Our Manatee County Schools Have A
"C" Rating - What Does That Mean?
May 6, 2015
According to the Florida Department of Education, these are the scores Manatee County Schools received in various subject areas to earn the "C" rating for 2014:
Reading - Satisfactory or Higher = 55%
Math - Satisfactory or Higher = 59%
Writing - Satisfactory or Higher = 53%
Science - Satisfactory or Higher = 66%
Isn't it misleading to give the Manatee County School District a "C" rating with scores like that? Can't we do better? Would better funding help? Would the $60,000,000+ in school impact fees the schools didn't receive since 2009 have helped? The suspension of collection of school impact fees ended in July, 2013 but the County (Which is responsible for collecting those fees) has not done so. They are in non-compliance of Ordinance 11-022. Is it time to take legal action? Let us know your thoughts. Send your emails to email@example.com
Manatee County is Giving Home Builders
at Least $10,000.00 Per Day of Your Money
May 2, 2015
Contrary to the wishes of the taxpayers of Manatee County the Board of County Commissioners approved (in 2009) a suspension of the "charging and collection" of school impact fees. That suspension ended on July 27, 2013 yet the County has not collected one cent in school impact fees from home builders since then. Click here to see the ordinance which specifies the specific dates of the suspension (highlighted). The County has claimed that an impact fee study must be done before they may resume collection of school impact fees. That is not true. The State of Florida requires a study be done before a new impact fee is imposed or if new rates are to be imposed but it does not say that a study must be done when collection of an impact is resumed after a suspension. It does say that impact fee "must be based the most recent and localized data". Although the data was collected before the suspension of the collection of the fees it is still the most recent until a new study is done. Click here to see Florida Impact Fee Statute 163.31801.
School Impact Fees Still
Not Being Collected By County
April 18, 2015
Click here to see a PowerPoint Show that outlines how developers, in cahoots with certain County officials, have been able to defraud Manatee County taxpayers of millions of dollars and how they are continuing to do so after more than five-and-a-half years.
School Impact Fees Not Collected
by County as Required by Law
Feb. 6, 2015
On May 19, 2009, the County enacted Ordinance No. 09-36 to “temporarily suspend the levy of Educational Facilities Fees" (School impact fees). That ordinance became effective on July 27, 2009.
Fee collection was scheduled to resume on July 27, 2011 but on June 22nd , 2011, the Board of County Commissioners passed Ordinance 11-22 which extended the suspension of school impact fees for two more years with a new resumption date of July 27, 2013. After extensive searching, no further extension of the suspension of school impact fees could be found on the County website, the School District website or elsewhere in the Internet..
As of July 27th, 2013 Manatee County should have been collecting a school impact fee for every permit granted for the construction of a dwelling unit in Manatee County and those funds should now be available to the school district for approved expenditures.
It appears that the County may not have collected school impact fees after July 27, 2013 as scheduled. It is not known why those fees were not collected as required by law. If this is, in fact the case, it is not know how the County plans to collect the past-due school impact fees.
No School Impact Fees
Means No New Schools
Jan. 11, 2015
School Impact Fees were suspended on July 27th, 2009 and were scheduled to resume on July 27th, 2013. As of January 10, 2015 collection of school impact fees has not been resumed. The developers get to keep the money and there is no money for new schools or for other capitol expenditures necessitated by new development. Click here to see an image of the County website that was captured in December, 2014 but has since been changed.
15 Reasons Why You Should Not
Vote for Carol Whitmore
October 16, 2014
- She voted to change Long Bar Pointe from 100% residential to mixed use including offices, shops, big box stores such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot, a conference center and small industrial
- She voted for formation of an Urban Service Area including Long Bar Pointe which along with other nearby agricultural areas are clearly not “urban”.
- She attended a rally for Gov. Scott instead of a scheduled budget meeting.
- She approved destruction of wetlands to expand phosphate mining.
- She voted in favor of the referendum to increase sales tax.
- She voted in favor of extending Hunzeker’s contract 5 years with $60K increase each year.
- She voted in favor of consolidating County Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) districts and additional areas into a lager Tax Increment Financing (TIF) zone.
- She voted to extend the $140,000,000 solid waste (garbage) collection contract until 2023 without seeking bids from other companies
- She consistently votes when there is a conflict of interest. Among others her Facebook page lists Carlos Beruff, Pat Neal, and Ed Vogler as friends.
- She consistently ignores or does not understand the concerns of regular citizens.
- She has accepted donations for her campaigns from multiple developers, their numerous subordinate LLCs and employees
- She has accepted donations from companies that have contracts with the County
- She was unaware of what was going on with Animal Services which is under her purview
- She is in favor of using deep well injection to dispose of toxic (radioactive) waste in the gypsum stacks at Port Manatee. Whitmore is chairman of the Port Authority.
- She has been duped by those who want favors and she doesn’t even know it. Does she really think she would be friends with Carlos Beruff and Pat Neal if she wasn’t a commissioner?
BoCC Requested to Petition Obama
to Protect Cortez Village and Seagrass
September 20, 2014
On Tuesday, September 16th, a group of Manatee County residents journeyed down to the County office building to attend a BoCC workshop and to request that the Board petition President Obama to declare the Seagrass area of Sarasota Bay south of Cortez Village as a protected National Preserve. See Bradenton Times article here. Please click the link to the right of this article to sign the petition. (After signing and clicking the "Sign Now" button there will be a request from the website for a donation. No donation is required, just close the page.)
Letter to the editor Topic: Just say "NO" to Mosaic!
July 6, 2014
"On 6/3/14 there was a letter in the Charlotte Sun titled "Just say "NO" to Mosaic. The letter asks "Has your community or organization accepted money from Mosaic. If so, that "gift" comes with strings. Your group may now be listed on the Mosaic site as a "supporter"
of strip mining. Since you took the money, do you really think you can object to anything they do in the future? Would you dare?"
His advice was to think twice about taking money from any corporation with an agenda. He stated individual integrity is worth something and when Mosaic comes around with their checkbook open, turn them down."
If you agree with this letter, please send a follow-up letter to the editor of the Charlotte Sun at firstname.lastname@example.org. It can be as simple as "I agree with the letter writer and just say "NO" to Mosaic" or a letter wondering if everything is for sale?
The point is to get enough letters to the editor to make it a "press event". You see the commercials Mosaic has on television every day. We MUST combat their media onslaught with one of our own.
Please blind copy your letter to email@example.com
so that a response number can be recorded. It is important to generate as many letters as possible, flooding the newspaper and creating a news event.
Please forward this to everyone you know and ask them to also take action.
Remember, unlike us, many people are new to the area. They think Mosaic grows oranges and creates nature better than what is was. They have never seen the moonscape of phosphate strip mining. They need to be educated in the truth about this industry."
Long Bar Pointe - Phase 1
Preliminaty Site Plan
On February 6, 2014, Long Bar Pointe Phase 1 Preliminary Site Plan (aka Shoebox City*) was approved with stipulations by the BoCC. The developers have resubmitted the plans for consideration. Contrary to standard practice, they ignored some of the stipulations and recommendations and reintroduced some features that had been removed prior to consideration by the Board. The Planning Services Division has reviewed the “revised” plans and returned them with twelve pages of required changes.
*Refers to the shape and size of the lots
Long Bar Pointe - It Isn't Over Yet
December 27, 2013
With the developer's letter to the County ( December 19th) we have a temporary reprieve from our efforts to work toward retention of an environmentally sound Manatee county. In case you missed it, the letter requested withdrawal of the Comprehensive Map Amendment "from further consideration or action at this time". Had that amendment been approved the future land use for most of the Long Bar Point property would have been changed from RES-9 (9 residential units/acre) to MU (Mixed Use - which would have seriously increased the use intensity and total population density of the property).
The letter indicated that they, the developers, were reconsidering their options and it suggested that they have not given up on the marina idea. We need to be prepared for another proposed change to the County Comprehensive Plan including a text amendment and a map amendment.
We cannot accept any development that will in any way cause harm to Sarasota Bay, the mangrove forest, or the diverse wildlife population in the area. We also need to be concerned with a significant increase in population (10,000+) in that part of the County and the repercussions that will have on traffic, schools, emergency services, and other infrastructure. And, we must insure that people and property are not put in harms way by building in the coastal high hazard area. We will be vigilant and we will make our concerns known.
Here We Go Again - Long Bar Pointe
The BoCC has rescheduled the Long Bar Pointe hearing to January 23, 2014. At that meeting the Board will consider the “Long Bar Map Amendment – PA-13-03”. If the Board approves that amendment the Long Bar Pointe property "Future Land Use" will change from RES-9 to MU. We are opposed to this change because in addition to residential construction it would also allow construction of hotels/motels, retail stores such as Walmart, offices, light industrial, warehouse stores such as Sam’s Club, conference centers, and more. Click here for a more complete comparison chart.
We believe that if approved it would have a very damaging impact on Manatee County and disastrous impact on the Long Bar Pointe property and Sarasota Bay. If you agree, please click on the link to the right and sign the petition which opposes this change in Future Land Use. This is a new petition directed at PA-13-03 so please sign this petition even if you signed petitions for the August, 2013 meeting. (Continued - click here to see more.)
The Truth About Long Bar Pointe
Last summer the developers made a number of erroneous statements about Long Bar Point which we refuted. To see the TRUTH and how we set the record straight click here.
We Will Not Forget
Who should you vote for? That is a question many people ask before they go to the polls. Often voters are swayed by glitzy ads, billboards, information they receive in the mail, and name recognition. Unfortunately that information is frequently biased and one sided. Often candidates don't have equal financial support. That gives some an unfair advantage. Candidates sometimes receive significant contributions because a large number of voters support them. Other times candidates are supported by well-to-do beneficiaries who expect reciprocation once elected.
We don't think that is fair and in the best interest of Manatee County. That is why we plan to provide information on all candidates that is unbiased and fair. For example, we understand that it isn't always easy to remember how elected officials voted on issues a year or two ago. Some incumbent candidates count on our forgetfulness to get reelected. Well, we will help with that. We will be your memory, we will not forget. You will be able to come to this website and see who voted for or against the issues that are important to you . For non-incumbents, we will report how they stand on the the issues. If you have questions we will do our best to get answers.
We are not interested in telling you how to vote. Our goal is to provide true and honest information that will help you decide. That is what this website is all about. We will give all candidates equal treatment. We will report information on all candidates including recognition and honors received, tax information, work experience, education, and anything else that might help you decide how to vote.
We will search public records to find information, good and not so good, on all candidates. If you have information on candidates that is important for voters to know, please share it with us. We will verify any information we receive and report it only if it has been 100% verified true.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email us if you have questions, comments, or information.