Politics

Gov. Rick Scott to visit Florida Keys this weekend

Rick Scott is scheduled to close out this week by making his first official visit to the Keys as governor, but who gets face time with the state's chief executive isn't clear.

Marathon officials say they're pretty sure they'll be able to steal some of the governor's time to discuss Middle Keys issues, while a frustrated Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers says all she hopes for is a brief word with Scott -- if that.

She's threatening to ask Scott to give back the honorary Conch certificate she presented him on March 29 in Tallahassee. That, she said, represented a deal to discuss Keys issues with county officials on his first visit, and, she added, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Saturday, Scott is scheduled to attend a graduation ceremony at Marathon High School for students in the Take Stock in Children mentoring program. It starts at 10:30 a.m. His press office said he plans to fly in on Friday.

"We're still working on it and we're extremely confident one of our elected officials will have the opportunity to speak with the governor on issues that affect Marathon and the Middle Keys," Marathon City Manager Roger Hernstadt said.

He said it would probably be Mayor Ginger Snead but "I don't believe it's a one-on-one sit-down."

Carruthers said she's put in requests to get a sit-down with Scott this weekend but isn't optimistic one will happen. "I am going to the Take Stock in Children graduation, so I know I will at least see him there," she said.

"If he doesn't start being more responsive to requests, I might ask him to return his Conch certificate," she said. "He has not reached out to Monroe County at all even though Monroe County reached out to him," she said, referring to the 12,608-12,577 edge in votes Keys voters gave to the Republican Scott over Democrat Alex Sink in November's gubernatorial election.

Conch certificates say, among other things, that the holder of one is a "clear-thinking kindred soul eminently worthy to be an honorary Conch and citizen of the fabulous Florida Keys."

They go on to say that from the day the certificate is bestowed, the holder can "enjoy to the fullest the bounteous pleasures and privileges so lavishly bestowed upon the Florida Keys by nature, and so artfully supplemented by the works of man."

"I don't think [Scott] understands he was elected to represent all of the people," Carruthers said.

In Key West, Mayor Craig Cates said: "I don't think we were looking for a meeting with him. We don't really have any issues, I believe, to discuss with him."

Islamorada Mayor Michael Reckwerdt couldn't be reached for comment.

  Comments