Gov. Ron DeSantis says it’s important for his administration to take a “fresh look” at those serving on boards and commissions whose members are appointed by the governor.
DeSantis rescinded 45 appointments made by former Gov. Rick Scott when he took office in early January. It was recently learned that DeSantis has pulled back 169 more appointments made by Scott.
“Some of them I didn’t know. Some of them I do know. Some of them I reckon I will reappoint,” DeSantis said Tuesday morning in defense of his action. “But I think it’s important for us to take a fresh look at all of this and make sure we have folks who are going to work hard to put stuff in the right direction.”
DeSantis says “this gives more Floridians the opportunity to be able to participate in some of these things.”
DeSantis says he has told all of those individuals whose appointments have been pulled to reapply if they so desire. But he says he’s plans to move quickly on filling the vacant positions.
The South Florida Water Management board whose members were put on the spot when DeSantis asked for their resignations in January could be back to full membership by the end of the week. DeSantis says he will name two more members in the coming days, adding that the ninth and final position on the SFWMD will be named soon after.
DeSantis acknowledges that rescinding appointments has caused some legal confusion over whether persons appointed by Scott are still members of a board or commission until a successor is appointed. But, he hopes that will not be a question that will be asked for long.
“For us, we’re going to work quickly to put people on these positions,” DeSantis said. “So, I think at the end of the day, it’s not going to matter much either way.”
The governor says his decision to rescind past appointments should not be seen as a statement about the individual who was originally appointed to a position..
“We want to send a signal that, look, this is open. We want good people to apply and we want to put you in positions where you can succeed,” DeSantis explained. “Re-apply if you want. Some of these folks I don’t know very well, either way, so I’d be happy to look at their applications as well,” .