NWFlorida Daily News  

Walton commissioners OK referendum on 1% sales tax hike for road projects 

SANTA ROSA BEACH — Well, OK, maybe. But 30 years? That was a prevailing public sentiment Tuesday as the Walton County Board of County Commissioners approved the placement of a referendum on the county’s Nov. 8 ballot seeking an additional penny in sales tax to fund transportation projects. Currently, one penny of local sales tax raises $38 million annually in the county. 


NWFlorida Daily News  

Okaloosa to take a ‘patient and cautious’ approach to fiscal 2023 budget 

SHALIMAR — At the Okaloosa County Commission’s budget policy workshop on Tuesday, County Administrator John Hofstad said he anticipates sticking with the current countywide 3.83 millage rate for fiscal 2023. The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1. The 3.83-mill rate, which has been in place for several years, equals $383 per $100,000 of taxable property value. 


Tampa Bay 10 

What can you do about cracked, lifted sidewalks outside your home? 

Hillsborough County has a backlog of requests to fix cracked and lifted sidewalks. LITHIA, Fla. — Cracking, lifted sidewalks are creating a safety hazard and even destroying driveways. It’s a problem in most older Hillsborough County neighborhoods and many homeowners want to know why it takes so long to get them fixed. 



Data-driven Approach Boosts Efficiency of Streetlight Repairs 

Rather than repairing streetlights in the order outages are reported, San Diego weighs data on location, residential density, the presence of schools or parks and traffic collision information to prioritize repairs and increase efficiency. With 5,000 broken streetlights and a repair staff short 10 workers, San Diego developed an algorithm to help prioritize fixes. 



How Data-driven Policies Can Help States and Localities 

Officials say that following the numbers and looking at evidence has proven useful in tackling a range of equity issues and with steering clear of partisan fights. State and local officials on Wednesday emphasized the importance of governments basing decisions on data, saying it has helped localities address inequities and avoid pitfalls with the nation’s sharp political divisions. 



A Three-Phase Strategy to Reduce Homelessness 

COMMENTARY | As cities grapple with rising homelessness, states struggle to distribute relief money. But change is within our grasp. You don’t have to be a social worker to see how America’s battle against homelessness is going. Across the nation, the homeless are no longer relegated to a certain part of town or some distant neighborhood. They are at our own doorsteps.  



Practice Makes Perfect When It Comes To Recovering From a Cyberattack 

State and local government officials should respond to cyber incidents with well-practiced disaster recovery plans, one Colorado official said.  Responding to an incident as if it were a disaster can give officials a way to activate a whole-of-government response and funding options, said William Chumley, the state’s chief customer officer and interim chief information security officer.