County Commissioners Carol Whitmore and John Chappie are on their way back from Tallahassee this afternoon after meeting with the county’s legislative delegation over two days.
“It was probably the most productive trip to the state capital since I’ve been elected,” Whitmore said from the back seat of the automobile she was traveling in with Chappie, county Deputy Administrator Karen Windon and county Information Outreach Coordinator Nick Azzara.
“We went when they were not meeting and they were able to spend more time with us,” she said.
Whitmore said they were able to meet with about 10 other Senate and House members or their staff, along with the county delegation.
“It was perfect time for us to go,” Chappie said. “I thought it was a great opportunity to help move forward local issues.”
One of those local issues was pre-trial release of arrested individuals, a plan that would relieve the over-crowding at the county jail and reduce costs.
Another concern for the county is the inequity of juvenile detention funding. Manatee County has a lower rate of juvenile detention than several other counties, yet has to pay the same or more.
Whitmore said she and Chappie also talked to legislators about the issue of allowing golf carts on sidewalks. Several mobile home parks have asked the county to change the law to permit them to use the sidewalks to get to shopping near their homes, but sidewalks are regulated at the state level.
--- Carl Mario Nudi