FAC News Clips – September 26, 2017
Jacksonville Daily Record
After months of scrutiny, Jacksonville’s 19-member City Council is expected to move forward Tuesday with Mayor Lenny Curry’s proposed $1.273 billion for fiscal year 2017-18. The budget, which Curry introduced in July, increases spending 6.33 percent from $1.198 billion this year. Nine pieces of legislation are associated with the budget, all of which can be altered through floor amendments during debate at City Hall beginning at 5 p.m.
Tampa Bay Times
CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday. The end of the current fiscal year is approaching, so the commission's agenda includes setting the final millage rates for the 2017-2018 budget. The commission could also address the situation with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, which was the subject of two reports Sept. 20. An inspector general's report outlined 93 problems with the agency while a grand jury outlined how to reform it.
BARTOW — Polk County commissioners voted 5-0 on Monday to adopt a $1.3 billion budget that includes a 3.5 percent raise for its nearly 2,000 employees. Employees are expected to see the raise in Jan. 5 paychecks, said Bill Beasley, deputy county manager. He said that unionized employees within the county must ratify the raise before they receive it. Tax rates will remain steady for residents. The tax rate within cities was set at $6.78 per $1,000 of taxable value. That means someone with a home with a taxable value of $150,000 and $50,000 in homestead exemptions would pay $678 in county taxes.
Sarasota Herald Tribune
MANATEE COUNTY — The Manatee County Commission on Monday finalized its 2017-18 budget at $628.1 million, including transfers and cash balances from the current fiscal year. The next fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Chairwoman Betsy Benac thanked county staff and members of the public who assisted in what had been a lengthy process of meetings over several months to get the spending plan in order. “We always have more wants than we have the ability and resources to meet them,” Benac said.
The Brevard Board of County Commissioners will be finalizing our tentative 2017-2018 budget this week. I believe we are going into the next fiscal year in a very strong position. After months of discussions and hard work on the part of our staff, the board and the community, we have submitted a fiscally-responsible budget, of which I am tremendously proud. I am especially appreciative of all the citizens and local organizations that showed up and gave us their input during workshops, meetings, and by contacting my office.
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Seminole County leaders will hear from the public Tuesday night on a proposal for the county to increase the overall millage rate by nearly 11 percent. Officials told Channel 9’s Jeff Levkulich that it would help balance the budget. Residents who pay for the county fire department would see the biggest increase in their taxes, with 2.7649 percent. The current 2016/2017 millage rate is 4.8751 for the county. The rolled back millage is 4.5991, and the proposed millage for the 2017/2018 year is 4.8751, a six percent increase, according to the county.
Brevard County commissioners have rejected a proposal by Commissioner John Tobia to greatly expand what records of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast are publicly disclosed. Instead, commissioners voted 4-1, with Tobia opposed, to an amendment that will provide some increased transparency of EDC financial records. The measure commissioners approved — which was proposed by EDC President and Chief Executive Officer Lynda Weatherman — does not go as far as Tobia wanted.
The new deadline for the public to submit amendments for the state’s Constitution would be Oct. 6, under a recommendation OK’d Monday by the Constitution Revision Commission‘s (CRC) Committee on Rules. The previous deadline to turn in proposals had been last Friday, but commissioners wanted to give more time after Hurricane Irma blew through the state the week before. The rules committee also voted to recommend to the full commission that commissioners’ deadline to submit their own proposals to staff for drafting be extended to Oct. 17, with a final filing deadline of Oct. 31.
If you have any ideas about the future of Florida after the storm, you now have until Oct. 6 to prepare your pitch to the Constitution Revision Commission. The powerful panel meets every 20 years and has the authority to put constitutional amendments directly on the November 2018 ballot. On Monday, its rules committee tentatively extended the deadline for Floridians to submit ideas. The previous deadline of Sept. 22 was postponed because of Hurricane Irma.
Naples Daily News
Collier and south Lee government leaders who postponed decision-making meetings due to Hurricane Irma — including adopting 2017-18 budgets — mostly get back on track this week. The exception is Marco Island, where Irma made landfall Sept. 10. Marco city meetings are postponed again this week; the City Council resumes its meeting schedule Monday, Oct. 2. Notably in Collier, both the County Commission and School Board this week resume regular meetings and are to take what could be the final steps toward adopting 2017-18 budgets.
Citrus County Chronicle
The state has given the county a way to pick up Hurricane Irma yard debris on private roads at partial federal expense but the mechanism is virtually impossible to follow, County Administrator Randy Oliver said. Commissioners will be asked at their meeting today whether to forego collecting debris off private roads or pay for the $62,000 expense out of county coffers. Board Chairman Scott Carnahan said the county should go ahead and do that. “Those people on private roads pay taxes, too,” he said Monday.
TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- After 11 elderly people died because of an overheated nursing home in Hollywood, pity for Florida's senior community turned to panic. 10News reporter Liz Crawford started digging to find out what emergency plans were in place to keep our seniors safe during a disaster. We discovered the people who are supposed to approve and enforce the plans don't even keep them on file. After the tragedy in South Florida, politicians hurried to take action. Senator Lauren Book filed a bill requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The bills are climbing for cities trying to get roadside piles of Hurricane Irma debris removed as quickly as possible — with some rates being charged doubling and, in some cases, tripling. And it’s not going to get any easier, one hauler told the Pembroke Pines City Commission on Monday. Now, in addition to the unprecedented situation of having nearly the whole state needing debris removal trucks, even more of them will be going to Puerto Rico, to clean up after Hurricane Maria.
DeFuniak Springs, Fla. - For months, several Freeport residents have been up in arms facing a problem. Homeowners of Brandon Oaks might soon see a change to their sewage and drainage issues. Walton County Staff recommends the Commissioners accept a proposal to be made to Freeport City Council. With direction from the Commissioners, the Council would be authorized to advise residents of the health issue and environmental issues. Then, require mandatory hookup to the City's sewer system.
DeFuniak Springs, Fla. - A letter will soon be signed, sealed and delivered to Jackson County Commissioners from Walton County. Walton County Commissioners are wading into the controversial debate about deep well injection coming to the Panhandle. News 13's Peyton Locicero has more about the resolution. Walton County Commissioners are hopeful about their efforts to stand with Jackson County as they fight to protect the water in Northwest Florida.