+ Rick Scott makes surprise appearance in Lakewood Ranch
Florida Gov. Rick Scott made an unannounced appearance May 16, in Lakewood Ranch.
Scott met privately with Republican supporters at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Lakewood Ranch.
Then, he attended a sponsorship event at the Longboat Key Club, the day before the 17th annual Phil Galvano Golf Classic, a fundraiser for the Manatee Education Foundation. There, he ate an exclusive lunch and enjoyed a private round of golf with Sen. Bill Galvano, who put on the event.
Neither event was publicized on Scott’s official agenda or open to the media. Because they are non-official duties, they do not have to be disclosed to the public.
+ Rowing advocates seek more public funding
The Tourism Development Council recommended unanimously May 15, that the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners approve another $3.25 million in spending to bring the 2017 World Rowing Championships to Nathan Benderson Park.
Manatee and Sarasota counties, as part of a public-private partnership, are backing a preliminary bid package SunCoast Aquatic Nature Center Association — a non-profit group made of local tourism, government and other officials — submitted in February.
At that time, Manatee commissioners approved spending $1,104,740 in tourist-development funds for the bid. Those funds consist of bed taxes paid from visitors. The county has said it will not spend property tax dollars.
Over the same period, through 2017, Sarasota County will pay $1,159,740.
The Tourist Development Council also asked Sarasota County to commit an additional $3.25 million to the bid.
Manatee County’s additional money would come from the tourist-development tax collected from visitors staying at hotels, said Nick Azzara, Manatee County information outreach coordinator.
Manatee commissioners will vote June 4, on committing the extra $3.25 million.
The final bid packet will be submitted to the Swiss-based International Federation of Rowing Associations, or FISA, June 30.
The state Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott approved $5 million dedicated to the rowing facility.
Meetings & Agendas
• Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Land-use Meeting — 9 a.m. May 30, at 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton