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Campaign issues

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


Growth

BALDWIN: Calls for clearer delineation between commercial and industrial zoning, amending the comprehensive plan to protect water resources and monitoring the state's growth planning initiative before deciding what direction the county should take.

WHITEHOUSE: Calls for closer review of zoning requests, cooperation with the Southwest Florida Water Management District to protect water resources, and development of an advisory board to tackle growth issues.

Economic Development Commission

BALDWIN: Says the EDC should receive public funding for proven successes only. Would support making the EDC a county department.

WHITEHOUSE: Says the EDC can remain a private entity, but only with more structure and accountability to the county. Supports reducing the county's percentage of EDC funding.

Taxes

BALDWIN: Would support an increase to support road and recreation needs, if the public is willing. Also would look for ways to scale back the budget to allow for cuts in the property tax rate.

WHITEHOUSE: Says increases should be a "last resort." Would support decreases in the property tax rate if the budget could survive cuts.

Elder services

BALDWIN: Suggests services can be improved through coordination of public and private efforts. Also wants to seek a grant to build a community center/emergency shelter that serves seniors during the day and young people at night.

WHITEHOUSE: Calls for increased transportation availability for seniors, development of an adult day care program and setting up programs to support home-based caregivers.

Code enforcement

BALDWIN: Says officers should work staggered hours, not weekdays 9 to 5, to catch persistent code violators. Also, the county should promote xeriscaping and neighborhood cleanups. Has called for a complete review of the Code Enforcement Department.

WHITEHOUSE: Calls for a review of all ordinances for their effectiveness and enforceability. Suggests the codes need to be enforced more consistently and equitably. Also, the county should encourage residents to do more beautification work.

Recreation

BALDWIN: Says current offerings are inadequate. Calls for an increase in the number of parks and ball fields, including smaller neighborhood parks, using existing state grants for funding.

WHITEHOUSE: Says recreational offerings will need to increase as the population grows. Suggests that developers be encouraged to set aside space in new developments. Also, would seek grants for funding opportunities.

Environment

BALDWIN: Says the county must insist on state-of-the-art air-quality standards for industry. Wants to protect water resources by encouraging the Southwest Florida Water Management District to pay for water-quality projects.

WHITEHOUSE: Says the commission must be sensitive to environmental issues to maintain the quality of air and groundwater supply. Suggests future discussion on the issue.

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