INSURANCE TOWN HALL MEETING- 12 OCTOBER 2006, Stan Davis10/13/06
Thursday nightÃ¢â‚¬â€following a daylong workshop with Florida insurance insiders Ã¢â‚¬â€œthe St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9 sponsored a town hall meeting in St Pete. 400 property owners showed-up, hoping to get some answers to a crisis that seems to have stymied all.
Stan Davis was there, and filed this story.
[Actuality 1- Douglas- Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is no easy answerÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ no easy answer.Ã¢â‚¬?]
That was Bruce Douglas. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Chairman of the Board of Citizens Property Insurance, the insurer of last resort to the homeowners of Florida.
Douglas had a busy day Thursday. As WMNF reported, FloridaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee held a daylong workshop in Largo earlier.
This is the committee appointed by Governor Bush thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been tasked with finding a solution to the ongoing insurance crisisÃ¢â‚¬â€
A crisis thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s led to foreclosures, bankruptcy, exodus, and an assessment levied on every homeowner lucky enough to get property insurance.
Lucky enough, especially if you heard Sam Miller tell it. Sam Miller is President of the Florida Insurance Council, a group that represents the interests of the Insurance Industry. With all the heat his industry is taking, Miller seemed to demonstrate that the best defense is a good offenceÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
[Actuality 2- Stevens-Miller spat- Ã¢â‚¬Å“The worst thing in the world is the questionÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just kind of fun.Ã¢â‚¬?]
That was Tom Zucco, of the St Pete Times, trying to keep the peace between Miller and Homeowners Against Citizens president, Ginny Stevens. Peace was restoredÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ temporarily. But Miller kept on spoiling for a fight, whether it was with Stevens, who sat on the panel, or with audience members who had questions for himÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
[Actuality 3- Barbara Sullivan- Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦I have property in the Panama City Ã¢â‚¬Â¦is that really your answer? Ã¢â‚¬?]
The battles between Miller and everyone else might have overshadowed an important proposition, though.
Again, Bruce Douglas, Chairman of CitizensÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
[Actuality 4- Douglas- Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not saying that the legislature Ã¢â‚¬Â¦in reduced premiums.Ã¢â‚¬?]
Although this proposal was news to many, it seemed to get lost in the fireworks.
WMNF spoke with some audience members, afterwards, to get their sense of the eveningÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
[Actuality 5-Vox Populi - Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦a lot of people are suffering Ã¢â‚¬Â¦in the consumersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ hands.Ã¢â‚¬?]
At the town hall meeting in St. Pete, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m Stan Davis for WMNF