Sarasota, Manatee Officials Visit With the White House

Government

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY OCT 21, 2019

Elected officials from Sarasota and Manatee County visited with officials in the White House last week. It was part of an effort by President Donald Trump’s administration to better connect the local and federal government.

“The biggest thing is just developing relationships and partnerships between the White House and local communities,” said Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler. Speaking to officials in the administration about funding for wastewater improvements and for River Road were top priorities for Ziegler on the trip.

Similarly, Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh said she found a welcome voice to discuss water issues in Florida. “There is good strong support from the White House on water quality, i. e. red tide, blue green algae, etc.,” she said. “The President is very concerned about this.  Also, there was discussion about septic to sewer grants and how this might be helpful as well.”

Baugh, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority, discussed Port Manatee in Palmetto and the need for infrastructure improvements, something that will tie in to international commerce.

About 200 local government officials from Florida, Georgia and Alabama attended the event last week, including Sarasota commissioners Ziegler, Nancy Detert and Charles Hines and Manatee commissioners Baugh, Betsy Benac and Misty Servia. While all the local officials were Republicans, Ziegler said it was a bipartisan event focused on government, not politics.

But he said the nuts and bolts work of government would be important for both local officials and Trump.  “Going into 2020, I think this is what really makes a difference,” said Ziegler, also vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida. “The president is at work and focused on results.”

Photo courtesy Christian Ziegler: Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler speaks in front of White House.

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