Environment

Homestead farmer tapped for water governing board

On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott appointed Sam Accursio, pictured here in 2009 inspecting a field of pickling cucumbers, to the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District.
On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott appointed Sam Accursio, pictured here in 2009 inspecting a field of pickling cucumbers, to the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District. For the Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott has selected Homestead farmer Sam Accursio to replace Miami businessman Juan Portuondo on the South Florida Water Management District.

Accursio, 52, whose family owns and farms 2,000 acres in South Miami-Dade County, has been among farmers bitterly complaining about Everglades restoration efforts flooding fields and causing crop losses in the region.

Accursio’s appointment comes as the board wrestles with its 2016 budget and whether to cut taxes for the fifth year in a row. Despite pressure from Tallahassee, board members voted earlier this month to keep the 2016 tax rate the same to avoid dipping into reserves to balance the budget for the 16-county district. But last last week, the board scheduled a workshop and meeting for 9 a.m. Friday to revisit the budget.

Accursio, whose term would began Tuesday, must still be approved by the Florida Senate.

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