A look at government action around the Gulf Coast
Planner runs for commission
MANATEE COUNTY — Norm Luppino, 50, a former county planner with 23 years experience in the county planning department, has announced his candidacy for the District 4 seat currently held by Ron Getman. Getman has announced he is not seeking reelection. Luppino will face fellow Republican Robin DiSabatino, a Realtor, in next year's Aug. 24 primary. The only announced Democrat is Roger Galle.
High speed rail application filed
TALLAHASSEE — The state's official application for $2.53 billion of federal funding for high speed rail from Tampa to Orlando to Miami has been sent to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Joseph Szabo, administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
The first link, estimated to cost $2.5 billion, would run from Tampa to Orlando. Disney World has committed 50 acres for a station. The federal government has set aside $8 billion for high speed rail projects. A California high speed rail project has been estimated to cost $50 billion and a Midwest corridor is also considered a top candidate for the funding. Project awards are expected to be announced in December.
Sansom charge dismissed
TALLAHASSEE — Leon County circuit judge Terry Lewis dismissed the official misconduct charge against ex-House Speaker Ray Sansom, R-Destin, developer Jay Odom and former Northwest Florida State College president Bob Richburg, calling the charge unconstitutional.
Richburg was fired by the college board of trustees after he and Sansom were indicted.
The three were charged with official misconduct for their allegedly securing a $6 million appropriation for a multi-use airport hangar that Odom at one point wanted to use to store planes for his corporate jet business, Destin Jet.
Sansom, when he was House budget chairman in 2007-08, got the appropriation into the state budget claiming it was intended for the college to use as a classroom facility and for Okaloosa County to use during hurricanes and other emergencies. A perjury charge against Sansom was allowed to stand.
The county planning commission meets from 2-5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, followed by a workshop meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Both meetings are at County Center, 18th floor, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.
The county commission hosts an Urban Land Institute study workshop meeting 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Safety Town Home Depot Building, 15325 Alric Pottberg Road, Spring Hill.
The Tourist Development Council meeting as the Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater meets a 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14 in the 5th Floor assembly room, Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater. For more information call (727) 464-6633.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14 in the same location. For more information call (727) 464-8200.
There will be a public hearing to dissolve the West Charlotte Harbor Community Development District Oct 13 at 10 a.m. at the administration center, room #119, 18500 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte. For more information contact Marie Pecorella or Jo Ann VonderMuehll at (941) 743-1944.
The Murdock Village Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in Room B-106 of the Charlotte County Administration Center. For more information call Kathy Knee at (941) 627.3023.
The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at 1926 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers.
The Joint Lee/Collier Metropolitan Planning Organization meets from 9-11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Bonita Springs City Hall, 9101 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs.
The Manatee County Port Authority meets from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Port Manatee Intermodal Center.