Contributed by Richard Harrison
There were up to 150 people who attended a special meeting held at the Ag Center on Thursday evening. Numerous football games, volleyball games, and Farm Bureau Annual Meeting coincided with this meeting, so attendance was better than would have been expected. This demonstrates the level of local concern over this issue.
Marti Coley dropped in after her Farm Bureau engagement and answered many questions about the law. She said that although the law doesn’t mandate pumping every 5 years, common sense would tell you that in order to inspect the tanks, pumping would probably also be needed.
She said we can find out what bills are coming up by viewing her website during the legislative session. However, most people at the meeting indicated they do not have computers. A suggestion was made that when bills of this much importance occur that a newspaper notification be given to the public. She said that her repeal bill is ready to submit on November 3---the day after the election, provided she gets re-elected.
We are still aiming for repeal in Special Session this year before the law goes into effect on January 1. Tax dollars would be saved by repealing it ASAP. Charlie Crist has the power to call a special session, so we are strongly urging septic tank owners to “bombard” his office with letters and phone calls.
Also we are asking for people who have relatives or friends east of the Apalachicola River to contact them for support of the repeal. Many of them are still unaware that the law was passed.
It is noted that the public needs to have a better way to be informed about upcoming legislation so they can have an input BEFORE bills pushed by special interest groups become law.
Other counties that have passed resolutions opposing the law are: Walton, Holmes, Calhoun and Liberty.
Another meeting is pending to start/continue the campaign against this unjust law.
Citizens are urged to contact state legislators and officials protesting this terrible piece of legislation to the following legislators:
• Representative Larry Cretul:
352-873-6564, fax 352-873-6566
• Senator Jeff Atwater:
561-625-5101, fax 561-625-5103
• Governor Charlie Crist:
850-488-7146, fax 850-487-0801
• Representative Marti Coley: 850-718-0047
• Senator Al Lawson:
850-487-5004, fax 850-487-5086
1. Benefits septic tank contractors and pleases environmentalists at the expense of septic tank owners, while doing little to decrease pollution.
2. Septic Tank Owners weren’t represented in passing the law. The majority of those affected was NOT represented or consulted before the legislation was passed. It is a special interest law—which should be unconstitutional.
3. Bill failed on its own merits several times in the legislature in the past—was then “sandwiched in” with a much bigger bill to pass it. Bills that can’t pass on their own merits don’t need to be passed---simple logic—common sense.
4. Bill was changed numerous times so that some legislators claim they were “hoodwinked” into voting for it.
5. Any septic tank law should target problem areas rather than the whole state since about 98% of septic tanks are not causing any problems.
6. Increases pollution by requiring unnecessary pumping of tanks requiring off-site disposal.
7. Violates citizens’ freedom to control their own personal property attached to their own house----may be unconstitutional.
8. Penalties for non-compliance are very excessive. $500/day and a misdemeanor charge each day.
9. The law is an open-ended, perpetually changing law similar to recently enacted US Congress laws. Such laws are un-American in nature and may be unconstitutional for that reason also.
10. It increases the size of government agencies.
11. Counties should control this issue by passing their own laws covering septic tanks for their own localized conditions---similar to the law in Escambia County which covers only environmentally sensitive areas.
12. Has a total lack of common sense and reason.
13. Stinks of bad politics and corruption in the legislative process.
Sen. Lee Constantine (R-FL 22nd District)
4th term Republican from Florida 22nd District.
Senate Environmental Committee Chair
Altamonte Springs Office:
378 Centerpointe Circle, Suite 1268
Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701-3442
Phone: (407) 331-9675 Fax: (407) 262-7580
Rep. Larry Cretul (R-FL 22nd District)
4th term Republican from Florida 22nd District.
Speaker of the House
Ocala Office: 6911 Southwest Highway 200
Ocala, Florida 34476-9210
Phone: (352) 873-6564 Fax: (352) 873-6566
Sen. Jeff Atwater (R-FL 25th District)
3rd term Republican from Florida 25th District.
North Palm Beach Office:
824 US Highway 1, Suite 210
North Palm Beach, Florida 33408
Phone: (561) 625-5101 Fax: (561) 625-5103
Gov. Charlie Crist
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Phone: (850) 488-7146 Fax: (850) 487-0801
Rep. Marti Coley
3094 Indian Circle, Administration Bldg., Room 186
Marianna, Florida 32446-1701
Phone: (850) 718-0047
Sen. Alfred Lawson, Jr
228 Senate Office Building,
Phone: (850) 487-5004 Fax: (850) 487-5086