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County officials downplay budget rumors, ask for public's input

County officials downplay budget rumors, ask for public's input

Manatee County – In an effort to squelch budget rumors, Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker has informed County Commissioners he will deliver a recommended two-year budget to them by June 1.

“On June 1 we will present you with a proposed budget,” Hunzeker told the Board during a morning discussion. “Over the next month you’ll hear plenty of rumors over what’s in the budget and what’s not in the budget. At this point in time it’s all rumor.”

Since 2007 Manatee County has trimmed $122 million from its annual operating budget. Declining property values will mean another $8 million revenue reduction in this year’s budget. Hunzeker emphasized that no budget decisions have been made yet and that nearly every agency, department and program funded by the County Commission is subject to potential reduction.

School district scraps idea for in-house clinic

School district scraps idea for in-house clinic

Bradenton, FL (AP) -- A southwest Florida school board has backed off plans for an in-house health clinic amid criticism from local tea party activists.

The Manatee County School Board had taken bids from a half dozen medical companies to open an in-house clinic that could provide basic medical care to its 5,700 staff members.

But the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Thursday that Superintendent Tim McGonegal announced the district was scrapping the idea to focus on "other financial issues and challenges."

Bradenton woman fights to stop red light camera bill

Bradenton woman fights to stop red light camera bill

BRADENTON, FLORIDA- For more than five years, Melissa Wandall fought to get red light cameras approved by the Florida legislature.

Her hard work paid off last May when the governor signed off on it, with the law named after her husband, who was killed by a red light runner in 2003.

But now a bill that would repeal the law and ban the cameras, is making its way through Tallahassee.

Last week, a House committee approved it.

Bradenton senator's veterans support bill advances

Bradenton senator's veterans support bill advances

BRADENTON, Fla.-- Certain Florida military veterans could get a break on their sentencing after committing a crime, according to a bill making its way through the state legislature.

Senate Bill 138, sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton), allows veterans convicted of crimes resulting from post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or psychological problems stemming from their time in combat, may be given a hearing on those underlying issues before sentencing.

The bill also calls for veterans who are convicted due to those causes to possibly be placed in treatment programs, rather than probation or community service.

County accepting citizen applications for Value Adjustment Board

County accepting citizen applications for Value Adjustment Board

Manatee County, Florida – Manatee County has an opening for a citizen member on the 2011 Value Adjustment Board.

The Value Adjustment Board appoints special magistrates to hear petitions relating to assessments filed pursuant to Section 194.011(3), F.S.; complaints relating to homestead exemptions as provided under Section 196.151, F.S.; appeals from exemptions denied, or disputes arising from exemptions granted, upon the filing of exemption applications under Section 196.011, F.S.; and appeals concerning ad valorem tax deferrals and classifications.

Manatee County continues to downsize

Manatee County continues to downsize

Manatee County, FL -- As the latest in a series of steps to improve customer service while streamlining local government, Manatee County Government leaders announced today restructuring moves that will consolidate four departments into two and will realign a handful of county divisions to maximize their value to the community.
 
Effective immediately, Manatee County Planning Department and the Building Department will be combined into a new Building and Development Services Department that will be a one-stop center to serve and assist the business community. In the past, these functions were housed in several county offices.

Separately, the Agriculture and Resource Conservation Department will become the Agriculture and Extension Service division within the Community Services Department under the direction of Brenda Rogers. Rogers was director of ARC from 2000 through 2010.

Manatee County Area Transit will now fall under the Public Works Department, since the two are co-located at 1022 26th Avenue East, and it allows the full spectrum of the transit functions to fall under one department.