Gov. Ron DeSantis is keeping the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board in place, renewing the terms of three Board members late Friday.
As part of a flurry of late-announced appointments Friday, the Governor’s office released a statement that Ben Butler, Cheryl Meads and Charlette Roman will all keep their respective spots on the body.
The three joined the SFWMD Governing Board in 2019 after DeSantis sought to clean house on the Governing Board. Shortly after taking office in 2019, DeSantis asked the entire Board to resign. While that request was met with resistance from some, the members eventually left, allowing DeSantis to fill the Governing Board with his own appointees.
Meads and Roman joined the body in February 2019, while Butler followed in November 2019.
Butler hails from Lorida and is the owner and manager of Butler Oaks Farm, a family-run dairy farm. He attended the University of Florida for both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal sciences.
Meads, of Tavernier, is the CEO of Trumpet Calls, a real estate holding company. She’s a former member of the Islamorada Village Council and earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Western Carolina University.
Roman, of Marco Island, boasts 26 years of service in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Colonel before earning a position with Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense company. Roman earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University and her master’s degree in business management from Webster University.
The appointments must earn a final sign off from the Senate, but with Republicans in control of that body, it’s unlikely the Governor’s appointments will meet much resistance.
The nine-person SFWMD Governing Board helps set water policy for the region. DeSantis has actively pushed for discussions regarding water issues, with focus on funding reservoir projects south of Lake Okeechobee.