DeSantis Signs ECUA Term Limits Bill

June 25, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that establishes term limits for Emerald Coast Utility Authority (ECUA) board members.

“Any person elected to two consecutive full terms as a member of the Board subsequent to July 1, 2021, is not eligible for election to the Board for the next succeeding term,” the bill states. That means in the future, no one can run for more than two consecutive terms on the board.

“The ECUA bill was one of my passion projects from my campaign trail. After knocking 14,000 doors accountability was one of the biggest concerns of constituents,” Rep. Michelle Salzman, bill sponsor, told NorthEscambia.com Friday evening. “Creating a more collaborative relationship with all government agencies was a goal of mine that I knew would address a majority of the issues I heard from folks.

A 2018 grand jury report, which was not made public until September 2020, recommended term limits for ECUA. The grand jury found that a lack of term limits “has created a sense of complacency and has fostered an overreliance on the executive director and attorneys”.

“The grand jury report was a guide to the other actionable steps — which included the suggestion of term limits. Having spoken to thousands of voters, I knew that they wanted term limits as well,” she said.

The bill also creates a faster process for filling any vacant seats on the ECUA board.

On January 20, 2019, District 3 board member Elvin McCorvey passed away at age 74. DeSantis did not appoint anyone until late November 2019 when he named Cedric Alexander to the seat.

Under the bill signed Friday, if the governor fails to make an appointment within 90 days of the vacancy, the chair of the ECUA board will nominate two people from the district with the vacancy as potential replacements. The remaining members, excluding the chair, will select one of the nominees by majority vote.

“We used the opportunity to review many components of the law and were able to update other key components of the bill to help create a more efficient process for things such as filling vacant seats on the board,” Salzman added.

Comments

21 Responses to “DeSantis Signs ECUA Term Limits Bill”

  1. Buck never Stops on June 27th, 2022 1:19 pm

    ECUA operates a HUGE money PIT…. They use the board to increase and spend spend spend with little regulations and stewardship…. Need new blood in charge of the checkbook…. review policies top to bottom. Everyone and everything.

  2. Big Jim on June 27th, 2022 9:26 am

    Let’s do congress next. Max 2 terms in Senate, max 6 terms in the House. If you can’t get done in 12 years what you promise, time for someone else to try.

  3. Don Neese on June 27th, 2022 7:29 am

    @term limits
    “Authoritarian” rule can be a great thing… if the one with the “Authority” is just.
    Democracy can be a nightmare if the people voting are all wicked, immoral, and unjust.

  4. Anje on June 26th, 2022 10:09 pm

    Need to get some of them out of there. They do get complacent. They should more pay, maybe the Board should share some of their pay.. ha ha

  5. Term Limits? on June 26th, 2022 5:05 pm

    Term limits already exist for every elected position.

    Voters simply choose a candidate and if they get more votes, they win.

    More top-down, do what I say out of Tallahassee.

    DeSantis loves authoritarian rule.

  6. CG on June 25th, 2022 7:01 pm

    I much preferred the service from Waste Management or even BFI then I do ECUA.

  7. Patricia McNamara on June 25th, 2022 5:55 pm

    Well if the ECUA can have term limits then we need to push to have our government with term limits. Let get some of the trash taken out.

  8. Resident on June 25th, 2022 3:44 pm

    @Bill and Stephen

    The policies that are in place are because of the board and this trickle’s down to the staff. I know a few people that work there. Their biggest concern is pay and the age of equipment especially in sanitation. The ECUA board needs to look long and hard at both of these issues. You want better customer service it comes with competitive pay. Which will attract quality staff. The sanitation driver I know said the equipment is old and breaks down often. They said the average down time for a breakdown is 3 to 4 hours. When the A/C fails in the truck it gets patched at night just to fail again the next day. Which has led to drivers quitting. They also said when they have to sit that 3 to 4 hours in the heat has driven drivers away as well. That said in order to get higher pay and new equipment it cost money which the board is afraid to increase rates because they want your vote. So you want better service fix these 2 issues and I bet there attitudes will change.

  9. David on June 25th, 2022 11:57 am

    Perfect. This makes we wonder how the Cottage Hill Water system’s board is elected. Time to find out.

  10. G on June 25th, 2022 11:51 am

    That’s a beautiful thing. I work with Water departments throughout this region and ECUA is difficult, rigid, and they did not care how much their policies costs customers. They act like they are all powerful and they get what they want.

  11. Bob on June 25th, 2022 11:45 am

    We all agree term limits to include people like Rep. Michelle Salzman!

  12. Ed Magowan on June 25th, 2022 11:18 am

    It’s a step forward… but just a step. The area has other concerns that are seriously impacting quality of life – when will you attempt to address those? ECUA term limits was the lowest hanging fruit. You earned my vote once but have yet to earn it twice.

  13. Frank Smith on June 25th, 2022 11:16 am

    This is amazing! Thank you Rep. Salzman for this legislation and getting Gov. DeSantis to sign it!! We need term limits on all local offices and this is a great start!

  14. SueB on June 25th, 2022 10:58 am

    I’m writing Rep. Michelle Salzman & the governor asking for the same term limits for Escambia County Commissioners!

  15. retired on June 25th, 2022 9:07 am

    need term limits on all elected positions

  16. Stephen on June 25th, 2022 8:47 am

    @Bill

    The board members aren’t the ones providing the service.

  17. Shay on June 25th, 2022 8:46 am

    Nice work!!

  18. tg on June 25th, 2022 8:45 am

    This breaks up the Good Ole Boy Network.

  19. Anne on June 25th, 2022 7:37 am

    THANK YOU, Rep. Salzman….High time and Long Overdue that clique was broken up and in 2 years we can put some new people into those positions.
    Know you had to work hard on this project, you are Much Appreciated.
    Already had Our Family VOTE now we’re even more encouraged for future help and good outcomes for our area and the state.
    You are AWESOME….!!!!

  20. J.Larry Seale on June 25th, 2022 7:07 am

    BEST NEWS I have heard all year !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Bill on June 25th, 2022 6:31 am

    Hopefully this will improve the overall service and attitude of ECUA





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