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February 6, 2007

In an effort to keep FHCC members up to date on all recent activity regarding the property insurance issue, please find two press releases regarding the newly created Windstorm Mitigation Study Committee.  The first release outlines the creation of this committee and announces the time and date of the first meeting.  The second release comes from the Governor’s office and announces the appointment of Garrett W. Walton as Chairman of this committee.


In effort to expand and improve hurricane mitigation efforts in Florida, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that the legislatively-created Windstorm Mitigation Study Committee will hold its first meeting on Thursday, February 8, 2007, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 221 of the Senate Office Building in Tallahassee.   

The committee was created as a result of House Bill 1A, passed recently by the Florida Legislature during Special Session.  The committee is comprised of eight members, with two appointments each from the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Senate President and Speaker of the House.  The committee is charged with analyzing short- and long-term solutions and programs that address the need to immediately and effectively mitigate homes in Florida.   

A final committee report, including legislative recommendations, is due to the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Insurance Commissioner, Senate President and Speaker of the House by March 6, 2007.  Floridians can learn more about the committee, its duties and upcoming meetings at http://www.fldfs.com/WindstormMSC/.

Crist Appoints Garrett Walton as Chairman of Windstorm Mitigation Study Committee

Source: The Executive Office of the Governor
February 6, 2007

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today appointed Garrett W. Walton of Pensacola as Chairman the Windstorm Mitigation Study Committee.

“Garrett has extensive experience in facilitating long-term solutions for disaster victims,” said Governor Crist. “He is dedicated to helping his fellow Floridians recover from devastating storms.”

Garrett Walton, 58, is the president of Herons Forest Development Company and previously worked as a partner with the Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon law firm in Pensacola. He was a founder of Rebuild Northwest Florida, a not-for-profit disaster recovery organization assisting need-based hurricane victims. Mr. Walton received both his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Missouri and an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University.

“I am honored to serve on this committee,” said Mr. Walton. “I am hopeful we can develop strategies that will enable our state to better prepare for and recover from weather- related tragedies.”

Members of the Windstorm Mitigation Study Committee review, evaluate and make recommendations regarding existing and proposed programs and initiatives for mitigating windstorm damage.

Governor Crist today also appointed Bill Coffey, 44, of West Palm Beach to the Windstorm Mitigation Study Committee. Mr. Coffey is currently service director of installations for The Home Depot. Garrett Walton and Bill Coffey are each appointed for a term beginning February 6, 2007, and ending May 15, 2007.