Round-up of Sunday editorials from Florida’s leading newspapers

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Tampa Bay Times: Paying for Fluoride Four’s foolishness

“They started lining up shortly after sunrise in the county that rejected science and removed fluoride from the drinking water. By midmorning, the Pinellas County Health Department was jammed with families waiting for free dental exams for their children that could include cleanings, X-rays, fillings — and fluoride treatments. These are the voices that four county commissioners ignored when they voted against public health.”

Bradenton Herald: Approve Bradenton referendum to eliminate runoff elections

“Cash-strapped municipalities everywhere are examining expenditures to locate savings. The City of Bradenton found one that concerns contests for mayor and city council, and placed a referendum on the August ballot asking voters to eliminate runoff elections. The ballot language amending the city charter reads this way: “Should the City of Bradenton amend its charter and ordinances to provide that in the event that more than two candidates qualify for election of any open office the candidate receiving the most votes cast, rather than a majority, shall be elected and eliminate the need for runoff elections?” That tortured sentence means a future mayor or council candidate could wind up the victor with less than 50 percent of the vote, possibly one of the three vying for the mayoral post in this November’s general election or one of the three in the contest to fill the Ward 2 council seat.”

The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Look for compromise that benefits trail users, birds

“In an ongoing Volusia County battle pitting trail users against scrub jays, score one for the hikers and mountain bikers. The endangered bird may feel a little more endangered following the County Council’s decision to temporarily halt a planned restoration of scrub habitat at the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve. Under pressure from a determined group of trail users, the council decided to pause and look for a compromise that would satisfy the human lobbyists and still allow for the creation of a more suitable environment within the preserve for scrub jays, gopher tortoises and other native species.”

The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville.com: Fuller’s folly needs to come to an end

“In the Republican primary for Clerk of the Courts, voters have a choice between two capable candidates, but one should not be running because of term limits.”

The Lakeland Ledger: Would Democrats Welcome Crist?

“Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist endorsed Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson last week, attending a fundraiser for the senator in Orlando. The move has amped up speculation that Crist, who left the GOP and became an independent in his failed 2010 U.S. Senate bid, may make the switch to the Democratic Party and run again for governor in 2014.” 

The Miami Herald: Gimenez has earned a full term 

“During the short time he has been mayor since last summer’s special election, Carlos Gimenez has done a yeoman’s job against tough economic circumstances, saving taxpayers more than $405 million. Mayor Gimenez, 58, has followed through on his promises to balance the county’s books without raising taxes — indeed his proposed budgets cut the property tax rate two years in a row, helped this year by rising property values in some county areas. He has kept crucial services for residents while negotiating with unions to remove costly perks that were out of whack with the pay and benefits that private-sector workers receive. And he has deferred to county commissioners’ wishes and worked on their concerns to achieve those savings while keeping to the “strong mayor” form of government that voters want.”

The Orlando Sentinel: Election 2012: Endorsements

August 5, 2012: Lamar for state attorney – The race for Orange-Osceola state attorney — whose job it is, along with appointed assistants, to decide what cases to prosecute — has been a slugfest. August 4, 2012: Our county judge picks – Floridians seeking or facing justice most often wind up before county judges, who preside over this state’s “people’s courts.” August 4, 2012: Tax collector primary – Tax collector primary…”

Tampa Tribune, TBO.com: Dream worth chasing: making Tampa the Silicon Valley of personalized medicine

“Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe wants to make Tampa the “Silicon Valley” for personalized medicine, which customizes therapies based on an individual’s genetics. It’s a big dream, but a very possible one, thanks to the strategic investments the community has made through the years in developing a robust health care infrastructure. And we have yet to tap the full potential of our medical assets. Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, is right when he says our regional health care efforts have tended to be fragmented, without an emphasis on co-branding. This is a missed opportunity, particularly for Hillsborough County, which Klasko hopes will become known as the “health care solution county.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.