Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi met at the end of July with members of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) at the headquarters in West Palm Beach. The event was organized by Gastesi to discuss the district’s big picture, as well as address individual stakeholder concerns.
The meeting included the introduction of Drew Bartlett, the new SFWMD Executive Director and his leadership team, and was attended by eight regional county administrators and several legislative affairs directors. Lisa Tennyson, Monroe County Director of Legislative Affairs, also attended the meeting.
“The new director has pledged to work with Monroe County closely and follow our issues,” said Gastesi, who highlighted Monroe County’s top priorities being that the timing, quantity and quality of water flow into Florida Bay is done correctly. “There is certainly an atmosphere for collaboration and excitement for the future of the district that I haven’t seen recently.”
The district faces significant challenges including those Gastesi presented as well as preparing for and responding to severe weather events and sea-level rise.
Gastesi enacted the meet-and-greet while president of the Florida Association of County Managers. He also worked for SFWMD from 1998-2003.