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Lee County, Florida

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Lee County is one of 67 counties in Florida. Fort Myers is the county seat.

Lee County's population as of 2009 was estimated to be 586,908. It is one of 20 charter countes in the state. It became a charter county in 1996.[1]

Evaluation of website

Main article: Evaluation of Florida county websites

In 2011 and 2012, Lee County earned a Sunny Awards for having a perfect website transparency score.

Grade2.pngB
Budget
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Meetings
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Elected Officials
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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
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Transparency grading process


This website was most recently evaluated on an unknown date.

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 4 years.[2]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[3]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address and phone number.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[4]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 23 years.[5]
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 10 years.[6]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[7]
    • Meeting videos are available.
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2005 are available.[8]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[9]
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[10]
  • Public Records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by a list of contacts. These people provide a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[11]
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[12]
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[13]
  • Lobbying
    • County discloses that it hires lobbyists.[14]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.[15]
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[16]

The bad

  • Lobbying
    • Total cost of lobbying activities or membership dues is not available.
  • Administrative Officials
    • Officials do not have personalized email addresses provided.

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.

Lee County passed the audit with only minor missteps.[17] "Lee County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Larry King said one of the reasons the agency’s public information office graded so well is because of the experience on the staff."[18]

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

Lobbying

Main article: Florida government sector lobbying

Lee County has reported $690,000 spent on lobbying since 2004 (see table). Lee County has paid for lobbying services from Van Scoyoc Associates[19], Michael Sauls[20], and Dudinsky, Lisker, and Associates[21].

Reported lobbying expenditures, 2004-2010[22]
Year Amount spent on lobbying
2010 $130,000
2009 $120,000
2008 $120,000
2007 $80,000
2006 $60,000
2005 -
2004 $160,000

Audits

For Lee County, the clerk or comptroller performs the internal audits.[23]

External links

References