The following information has been provided by the Lee County Elections Office:
To be eligible to vote in the August 26, 2014 Primary Election, you must be registered to vote or change your party affiliation on or before Monday July, 28, 2014. You may register to vote at one of the Lee County Elections Office locations, download a voter registration application, or pick one up at a site listed on www.leeelections.com.
Florida is a closed primary state. In order to vote in a primary election, you must be a registered voter in the party for which the primary is held. All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, can vote on issues and nonpartisan candidates in a primary election.
The following contests are open to all Lee County registered voters:
School Board Districts 1, 4, & 5 contests
County Commission District 2 contest
All Lee County registered voters who live in State Senate District 30 and State Representative District 79 are eligible to vote in those contests.
By Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida
Rejecting arguments that the policy is unconstitutional, a state appeals court said Wednesday that the city of Miami can charge an extra $100 when its rescue crews transport non-residents to hospitals for emergency care.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal overturned a circuit judge’s ruling in a class-action case that contended the extra charge is an unauthorized tax and violates constitutional equal-protection and intrastate-travel rights. (Click here to read.) The named plaintiff in the case, St. Petersburg resident Cheryl K. Haigley, was taken to a hospital in 2010 by the Miami Fire-Rescue Department after she fell and was injured while in the city.
A three-judge panel pointed, in part, to property taxes that Miami residents pay to help operate the emergency services and said requiring visitors to pay an extra fee “furthers the city’s interest of being able to continue providing emergency transportation services to everyone in need of the services, regardless of whether the person is a resident or a non-resident.”
“The city’s residents, users and non-users of emergency medical transportation services alike, more than make up for the additional $100 surcharge charged non-resident users by contributing a far greater amount to the city’s overall emergency services budget,” said the 24-page ruling, written by Judge Leslie Rothenberg and joined by judges Vance Salter and Thomas Logue. “The base rate paid by individuals using the city’s emergency medical transportation services is insufficient to cover the total cost, and the city could have properly determined that an extra $100 was necessary to offset that additional cost since non-residents do not contribute through the payment of ad valorem (property) taxes.”
Beginning Friday, August 1st, 2014 the Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA) will be conducting system flushing and temporarily change the disinfection process for the drinking water supply in your community.
The FGUA conducts system flushing as part of its prudent utility practice. Flushing will remove sediment from the system that has been in the pipes for a long time. Sediment left in the pipes has led t odor and discoloration in some communities, which occurs as chlorine that is used to treat the water subsides.
If the Lehigh Acres Fire Department is in such dire straits, why aren’t they in a cost saving mode by now?
1. Browning out two stations for 12 hours per day (rotating stations on the off peak time using historical data)
2. Changing firefighter schedules to 12 hours a day (just like the Lee County Sheriff’s Office) for 4 days on and three day off – verses – 24 hours on and 48 hours off.
3. Elimination of all “Kelly days” this is a paid day off taken at a scheduled interval in addition to normal time off or vacation.
These three items will immediately save the Fire District dollars within the first thirty days and millions over time that came be used to save jobs verses layoffs.
August 28 at 1:00 p.m. – East County Water Control District (business office at 601 East County Lane - Conference Room) will host the FGUA monthly Board meeting. Anyone wishing to address the FGUA Board will have an opportunity to do so in person. Usually the week prior to the meeting the agenda packet is available on line at www.fgua.com under the “About Us” Tab – Meets & Public Hearings.
The FGUA will be holding a Customer Committee meeting on August 27, 2014 at 5 p.m. at the FGUA Business office located at 1229 Homestead Road. The committee meets quarterly to discuss Capital Projects, Customer Service, Policies and Procedures and utility business. These meetings will provide customers with an opportunity to learn more about ongoing activities and projects ask questions, voice concerns and provide feedback about FGUA services and policies.
The VegHeads, a 4-H club of youth from 8-18 year of age, will start their 2014-2015 year on Monday, August 26th at 6:30pm. This year’s projects will include: Lee County Seed Library, entering plants into the Lee County Fair, install a garden for a needy family, and an aquaponics project. The club meets inside Veterans Park Recreational Center located at 55 Homestead Road South in Lehigh Acres. The club has a member limit, so contact their 4-H leader Karen Harty at email@example.com or610.530.8883 if you are interested in joining.
The Lehigh Acres Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is having a back-to-school clothing exchange from 9 am- 12 noon Saturday, July 26th, 2014. The church is located at 315 Richmond Ave. North, Lehigh. The event is free and open to the public. Items from baby size to adult clothing will be available for free. All left over clothing will be donated to charity. We will also be doing a Food Drive for a local food bank. If you would like to help, please bring non-perishable items to the church on July 26th. For more information, call 239-810-7654
The Fire District say this “It is the intent of the Board of Fire Commissioners to exempt those properties that are currently exempt from property taxes under the ad valorem taxing methodology, as long as said properties are classified appropriately as being exempt.”
But the law is this:
A Florida appeals court has ruled that churches can be required to pay assessments only if their property is directly benefited. The court concluded that fees imposed on churches for fire and rescue met the definition of assessment and therefore could be assessed against a church consistently with the church’s exemption from property tax. The court also pointed out that the churches in question were prevented from challenging these assessments since they had paid them without protest for twenty years.
The only way is to modify the law, is for the Board of the Lehigh Acres Fire District to approve a non-revocable resolution stating that they the board will exempt those properties that are currently exempt from property taxes if the tax assessment is passed.
The Lehigh Acres Gazette Online Newspaper this week passed the 1.5 million page view mark, with now over 4,100 stories posted online, all of which can be searched by keywords or subject and now more 1000 likes on Facebook and growing.
Publisher, Robert Anderson would like thank all his contributors and advertisers over the years who have kept an alternate news source available online for Lehigh Acres. Keeping “Where local always matters” count.