FAC News Clips - December 12, 2017 -

Bay County Shooting Range Anticipates Reaching $1 Million in Revenue
It's been more than a year and a half since Bay County commissioners and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) teamed up to create a county shooting range open to the public, and county officials said they've had nothing but success.  Bay County Commissioner, Guy Tunnell, was an advocate for the shooting range, and said he is thrilled with the success it has had since it's opening.

Tallahassee Democrat
County Commission opens retreat with ethics talk
Leon County commissioners opened their annual vision-setting retreat Monday with a talk about everyday ethics in the workplace, prompted in part by the FBI’s investigation into possible public corruption.  Leon County Administrator Vince Long told commissioners and staff assembled at Goodwood Museum & Gardens that the county is not immune to ethical challenges. He unveiled a new, 16-page handbook designed to make the county’s Code of Ethics understandable and accessible for everyone from top brass to the rank and file.

Gainesville Sun
County to discuss future of jail operations
Although Alachua County commissioners believe the county jail is a smooth-running operation, they will discuss whether the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office should continue to operate the jail or if they should take over operations.  In June, the commission instructed then-County Manager Lee Niblock to spend up to $75,000 to hire a consultant to analyze if the jail should continue to be operated by the sheriff or if county government or a private company might be able to handle the job.

Orlando Sentinel
Civil court, offices may leave downtown Sanford
Seminole commissioners on Tuesday will again consider a long-range plan to move the county’s civil-court operations and administrative offices — including those for commissioners, staff, property appraiser and tax collector — out of downtown Sanford and into the Five Points Operations Complex off U.S. Highway 17-92.  Presently, the Five Points complex, which sits across from the old Flea World attraction, includes county offices for the sheriff, animal services, the state attorney and public defender. It is also where the John E. Polk Correctional Facility sits.

Florida Today
Opening prayer dropped from county commission meetings after court ruling
Brevard County commissioners have dropped religious invocations from the start of their meeting agendas after a federal judge issued an injunction banning the county from continuing its long-standing practice.  U.S. District Judge John Antoon II said the county's invocation system violates both the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution.

Ft. Myers News Press
Lee County commissioners cut developer a break over septic tanks for North Fort Myers project
Overruling the recommendations of its staff and chief hearing examiner, Lee County commissioners have voted to allow a developer to build a warehouse-style building in North Fort Myers without making a $45,000 connection to the public sewer system.  The decision allows Realmark Storage LLC to install a septic tank on the site instead of extending the Florida Governmental Utility Authority sewer line past its property.

Gainesville Sun
Officials extend homeless shelter contract
Disgusted. Embarrassed. Disturbing. Unethical. And a bit silly.  That was how some Gainesville and Alachua County commissioners described negotiations with each other while trying to ensure 300 homeless people have access to food, showers and a place to sleep come Jan. 1.  After nearly five hours of deliberation, the governing bodies agreed to extend a contract three months, which will allow the Alachua County Coalition of the Homeless and Hungry to continue to run Grace Marketplace until March 31.

Sun Sentinel
In feud over Florida's environment, public interest should win
In Florida politics, you can often tell a great deal about the worth of an issue by who’s against it and how loudly they’re yelling. Today’s example is a simple proposal before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission “to establish that every person has a right to a clean and healthful environment.” We think that’s a splendid idea, and not just because Florida’s biggest business lobbies are desperate to defeat it.