Thursday, July 15, 2004

Storter Fills Commission Vacancy

Donna Storter's statement on accepting Governor Jeb Bush's appointment to
temporarily fill the vacant seat on the Glades County Commission:

I promise to diligently make every effort to assure Glades County citizens
that the governor's confidence in me is well placed. God has blessed
America with democracy that not only brings honor and privilege, but also
responsibility, and with Glades County, also comes challenge. But first, I
would like to wish
Franklin Simmons a swift and complete return to good health. Several
issues of significant importance are facing Glades County. Landfill
negotiations are expected to conclude shortly with a signed contract
following the seated commission's June 21st acceptance in concept of Waste
Management's final offer. Another big concern is the fiscal year budgeting
process that began yesterday, and the proposed MSTU structuring for tax
assessment. The County is obligated to provide services for citizens,
balance the budget, and not overtax landowners. The jail overcrowding with
its negative impact on the Sheriff's current budget has created a dire
financial crisis. The County Clerk's funding structure has recently
changed dramatically due to State legislation. Both the Clerk and Sheriff
have mandates that must be performed, and circumstances beyond their
control and anticipation have severely impacted the solvency of Glades
The recommendations of the EMS MSBU study committee have not been given
thorough nor final consideration. I support third party initial billing for
EMS services, and agency contracting for delinquent account collection. The
E911 street addressing issue needs to conclude providing for responsibility
to include authority. Instead of using two employees part-time, I support
therecommendation of putting it "under one roof".
However, I strongly feel that GPS (Global Positioning System) mapping of
Glades County is necessary to efficiently provide accurate street
addressing, but also to enhance the rapid response of emergency personnel,
as well as fire suppression and law enforcement. GPS mapping needs to be
put into practice for site designations of County owned property and roads
and for implementing technologically advanced formatting in Building,
Planning, Zoning, and Transportation as well as the County appraisal maps,
and I firmly believe the benefits will rapidly exceed the cost. Though
initially expensive, the accuracy of GPS mapping will prevent errors and
omissions that in the past have been quite expensive including lawsuits
over disputed right-of-ways.
Hopefully some homeland security or emergency management or other grants
can fund this needed service. Code Enforcement needs to be reinforced,
perhaps with a major change in its structure and operation. Adopting
mandatory garbage collection can significantly enhance the "eye appeal" of
our county and promote economic development. Economic incentive ordinances
should be in place to aid in marketing Glades County to attract desirable
industrial, commercial and business enterprise. I support contracting with
Certified Planning Consultants rather than funding a planning position that
has also required using Planning Consultants services. I do not have all
the solutions to the issues I perceive within Glades County government, but
I do know that sincere effort is being made by the Commission, County
employees and the Constitutional Officers and staff,to work together to
reduce problems and seek answers. I pledge every effort to help in this

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