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Wednesday July 30th 2014

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Grover and the Governor

Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson will be in Tallahassee tomorrow. He’s looking to meet with Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

“My hope is to meet with the governor’s office late afternoon,” the commissioner said.

Robinson wants to speak with Scott regarding the as-of-yet unrealized fine money stemming from Clean Water Act penalties associated with BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Escambia County is a member of a consortium of counties that is working on a plan to spend a portion of the oil-spill penalty money that is expected to come to Florida. Earlier this week, Gov. Scott requested that the state appoint a quarter of the consortium members as well as its chairman.

The counties were less than receptive to that prospect. The consortium elected Robinson and Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge to meet with the governor in an effort to find acceptable middle ground.

“The terms he wants us to agree to basically gives him all the control,” Robinson said. “We’re not prepared to do that.”
The commissioner said that he would like to see the state and the counties work together in formulating how to spend the fine money. He called such cooperation “a very rare thing to happen in politics.”

“It will be very different and very rare for state and local government to come together and work together, but it would be for the betterment of the citizens,” Robinson said.

The portion of the fine money in question is not the percentage that has been allocated for the eight most-impacted counties in the state, a list which Escambia tops.