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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 12, 2010 10 years ago

Government Digest 2/12/10

A look at governmental action from around the Gulf Coast.
by: Jay Brady Government Editor

Gray appointed to council
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY — Economic Development Director Gene Gray has been appointed as a delegate to the stakeholders council for Enterprise Florida. Gray will serve as a liaison of the Florida Association of Counties, representing county governments that seek economic growth and employment opportunities.

Gray was appointed as the director of the economic development department in 2000 and has worked for the county for 33 years. He previously served as director of the information services and administrative services departments and has been the administrator of the Tourist Development Council for more than 20 years.

Raiding trust funds amendment
TALLAHASSEE — Taking money from state trust funds could get more difficult if a proposed amendment to the state constitution gets on the November ballot.
The proposal, in House Joint Resolution, 389, by Rep. Adam Fetterman, D-Port St. Lucie, would require a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislature to expend money from a state trust fund for any purpose other than the one that was intended when the fund was created.

Class size amendment bill filed
TALLAHASSEE —Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, have put forward a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution to update the 2002 class size amendment. Gov. Charlie Crist supports the change.

The amendment would implement class size caps as a school average and provide flexibility for schools to add three seats in pre-K to 3rd grade classrooms and five seats in grades 4 through 12, if necessary, to meet unforeseen enrollment changes. As currently required, beginning next school year, class sizes could not exceed set limits viewed as hard, inflexible caps.

State law requires a three-fifths vote of the Legislature to put the Gaetz/Weatherford Constitutional amendment to “right size class size” on the ballot in November. It would then require approval of 60% of voters to become law.


The Transportation Task Force meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, at HCC Plant City Campus Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road, Plant City; and at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at Freedom High School cafeteria, 17410 Commerce Park Blvd., New Tampa. For more information, call Steve Valdez, public works department, at (813) 307-8386.

The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission will hold four public workshops in February to receive public input for the redistricting of Tampa city council's four single-member districts. The first meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Jan K. Platt Regional Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave., Tampa. The second meeting is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the Barksdale Senior Center, 801 N. Lincoln Street, West Tampa. The same information will be presented at each workshop. The other meetings are Feb. 23 and 24.

The Planning Commission will recommend and approve a revised Tampa City Council District Plan to the Supervisor of Elections Office at a public hearing on March 8. For more information, contact Suzi Dieringer at (813) 273-3774, ext. 348.

The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority meets at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19, at the FDOT District 7 office, 11201 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa.

The land development code stakeholder committee meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O'Lakes Blvd. (US 41), Land O'Lakes.

The Pinellas Planning Council meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the 5th floor assembly room, Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court Street, Clearwater. For more information call (727) 464-8250.

The Manatee Port Authority meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, on the third floor of the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, 1905 Intermodal Circle, Palmetto.

The Industrial Development Authority meets at noon Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the SunTrust Bank building, 18501 Murdock Circle, Suite 502, Port Charlotte.

The Charlotte Harbor Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Committee meets at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Administration Center, Room #119, 18500 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte.

For more information on either meeting, contact Kathy Knee at (941) 627-3023.

The county commission will hold a transfer of development rights (TDR) workshop immediately following other business at approximately 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, in the commission chambers, 2120 Main Street, Fort Myers.

To limit impacts to the density reduction groundwater resource area, the Florida department of community affairs wants the county to shift development farther from eastern Corkscrew Road and concentrate it near Lehigh Acres along State Road 82. The county's TDR program may need to be revised to meet agency objections. State planners oppose transfer of those rights into one area off east Corkscrew and another on Edison Farms property closer to Interstate 75. County commissioners are scheduled to adopt the changes March 3.

The Productivity Committee meets at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the County Manager's Conference Room, Second Floor, Building F, 3301 E. Tamiami Trail. For more information contact (239) 252-8383.

The Florida Department of Community Affairs will hold a rule development workshop at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort (Jasmine Room), 8001 International Drive, Orlando. The workshop seeks input on land use rules.

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