Florida League of Cities Lobbies Congress on Stimulus Money, Transportation

By Blum, Alisa | Nation's Cities Weekly, March 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

Florida League of Cities Lobbies Congress on Stimulus Money, Transportation


Blum, Alisa, Nation's Cities Weekly


Twenty-nine local officials from Florida came to Washington, D.C., last week to lobby Congress on NLC legislative priorities and let their elected representatives understand how these issues impact their constituents and their communities.

Led by Florida League of Cities President Dr. Carmine Priore, vice mayor of Wellington, the Florida League of Cities Federal Action Strike Team (FAST) took to Congress messages on economic recovery efforts, the state of homing and foreclosures in Florida's cities and towns and surface transportation authorization.

The local leaders of Florida's cities, towns and villages kicked off each meeting by thanking members of Congress for passing an economic recovery bill with an emphasis on investment in strengthening the nation's infrastructure. They expressed their hope that these stimulus dollars will filter dawn to the municipal level so that much-needed infrastructure projects can begin. They also said cities are committed to partnering with federal and state leaders to find innovative solutions to help citizens and provide the high quality of life they deserve.

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"Just because you vote no, doesn't mean you don't get the money," assured Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). "We will fight like tigers for us to get our share."

Florida league members stressed the importance of getting these infrastructure dollars down to cities of all sizes, and expressed concern that stimulus funds would be used to plug holes in the state's budgets.

"I am very concerned with the funneling down of stimulus money from state to county to city. All cities are fighting for themselves. The large cities have more resources and a stronger voice. The small cities don't even have a seat at the table" said Manny Marono, mayor of Sweetwater.

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Ha.) offered his thoughts on oversight, claiming, "That's a lot of money to be out there all at once," and urged Florida's local leaders to "tell the President to make sure accountability is paramount. …

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