The Legislature Addresses Affordable and Workforce Housing Wellington Meffert, General Counsel Florida Housing Finance Corporation

Wellington Meffert
General Councel
Florida Housing Finance Corporation

The confluence of events in Florida over the past few years - a hot housing market, tight supplies of skilled construction trades and materials, combined with six hurricanes in two years, have created a "perfect storm" in housing, dramatically widening the gap between family incomes and the sales price of a single family home. The result is that essential service persons, the backbone of every community, can no longer afford to live in many of the communities they serve. Florida Legislature, recognizing that fundamental need, passed House Bill 1363 in the 2006 legislative session without a dissenting vote. Each city and county is required to inventory land and determine what parcels are suitable for affordable housing, and prescribes how such properties may be developed or disposed of to provide for affordable housing. The bill makes a far-reaching series of changes affecting Florida Housing Finance Corporation programs, affecting families from extremely low income ("ELI") - defined in the bill as 30% or less of Area Median Income ("AMI"), up to those with incomes of 140% or less of AMI. Read the entire article . . .


Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition Consistent Practice of Risk Management Principles Equals Success

Public Risk Underwriters® Safety and Risk Management Team

In our many travels throughout the state as safety & risk management consultants for Public Risk Underwriters, we have been fortunate to meet some of risk management’s best and brightest professionals. Recently, one risk manager in particular caught our attention with his gregarious, no nonsense and forceful personality; Jay Baum, with the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition. To say Jay likes his job, is a significant understatement of fact. Jay LOVES his job! This is readily apparent in the energy he exudes and the cheerful, pleasant people who surround and support him. Jay’s “no nonsense” leadership and the enthusiasm he brings to work are evident in the success of his loss prevention program. He has employed many time-proven loss prevention methods as well as developed unique approaches to the myriad of exposures the Fair is regularly subjected to. Read Entire Article. . .



Public Risk Underwriters Announces New Profit Center Leader

Mr. Bill Kelly

Early this summer, Mr. Bill Kelly joined Public Risk Underwriters and Brown & Brown, Inc. as the new team leader. Read more . . .

Preferred Governmental Claim Solutions Welcomes Mandy Vatter

Mandy Vatter

Responding to the ever increasing needs of its clients, PGCS is pleased to announce that Mandy Vatter has joined the company in the newly created role of Director of Client Services. Read more . . .


Hurricane Preparedness: Getting the Word Out

Mari Smith
Leisure Services
Dede Rector
Leisure Services

Besides the input from departments city-wide, other resources vital in the compilation of information include: FEMA, Red Cross of Central Florida, the Senior Resource Alliance, Orange County Emergency Management, Florida State Department of Elder Affairs and the Osceola County 2006 Hurricane Handbook.

Besides the input from departments city-wide, other resources vital in the compilation of information include:

FEMA, Red Cross of Central Florida, the Senior Resource Alliance, Orange County Emergency Management, Florida State Department of Elder Affairs and the Osceola County 2006 Hurricane Handbook. Read Entire Article...

Training Citrus County Government Drivers to be Defensive on the Roadways

Teresa Caldwell
Director of Training

During the months of May and June, Citrus County presented a 2.5 hour “defensive driver safety course” for employees who operate a County motor vehicle, and for those employees who use their personally owned vehicle while on County business. The program presenters were Bud Stanley, President of Auto Control, and Ben Jilek, defense counsel from the Tampa law firm of Fowler, White, Boggs, Banker, as well as Citrus County’s staff attorney, Michele Lieberman.

The County’s Risk Manager, Bill Bryan, and I worked closely with the team at Public Risk Underwriters® to ensure an effective program presentation. As the Director of Training, I was very excited to bring this program to our employees and considered this instruction to have been a tremendous success. Attendance exceeded 400 County employees, plus invited guests from the City of Bushnell. Read Entire Article. . .

2006-2007 Renewal Meetings

Throughout the month of July, PGIT's administrator, Public Risk Underwriters®, hosted renewal meetings across the state. Some of the topics presented were the latest trends in the insurance market, the advantages and benefits of being a member of the Trust, and a special presentation on hurricane preparedness. Read the entire article. . .

Associate in Risk Management Class and Exam
December 5-8 2006

It is not too late to register for the ARM-56 tutorial class and exam! If your public entity is a member of PGIT®, a Public Risk Underwriters® client, or you are a previous class participant you are eligible to sign up.
Read the entire article. . .

Attention Members: We Want You to Publish Your Success

Share your best practices, risk management expertise, and your entity's success stories in the next Preferred Info newsletter. Let us celebrate the accomplishments of your entity and employees in our next newsletter.
Read the entire article. . .


A word from PGIT Board of Trustees Chair, Ed Wolf. . .

One of the objectives for our newsletter is t oprovide a forum for members of the Trust to share successful ways of tackling risk management challanges. This issue of Preferred Info offers expanded "In the Spotlight" section providing four such examples. These public entities may serve different purposes than your own but the ideas and methods employed are applicable to any governmental agency.

The continued explosion of growth and development in our state is creating an overwhelming demand for public services. The challange, of course, is responding to these needs while maintaining reasonable tax rates and service fees. Spreading exponentially are areas of the state where the cost of living far exceeds the pay scales of the public agencies serving the residents. Read the entire article. . .



Sport Utility Vehicles With ABS Brakes

Bud Stanley
Auto Control Graduate School of Driving

There has been a lot of press coverage and public concern about SUV/truck style vehicles and their roll over potential. Departments of all kinds still find SUV/trucks to be very pratical vehicles for their needs. There are different characteristics to recognize about these truck-based vehicles and some driving techniques can make them safer. For this article we will refer to the whole group as "trucks". Read entire article. . .

Workers' Compensation Attorney's Fee Update

George A. Helm III, Esquire
Public Entity Legal Solutions

Back in the winter 2004-2005 issue of PGIT 411 I wrote an article which discussed the October 1, 2003 changes to Section 440.34(1), Florida Statutes. The 2003 Florida Legislature eliminated the criteria set forth in subparagraphs (a – f) of Section 440.34(1), Florida Statutes, and thus, drastically changed the attorney’s fee statute. Section 440.34(1) now allows only for a guideline contingent attorney’s fee and only a very limited hourly based attorney’s fee, subject to a $1,500 limit per accident. We now have some judicial interpretation of the new statute.

In Wood v Florida Rock Industries, the First District Court of Appeal held Section 440.34(1) clearly and unambiguously prohibited a Judge of Compensation Claims from awarding a fee greater than that provided by the statute. However, in Wood, the claimant did not argue Section 440.34(1) was unconstitutional. As a result, the First District Court refused to address the constitutionality issue.
Read the entire article . . .

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