to this community. If we do nothing then we might as well step down.”
Clay has not gotten into specifics about the complaints at the last two public meetings of the board.
“Everybody on this board is not aware of the whistleblowers and the things going on right now. Once we get it under control then we will go back to John handling all of it. Until then, unless you run me off, I want the department heads here for at least the next couple of months.”
Glades County commissioners are still working to hire a new county manager.
They cut the list to four finalists to interview.
The list includes Patrick Marsh, June Fisher, Louis Goodin and Brian Geoghegan.
There were no local candidates recommended on the list that was reviewed by the Florida Association of Counties.
Moore Haven City Manager Larry Tibbs expressed interest in the job but wasn’t included in the final list.
Commissioner Jerry Sapp says he felt everyone had an ample opportunity to apply for the job.
“They had a chance and they could put in an application where appropriate but they didn’t make the cut.” Commissioners hold their regular meeting toda