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Crist Names Additional Agency Heads

December 21, 2006
Source: Office of Governor-Elect Charlie Crist

TALLAHASSEE – Governor-Elect Charlie Crist appointed Tom Pelham as Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs and Michael Sole as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

“Tom has over twenty five years of experience in environmental, land use and governmental law at the state, regional and local levels,” said Governor-Elect Crist. “His diverse background as both an attorney and planner will be a unique asset to the Department.”

The Department of Community Affairs manages issues affecting Florida’s communities including community and transportation planning, development and implementation of affordable housing solutions, and mitigating disaster recovery.

“I am pleased to accept the opportunity to lead the Department of Community Affairs and grateful Governor-Elect Crist has selected me to head this Department. I will work diligently with the Governor-Elect and community leaders to develop the best possible means of managing Florida growth while retaining her unique charm and natural beauty,” said Pelham.

Thomas Pelham is currently of counsel to the law firm Fowler White Boggs Banker P.A. Mr. Pelham is a certified planner who previously served as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs from 1987-1991. As Secretary, he played a key role in the initial implementation of the 1985 Growth Management Act. He served as member of both the Tallahassee-Leon County and Capital Center Planning Commissions. Mr. Pelham obtained his bachelors degree from Florida State University, his masters degree from Duke University, his J.D. from Florida State University College of Law, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.

“During Mike’s tenure at the Department of Environmental Protection, he has been responsible for planning and directing many of Florida’s environmental programs in the areas of waste and water resource management,” said Governor-Elect Crist. “He has served the department for more than 16 years and has leadership experience in several facets of the agency. I welcome his guidance and expertise to ensure Florida protects one of its greatest assets.”

The Department of Environmental Protection is charged with managing stewardship of Florida’s air, water and land resources. The Department includes Regulatory Programs, Land and Recreation, and Planning and Management.

Michael Sole is the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. With more than 16 years at the agency, he previously served in several positions including Chief of Staff, Division Director for the Division of Waste Management and Bureau Chief of the Division of Water Resource Management’s Bureau of Beaches and Wetland Resources. Mr. Sole served as a Communications Officer in the United States Marine Corps during Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. He graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology.

“I am honored to continue serving the public and grateful to Governor-Elect Crist for the opportunity,” said Sole.  “In this position, I will continue working to evaluate key environmental risks and recommend policy changes to effectuate practical solutions in order to ensure the protection of Florida’s natural resources.”