Sumter County, Florida

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Sumter County is one of 67 counties in Florida. Bushnell is the county seat. As of the 2000 Census, the population was 53,345. The 2010 Census estimate put the county's population at 93,420 and the Bureau of Economic and Business Research of the University of Florida estimated the 2012 population at 100,198, an 87.8 percent change since 2000.[1][2] The Villages, an unincorporated community, is its most populous location. The Villages Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Sumter County.

County commission

The Board of Sumter County Commissioners is the legislative and governing body of the county. Sumter County is a Constitutional County, meaning that authority to operate is derived directly from the Constitution of the State of Florida and not from a locally adopted charter.[3]

Commissioner duties[3]

Chapter 125 of the Florida Statutes establishes numerous specific duties, such as:

  • Adopting ordinances and resolutions, which establish policies and programs to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the county
  • Adopting an operating budget for the functions of the county government
  • Appointing the County Administrator to carry out executive responsibilities

There are five single member District Commissioners, each elected from one of five geographic areas of the county. Each commissioner must reside in the district he represents. The Commissioners are elected at large.[3]

Commission terms are four years. The terms of Districts 2 and 4 are staggered with the terms of Districts 1, 3, and 5. The Board selects a Chairman from among the members, a Vice-Chairman and 2nd Vice-Chairman who presides over the Board in the absence of the Chairman.[3]

County administrator

The County Administrator serves as the Chief Administrative Officer through an appointment by the Board of County Commissioners. Bradley Arnold is the current County Administrator.[4]

The County Administrator is responsible for the supervision of the operations of:[4]

  • Community Services
  • Economic Development
  • Emergency Management
  • Fire and EMS Services
  • Development Services
  • Public Works
  • Support Services

It is also the duty of the County Administrator to carry out the policies and directives of the Board of County Commissioners and manage the annual operating budget.

Budget

2012-13

The total budget for 2012-13 was $157,950,632.[5]

Ad Valorem Taxes
Fiscal Year 2012-2013
General Fund 6.10668
County Transportation Trust Fund 0.14071
Health Trust Fund 0.10261
Total 6.3500

Audits

For Sumter County, the Clerk of Circuit Court is responsible for financial audits.[6]

Lobbying

Lobbying is the attempt to persuade another person to accept your position, including all attempts to influence elected officials who create laws and set policies by other legislators, constituents or organized groups.

Lobbying at the state level involves attempts to influence state legislators, governors, and state agencies. Local lobbying is aimed at local officials. Local units of government often do their lobbying through government sector lobbying associations. Lobbying at the federal level involves trying to influence Congress, the president, or federal agencies.

The following is a listing of associations lobby for Sumter County, directly or indirectly, through contracts and memberships.[7]

  • American Planning Association, Florida Chapter
  • American Probation and Parole Association
  • Building Officials Association of Florida
  • Capitol Solutions, LLC
  • Florida Animal Control Association
  • Florida Association of Community Corrections
  • Florida Association of Coordinated Transportation Systems (FACTS)
  • Florida Association of Counties
  • Florida County Veteran Services Officers Association
  • Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association
  • Florida Government Finance Officers Association
  • Florida Housing Coalition
  • Florida Library Association
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • International Code Council
  • National Animal Control Association
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
  • National Fire Protection Association
  • Society for Human Resource Management

Sumter County reported spending approximately $600,000 on direct lobbying of the state government between 2003 and 2012 (see table). The various organizations conducting indirect lobbying efforts for the county are paid on a per member basis and costs varies year by year. Dues and membership fees can be found in the annual budget for each department under the account object code "5400."[5]

Reported Lobbying Expenditures
Year Amount Spent
2012 $66,655
2011 $66,655
2010 $66,655
2009 $66,655
2008 $66,655
2007 $66,655
2006 $50,000
2005 $50,000
2004 $50,000
2003 $50,000

Website evaluation

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Transparency grading process


This website was last evaluated in March 2014.

In 2012, Sumter County earned a Sunny Award for having a perfect website transparency score.

The good

  • The budget for the current fiscal year is available, as are budgets for past fiscal years.[8]
  • Meeting agendas and minutes are available. Audio recordings of meetings are also available.[9]
  • Contact information, including email addresses, is available for elected officials.[10]
  • Contact information is available for administrative officials and staff.[11]
  • Zoning ordinances are available, and permit applicants can be downloaded from the site.[12][13]
  • Audit statements dating back to 2004-2005 are available.[14]
  • Contract, bid, and RFP information is available. Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[15]
  • The county discloses its relationships with lobbying associations.[7]
  • Information pertaining to the public records request process is available.[16]
  • Tax information is available through the tax collector's website.[17]

External links

References