Florida lobbyist Ron Book will continue to receive a $45,000 per year salary from Fort Myers Beach taxpayers. Book rambled on for 40 minutes in front of the council Monday, dropping names of politicians and giving the council a Florida geography lesson. Throughout his speech he failed to mention whether he spends any time lobbying the most important issue to beach residents.
After Book completed his lengthy monologue, councilman Jim Atterholt questioned him on whether he was working for the town on the issue of water quality. Atterholt wants to keep the fight for clean water active and visible. He even mentioned a marketing campaign to keep the issue in front of people.
Book somehow related Atterholt’s question about water quality to climate change, which Atterholt never even mentioned. Book said former Governor Rick Scott “did a good job on the environment and Governor DeSantis is just taking it one step further.”
Book then shifted his answer to whether the federal government will print more money next year and hits to Pre-k to 12 funding. As to whether more money would be shifted toward the water quality issue, Book said “I don’t know. I got you and I hear you as to the priority, but I don’t know.”
Book said his goal was to make sure the town knew what was going on in Tallahassee before it appeared in Politico. Both Mayor Ray Murphy and Town Manager Roger Hernstadt bragged about how long they’ve known the lobbyist. Hernstadt said he’s been friends with Book for 30 years.