Communication the theme at town hall

ENGLEWOOD — Helene Gomulka asked about the out-of-date phone numbers provided by Charlotte County for red tide updates and signs posted at area beaches that are routed to a disconnected number.

Bruce Pomeroy said the 211 phone service in Charlotte County doesn’t work when you call from Englewood.

Lou Henyecz said it was difficult to develop businesses in Charlotte County, and more should be done to encourage development.

Charlotte County Commissioner Bill Truex arranged and moderated a town hall meeting Wednesday night at the Tringali Center. He was joined by Commissioners Ken Doherty and Stephen R. Deutsch. They discussed an array of projects, including the Tom Adams Bridge, Placida Road, Winchester Boulevard, Gasparilla Road, Interstate 75, State Road 776, River Road and Stump Pass. Then they opened up the session to questions and answers.

About 30 people attended, and they wanted to talk about things other than construction projects, like the need for improved communication between the county and its residents.

The primary concern for residents at the meeting was a lack of efficient communications from the county.

Deutsch said the commission is working on “streamlining the process” of attracting new development to Charlotte County. Doherty added that, as an engineer, he feels the state does not have a good reputation for development.    Deutsch also promised to “look into” improving efficiency of the 211 service.    He discussed at length the upkeep of Stump Pass, saying the biggest stumbling block was getting cooperation from the state.

Commissioners discussed the cooperative River Road project with Sarasota County.

“We feel River Road is important,” Deutsch said. “The road is falling apart.”

Doherty said there needs to be a quantitative funding schedule for the project.

“We’re still working to get River Road done with Sarasota County commissioners,” Truex said.

Mote Marine Laboratory operates a Beach Conditions Report hotline. Sarasota County is included in its list of beaches monitored for red tide. Charlotte County is not. For more information, call the hotline at 941-232-2437.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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