The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange (GCBX) supports a strong business environment and a strong community. This means more than just quality jobs/careers or retention of businesses. While those issues are hugely important and we support the local EDC’s and their leaders, Sharon Hillstrom with the Bradenton Area EDC, Mel Thomas the Economic Development Director in North Port and warmly welcome the leadership of Lisa Krouse with the Sarasota EDC, we know that their jobs depend on a quality community and quality educational system to attract and retain businesses in the region.
Sometimes with so much in the news these days, its important not to overlook important local issues that help produce a quality educational system and quality community. One of these critical issues is the referendum for Manatee County Schools that will appear on the ballot this November 2021. On March 20, 2018, the School Board of Manatee County asked voters to approve a 1-mill referendum in a special election. A majority of Manatee County voters approved the measure which provided approximately $37 million per year for school district operational needs. Continuing the existing millage for funding of Manatee County Schools is important to ensure a quality educational system for students and ultimately the community. While the continuation of the millage over the years has shown the support the community has for Manatee County Schools, I suggest we have an even greater appreciation for the school system throughout this pandemic. We have seen firsthand how important it is for students to receive a quality education and how important the school system is for society as a whole and for working parents. At GCBX we support continuation of this funding for Manatee County Schools and urge you to vote YES to continue this funding for Manatee County Schools.
Then once you have voted YES for Manatee County Schools, this item will be on the Sarasota County ballot in March of 2022. Again, for all the reasons stated above, lets ensure that students get the quality education they deserve and the community has the quality educational system that will help attract businesses that provide high wage/high skill careers to the region now and in the future.
Then we implore you to focus on the Surtax Referendum in Sarasota County in November of 2022. There will be a lot of election chatter in 2022 with Congressional races and other races on the ballot, so this referendum which directly effects the quality of life in Sarasota County may be easy to miss, but please don’t! We have all seen the signs over the past 15 years showing the quality projects funded through this 1 CENT added to our local sales tax, a healthy portion of it paid by tourists to the area, has done for our community. As someone who has been a resident of the community since 1979, I have always looked with curiosity and frankly a sense of excitement when I would see these signs and the projects which are improving our quality of life. At GCBX we proudly support the Surtax Referendum and urge you to vote YES. On this particular issue, we urge you to go one step further and participate in the ongoing meetings taking place around the County as they develop the list of projects that will be funded by the Referendum. This is a real opportunity to have your voice heard and have an impact on the quality of life in Sarasota County. Go to scgov.net to learn more about where these meetings are taking place and how you can get involved.
At GCBX we are Proud to Build hospitals, libraries, fire stations and the businesses where you work as well other commercial spaces you visit regularly. We are proud of our mission of Members Doing Business with Members to strengthen the local economy!