2015’s Historic Words of Senate President Designee, Joe Negron, SLR/IRL

A photo with Senator Joe Negron at his designation as Senate President. 12-2-15. (Photo Ed Lippisch)
A photo with Senator Joe Negron at his designation as Senate President made to look “more historic.” 12-2-15. (Photo Ed Lippisch)

On December 2nd, 2015 my husband Ed and I flew to a historic event in Tallahassee, the designation of local politician, Joe Negron, as President of the Florida Senate.

To try to bring understanding and light to Joe’s accomplishment is really not possible for me… His world is one few know, including myself. I have supported Joe Negron all along the way, first working together in 2012 on Lake O issues when I was mayor of Sewall’s Point. Yes, the ACOE was releasing that year too and the River Kidz were protesting at the locks even then…..I believe in Joe. I believe too that that you have to cut people a break who are “in the Lion’s Den.” It is easy to sit outside of the cage and yell “how to tame,” “how to win,” and “how not to get eaten….”

I admire people who try tame lions…..Don’t you? Could you tame them?

Sitting in the balcony during the event, I recorded what I could of Senator Negron’s acceptance speech. He noted four goals: making Florida’s top universities even greater, dealing with the Lake Okeechobee dilemma, not criminalizing adolescence, and embracing the Constitution.

Today I have transcribed the part of Senator Negron’s speech from my iPhone recording. This part is about his goal for Lake Okeechobee. I am thankful “beyond words for these historic words…” “Thank you Joe!” Every one of us who were part of the fight to right the Lost Summer are part of the spirit of this historic speech!  We have come a long way since 2013! And get ready for the ride of the future mostly in 2016-2017.

Here we go…

Words of Joe Negron 12-2-15, Florida Senate Chambers:

“Issue number two, let’s solve the Lake Okeechobee dilemma. …In the summer of 2013 there were near historic levels of rainfall in south Florida and Lake Okeechobee rose to the levels where the ACOE made the decision to have massive releases east and west in order to protect the integrity of the dike.  And in the community that I represent, 136 billion gallons of water was sent from Lake Okeechobee into the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.

It also had an adverse effect on southwest Florida with water going to the Caloosahatchee to the Ft Meyers area. Our community came together, and this Senate stepped up, and President Gates appointed a “select committee.” We met in Stuart, and I promised people “measurable progress in a reasonable time.” The then speaker of the house, Speaker Weatherford, also came to our community to visit. We had a group called the River Kidz that were young people who came together to support our efforts… there was some excellent reporting by the Stuart News on this issue that led to not only local coverage but also state coverage and national coverage which was very effective at bringing the attention of the state to our issue.

We funded 231 million dollars in projects. These were not studies, they were not groups sitting around talking about what to do. These were tangible things. Thanks to Governor Scott’s support for bridging two and a half miles of the Tamiami Trail so that water can flow south from Everglades National Park into Florida Bay. That’s going to be a step in the right direction. We just broke ground on the C-44 reservoir which will store basin run off and also assist our in not having water go into the lake….

My goal is before I finish my time in the senate and pack up boxes and put them in the Jeep and go back go Stuart—I have a personal goal/mission and that is to work with the agricultural community, to work with Florida’s best scientists, to work with all of us as a legislature who have background and knowledge on this issue and we will permanently protect our estuaries, protect our lagoons, come up with a way to not have these terrible discharges from Lake Okeechobee that destroy our environment. That’s one of my goals….”

Senator Joe Negron
Designee President to the Florida Senate

Joe Negron at River Kidz protests at St Lucie Locks and Dam because of Lake O releases in 2102.
Joe Negron at River Kidz protests at St Lucie Locks and Dam because of Lake O releases in 2012..
2013 Joe Negron at River Kidz protest at Locks.
2013 Joe Negron at River Kidz protest at Locks.
….2015 Senate chambers. Color guard.
….2015 Senator Negron in his seat in Senate chambers.
….2015, Gov. Scott and others…
….2015 Joe Negron makes his acceptance speech for designated Senate President 2017-2018.
…..The historic Florida capitol.
….Today’s Florida capitol.

Audio file Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch 12-2-15: (Go to website if not available)


Face to Face, Florida Channel: (http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/senator-joe-negron-senate-republican-president-designate/)

Florida Channel Summary: (http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/cu-1840/)

13 thoughts on “2015’s Historic Words of Senate President Designee, Joe Negron, SLR/IRL

  1. I hope he can add to that list to work with his constituents that have been fighting so hard for the river and the lagoon. Thank you JLT for your good heart and great blogging.

  2. Yesterday I rode 4 miles in my boat parallel to shore. Mullet looked like heavy rain splashing for 100 foot on either side in front of my boat. All that government spending OUR money is not going to amount to a pile of poop if you don’t put the calcium that was taken out of the lagoon back. I think the cycle of abuse needs to end and let people vote on how THEIR money is spent and not who gets to spend it. Thank you for letting my comments be heard

  3. Jacqui,

    Unfortunately, it sounds like Joe has still not gotten behind our cry to “move the water South”!

    W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.

    643 SW Fuge Rd

    Stuart, Fl 34997

    (772) 287-4106 (home)

    (772) 485-1866 (cell/car)


    1. Unfortunately (or fortunately) “politicians” in general are subject to shifting their positions – as a tree blows in the winds. They seek funding (the expenditure of “our” tax dollars – government has no funds except for what they take or confiscate from the tax payers) for projects based on “the will of the people… and will seek funding for projects that will (or may) yield the most immediate results… results which may benefit themselves in “the next” election cycle. It takes a “statesman” to commit to long term objectives.

      1. Partial definitions from one line sources…

        Politician: a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons

        Statesman: a wise, skillful, and respected political leader


    2. Ted I think the only fix for Lake O issues includes sending more water south. So Joe must support our cry to send water south….If you mean a “flow way” specifically maybe this is not Mr Negron’s vision …but if you mean a reservoir and land purchased in the EAA I think maybe, yes he will be supporting this. Do you think I am naive?

  4. Jacqui – First, thank you for all you do specifically for your ability to communicate through this “blog” on matters near and dear to your (and our) heart such as the water control and pollution issues effecting our Indian River Lagoon and the proposed resumption of rail passenger service on the Florida East Coast Railway’s – “Brightline” service. We may not agree on all issues, or the approach to resolving these issues – but I do very much respect your commitment to educating yourself about them, establishing your position/opinion, and committing to and communicating that position.

    It’s unfortunate perhaps that the “will of the people” is not consistent. The most impressive “plumbing system” which has been put in place in South Florida exists only because it was the “will of the people” to be protected from flooding and the lands made available for the habitation and agricultural development to meet mankind’s desires.

    Personally, I have worked – throughout The C&SFFCD back in the mid 60’s – on the ground as a surveyor. Because of that experience, when I earned my Commission as an Officer in the USA Corps of Engineers, I requested – and received – as my first (two year) duty assignment to be stationed at the Clewiston Area Office (Construction), Jacksonville District, USA Corps of Engineers (Civil Works). In this assignment (1969 – 71) I became even more aware of the “why’s and hows” of the systems function for drainage and flood control and the almost unbelievable scope and extent of the “surface plumbing system” that was in place or under construction… and the effectiveness of that system in fulfilling it’s designed objectives – which was the “will of the people” expressed over the period from the 1920’s through about the 1970’s – 70 YEARS +/-

    This “will of the people” was expressed to government and government established The Central and South Florida Flood Control District with the authority to collect funds (taxes) and disburse these funds, and borrowed funds, to put this system in place. The Army Corps of Engineers does nothing on their own. They were only “one”, among thousands of agencies, businesses, and individuals who over the years were recipients of these funds for design, construction, or construction management services for the drainage system which exists.

    I wish that a “total cost” of the system in place could be determined. I’m sure that this total is many, many, Billions of dollars.

    The “will of the people” has shifted. This shift is reflected in the name of this public sponsoring agency that evolved from the C&SFFCD to it’s current “name” – The South Florida Water Management District.

    I commend the shift in the “will of the people”. I commend your commitment, and Senator Joe Negron’s commitment toward protecting of our environment and conserving our limited fresh, and salt, water resources. The fact that Sen. Negron was able to secure 231 Million dollars of funding toward this refined goal is great – but in the BIG PICTURE it’s only a very very small “drop in the bucket” toward accomplishing an enormously complicated “replumbing” of South Florida’s drainage and water control system and a shift, if necessary, away from the agricultural base use of the lands of South Central Florida. It’s going to be an unbelievably expensive, painful, and time consuming, undertaking.

    I’m now almost 71, I suspect that you are roughly 20 years younger. I also suspect that neither of us, in our lifetimes, will see the results of this shift in the direction of the “will of the people”. However, we can not let that deter our continued support of the efforts of so many for the benefit of future generations.

  5. Wow Rick. I did not know all that about you and your life and career. It is odd how one generation works for one thing and then another generation wants something else….A farmer friend of my father, Mr Hadad put it like this: “We spent the past 100 years getting the water off the land, and we are going to spend the next 100 years figuring out how to put it back on….”
    Thank you for your very interesting comment. Jacqui

  6. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out why things in the lagoon are the way they are. Schools of mullet are feeding on the surface the whole 1.9 miles across the river. As I was driving over the Melbourne causeway I saw white clouds of powder blowing up in the air. They have been grinding on this tall bridge for a month now(day and night) This white powder is the same stuff I have been putting in the water on a much smaller scale. As the calcium reacts on the surface it makes the algie the mullet love grow.Miles and miles of them feeding on the surface.

  7. The lagoon is crying out for what it needs and no one cares so the next time they have another buy the land rally I think I will bring a big bag of baby pacifyers and pass them out

  8. Is it the “will of the people ‘ that all our factorys have went overseas?Is it the the will of the people that the jobs that were not outsourced were insourced by people who send all their money out of this country where it has more value? Is it the will of the people that this country be 18 trillion in dept to countrys that don’t like us very much? Ronald Reagan once said —freedom is allways just one generation away from being lost , Is this going to be that generation?

  9. Our lagoon was one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems in the country—was it the will of the people that every single sewage treatment plant be built right on it shores so it could be killed and controled

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