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Government Digest

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  • | 10:23 p.m. July 16, 2009
  • Florida
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A look at government action from around the Gulf Coast

Commission approves plans
PINELLAS COUNTY — Pinellas County commissioners adopted Special Area Plans for the cities of Safety Harbor and Madeira Beach July 7, amending the county future land use plan.

Safety Harbor's plan affects about 157 acres in the downtown area. The amendment takes the residential, business, industrial, institutional, recreation/open space and Central Business District and reclassifies the various land use designations to Community Redevelopment District category. This category was the Special Area Plan.

The Special Area Plan for Madeira Beach addresses parking patterns, limited access to businesses, limited community facilities and declining tourism.

Coastal maps could go digital
PINELLAS COUNTY — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public input on the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Digital Mapping Pilot Project recently submitted to Congress. A 120-day public comment period closes Aug. 5. Comments on the draft report or draft maps may be submitted to [email protected].

The report shows proposed changes to Pinellas County, which include the area of Sand Key. A boundary change would be more precisely aligned with Sand Key Park and the city of Clearwater property, with the northern and southern boundaries extended into the Gulf of Mexico to include the entire peninsula. The draft maps presented in the report will not become effective until enacted by Congress. A copy of the report is available at the Pinellas County Planning Department, 600 Cleveland St., Seventh Floor, Suite 750, Clearwater, or at

Putnam gathers endorsements
FLORIDA — Fifteen of Florida's county Farm Bureaus have offered their official endorsement of U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, for Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture in 2010. Gulf Coast area Farm Bureau's endorsing Putnam include those in Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties.

Putnam has been wrapping up endorsements from agriculture groups such as the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, Southeast Milk Producers, Indian River Citrus League and Florida Citrus Mutual. A Polk County citrus grower and cattleman, Putnam has been in Congress January 2001. He also served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1996 to 2000.

Bennett supports Haridopolos
FLORIDA — Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, has the backing of Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, to lead the Florida Senate beginning in 2010. Bennett, chairman of the Community Affairs Committee, had previously expressed interest in seeking the presidency. Haridopolos, 39, served in the House from 2000-2003 before being elected to represent District 26 in the Senate in March 2003. He chaired three committees this past session, including the Policy and Steering Committee on Governmental Operations. Haridopolos is a college professor and author.


The Conservation Collier Lands Evaluation and Management Subcommittee will hold a public meeting on July 20 at 3:30 p.m. at the North Collier Regional Park, Administrative Conference Room A, located at 15000 Livingston Road in Naples. For more information, call Christal Segura at (239) 252-2495.
The Congestion Management System/Intelligent Transportation System (CMS/ITS) Stakeholders Committee of the Collier Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will meet July 22 at 1:30 p.m. at Naples City Hall, second floor conference room, 735 Eighth St. S., Naples. For more information, call MPO Director Phillip R. Tindall at (239) 252-8192.

The county commission is holding a budget workshop and taking citizens' comments July 20, 1-5 p.m. in the BCC Assembly Room, 315 Court St., 5th Floor, Clearwater. County Administrator Bob LaSala will present the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2010. Following the presentation and discussion, the commission will hear any citizens who wish to speak. Another budget discussion with citizens' comments is also set for July 28 at 9:30 a.m. at the same location.

The Transportation Task Force will meet July 20 at 1:30 p.m. in Conference Room B on the 26th floor of County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa. The Task Force was created by the Hillsborough County Commission to provide recommendations on ways to improve transportation in the county. Commissioner Ken Hagan chairs the task force. For additional information, contact Lucia Garsys at (813) 272-6214 or go to
A county budget workshop is set for July 22 at 1:30 p.m. in the 2nd floor boardroom of County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa. At 3 p.m., a special budget discussion covering Public Safety Services will take place on the 26th floor, rooms A and B, County Center. For more information, call Hillsborough County's Communications Department at (813) 272-5314.

The county commission is holding a Municipal Service Benefit Unit public hearing July 22 at 5:01 p.m. to consider proposed increases in assessment rates. The hearing will be in Room 119 of the Administration Center Building, 18500 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte. For more information, contact Linda Angelo at (941) 743-1551. The Charlotte Harbor Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meets July 23 at 10 a.m. in the same location For more information, contact Kathy Knee in Economic Development at (941) 627-3023.

The city commission is holding a workshop July 22, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the proposed budget and budget wrap-up. The workshop will be followed by a special City Commission meeting at 6 p.m. to certify the millage rate to the Property Appraiser. The meetings will take place in the city commission chambers, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota. For more information, contact the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk at 941-954-4160.

The Central Community Redevelopment Agency meets July 23 at 5 p.m. in City Centre Council Chambers, 101 Old Main St.


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