Government

Board approves redirecting funds from reserves for general fund capital expenses

On June 13th, the Board of County Commissioners approved a motion for a budget amendment hearing to have the following items funded from reserves: Poll Equipment for the Supervisor of Elections ($240,000), Lake Townsend Playground Equipment ($50,000), three Ice Machines for Parks and Recreation ($12,000), an air conditioner for The Lake House ($35,000), and Pine Island Playground Equipment($100,000).

The amendment was presented by Budget Manager Pamela Lee. No county residents objected, and the board approved the amendment unanimously.

County to convert Oakley Island from septic to sewer

At the June 27 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Utilities Director Gordon Onderdonk proposed a budget amendment to convert approximately twenty homes on Oakley Island to the county sewer system. Oakley Island is located at: 28.541421, -82.626777, which is across the Mud River from Mary’s Fish Camp. The current septic systems are not functioning well due to a high water table.

Brooksville Faces Budget Shortfall

The July 6th, 2017 Brooksville City Council Meeting ended with a budget update. Interim City Manager Lyndon Bonner called on Finance Director James Lasch to present estimations of the 2018 fiscal year with and without changes to the millage rates and expenditures. After introducing the issue of “being $600,000 upside down”, Mr. Bonner answered the “how did we get here” question by saying, “Last year, a number of reserves were used to fund this year’s budget, and those reserves are no longer available.”

MORGAN CHALLENGES MEDICAL MARIJUANA SMOKING BAN

By DARA KAM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, July 6, 2017......... Saying Floridians knew what they were voting on in November, Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan on Thursday followed through on threats to sue the state over a smoking ban included in a new law carrying out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

Morgan, who largely bankrolled the medical-marijuana ballot initiative, had repeatedly threatened to launch a legal challenge over smoking, which he maintains was permitted in the amendment supported by more than 71 percent of Florida voters last fall.

COURT FIGHT LOOMS FOR CONTROVERSIAL EDUCATION LAW

By BRANDON LARRABEE - THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, July 5, 2017......... The Broward County School Board voted Wednesday to move ahead with legal action against a sweeping new education law, an initial step toward a court clash over one of the legislative session's most controversial bills.

During a special meeting called to discuss the potential lawsuit, board members voted unanimously to allow the district to hire an outside lawyer to help handle the case. Broward County expects to be followed by other districts --- including Miami-Dade County --- in mounting a challenge to the law.

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