LWV County Commission Budget Meeting Notes: 07/28/2022

League of Women Voters Manatee County
The League of Women Voters of Manatee County Government Committee observes Manatee County Commission meetings for items of interest to the League and notes adherence, or lack of adherence, to good governance procedures and the Sunshine Law. The following are the major points from the Board of Manatee County Commissioners Budget Reconciliation and Adoption of Millage on 07/28/2022, observed by Tina Shope.

ITEMS OF INTEREST

  • Eleven citizens appeared to speak in support of a larger, competition-size pool at the Premier Sports Complex in Lakewood Ranch. Among the speakers were residents, parents and children as well as the coach of the Tsunami swim team. Reasons given to increase the pool size included the distance required to travel for competitions, attracting tourist money as a competition and sports destination, nationally ranked swimmers in the county have no place to train locally, and there is money in surplus.
Administrator Hopes noted that the cost of a 50-meter pool would be an additional $777,000 and that county staff could modify the budget to accommodate it. All commissioners appeared to be in favor of the larger pool and County Administrator Hopes was confident that it could be incorporated into the existing budget.
 
BUDGET RECONCILIATION AND ADOPTION OF MILLAGE: Budget Update on the Impact of the July 1 Certification (of property values), and Outstanding Items (from earlier budget review meetings).
 
Commissioners agreed that they wanted a millage rate lower than what the county administrator and staff recommended was needed to complete all previously discussed budget priorities. Commissioners unanimously voted to reduce the tax (millage) rate to $6.33 per $1,000 taxable property value.
 
ADOPTION OF TRIM RATES: Authorize the County Administrator to take all action necessary to certify millage rates approved herewith to the Property Appraiser.
 
Commissioners asked Hopes and the County Financial Officer to come back with proposals to reduce the tax rate further by .1, .2, and .3 and agreed to hold public hearings in September to review the possibility of reducing the millage rate further.
 
September Public Hearing Dates: September 7 at 6 pm; September 13 at 6 pm.
 
Additional Items

VanOstenbridge wanted to cut public safety funding to Holmes Beach to the 2019 level because the parking situation is "unfriendly" to citizens. Whitmore, Bellamy, and Satcher disagreed, saying they didn’t want to defund public safety. VanOstenbridge stated if the issue comes back, he will want to cut further.
 
There was discussion about an East County Animal Shelter, which is on hold.  All agreed to make the Bishop shelter the best it can be and reassess the need for an East County shelter later.
 
GOVERNANCE/SUNSHINE
  • The agenda was not posted until the afternoon on 7/26/2022. No supporting documents of relevance were posted with the agenda until late Wednesday or early Thursday. Good governance suggests posting the agenda at least a week in advance, with all of the information needed for the public and other interested parties to review.  

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Reader Comments
Cat L
AUG 01, 2022  •   I like the addition of the GOVERNANCE/SUNSHINE comparison. Perhaps with repetition of the sunshine laws, key members of the BOCC might learn that part of their job....?


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