Supporting Small Counties
This morning, I had the opportunity to visit with the Florida Small County Coalition and many longtime friends. The Coalition is made up of the state’s small, rural counties which coalesce around similar challenges that need attention from state government. The Coalition has a sister organization called the Small School District Council Consortium because school districts in rural areas often grapple with challenges that come from a one size fits all approach. Infrastructure, workforce development, and economic development are key issues often cited by these groups. And rightly so. Liberty County – one of the state’s smallest in population – can hardly be compared to Broward County. Different needs, different challenges.
So it is critical that Tallahassee respond accordingly, each and every time policy and budget considerations are made. In fact, that’s one of the primary themes in the Rural Vision that I outlined earlier this year.
I represent several rural counties – in addition to living and working in one – and I know their challenges firsthand. As Commissioner, I aim to be Rural Florida’s Champion-In-Chief. I believe we have opportunities to leverage the expertise and infrastructure of the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to engage all Floridians, and offer targeted support to our rural communities. Be sure to read my Vision for Rural Florida here.