Storm Water Wrangling

At least one city commissioner thought this issue was already being resolved and says it will be a mistake if the county sends a charter amendment to the voters this fall. That amendment would allow county storm water standards to prevail over the city's. Both governments agree storm water is a problem.

Last year they formed a "Watershed Protection Initiative" to jointly address storm water issues on a case by case basis, but that could change Tuesday night. The county will consider letting voters decide if county storm water rules should prevail over the city's.

Leon County Chairman Bill Proctor said, "I think that what it should underscore is the seriousness which the county is taking storm water and our desire to see progress made in this area."

But the city is questioning where this is coming from. City Commissioner Allan Katz says he was under the impression progress was already being made through the joint initiative.

Katz added, "I think the county is making a mistake if they go forward with this. I think that we need to understand the fact that storm water is a problem in this community. I think we're making some progress with the city and county working together."

Several county commissioners said Monday that they have not made up their minds on whether putting the amendment to the voters is necessary.

However, Proctor said, "What it gives us is a full flush opportunity as to whether or not we disagree enough that we want to turn this around to the voters."

It will take a super majority vote for the amendment to go to the voters this fall. That means at least five of the seven county commissioners must vote yes.

City Commissioner Debbie Ligthsey and County Commissioner Cliff Thaell wrote a joint column over the weekend in the local paper saying that the amendment is not progress. It was County Commissioner Tony Grippa who called for the special meeting. He said Monday that he doesn't feel enough progress has been made; he's seen "nothing but a press conference.”

County commissioners will also consider whether to spend taxpayer dollars on an educational campaign on the half cent sales tax for health care. Voters will decide in November whether Leon County should have one of the highest sales taxes in the state to support a health care plan for the uninsured. The meeting and public hearings take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Leon County Courthouse.