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Lake County, Florida

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Lake County is one of 67 counties in Florida. Tavares is the county seat.

Lake County's population was estimated to be 312,119 in 2009.[1]

Evaluation of website

Main article: Evaluation of Florida county websites

Last rated on Feb 28th, 2013

Grade2.pngB-
Budget
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Meetings
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Elected Officials P
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Administrative Officials P
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Permits, zoning
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Audits
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Contracts
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Lobbying P
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Public records
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Local taxes P
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County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process


The good

  • Budget
  • Meetings
    • County board meeting agendas and minutes are available.[3]
    • Meeting dates are posted on the calendar.[4]
  • Elected Officials
    • County commissioners are listed with phone numbers.[5]
  • Administration
    • Administrative official (County Manager) is listed, and a physical address is provided.[6]
  • Permits and Zoning
    • Building permits are posted. [7]
    • Zoning information is available.[8]
  • Audits
    • Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports from 1999-2011 are available.[9]
  • Contracts
    • Awarded bids and contracts are available online.[10]
  • Public Records
  • Lobbying
    • Lists lobbyist registration from November 2012-January 2013; these records include lobbyist's client and address, and the topic the lobbyist wanted to discuss.[13]
  • Taxes
    • Some tax information is available (millage rates, discount rates and deadlines, real estate and personal property taxes); citizens are able to pay taxes online. Some information on revenue can be found in audits.[14]

The bad

  • Administration
    • County Manager has no phone number or personal email listed.
  • Elected Officials
    • Commissioners have no personal emails listed
  • Lobbying
  • Taxes
    • It is not clear if tax revenues are available

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.

Lake County did not fare well, with no agencies able to immediately able to hand over requested emails. However, the Sheriff's Office and county administrator's office eventually complied after giving specific dates they would meet to provide the records.

Lake's school district did not meet the request. An official there asked for identification from the requesting party, along with a written request and signature of intent, providing no promise of any records. Lake County school superintendent Susan Moxley showed some concern. "I want to go back and research how we're doing business," she said. "I want to do my homework and my research on how we're currently handling requests if we're not in compliance. Obviously, we'll make whatever adjustments are necessary."[15]

See also public record requests meet with confusion in central Florida.

Lobbying

Main article: Florida government sector lobbying

Lake County has reported more than $180,000 spent on lobbying between since 2002(see table). Lake County pays for services of the lobbying firm Alcade & Fay.[16] and CML Consulting Services.[17]

Reported lobbying expenditures, 2002-2010[18]
Year Amount spent on lobbying
2010 $10,000
2009 $10,000
2008 $40,000
2007 $40,000
2006 $40,000
2005 $40,000
2004 Less than $10,000
2003 Less than $10,000
2002 Less than $10,000

Audits

For Lake County, the clerk or comptroller performs the internal audits.[19]

External links

References