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Government Digest: Dec. 17 - Dec. 23

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  • | 1:09 a.m. December 17, 2010
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Goss, Goodlette, Aronberg help in new Cabinet

TALLAHASSEE — Three Gulf Coast politicians are playing key roles in the transition for newly elected members of the Florida Cabinet.

Former state Sen. Dave Aronberg, Greenacres, who lost in the Democratic primary for attorney general, is assisting Republican Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi with prescription drug issues. Republican Dudley Goodlette, Naples, a former state House member who served as chief of staff for former Republican House Speaker Larry Cretul, is on the transition team for Republican Chief Financial Officer-elect Jeff Atwater. Former CIA Director and former Republican U.S. Rep. Porter Goss, Sanibel, is transition team co-chairman for another former U.S. Rep., Adam Putnam, a Republican who was elected agriculture commissioner last month.

Neal, Knopik part of government transition team

TALLAHASSEE — Gov.-elect Rick Scott has appointed a dozen members to his Good Government Transition Team, including two Manatee County-based businessmen. Homebuilder Pat Neal, president of Neal Communities, and Steve Knopik, president of Bealls, Inc., will serve on the committee, which has three primary tasks.

Scott has asked the committee to identify opportunities to reduce the size of government, improve management and operating processes, while increasing the levels of service his administration will provide. According to a release, “Scott has asked his transition team to undertake a 'fact-finding mission' to identify innovative ideas from the private sector, success stories from other states, cost-saving opportunities and legislative priorities that can assist the Governor-elect as he takes office in January.”

County grants Ringling $1.75 million

SARASOTA COUNTY — Ringling College of Art and Design will develop a post-production facility on its north Sarasota campus with a $1.75 million grant from the county's economic development incentive fund. The County Commission approved the grant at its Dec. 8 meeting. The college will use the funds to purchase post-production equipment, remodel space at the college, and purchase equipment for location-based filming.

Commissioners also approved two other requests for economic development incentive grants. Project 10-11-2, code-named for a company relocating from the Northeast involved in the development and manufacturing of specialty pharmaceutical products, will get $105,000 in assistance. The company would create 18 new jobs over the next three years with an average wage of $50,000.

Resource One, a Largo distributor and manufacturer of cleaning products and equipment that will relocate to the county, will receive $50,000. That company would create 35 new jobs over the next five years with an average wage of nearly $41,000. The incentive grants are conditional upon the companies relocating to Sarasota County.

Transportation group in political tug-of-war

TAMPA — The legislatively authorized Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (PTC), the only one of its kind in the state, may be abolished.

State Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, and Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, plan to sponsor a bill to terminate the soon to be 10-year-old agency that regulates vehicles for hire such as taxicabs, limousines, tow trucks and transportation for the handicapped. The legislators think Hillsborough County government can handle the workload and that those regulated by the seven-member PTC have undue influence on its members, which include three county commissioners, and two Tampa City Council members.

But newly elected Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, wants to reauthorize the commission and change rules to benefit permit holders. The Tampa City Council and the Hillsborough County Commission voted to support continuing the agency. Both Storms and Norman served on the PTC when they were county commissioners.



The South County Community Redevelopment Agency meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, at the Harlee Full Service Family Center, 6423 9th St. E. Bradenton.

The 14th Street West Community Redevelopment Agency meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23, at the Peace Lutheran Church and School 1611 30th Ave. W., Bradenton.


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