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Sunshine Law

Constitutional rewrite panel’s transparency rules would track Legislature’s

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Just like the Legislature, any two members of the new Constitution Revision Commission could meet out of the “sunshine,” according to a copy of the panel’s proposed rules. The draft rules, posted online Monday, say that “all meetings at which Commission business is discussed between more than two members of the Commission shall be open to the public, following the procedure outlined in the Florida Constitution.” If approved, the commission will follow the constitutional provision governing legislative meetings, which says…

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Steve McFarlin: St. Pete Beach pays, but ‘rampant litigation’ far from over

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The City of St. Pete Beach recently paid nearly $500,000 to settle one of many lawsuits brought by Ken Weiss and Tim Weber in their quest to halt development on the barrier island. City officials believed the payout would finally help put an end to the rampant litigation that has plagued St. Pete Beach for nearly a decade. There’s one problem – even after the payment, the lawsuit is far from settled. The city’s attorney did not obtain a judge’s…

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Protest over $125 million Lottery contract ‘dismissed’

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A bid protest filed over a Florida Lottery advertising contract worth $125 million has been “dismissed,” a spokeswoman said Monday. Lottery communications director Connie Barnes, in response to an inquiry from FloridaPolitics.com, said the “dispute has been dismissed.” She did not offer further details, including when and why. Barnes did not immediately respond to a request for more information. “The Lottery is looking forward to finalizing the contract and moving forward with PP+K,” she said, referring to the winning bidder, a Tampa-based advertising agency. St. John & Partners, a…

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Lawsuit claims Madeira Beach commission violated Sunshine Law when appointing new member

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Two Madeira Beach residents have filed a lawsuit claiming officials violated the state’s public meeting law when they chose a new commissioner by “secret ballot.” The suit, filed late Friday, asks the court to rule that three of the four commissioners broke the Sunshine Law. It also asks the court to invalidate the appointment of Housh Ghovaee and to order the city pay the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees. Madeira Beach Mayor Travis Palladeno called the lawsuit “frivolous.” City attorney Tom Trask,…

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House overwhelmingly passes reform bill for Florida public-private partnerships

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On Tuesday, the Florida House passed a pair of bills seeking to reform the process the state uses to enter public-private partnerships. LobbyTools reports the bill, which enacts a series of task force recommendations, will give more flexibility to entities entering into P3 agreement as well as streamline the process and regulate unsolicited P3 agreements. If passed, the bill requires the Department of Management Services to keep copies of other P3 agreements, as a template for future projects. Along with several “P3”…

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Two Dunedin Commissioners in hot water over potential Sunshine Law violation

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Two Dunedin City Commissioners may be in very hot water over the recent events leading up to City Manager Rob DiSpirito’s abrupt resignation. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is launching an official investigation against Commissioner Heather Gracy and Vice Mayor Bruce Livingston for potential Sunshing Law violations. Gracy initiated an unexpected motion to fire DiSpirito at a meeting in early January. She said his leadership skills had become lacking and he was instead merely keeping with the city’s status quo.…

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Darden Rice sets right PSTA Sunshine Law violation

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council member Darden Rice is requesting a revote in the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority motion Wednesday that elected her chair of the board for 2016. PSTA Brad Miller confirmed he will honor that request. “In an abundance of caution, I am requesting PSTA CEO Brad Miller take corrective action about a probable Sunshine Law violation and call for a revote of our officers,” Rice wrote. “2016 is an exciting year for PSTA and I want to be…

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