Thursday, March 28, 2013
Pinellas County Commission Chair Ken Welch delivered the State of Pinellas address this week.
Pinellas County Commission Chair Ken Welch delivered the State of Pinellas address this week. In the video, which you can see above, Welch, "talks about strategic planning, poverty, public health, human rights, an upcoming transit tax referendum, tourism and the FY2014 county budget." Stay connected to your community. Sign up for the free Safety Harbor Patch email newsletter and you won't miss a thing!
Friday, March 15, 2013
The health clinic will be located near the Pinellas County Jail and the county homeless shelter.
Pinellas County will soon begin construction on a health clinic for the homeless and poor of Pinellas in Largo. It will be located near the Safe Harbor homeless shelter and the Pinellas County Jail, according to county documents. In October 2012, commissioners accepted a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to build the health clinic for homeless families with children, county documents show. According to a report by the Tampa Bay Times, the clinic will offer an array of services. " ... The building would house a primary care clinic, mental health services and housing placement assistance programs. A small library and children's room are planned for its first floor and, on the second, county officials …
Friday, February 15, 2013
County commissioner Norm Roche said it would be easier to advocate for a statewide domestic partnership registry than have varying registries at the local level, echoing a recent statement made by Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub.
The governing bodies of Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa and Gulfport have all passed ordinances within the past year creating domestic partnership registries. Now at least one Pinellas County commissioner thinks the same should be done at the state level before any more communities follow suit. Domestic registries grant couples, gay or straight, to have a certificate that allows them to have most of the same rights as heterosexual married couples in Florida. Those rights can include hospital visitation rights, end of life decisions, childcare decisions, and in some cases, insurance coverage. Up until Jan. 24 when Hillsborough County Commissioners surprisingly voted against creating a registry, no Tampa Bay-area …
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Pinellas County Commissioners added a discussion about gun background checks to their legislative agenda.
Pinellas County Commissioners have added a discussion of gun background checks to their legislative agenda. Commissioner Janet Long said as elected officials, it is their responsibility to look at gun violence and gun policies in the interest of public safety. She said there are many holes in the existing background check system, including lags in time between when a person is officially listed as a felon and not. “Are you comfortable knowing the background check is not really a background check in terms of identifying people who are potential problems?” Long asked the commission Tuesday. “Are you aware that this is a real glitch in our state law and are your comfortable with it?” She said a person can be arrested for a violent crime on …
Monday, February 11, 2013
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the Pinellas County Commission will vote on its 2013 legislative priorities.
Beach renourishment, juvenile justice, synthetic drugs and fertilizer laws are just a few of the items Pinellas County Commissioners are asking their lobbyists to focus on in Tallahassee in 2013. The commissioners will vote on their 2013 legislative priorities for the state legislature at the Feb. 12 commission meeting. Other legislative focuses include: For a full list of legislative items the county supports and opposes, click here. Keep up to date on issues that affect the area. Sign up for the free Safety Harbor Patch email newsletter and you won't miss a thing!
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Pinellas County officials said they might have to start thinking about the long-term budget impacts of climate change.
Forming the county budget is always a mixture of art and science. Pinellas County Administrator Robert LaSala says this year's budget is no different. "This is like a mosaic," LaSala said at Tuesday's budget work session. "It's made up a lot of pieces … a lot of moving pieces." There are definite numbers, such as the millage rate and fee schedules, that county officials can rely on to form the budget. However, many items like potential new state/federal mandates, a stagnant economy and ongoing housing crisis, are things county officials have to regularly brace for. As of Tuesday, the county has added another item that could affect future budget forecasts — climate change. County budget director Eric Naughton said it might be time for …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Pinellas County Commissioners will start forming the FY2014 budget Tuesday at a budget work session.
Pinellas County is facing a $12.1 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2014. To close the gap, county officials will explore multiples options, including using reserve money, reductions in spending and increasing the millage rate. Tuesday, county commissioners will begin to take the first steps to tackle the 2013-14 budget during its budget work session. According to county documents, the budget gap could be partially closed by using one-time reserve money from the Service Level Stabilization Account. However, using one-time reserves, according to the county, would only help in the short term. The stabilization account was created from FY10-FY12 by taking reductions in the budget over and above what was necessary to balance the …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Rays ownership met with Pinellas County Commissioners Tuesday to talk about the Rays future in the area. County commissioners agreed that the Rays should be able to look at locations outside St. Petersburg.
Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg stood in front of the Pinellas County Commission Tuesday pleading his team's case to be able to look outside of the city limits of St. Petersburg for a new stadium for the Rays. The Rays, he said, want to be able to follow up on the 2009 ABC Coalition report that explored options in Tampa and Pinellas for a new stadium. "In the simplest of terms, we would like to follow up on the report," Sternberg told commissioners Tuesday. "We might find the best place is where we are right now. (However), I don’t imagine that’s the case." A majority of commissioners expressed agreement with Sternberg's wish. "This really saddens me that we have to have this conversation," said county commissioner Susan Latvala. "…
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Unmarried couples, gay and straight, in Pinellas County will be able to register as domestic partners following Tuesday's county commission vote.
Wednesday, January 16
Unmarried couples, gay and straight, in Pinellas County will be able to register as domestic partners following Tuesday's vote by county commissioners, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The legal recognition will give couples the right to visit each other in the emergency room, make health care decisions for each other in a crisis and, depending on their employers, share health insurance coverage, the Times reports. Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve the registry, with Norm Roche casting the dissenting vote. The Times story notes that residents of Gulfport, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, where domestic partnership registries are already in place, the planned $50 fee will be reduced. Those residents will only have to pay the difference between …
Friday, December 28, 2012
Pinellas County will become the sixth county in Florida to adopt a domestic registry, if commissioners approve the proposal.
St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Gulfport already have their own local domestic registries recognizing same-sex marriages. Now Pinellas County expects to vote in 2013 on a proposal for a countywide domestic registry that grants domestic partners – gay and straight – many of the same rights as married couples. A public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15. Although domestic registries are catching on across the nation, from Key West to Kansas City, Florida has a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman. Should Pinellas County, Florida, adopt a domestic registry? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Even as Florida counties adopt domestic registries, the state will not recognize them. Do you agree? …