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BOCC Approves Infrastructure Tax Oversight Committee

BRADENTON – At Tuesday's BOCC meeting, members approved Resolution R-16-128, creating a Citizens Oversight Committee for the proposed half-cent infrastructure sales tax headed for referendum on Nov. 8.

Resolution R-16-128 creates a seven member Citizens Oversight Committee that will establish guidelines for the proposed half-cent infrastructure tax; if passed.

The committee will create a category list of procedures, percentages and subcategories for the sales tax proceeds. It will establish an equipment list for projects that will go through the county's Five Year Capital Improvement Plan or by amendment to the resolution at a public hearing, but must be approved by the BOCC.

The Citizen's Oversight Committee will have the chore of preparing an annual performance report that keeps the funding and category list in sync with the resolution.

The committee, its members and all of its proceedings shall be governed by and comply with all applicable laws, including without limitations, the Florida Government in the Sunshine Law, the Florida Public Records Law and the Florida Public Ethics Code.

Four of the initial members shall have initial terms of three years, and three of the initial members shall serve the term of two years.

The committee of seven shall, by a majority vote, select a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among its members, and determine the place and time for their meetings.

The committee shall be appointed by the BOCC by a unanimous vote and shall sunset on December 31, 2032.

The resolution was drafted by Senior Assistant County Attorney William Clague and was presented to the board by Deputy County Administrator Dan Schlandt.

Commissioners spent more time discussing the promises of community favors–should the half-cent tax be approved–then the structure of the resolution.

Schlandt reminded the commissioners their position was to produce the option to the public, not to promote it.

But some commissioners couldn't avoid the glow of accomplishment when speaking about what they would do with the funds–as if it had already passed–and one couldn't help but see the disappointment in their faces the couple of times they were presented the possibility it might not pass.

Chairwoman Baugh answered Schlandt's suggestion to be neutral on the issue with, "I'll tell you now, I support the tax. That's why I voted for the referendum."

On November 8, 2016, the ballot box will decide.


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