With Manatee County starting to receive the additional revenue from the half-cent infrastructure sales tax, 17 residents are hoping to be watchdogs to make sure the county spends the revenue properly.
The county has received 17 applications for the seven seats on the Citizens Oversight Committee for the Infrastructure Sales Tax, which was passed by voters on Nov. 8.
Nick Azzara, the county’s spokesman, said the applications have yet to be reviewed for eligibility, and the eligible applications should go before the county commission at an upcoming meeting.
The applications received are from Matthew Bower, Timothy Collins, Richard Conard, Dennis Fierle, Glen Gibellina, Garin Hoover, Lisa Hymel, Melton Little, Norm Luppino, Michael Meehan, William Moran, Justin Norwood, Barbarann Montone-Roberts, Charles Slater, Christopher White, Cathy Woolley and David Zaccagnino.
“The committee will meet periodically to prepare an annual report to the Board of County Commissioners which reviews expenditures of the half-cent sales tax,” according to a news release sent last year.
Four of the initial members will serve three-year terms while the remaining three will serve two-year terms.
“Thereafter, all members will serve two-year terms,” the release states. “Qualified applicants must reside in unincorporated areas of Manatee County.”
County officials estimated the sales tax, which will be in effect for 15 years, will generate $30 million a year, with about $5 million allocated for the cities. The sales tax should generate enough to address transportation, public safety and parks and community amenity needs as the county faces a deficit come 2018.