Submitted by cmosteller on Tue, 03/13/2018 - 11:54

 FAC News Clips – March 13, 2018


Local News


Daytona Beach News Journal

City, county talk CRA future

The CRA, which aims to develop blighted areas in the city, has been a contentious issue among the boards for several months. Elected officials are beginning to kick around ideas that would reshape the structure of the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency. Commissioners for the city of Gainesville and Alachua County met Monday to discuss each side’s future funding and representation goals. The CRA, which works to develop blighted areas in the city, has been a contentious issue for both boards, of late.


South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Palm Beach County homeless population declines, according to annual count

Fewer people are homeless in Palm Beach County, according to an annual count released Monday. A “point-in-time count” conducted on Jan. 25-26 identified 1,308 homeless individuals and families — down from 1,607 the previous year. The count included those living in emergency shelters, transitional housing and on the streets. Outreach teams scoured woods, parks, alleys and other places homeless people frequent. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities receiving homeless assistance grants to count sheltered and unsheltered homeless people on a single night in January.


Pensacola News Journal

Santa Rosa County eyes short-term solution for overcrowding at county jail

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are considering a short-term solution to manage overcrowding at the county jail until they can decide on a permanent expansion option for the facility, which is operating above its maximum capacity.  Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson and Maj. Randy Tifft suggested that the commissioners look at renovating a nearby work-release building to give the jail 120 additional beds. That would act as a stop-gap measure as officials consider how to build the needed, 500-bed expansion at the jail.


Drug Abuse



Osceola County considers suing pharma companies to offset costs of opioid crisis

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Osceola County leaders are ready to take on what could be an unprecedented plan to combat the opioid crisis. Commissioners could soon vote on a proposal that would allow the county to recover some of the costs associated with the problem through lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. The county attorney said it would be another tool to help the county make up some of the money spent dealing with people's addiction problems. The ordinance could be a first of its kind in Florida.


Home Rule


Central Florida 13

State vs. local: Cities accuse Florida lawmakers of trying to strip power

The Florida legislative session ended over the weekend with the passage of a nearly $88 billion budget. But local leaders are still frustrated by growing attempts from state lawmakers to take away their ability to govern.  “Rarely do you see things get better with more government involved, so they want to insert themselves into the process," said Mayor Steve Leary of Winter Park. “We have the truest sense of what’s important to the residents of Winter Park.”  Leary said that several bills before the state legislature pre-empted home rule, or local governments’ decisions.




Daytona Beach News Journal

OUR VIEW: Celebrating Sunshine Week

In response to a legislative effort to make daylight saving time year-round, Floridians are divided on how much sunshine they want during different times of the day. However, there’s one sunshine issue that should unite everyone: transparency in government. This is Sunshine Week, the annual national celebration of open government, or “sunshine,” laws — and the threats to them. Florida has been at the forefront of the sunshine movement: Its laws and traditions of giving the public access to government documents and meetings are among the oldest in America.


Panama City News Herald

EDITORIAL: Florida needs more Sunshine

We’ve spotted an unwelcome trend in Florida politics, and, for once, it doesn’t involve the usual suspects. This time, it’s a fundamental aspect of Florida’s Constitution and operations at state and local government. Consider the following examples reported by various news outlets during just the past three months: • A state appellate court last month ruled the St. Petersburg City Council violated the law by holding a closed-door meeting to discuss a controversial ordinance related to shooing homeless people out of city parks.