A look at government action around the Gulf Coast
Utility expansion hearings
CAPE CORAL — The Cape Coral City Council is moving forward to hold hearings in July on expanding utilities to 60,000 properties. In the northern Cape area, 6,200 properties would get central water and the remainder in the southwest area would hook up to water, sewer and irrigation lines. The project could begin as early as this fall. The average property owner in the north area would pay approximately $6,000 in assessments and southwest owners would be charged about $17,000 to connect, but would have options to defer charges or finance them over time. Public hearings are scheduled July 7, 8 and 9 at Mariner High School auditorium at 5:30 p.m.
Cabinet approves docks
NAPLES — By a 3-1 vote on June 9, the governor and cabinet approved a submerged land lease to permit docks for 49 boat slips proposed as part of The Dunes development in North Naples. Attorney General Bill McCollum voted no. The project still needs approval by Collier County and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit.
New building official
BRADENTON — The city of Bradenton has hired Bradley Weigle as its new building official. Weigle most recently worked as branch manager for Nova Engineering and Environmental LLC's Naples division after planning positions in Naples and Marcos Island.
Four-way race for District 67
FLORIDA — What was a three-man race for the House District 67 seat has become a foursome with the filing by Marie Nisco, a Sarasota Republican. Nisco challenges fellow Republicans Greg Steube of Bradenton, Sarasota's Jeremiah Guccione, and Robert McCann of Lakewood Ranch. District 67 covers part of Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties. Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, is up against term-limits. The primary will be held in August 2010.
Galvano seeks state senate
FLORIDA — State Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, will seek the state Senate District 21 seat in 2012 now held by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, who faces term limits. Galvano, an attorney representing District 68, had been considered a potential candidate for the state Attorney General post. Galvano, having been first elected to the House in 2002, is in his fourth term and is up against term limits after the 2010 legislative session. Galvano may face opposition from fellow Republican and Speaker pro-tempore Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, who has expressed interest in the Senate seat. This past session, Galvano served as chairman of the Rules and Calendar Council and also chaired the Select Committee on Seminole Indian Compact Review. He is a partner at Bradenton law firm Grimes, Goebel, Grimes, Hawkins, Gladfelter and Galvano.
Senate races heat-up
FLORIDA — Two Florida Senate incumbents, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, have attracted new opposition. Democratic Sen. Charlie Justice, D- St. Petersburg, now has two opponents with the announcement by Pinellas County School Board Member Nina Hayden that she will seek the District 16 seat. Justice already faces formidable opposition from Republican and former Senate majority leader Jack Latvala. Also now facing opposition is District 10 Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico. Zephyrhills Democrat Jen Greenfield filed to run for the seat on June 10.
The county's tentative fiscal year 2010 budget will be presented on Friday, July 10 in the Administration Center, Room #119, 18500 Murdock Circle in Port Charlotte. Also, if needed, a tentative budget presentation is scheduled for July 17 at 2 p.m. at the same location.
The Collier County Commission will be holding budget workshops on Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30 at 9 a.m. in the County Commission chambers, third floor, Building F, 3301 E. Tamiami Trail in Naples.
The Hillsborough County Commission will conduct budget workshops July 16, 22 and 29 at 1:30 p.m. and a budget reconciliation workshop July 30 at 9 a.m. Public hearings on the budget are set for July 16 and Sept. 8. The final meeting to adopt millage rates and final budgets is Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. The county commission meets at The County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.
The Lee County Commission is holding a special session on setting property tax millage rates on Monday, July 6 at 10 a.m. (One mill is equivalent to one dollar per $1,000 of taxable property value.) Immediately following the meeting, the commission will be holding a Tourist Tax and Funding Allocation Workshop. The commission will hold a budget workshop Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 11:30 a.m. Budget hearings are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3 and Thursday, Sept. 17 at 5:05 p.m. The meetings will be held in the commission chambers, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers. The Tourist Development Council meets Friday, July 10 at 9 a.m. at 12800 University Drive, Suite 325, Fort Myers.
A special County Commission budget reconciliation meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 30 at 2 p.m. Budget workshops were held June 11, 12 and 18. The dates and times for the two budget hearings in September have not been set.
The next County Commission budget meeting is Tuesday, July 14 at 10 a.m. in the 2nd floor board room at the Historic Pasco County Courthouse, 37918 Meridian Ave., Dade City. The preliminary budget hearing is Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the same location. On Tuesday, Sept. 22 the final budget hearing will be held at the West Pasco Government Center, 7530 Little Road, New Port Richey.
The county administrator will present the proposed fiscal year 2010 budget to the County Commission at 9:30 a.m. on July 14. There will be another budget discussion on July 28 also at 9:30 a.m. There will be opportunity for public input at both meetings. The first public hearing is Sept. 8, at 6:30 p.m. when the commission is scheduled to adopt the tentative millage rates and budgets. The final public hearing is Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. when the board is scheduled to adopt the final millage rates and budgets
The County Commission is holding budget workshops Thursday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. and Friday, Sept. 4 at 9 a.m. in the Think Tank, third floor of the county administration building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. The first budget hearing is Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the same location, and the final budget hearing is set for Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at the south county administration building in Venice.
The Pinellas County Commission will host a budget reduction and a capital improvements program discussion on June 22 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the BCC Assembly Room, 315 Court St., 5th floor, Clearwater. The budget forecast predicts that Pinellas County will experience an $85 million total reduction in general fund revenues that will require a 20% reduction in expenditures to close this projected shortfall. For more information on the budget go to www.pinellascounty.org/budget.
The Post Session Collier County State Legislative Delegation Town Hall Meeting is Wednesday, July 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Edison College Auditorium, 7007 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples. State Senators Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami and Garrett Richter, R-Naples, will be joined by Representatives Tom Grady, R-Naples, Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid, Matt Hudson, R-Naples and Trudi Williams, R-Fort Myers, for this interactive meeting.
Hillsborough County's Transportation Task Force is concluding its series of meetings to discuss transportation planning efforts, implementation and funding. Also involved are the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, Florida DOT, and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority.
The task force intends to make a final recommendation to the county commission this fall and will consider a recommendation for a sales tax for voter referendum in 2010. The open house meetings are 5:30-8:30 p.m. with a presentation from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The last scheduled meetings are on the following dates at these locations:
• Tuesday, June 23, Lutz Community Center, 98 1st Avenue, NW, Lutz
• Wednesday, June 24, University Area Community Center, 14013 N. 22nd Street, Tampa
• Thursday, June 25, Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa
• Tuesday, June 30, City of Temple Terrace Council Chambers, 11250 N. 56th Street, Temple Terrace
Enterprise Florida in unison with The Tampa Bay Partnership will host the Tampa Bay Region Roadmap Strategic Planning Forum, on Thursday, June 25 to discuss recommendations on how to make Florida the leader in knowledge-based jobs, leading-edge technology, and competitive enterprises. The forum will take place from 1-4 p.m. at the Valpak Manufacturing Center, One Valpak Ave. N. in St. Pete. For registration information call (813) 878-2208. Expected attendees include business, community, and local government leaders, workforce professionals, education officials, transportation experts, arts and culture advocates, smart growth professionals, and more.
The city of Tampa City Council Citizens Advisory Budget and Finance Committee will meet Tuesday, June 30 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Mascotte Room on the first floor of Old City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. For more information call (813) 274-7071.
The Collier County Commission will be holding budget workshops on Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30 at 9 a.m. in the BCC chambers, third floor, Building F, 3301 E. Tamiami Trail in Naples. For more information call (239) 252-8973.
The Immokalee Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) will meet Wednesday, June 24, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Immokalee Community Center, 321 N. First St., Immokalee. The Immokalee Community Task Force meets Tuesday, June 30 at 1 p.m. at the Immokalee Health Department, 419 N. First St.