Miami Dade County Community Forum

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Governor Scott names development exec. as top Florida planner

From the Florida Hometown Democracy Group:

St. Joe executive Billy Buzzett has been named Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs. Mr. Buzzett’s claim to fame is the recently constructed $300,000,000 taxpayer funded white elephant airport in the Panhandle. The airport was constructed on 4,000 acres of land donated by St. Joe. (Just like the “Taj Majal” First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee!)

St. Joe’s business model is to develop its vast holdings around the airport. According to a recent report, St. Joe is establishing its new corporate headquarters near the airport’s entrance, and has “said it intends to construct a covered, 300-space off-site parking facility that will offer car washing and detailing.”

In order to get Southwest Airlines to fly into the new airport, St. Joe is covering Southwest’s fuel costs if the carrier fails to break even on ticket purchases during the airport’s first three years of operation. St. Joe has also recently been sued in a number of class action lawsuits by shareholders claiming that St. Joe executives deliberately overvalued land holdings.

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