FAC News Clips – June 26, 2017
The Konk Life
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) has selected Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers as a 2017 Presidential Advocate. This special recognition is bestowed upon county commissioners who have shown exceptional leadership in partnering with FAC during the 2017 session to advance the counties’ legislative agenda. “We are honored to recognize you for your strong commitment to address important local government issues during the 2017 Legislative Session,” Davin J. Suggs, FAC’s Director of Public Policy, said in a letter.
Naples Daily News
Collier County could fundamentally change the way it charges builders of homes and businesses in Immokalee. Commissioner Bill McDaniel, who represents the area, wants the county to allow developers or anyone building a house, store or office in Immokalee to pay their impact fees over a certain amount of time, 10, 20 or even 30 years, rather than upfront. The move would take the burden of paying the county's impact fees, which are among the highest in the state, from the builder and share it with any future owners of the property, McDaniel said.
Panama City News Herald
PANAMA CITY — The Bay County Health Department has its sights set on zero. That is, zero new HIV infections in Bay County by 2020 thanks to a new initiative spearheaded by the Health Department’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and led by HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator Rick Vitale. “It is our firm belief in this very bold initiative, with all the things we have going for us, we think we can stop new HIV infection,” Vitale said in a recent presentation to community stakeholders. “In fact, I’m sure of it. I’m willing to bet the ranch.”
The Villages Daily Sun
Budget and property tax cuts, with no degradation in essential public services. That message jumped off the pages of the budget letter that County Administrator Bradley Arnold distributed last week to the Sumter County Commission. Although he anticipated much of the letter’s content, commission Chairman Doug Gilpin required a moment to reflect on the impact of the 2017-18 county budget on his constituents. “Well, the first thing that came to mind, I had to take a step back and not take it for granted,” Gilpin said.
It’s only going to get worse: In the past two weeks, the number of female mosquitoes caught overnight in a single mosquito control trap rose from 100 to 1,800. And it’s only the beginning of the summer mosquito season. Historically, there is a large upswing in the mosquito population the last week in June and into the July 4th holiday, said Carl Boohene, an entomologist who directs Polk County’s Mosquito Control Unit. And, as long as the rain and heat continue, the numbers will stay high through October.
The New Tropic
Cindy Lorenzo’s house smells absolutely foul. There’s a noxious brown liquid bubbling up from her kitchen drain, and a sickening odor hits you as soon as you open the door to her Redland’s residence. “It smells atrocious,” she complains. Cindy’s septic tank is backed up. She’s had to call the plumbers today to have it pumped. “This time of year, I see this kind of thing every day,” says Angel Rosario, owner of A Better Aim Septic, Inc. He’ll be seeing even more of it in the future.
Around the country…
Airport workers around the country are demanding more rights, including higher pay and freedom to unionize. The service workers union 32BJ SEIU hosted a town hall to discuss those demands during the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "Especially when ... we are not seeing a federal response on issues of workers, there is a very important part [for] local government to play a role," says Rocio Sáenz, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union. Hundreds of mayors were in Miami Beach for the conference. Sáenz said it's crucial to have them as allies.
U.S. mayors spent a long day in Miami Beach giving and taking advice about what to fix in their cities, how to convince voters it’s a good idea and — best of all — how to pay for it. With ideas such as WiFi-equipped parks, computer-controlled traffic and derelict shopping malls converted into playgrounds, the 300 or so city bosses attending Sunday’s U.S. Conference of Mayors at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel bubbled over with wish lists that sometimes made them sound like kids besieging a department-store Santa on Christmas Eve.
Government websites, many of them in Ohio, were hacked Sunday with a message that purports to be supportive of the Islamic State terrorist group. A message posted on the website of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries." The message, left by "Team System Dz," also ended, "I love the Islamic state."