Friday, January 7, 2011

Rick Scott Rapes FL

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed an executive of one of Florida's largest land development companies to oversee the state department charged with managing growth.

Billy Buzzett, vice president of the St. Joe Co., will take over the Department of Community Affairs, the state's land planning and community development agency that Scott is eager to overhaul.

Scott's office issued a news release about the appointment Wednesday night.

Scott also announced that former Secretary of State Kurt Browning will return to the job he retired from eight months ago and that Michelle Rhee -- the controversial former chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools -- will continue in her role as an ``informal education advisor'' to Scott.


Environmentalists see the appointment of Buzzett as another sign that Scott -- in his quest to create jobs and spur Florida's economy -- will allow developers to run rampant over the state's natural resources.

On Monday, Scott appointed a shipbuilding executive as his top environmental regulator.

Buzzett led the master planning of more than 100,000 acres and entitled more than 30,000 residential units during his eight years at St. Joe. The North Florida real estate company contributed the maximum $25,000 contribution to Scott's inauguration.

``I can't think of anyone who would be less appropriate for that job,'' said Linda Young, director of the Clean Water Network of Florida, who has sparred with Buzzett and St. Joe for years. ``To put it mildly, it's troubling to know that he's in charge of steering the growth and development of the state. He has been at the heart and soul of some of the most destructive developments that the Florida Panhandle has seen.''
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