County pleads case to state visitors
Sen. John Thrasher and state Rep. Fred Costello visited Dec. 16, to hear the county’s priorities.
The county finalized its 2011 legislative priorities wish list, and public officials and residents made their voices heard Dec. 15, when Sen. John Thrasher and state Rep. Fred Costello visited the Government Services Building. Trasher and Costello listened to the suggestions and answered questions.
Alan Peterson, chairman of the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners, began the meeting by saying the overall theme was, “Do us no harm.”
“As you do the deliberations this year, please do not put any arbitrary cap on local tax rates or revenue,” Peterson said at the meeting. “Spending ought to be at the local level … We feel we know best what our residents need and the services they’d like to have.”
Peterson then went into the county’s legislative priorities.
The first priority deals with maintaining the transportation priorities and projects. The second priority relates to the tourist bed tax collection from online booking agencies.
“This is one I hope you have an interest in because this will increase your tax revenue,” Peterson said.
The third priority deals with repealing the cap on the affordable housing program, and the fourth protects revenue-sharing programs and existing funding for grants programs.
The fifth priority deals with an alternative water supply.
Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts said: “Palm Coast has a stormwater system dating back to the 1970s. In many portions of our city, that stormwater drains into natural water bodies, and there are a number of regulatory obstacles to performing the necessary maintenance.”
Netts continued: “In terms of economic development, Florida has plenty of land. What we don’t have is plenty of water. If we don’t find effective alternative water supplies, our economy will never recover, so we ask for your support in this measure.”
The last priority presented by the county was to limit pain-management clinics. Senate Bill 2272, also known as the “Pill Mill Bill,” went into effect Oct. 10. The bill requires pain clinics to register at the state level and is designed to stop illegal pain clinics.
“A lot of these issues we’ve obviously heard before,” said Thrasher, who was at his fifth and final county delegation meeting. “The pain-management thing is a problem. We addressed it somewhat last year, and, I guarantee you, it’ll be addressed further this year.”
"Spending ought to be at the local level … We feel we know best what our residents need and the services they’d like to have."
—Alan Peterson, chairman of the County Commission