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Category: Politics

Federal Keys coastal resilience plan enters final stage

A study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers nears completion as various governments confront coastal storm and flood vulnerability in the Florida Keys. With recommendations for shoreline stabilization along U.S. 1, voluntary home raising and  structure floodproofing, fortifying the Keys from future storms and flooding is estimated at $2.6 billion.  Monroe County Board of County Commissioners recently gave the go-ahead to sign a letter of support to accept the $3 million, federally-funded feasibility study, which started in 2018. A final version of the study was presented to government officials...

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EX-DEA AGENT IS RUNNING FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER

Last week, Tavernier resident Tom Raffanello announced his candidacy for Monroe County Commissioner, District 4, to run against David Rice in 2022. Rice is a longstanding member of the BOCC, with four four-year terms under his belt. Both Rice and Raffanello are registered with the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections. The district includes part of Marathon, through Plantation Key with a small west end of Tavernier. “I’m excited about it,” Raffanello told Keys Weekly. “I’ve got a lot of energy, and I want to learn more and listen to the people.” “A lot of energy” is right. His resume speaks...

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MARATHON COUNCIL TO CONSIDER TAXING DISTRICT, WATERING LAWS

At its next meeting, the Marathon City Council will consider two important topics: the continuation or cancellation of the hospital special taxing district, and the city’s watering laws.  The Middle Keys Health Care Municipal Services Taxing Unit issue is a holdover from the March meeting of the council. At that meeting, lacking detailed financial accounting from Baptist Health South Florida regarding its expenditures on care for uninsured and underinsured patients in the Middle Keys, the council agreed to bring back two resolutions in April — one approving the continuation of the tax and one...

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Islamorada council favors three-year, staggered terms

There’s no ordinance yet on a proposal to send term length changes to referendum in Islamorada, but a majority of the dais believe they should extend beyond two years on a staggered basis.  An April 8 hybrid meeting of village council brought additional discussion over the idea of increasing term lengths beyond the current two years. Changing village council members’ term terms requires approval of an ordinance to amend the village charter. If approved by council, it would then go to a referendum either at the next general election or a special village election.  Attempts to change term lengths...

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KEY WEST OFFICIALS MAKE WEIGHTY DECISIONS

Did you catch all that? Key West officials answered several high-profile questions at the March 31 city commission meeting. Here’s the rundown: WILL THE CITY EXPAND THE HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD FROM FIVE TO SEVEN SEATS? No. The commission voted 5-2 against the expansion. Mayor Teri Johnston and Commissioner Sam Kaufman favored the seven-member board. The community was also divided. Many of Johnston’s supporters called for new ideas, enhanced expertise and greater diversity on the board. Others criticized the condition of public housing complexes operated by the housing authority and...

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FURTHER DISCUSSION SET FOR ISLAMORADA TERMS LENGTHS, FILLS PLAN

Islamorada Village Council is set to consider an ordinance that extends the number of years a member serves on the dais. Proposed amendments to the village charter to lengthen the term would go before village voters, if approved by council members on Thursday, April 8. Representatives to the village dais serve two-year terms. And they aren’t staggered, meaning all five seats will be up for election in 2022. That’s due to a complete overhaul on the dais following last year’s election, which saw new faces chosen for each seat.  Several current council members believe increasing the term...

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