Salzman Withdraws ECUA Term Limit Bill, Instead Looking At Wider Utility Reform

February 20, 2021

Rep. Michelle Salzman has withdrawn a local bill that would have imposed term limits for members of the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority. Instead, Salzman and other legislators across the state are setting their collective sights on ECUA and similar utilities across the state.

Salzman set out to rewrite that legislative act that gives ECUA its authority after a 2018 grand jury investigation that was not made public until September 2020. The freshman District 1 representative’s bill would have limited ECUA board members to three, four-year terms.

“What we have discovered during the course of this process is that this issue is not specific to just our area. There are other ‘ECUA’s’ around Florida and for that reason we are partnering with other legislators across the state to request the office of the Public Counsel to conduct a study of how some utilities in Florida currently operate and report its recommendations back to the legislature,” Salzman told NorthEscambia.com in a text message Friday.

The Escambia County Legislative Delegation had endorsed the bill at a January meeting, and Salzman said the withdrawal was done in partnership with Delegation Chair Sen. Doug Broxson.

“The extensive operational audit of ECUA was officially requested by my office as well as a separate detailed review of all water utilities created by special acts has been ordered as well. Before the end of session we should have a clear picture of how we will move forward with legislation,” she said.

“I have been having the conversation about ECUA with legislators and leaders all over our state. As I mentioned after our January delegation meeting, this is only the beginning. I am and will continue to work on a good resolution for the constituents of not only Escambia County, but all of Florida.”

NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Comments

17 Responses to “Salzman Withdraws ECUA Term Limit Bill, Instead Looking At Wider Utility Reform”

  1. Waiting for Change on February 22nd, 2021 6:56 am

    You might be able to get a bill for a single local issue through the legislative process because it only impacts one entity, ECUA. Start adding in for the whole state and all of those special districts it’ll be dead on arrival, and there’s no chance that a comprehensive bill will ever make it out of committee. Tell everyone you read it here first.

  2. J.Larry Seale on February 21st, 2021 3:28 pm

    people who voted for her should feel
    betrayed, she made a promise for change.
    And look what they got………..

  3. BRING IT ON on February 21st, 2021 1:13 pm

    That’s pot calling the kettle black. There should be term limits in ALL elected positions. She should keep her nose in her own backyard. Won’t get my vote.

  4. Employee on February 21st, 2021 10:55 am

    As an employee of the ECUA I can tell you that term limits are needed. I believe they come in with good intentions, but the longer they are in office, the more compromised they become and term limits would keep that from happening.

  5. SueB on February 21st, 2021 9:29 am

    @C.L. Lewis – your statement “The ECUA problem is easy to solve. It needs to be dissolved and its functions assumed by Escambia County its local governing authority.” Half is correct, but giving more power to Escambia County Commissioners especially District 5!” It’s more money out the door and nothing to help citizens.However, abolish ECUA or set term limits.

  6. HARRY G GRELLIA SR on February 20th, 2021 11:13 pm

    These lmpact FEES R GETTING OUT OF HAND
    WE R BEING SHAFTED
    THESE MAJOR DEVELOPERS NEED THESE IMPACT FEES PUT ON THIER PLATES

  7. Willis on February 20th, 2021 7:46 pm

    Sounds like she’s been indoctrinated into the club…..

  8. Bigblock345 on February 20th, 2021 7:46 pm

    Nope! ECUA can’t keep their own crap straight. They need to stay the hell away from MY septic system. It works just fine as it is.

  9. CJ Lewis on February 20th, 2021 6:28 pm

    The ECUA problem is easy to solve. It needs to be dissolved and its functions assumed by Escambia County its local governing authority. The reduced expense of operating ECUA independent of the county government, with all of the duplication that requires, can then be passed on to sanitation, water and sewage ratepayers. The bigger issue is “special districts” in Florida of which ECUA is only one of nearly 1,800. Escambia County has 13. Santa Rosa County has 14. Each is a drain on taxpayers. The most important think the Florida Legislature could do right away is amend Chapter 189 Uniform Special District Accountability Act, Florida Statutes, to allow each local-general purpose governmental entity (county, city, town, village) to abolish “all” special districts in its geographical area “without” having to get the permission of the Florida Legislature. Local governments have the power to abolish some special districts on their own but if a dependent or independent special district was created by the Florida Legislature (at the request of the local government) the Florida Legislature has to take the action to dissolve it. A few simple changes in state law would give local governments the power to dissolve any of their special districts without needing to have the Florida Legislature do it. If that change were made, the Pensacola City Council would likely dissolve the Downtown Improvement Board that accomplished its legislature purpose about 15 years ago. Escambia County would abolish ECUA as it has several times discussed wanting to do. ECUA’s sanitation, water and sewage functions would then be performed by the county with the reduced cost passed along to county ratepayers.

  10. Charles Crumpton on February 20th, 2021 6:03 pm

    The Ecua board needs to be disbanded and hire one person who has a degree and experience in public utilities. I’ve never lived anywhere that had a screwed up system like this. They treat customers like their running a Moffia organization.

  11. Rob Odell on February 20th, 2021 3:25 pm

    When was the sewer system on Gulf Beach Hwy ? The pumping station across from me 11235 Gulf Beach HWY could some modernization. ECUA also needs a plan to get
    more people of septic tanks.

  12. Denny on February 20th, 2021 11:28 am

    Why not take care of our problem, then expand to the rest of the state after the investigation? We need the help now.

  13. Reading comprehension on February 20th, 2021 10:45 am

    “code speak for ain’t nothing gonna happen or change”

    Reading comprehension. There will be a new bill filed to include ECUA and like utilities with elected boards across the state. This is a good thing. Good leadershhip.

  14. Resident on February 20th, 2021 10:08 am

    Great leadership.

    Understand that ECUA will still get them limits with the new bill that will be filed

    Why go after just ECUA when you can tackle several utilities with elected boards at the same time. ECUA will get term limits and so will the others. No more 30 year cronies on ECUA.

  15. Oversight on February 20th, 2021 9:44 am

    ” I am and will continue to work on a good resolution for the constituents of not only Escambia County, but all of Florida.” Well there you have it folks. This is code speak for ain’t nothing gonna happen or change, and it didn’t take long. She has already fallen in line with the Tallahassee swamp.

  16. retired on February 20th, 2021 9:07 am

    I voted for her THIS TIME NOT AGAIN.

    We need turn limits for all public offices

  17. Stephen Davis on February 20th, 2021 1:47 am

    Good so far. Keep us informed





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