Last week, Canaveral Port Authority Chair Jerry Allender came out swinging at Brevard County Commissioner Jim Barfield after news broke that the District 2 Commissioner was putting forth a resolution opposing any Canaveral Rail Extension that traversed the Indian and Banana River lagoons as well as Merritt Island.
Earlier this week, Allender penned the letter above to the County Commission, chiding them on the irresponsibility of acting on Barfield's resolution and even provided the commissioners with notes and a video link to a presentation from a "rail expert" who spoke at last week's CPA meeting. That was the very same meeting where Allender and other commissioners took a number of potshots at Barfield, Florida Today's Dave Berman and other members of the media and "people who really shouldn't be as interested in what the port is doing as they are."
But as has come to be a hallmark of CPA leadership over the past 30 years, they didn't particularly come clean with all the details on their "rail expert," Kathryn Floyd. She's not an engineer. She doesn't build railroads.
No. Instead, Floyd is a high-powered Washington attorney/lobbyist with the gold-plate DC firm, Venable LLP.
Despite the CPA leaving this fact out, you can't really blame them for hiring her. If you go to the firm's website, you can read her professional biography. She's very good at what she does:
In addition to having "extensive experience counseling companies regarding controversial hot-button projects that draw attention from regulatory agencies and outside groups threatening litigation or disruptions. Ms. Floyd consistently helps clients shape strategic responses and catalogue a documented record to minimize risk, advance approvals and, when necessary, beat back lawsuits. Many of these engagements arise when clients’ projects face opposition under environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and the Endangered Species Act.
In other words, Ms. Floyd is a hired gun who knows how to navigate the green tape, minimize public input in the process and get her clients the desired result — exclusive of environmental regulations or public wishes.
For the Canaveral Port Authority, it's a match made in heaven. And she doesn't just work with railroads. Ms. Floyd has a number of clients in the energy sector — mainly mining, drilling and fracking.
That's your public money at work right there — paying Kathryn Floyd to work against you and your environment.