There are really just a couple of things you can do when you are “attacked” or “think you are being attacked.” You can fight back, or you can “play opossum–play dead.”
Sometimes, the game is over faster if you “play opossum,” and simply don’t respond.
This happens in my yard a lot with my dogs and opossums here in the Town of Sewall’s Point, and it in my opinion, it happened yesterday at the South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board Meeting in West Palm Beach.
Although the front page of the SFWMD’s agenda read:
“The Governing Board may take official action at the is meeting on any item appearing on the agenda and on any item that is added to this agenda as a result of a change to the agenda approved by the presiding officer of the meeting pursuant to Section 120.525, Florida Statutes.”
—no action, not even a comment in response to the 80 public speakers was given at the end of “public comment.” The board remained quiet and simply “moved on…”.
Yes, approximately one hundred members of the public: housewives, grandmothers, activists, veterans, a River Kid, scientists, “River Warriors,” government employees, and politicians from many different counties, (but mostly from Martin and St Lucie Counties), made the long drive to come before the District, a board appointed by our governor…to speak, to exercise their right to speak, and to plead for the life of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and Calooshatchee by asking the board to exercise the right to purchase US Sugar option lands south of Lake Okeechobee, or at least to “allow discussion of this item on the agenda.”
This was not achieved….
Thankfully though, Board Chairman, Dan O’Keefe, did allow the public to speak, however, they were told if they clapped, or were disruptive they would be “removed by a deputy….” The public, for the most part, followed the rules, and was “allowed to” raise their hands to show support for each other….Mr O’Keefe empathetically noting hands raised….
It was excruciating…
As a public official myself, who has led and sat through many meetings with an angry public, my eyes actually teared up at one point. Watching the American process in action as the foot of authority stood on their neck…
The underdog in this scenario is certainly “Team David,” of the Indian River Lagoon whose river, the St Lucie, flows with the gushing putrid water of altered area canals and the redirected waters of Lake Okeechobee….
Perhaps the board felt the people weren’t “thankful enough” for all that has been done recently…
It is hard to be thankful when you’re dying….C-44 Reservoir monies and Senator Joe Negron’s Senate Hearing on the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin, yes, these state “wins” have been bonanzas of cash in one small area, our county…
We are thankful…
….unfortunately, so much water comes into the SLR/IRL system, the public is educated and knows that more land for storage is needed for all that water or “death is immanent.”
Yesterday, the river movement of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon chose not to play opossum, giving it their best fight…the government on the other hand, simply rolled over….
BBC Special on how animals “play dead” to survive:(http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00z2mcb)
Governor appointed, Governing Board SFWMD: (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20about%20us/governing%20board)
Go here to watch the video of the SFWMD Governing Board meeting; it should be posted within 48 hours of 3-12-15: (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20about%20us/gb%20application)