Republican Gov. Rick Scott tonight named Billy Buzzett, vice president of strategic planning for the St. Joe Company and a member of Scott's transition team on regulatory reform, as Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs.
The department, which oversees the state's growth regulations, has been a target of Scott's for months. Scott joked that of the thousands of people he's talked to on the campaign trail and since winning election, fewer than five have had kind words for DCA.
Scott's transition team has recommended DCA be combined with the Environmental Protection Department and the Transportation Department to create a "Department of Growth Leadership."
Billy is a fifth generation Floridian hailing from Apalachicola, Florida. He has 25 years experience in engineering, law, and land development. Graduating with a degree in civil engineering, Billy practiced for several years in New Orleans before receiving his law degree from Florida State University. After graduating from law school, Billy worked in private practice and then worked for the Florida Legislature and as Assistant General Counsel to Governor Bob Martinez. Billy helped create Florida’s first charter school, shaped the charter school law, and served as an administrative law judge. Since leaving public service Billy has put his knowledge of government and law to work in the private sector. He has developed his own land holdings, practiced land use law, and served for the past eight years as a member of the strategic planning group of the St. Joe Company – one of Florida’s largest land owners. While at the St. Joe Company Billy led the master planning of over 100,000 acres and entitled over 30,000 residential units. Billy understands the large scale planning process and has shown an ability to work with local communities to develop a win-win situation for both the landowner and the community.