Report on public meeting about Orange Creek Restoration Project

The following was the stated meeting purpose and agenda.

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Grand Lakes R/V Park
18545 NW 45th Avenue Rd.
Citra, FL 32113

Hosted by the Orange Creek Basin Interagency Working Group

Meeting Purpose:  

1. To develop a process through which stakeholders are able to participate in water quality and natural resource management within the Orange Creek Basin.
2. To provide a brief overview of each agency’s role in basin management.
3. To gather public comments, concerns, and questions about the Orange Creek Basin.
4. To define public concerns so that this information can be used by each agency to further guide their planning and management efforts.
5. To establish a central point of public information so that future changes to individual agency planning and management efforts will be easy to track and to provide additional public input.

5:00 pm        Doors open
5:00 – 6:00 pm        Public open house
6:00 – 6:30 pm        Presentation on agency roles
6:30 – 6:45 pm        Public questions on agency roles/Instructions on the issue stations
6:45 – 8:30 pm        Issue stations
8:30 – 9:30 pm        Public questions and comments (general session)
9:30 – 10:00 pm    Discussion
10:00 pm        Close meeting

Interagency Working Group website:

The meeting was well attended.  This video shows the crowd assembled for the “Public open house” and “Presentation on agency roles” and “Public questions on agency roles”.  I’m glad I recorded some of the slides because the Interagency  Working Group Website has a place holder for the slides, but the slides have not been uploaded.  The website, itself, is little more than a “placeholder” and does not inspire confidence in the capabilities of the working group.

I thought the meeting got off to a slow start with the slide presentation of the roles of the nine agencies that are somehow involved with the problems of the Orange Creek Basin.  When it came time for the agenda item on discussion of the “agency roles”, there was little, if any public response.  The few questions asked were directed to initiatives that were in place and their status.  The moderator allowed some of these, as shown on the above video but then closed the agenda item.  She moved to a slide presentation of the “Basin Management Action Plan” and how this meeting and the public involvement was to play a role in the action plan.  The presentation was then closed and the public was invited to “Issue stations” to record comments and concerns which are to be addressed by the “Basin Management Action Plan”

I did not remain for the “Public questions and comments session” that was to follow the recording of comments that had taken place at the “Issue Stations”.  [I think an “issue station” is where you record your issues as a stakeholder, a much repeated buzz word].

I realized that I didn’t understand the purpose of the meeting when I decided to attend.  I was hopeful I’d hear the agencies report on their initiatives.  But, it seems that the public is being asked to contribute to the issue pool via the “Issue Stations”, so that these can be included with the current unsolved problems.  Today’s corporate jargon and problem solving methods are sometimes amusing for an old corporate “plug”, such as I.

Jerry Lester


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