SUNDAY FLORIDA EDITORIAL ROUNDUP
First, I apologize that this is delayed. I suffer from epilepsy, which is controlled, but this morning I had a seizure while preparing this. My son apparantly shut down the computer shortly afterward, eliminating what had been prepared (roughly about half).
That said, we begin in the Panhandle, where the Pensacola News Journal notes
that the Santa Rosa County Commission
has scheduled a vote regarding a local option sales tax for the September 5 primary. They pledge to use the money for road improvements across the fast growing county. The editorial points out that voters there have been mixed on previous votes based on what they perceive as real needs, and will do so again this time.The Tallahassee Democrat editorial
deals with the current affordable housing crisis affecting many areas, and the Big Bend area is no different. It mentions the Hillsborough County Commission
's decision last week to establish a new agency to help reverse the trend as entities in the capitol region are holding workshops and conferences to shine light on the situation. The opinion is that bold steps by policymakers, lenders, and others are needed to make a real impact to stem the trend.
In Jacksonville, the Florida Times-Union is disturbed
about the lack of oversight regarding bond funds distributed to each of the city's district City Council
members. It reminds readers of the scandal regarding misuse of city funds and eventual criminal charges during Jacksonville's previous commission form of government, and makes three suggestions as to providing checks to use of the public's money.The Gainesville Sun is running an editorial
which appeared two weeks ago in it's sister publication Lakeland Ledger
, spotlighting the continued growth of the national debt and some disturbing comments by David M. Walker
, Comptroller General and head of the Government Accountability Office
, regarding the consequences of keeping on the current course. Personally, I don't mind if a newspaper expresses it's opinion by using an editorial not written in-house, but shouldn't it at least note the fact and who wrote it?
Just down the road, the opinion in today's Ocala News Banner
is supportive of the Marion County Commission
's apparant consensus during a workshop last week to become more aggressive in expanding it's water and sewer system wherever possible, with the goal of stemming the use of septic tanks and the groundwater pollution they tend to cause. While noting it would be expensive, but would protect the area's enviroment and aquifer.
Sinkholes. Insurance rates going through the roof, if it's available at all. Continued growth with no sign of slowing, with a lack of enforcement when it comes to growth management. Today's Daytona Beach News Journal editorial
says that while Florida has and is attempting to deal with these issues, there is still much to be done and offers some ideas toward that end.The Orlando Sentinel editorial says
that the Orange County Commission has a huge opportunity with the proposed Innovation Way
, a roadway that would extend 17 miles from the University of Central Florida
to Orlando International Airport
and would host, in addition to residential and business development, provide home to up to 58,000 high-tech jobs. However, it suggests that the commission not approve including an area of enviromentally sensitive land to be included so it could be turned into a new mega-subdivision.
The Melbourne-based Florida Today in it's editorial space
promotes a public forum in Viera tomorrow evening focusing on the Constitution and the issues facing the three branches of government today. Participants will include former gubernatorial assistant general counsel and current Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation Simone Marstiller
, State Senator Mike Haridopolos
(R - Indialantic), Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis
, and Florida Today
Executive Editor Terry Eberle.
Anyone who lives in Florida should realize that the start of hurricane season is upon us. The local media outlets are constantly reminding us of the need to prepare now, and this morning's Lakeland Ledger raises it's editorial voice
to the chorus. The state's break from sales taxes on hurricane supplies begins today and lasts until the beginning of hurricane season June 1.The Tampa Tribune opinion reminds readers
in West Central Florida that water restrictions such as those imposed by Hillsborough County
and the City of Tampa
this month are the result of the area's continued growth. While efforts are being made to meet the increasing demand, the editorial makes the point that new sources alone will not be enough and that conservation must play a key role. It also points out several suggestions on water-wise lawn care.Today's Sarasota Herald Tribune editorial raises questions
of a series of decisions made by the Sarasota City Commission
to conceding several concessions to developers for the Pineapple Square downtown retail/condo project
. The latest decision would hand over control of two city-owned parking lots to the developer, who would provide a valet service. Problem is, the city did not place limits on the fees that could be charged for such a service.
Smart growth and conservation principles will be put to a trial by fire, according to the Fort Myers News-Press,
with the planned extension of County Road 951 through southern Lee County. The paper's opinion is that commissioners should stick to their plans to make the roadway a limited-access toll road and avoid the mistakes made in 1970 when Summerlin Road --- also originally proposed as a limited access highway --- caved in to developers, eventually making it another congested thoroughway.
Enviromentally sensitive areas and development are also the subject of today's opinion in the Naples Daily News
, and it urges caution by the City of Bonita Springs
' Local Planning Agency in making it's decision on two development plans. It states that officials cannot allow a current hot-button issue such as affordable housing to overtake long term plans, especially when it comes to the enviroment.
On the Atlantic coast, the Palm Beach Post focuses
on a court's decision last week refusing to block a new state law requiring legislative lobbyists to file quarterly reports listing their clients and fees. It notes that finding out who is paying lobbyists and how much is simply another means of disclosure, and while the judge's decision that the lawsuit's chance of success had "no substantial likelihood of success" is hard on lobbyists, it's what they needed to hear.
Heading down I-95, the editorial in today's South Florida Sun Sentinel notes
that while the region's long-forecast slowdown in home sales seems to have begun, prices continue their upward spiral. It reminds readers that affordable housing and tax inequities continue to be challenges that need to be addressed, and that government leaders on both the local and state level need to redouble their efforts to do so.And the Miami Herald opinion page laments
the North Terminal project at Miami International Airport
has gone from a dream project to a nightmare in it's 11 year history. It's nearly five years behind schedule, and approaching $1 billion over budget, and the newspaper calls on officials to put the hammer down on the delays and overruns.
I'm sorry once again for the delay. In the meantime, make it a great week ahead!