A look at upcoming governmental events from around the Gulf Coast.
45% more for DCA
FLORIDA — The House's Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Committee chaired by Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, got a look at Gov. Charlie Crist's recommended budget at a March 5 meeting.
The Department of Community Affairs portion of the budget jumped to $396.5 million, a 44.57% increase over the current year's budget.
What also stands out is that $328 million of the recommended budget comes from nonrecurring trust funds revenue.
The budget includes $63 million for Florida Communities Trust land acquisition and $91 million for low income home energy assistance. Budget reductions include $116,000 for the Century Commission and $95,000 from eliminating two full time equivalent staff from the building codes and compliance program.
The Governor's recommended budget also calls for $10 million for the new Economic Gardening Program, $45 million for the Quick Action Closing Fund, $10 million for film and entertainment incentives, $21.1 million to provide incentives under the Qualified Target Industry and Qualified Defense Contractor Tax Refund programs, and $35.5 million for tourism promotion as part of the Visit Florida program.
PASCO COUNTY — Ken Littlefield, 64, a former State Representative who represented part of Hillsborough and central and east Pasco County in the Legislature is challenging fellow Republican incumbent District 2 Commissioner Pat Mulieri, 70. Mulieri has not filed for re-election, but plans to run again. She would be seeking her fifth four-year term on the County Commission.
Littlefield is executive director of the Florida Statewide Advocacy Council, which could face the budget axe by the legislature and be out of a job by July 1. The council reports program and service delivery problems and recommendations related health and human services to the Governor and Legislature. While in the House he served as chairman of the House Energy Subcommittee and the House Committee on Utilities and Telecommunications.
Urban Planner vs.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY — Linda Pearson, an urban planner and co-owner of Diaz Pearson and Associates, Inc., an engineering and land-planning firm, has filed to run against State Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa, for the Hillsborough County Commission District 2 seat in 2012. Pearson serves on the county's code enforcement board and lives in Dover.
Republican incumbent Ken Hagan plans to leave the District 2 seat early to run for Jim Norman's countywide District 5 seat in 2010. Hagan would be forced out of the District 2 seat because of term limits. Hagan has at least one opponent, so far, for the District 5 seat, fellow Republican Don Kruse.
COLLIER COUNTY — Calling for lower impact fees and a streamlined governmental permitting review process, Republican State Committeewoman Lavigne Ann Kirkpatrick has filed to run against incumbent Collier County Commissioner Fred Coyle for the District 4 seat. The election is on the 2010 ballot. Coyle has also filed to retain his seat. Lavigne, 49, has been a registered nurse for 25 years and is the marketing manager for Avow Hospice. She is a board member of the Collier County Republican Executive Committee and was Chairwoman of the Collier County McCain/Palin Campaign and the Collier County Charlie Crist Campaign for Governor.
COLLIER COUNTY — The Collier County Commission is seeking applications for positions on a newly created Citizen Advisory Group to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the public school concurrency amendments establishing a countywide Public School Concurrency Program. As a part of the approval, the commission agreed to appoint two members to represent unincorporated Collier County. The application deadline is March 19.
The citizen members shall have knowledge or experience in at least one of the following areas: accounting, land development, demographics, land planning or business administration. The group will report once a year to the County Commission, each City Council, the school district and the general public. Members of advisory committees must be residents of Collier County. Applications may be obtained by calling (239) 252-8606 or from www.colliergov.net.
The Manatee County Commission is holding a Strategic Planning Session on Thursday, March 19, 1:30-5 p.m. in the Manatee Room #502 in the County Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.
A Land Development Code Stakeholder Meeting is Wednesday, March 18 from 4-6:30 p.m. at Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O'Lakes Blvd. in Land O'Lakes.