News Clips

Daytona Beach News Journal

Ed Booth, Jordan Marlowe and Matthew Surrency: ‘Home rule’ applies in counties, cities alike

Cities exist to serve the needs of their citizens. As you travel from city to city in the state of Florida, you’ll see reflected a range of different priorities, based on the needs of the individual citizens of each municipality. However those needs manifest — through better access to services, more control over land-use decisions, improvements to the business climate or in other ways — they boil down to one core idea: Municipal citizens have a vision for why and how their cities should operate, and how the lands within them should be governed.

Naples Daily News

Editorial: More local control, not less, over rental units

From Marco Island to Fort Myers Beach and Cape Coral, local government officials have debated whether and how to regulate short-term rentals. Collier County commissioners, too, have dealt with rental unit issues. Golden Gate Estates property owners renting out guest houses comes to mind. More recently, concerns have arisen whether online home-rental companies and owners are remitting short-term bed taxes to county coffers as hotels must. Now, some state lawmakers mistakenly want to take short-term rental decisions out of local officials’ hands.

Counties face increased pension costs

Florida counties will have to contribute an additional $66 million to the state pension fund in the new budget year, according to legislation that has started moving in the Senate. As a result of a decrease in the assumed rate of investment return on the $160 billion pension fund, counties, school boards, state agencies, universities, state colleges and other government entities will have to increase their contributions in the 2018-2019 budget year to make sure there is enough money to pay retirement benefits in the long term.