Submitted by tkusmierz on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:22

St. Augustine Record
Fees for off-beach parking?
As part of a larger effort to find revenues to recoup the costs of maintaining certain services, St. Johns County commissioners on Tuesday are expected to take off-beach parking down from the shelf for another look.  The board in February directed county staff to examine the costs and explore potential cost recovery mechanisms for services such as beach services, parks and recreation services, boat ramp services and library services.

Pensacola News Journal
Growing Santa Rosa's economy will take diversifying, community participation, report finds
Do you want to be a digital citizen ambassador for Santa Rosa County?  If so, the county might be looking for your expertise in the coming weeks as it implements recommendations from a new economic development plan that was presented last week to the County Commission.  Community participation is one component of the five-year strategic blueprint for economic development. The 88-page report prepared by Atlanta-based Garner Economics LLC marks the first time the county has had a plan for its economic development.

Florida Today
Tax break approved for food company's 95-employee Melbourne expansion over objections
Brevard County commissioners have approved property tax breaks for a company that is considering opening a 95-employee food production, packaging and distribution facility in Melbourne.  The vote, however, was not unanimous. Commissioner John Tobia voted against the proposal after firing off a volley of 17 questions to local economic development official Greg Weiner, and questioning the propriety of giving incentives to the company. Some of his questions focused on the $12-a-hour wage the company would give its production workers.

Orlando Sentinel
$10M hangs in balance at Lake schools after state audit's warning over impact-fee spending
The Lake County school district could be on the hook for $10.3 million if the state determines that impact fees collected to offset costs associated with growth were improperly used to pay off debt.  A 15-page report released last week by the Florida auditor general’s office questioned whether impact fees the district collected in 2016-17 that went toward past debt rather than new school construction and improvements was permissible through county ordinances.

Naples Daily News
Fire protection fee is another tax plan facing Collier
Residents across Collier County will face a controversial tax referendum later this year, one that holds implications for critical services, especially in the part of the county east of Naples.  And it has nothing to do with sales tax.  The idea of an increase in the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to fund roads, bridges, parks and other projects is on life support, needing more backing — and quickly — from county commissioners if it is to appear on the November ballot.

Gainesville Sun
Editorial: Increase local affordable housing options
Wanda Barnett has experienced the same struggle as too many Gainesville residents: a futile search to find an affordable place to live.  Barnett, 68, told The Sun for a recent story that the owner of a home she rented for the past nine years was kicking her out to put the place on the market. She had been unable to find new accommodations she could afford other than a friend’s back porch.

St. Augustine Record
Service providers support possible affordable housing solution
Homeless service providers last week put their support behind a plan that many are hopeful will be the beginning of a private-sector solution to the affordable housing shortage in St. Johns County.  The plan, voted on by members of the county’s Continuum of Care, came out of an ad hoc committee formed by that body which is the umbrella organization of all service providers to the county’s most vulnerable.

Sun Sentinel
Counties, cities failing to deliver affordable housing help | Editorial
While they howl at the Florida Legislature for failing to address the affordable housing crisis, South Florida governments are neglecting to use the hammers they hold to ensure people of modest means can find a place to live.  Broward County and other local governments regularly let developers buy their way out of affordable housing requirements, which are meant to ensure “workforce” housing is included in large, new developments.

Miami Herald
Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission should erase all hints of trying to deceive voters
What does expanding civics education in public schools have to do with letting the state authorize charter schools in your local community, currently the purview of local school boards? Truth is, one has nothing to do with the other, unless the Constitution Revision Commission says so.  That’s the problem, and on Monday, the 37 members of the CRC should fix it.

Palm Beach Post
Editorial: Neither ballot, nor constitution, needs these amendments
It’s already a very long ballot in a supercharged election year.  This November, Floridians will vote for governor, attorney general and other Cabinet posts. We’ll have a marquee Senate race in Bill Nelson vs. Rick Scott. We’ll be voting for members of Congress and state Legislature and for three Palm Beach County commissioners.  The ballot also includes five proposed amendments, any of which will become part of the Florida Constitution if 60 percent of voters approve.

News Service of Florida
Panel tees up proposed changes to Florida Constitution
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission is heading to the finish line, with a dozen ballot proposals up for final votes next week.  The 37-member commission, which is unique to Florida, meets every 20 years and has the power to place proposed changes to the state Constitution directly on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot.

Florida Politics
Dumpster diving for pot? State continues rule-making for medical marijuana
Calling it a “blue sky opportunity,” the state’s chief medical marijuana regulator opened a rule-making workshop Friday with a twist: No rules.  Agencies usually issue draft rules weeks in advance of a workshop, so there’s something to comment on when interested parties arrive. Many attendees were lobbyists for marijuana providers.