Citizen's Coalition on Growth: Promises Made, Promises Kept

Misty made a bold campaign promise to fight for a Citizen's Coalition on Growth. 

She has kept that promise. 

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Misty has a Real Plan for South County

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Traffic/Flooding

  •  Work to fund new and replacement sidewalks and traffic calming measures to increase pedestrian safety.
    • Coordinate with neighborhoods to identify problem areas
    • Form neighborhood working groups to collaborate with “Keep Manatee Beautiful”.
    • Work with county staff to collect required data for pedestrian safety improvements and traffic calming measures.
  • Work to fund upgrades to storm drains, roads and water/sewer projects.
    • Identify aging and underperforming infrastructure to develop a priority list for repairs and upgrades.
    • Explore options for the distribution of a portion of the Southwest Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds to pay for needed improvements.
  • Press the county and SWFWMD (Southwest Florida Water Management District) to accelerate the current drainage study to bring needed relief to our community.
    • Track the study progress monthly and implement relief immediately for items that don’t require waiting for the conclusion of the study.
  • Work on creative solutions to reduce traffic congestion on our streets.
    • Coordinate with School Board, the largest employer in Manatee County, to expand bus service beyond the current 2-mile radius from each school.
      • Consider a process to utilize county buses for student transport.
      • Incentivize teachers to work in schools close to their homes, when possible, to reduce rush-hour traffic.
      • Prepare a cost analysis of funding additional buses to reduce roadway expansion projects.
  • Seek incentives for the county’s large employers to establish carpools for their staff and off-hour work schedules.
  • Seek a PR campaign to encourage non-working residents to avoid driving during rush-hour.
  • Support plans to expand our multi-use trail network and review funding opportunities available from the Rails-to-Trails program.
  • Continue to review and refine signal timing for improved traffic flow.

Quality of Life

  • Increase collaboration with our school board and municipalities to define cost saving opportunities and avoid redundancies.
    • Develop a focus group to seek savings by purchasing products and sharing resources between government agencies.
  • Increase attainable housing for all residents so our children can raise their families here.
    • Examine increased density and additional opportunities for live-work and walkable communities in appropriate areas.
    • Collaborate with Manatee Technical College, large employers, and property owners to develop a program to create cost-efficient accessory dwelling units (mother-in-law suites) to incentivize young professionals to return to Manatee County by offering free or low-cost housing as they begin their career. 
  • Collaborate with governments and non-profits to consistently tackle addiction issues for the improvement of our community’s health.
    • Encourage the School Board to return drug education programs to the classroom.
    • Utilize our County’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to track addiction issues so that we can better target assistance in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Strengthen and diversify partnerships that support education to prevent animals from entering our shelters, while actively protecting and marketing available animals to loving homes.
    • Evaluate partnership opportunities between the animal shelters and food bank to provide donated pet food to families who are financially struggling. 
    • Encourage partnerships between after-school programs and shelters to educate children on pet care.
    • Regularly seek grants to fund free spay/neuter programs to low-income areas.
    • Explore animal-inmate rehabilitation programs.
    • Seek partnerships with key groups to offer life-style enhancing pets.
      • Running Clubs
      • Assisted Living Facilities

Economic Development

 

  • Actively promote redevelopment opportunities along our Urban Corridors to reduce blight.
    • Target strategic infrastructure improvements in struggling areas.
  • Work to grow and attract businesses that will increase the average community wage, so all can prosper. 
    • Target blighted areas with proactive code enforcement.
    • Seek the approval of ordinances to eliminate nuisance businesses that overly tax our public resources.
  • Expand access to educational and vocational opportunities for all residents to develop their skills and qualify for better jobs. 
    • Encourage stronger partnerships between our local businesses and Manatee Technical College.
    • Promote easier access to vocational education with satellite centers at large employment centers and in vacant buildings.
  • Create incentives for employers to provide housing and offer transport near work for their employees.
    • Create a program to connect affordable housing developers with major employers in the County.
    • Partner with the Manatee Chamber to establish a focus group to explore and encourage incentive programs.

Public Safety

  • Collaborate with the Sheriff’s office to bring crime prevention equipment to targeted areas to reduce crime.  
    • Foster relationships with manufacturers who may offer donated or discounted equipment.
    • Utilize GIS systems to identify crime patterns.
  • Proactively reach out to neighborhood leaders to strengthen neighborhood watch programs.
    • Offer to host regular training programs in each neighborhood.
    • Create a page on the county’s website with useful downloads of crime prevention tips and neighborhood watch program information.
    • Start a community safety coalition that offers free home vulnerability checks.
  • Reach out to property owners who have multiple rental properties and encourage regular engagement with the Sheriff’s office to reduce crime.
    • Develop a program for regular interaction with landlords to foster community pride between renters and neighborhoods.
    • Strengthen the code enforcement dept for a proactive rather than reactive approach to violations.

Bayshore High Study & Cleanup

  • Aggressively push to include birth defects to the study for data analysis.
  • Fight to include those living near Bayshore High School to the health department study, and not just alumni and employees. 
  • Require an independent analysis of the Riverside Products and Bayshore High School site investigations to ensure the studies went far enough, and if there are any factors that were overlooked.

A Forward-Thinking Plan for South County

Traffic/Flooding

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Quality of Life

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Economic Development

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Bayshore Study/Cleanup

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Public Safety

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