A roundup of the gulf coast's government happenings.
City manager resigns
CAPE CORAL — Terry Stewart accepted a severance agreement and resigned his post as city manager prior to the swearing in of newly elected Mayor John Sullivan at the Nov. 9 council meeting. Stewart served as city manager for eight years and is a candidate for the Horry County, S.C. county administrator position.
Assistant city manager Carl Schwing is now acting city manager.
TBARTA board changes
TAMPA BAY — Former Pinellas County Commissioner Ronnie Duncan has been named by Gov. Charlie Crist to replace former Tampa Bay Bucs' linebacker Shelton Quarles on the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority. A previous TBARTA board member, Duncan supports light rail plans advocated by the multi-county transportation advocacy organization. Quarles asked not be reappointed this year. Attorney Hugh McGuire of Parrish was reappointed, and Sonny Vergara of Brooksville, former executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, replaces Sarasota banker Michael Bullerdick for a term ending Sept. 30. TBARTA has developed light rail and expanded bus service plans that may be partly funded by a higher sales tax in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
Attorney seeks District 1 seat
TAMPA — Julie Brown, a former assistant Tampa city attorney, plans to run for the City of Tampa District 1 seat now held by Gwen Miller. In 2007, Brown lost a bid for the South Tampa District 4 seat to John Dingfelder. Brown is currently serving her second term on the city's Architectural Review Commission.
Mirasol permits revoked
NAPLES — The U.S. Florida Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) must redo its evaluation of the Mirasol development permit application because its biological opinion was “arbitrary and capricious” for failing to take into account cumulative impacts of other federal projects in the region.
That is the opinion of U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez in a ruling issued Oct. 23 in Miami. Also at issue is FWS' unexplained reliance on fish prey density figures used in calculating wetland mitigation requirements.
Mirasol is a luxury 799-home, 36-hole golf course community planned on 1,173 acres in North Naples, one of several projects planned in the Cocohatchee Slough area. The Army Corp of Engineers' environmental assessment was also declared invalid for failing to take a “hard look” at the cumulative impacts of Mirasol and other nearby developments. Five environmental organizations filed suit in April 2008 against the FWS, the Army Corps. of Engineers and the U.S. Department of the Interior for issuing permits that would allow mitigation of 645 acres of wetlands.
Crowded House District 47 race
FLORIDA — Republican and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair is one of seven candidates filed to run for the Florida House District 47 seat currently held by term-limited Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa. Blair, one of four Republicans in the race, has suggested that vacant hotels be used to house the homeless. The other Republican candidates are Tom Aderhold, Irene Guy and Richard Reidy. Also seeking the Northwest Hillsborough seat are Democrats Christopher Mitchell and Michael Steinberg, the latest to enter the crowded field, and Independent William Burda.
The Hillsborough County Agriculture Economic Development Council will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau offices, 100 S. Mulrennan Road in Valrico. For more information contact Stephen Gran, agriculture industry development manager at (813) 272-5506.
The land development code stakeholder committee meets Wednesday, Nov. 18 at the Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes.
The county commission and the Pinellas County legislative delegation will hold a joint meeting at noon Tuesday, Nov. 17, in the Utilities Building Conference Room, 14 S. Ft. Harrison Ave., Clearwater. For more information call (727) 464-3485.
The Pinellas Planning Council meets at 1 p.m. Nov. 18 in the 5th floor assembly room, Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater. For more information call (727) 464-8250.
The Industrial Development Authority meets at noon Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the SunTrust Bank Building, 18501 Murdock Circle, Suite 502, Port Charlotte.
The Charlotte Harbor Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee meets at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at 18500 Murdock Circle, administration center, room 119. For more information contact Kathy Knee at (941) 627-3023.
The Charter Review Commission meets at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at 18500 Murdock Circle, Administration Center, Room 106-B. For more information call Ann Pinder (941) 623-1087.
The Tourist Development Council meets at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at the Visitor's Bureau Conference Room, 18501 Murdock Circle, Suite 502. For more information call Liz Parker at (941) 743-1900.
The North Naples Task Force meets at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the North Collier Regional Park conference room A.
The Immokalee CRA/EZDA Advisory Boards and the Immokalee Master Plan and Visioning Committee will hold a public meeting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the Career and Service Center located at 750 S. Fifth St. in Immokalee.
The Lee County and Hendry County commissions will hold a joint meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension Office, 1085 Pratt Blvd., LaBelle.
The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at 1926 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization meets at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at 1926 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers.
The Community Redevelopment Agency will be holding a regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 1231 Cape Coral Parkway. For more information call Valerie Salone at (239) 549-5615 or e-mail [email protected].
The Manatee Port Authority meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, on the third floor of the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, 1905 Intermodal Circle, Palmetto.