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Collier County, Florida

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Collier County is one of 67 counties in Florida. Naples is the county seat.

Collier County's population was estimated at 318,537 as of 2009.[1] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Collier County was growing at a rate of 26.7% since the 2000 Census, while Florida as a whole grew at a rate of 16%.

Evaluation of website

Main article: Evaluation of Florida county websites

This website was most recently reviewed April 1, 2013.

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Transparency grading process


The good

  • Elected Officials
    • County commissioners are listed with contact information.[2]
  • Meetings
    • Meetings are posted on the calendar.[3] and can be viewed online.[4]
    • Meeting agendas are also available[5]
  • Administration
    • Contact information for county administration is posted.[6]
  • Budget
    • Current budget is available.[7]
    • Budgets are archived to 2003.
  • Audit
    • Most recent audit is posted.[8]
    • Audits are archived to 2000.
  • Taxes
    • Local tax information is available.[9]
  • Contracts
    • Open bids are posted.[10]
    • Awarded contracts are posted with details.[11].
  • Permits and Zoning
    • Building permits are available[12]
    • Zoning information is posted.[13]
  • Public Records

The bad

Lobbying

Main article: Florida government sector lobbying

Collier County has reported $620,000 spent on lobbying since 2005 (see table). Collier County has been represented by the Ferguson Group at the federal level.[15]

Reported lobbying expenditures, 2005-2010[16]
Year Amount spent on lobbying
2010 $120,000
2009 $120,000
2008 $120,000
2007 $120,000
2006 $100,000
2005 $40,000

Public Records

In late 2008 reporters organized by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors requested the most recent budget emails from central Florida county officials in order to audit the responses.

In Collier County the Sheriff's office failed to comply with the requests for records received during the audit. Collier Sheriff Don Hunter denied failing the audit, saying "I have 20 years of experience." He demanded that the request for records be made in writing, which the law does not require, and tracked down the requestor's phone number to make multiple probes into why she was making the request. Hunter stated that he doesn’t consider calling members of the public intimidating, rather that "I consider that being a proper steward of public dollars."[17]

Collier schools and the county government each passed the audit.

However, when a private citizen requested e-mails from Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) in spring 2009, the communication specialist, Ryan Schwartz, reported to the citizen that the e-mails were obtained by asking their senders and recipients to print them off themselves, giving these individuals the opportunity to supress improper communications. When pressed about the method used to obtain the e-mails, Schwartz expressed that it was not a good system and going directly to the server would be better.

Audits

For Collier County, the clerk or comptroller performs internal audits.[18]

Unemployment rate

The county has seen a large spike in unemployment due to the recession, losing 6 percent of its workforce in the first quarter of 2010, the highest in the nation.[19]

See also

External links


References