Partnership and collaboration opportunities are integral to the city’s strategic planning priorities and the city’s operations. These opportunities embody how the organizations deliver additional services to the community. While a city government doesn’t necessarily have to provide all services, it is a catalyst for action.

In this vein, the city of Punta Gorda works with numerous public, private and non-profit agencies that provide a wide variety of recreational, cultural, educational, administrative and operational services to the community. These partnerships promote community support and pride within our city and may further increase efficiency, thereby reducing costs. Public-private partnerships involve collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company or volunteer group to complete and enhance projects. From the provision of arts programming through organizations like the Visual Arts Center to recreation through partnerships with Learn to Sail and the YMCA, many partnerships make the community stronger.

One of the many public-private partnerships the city enjoys is with TEAM Punta Gorda. TEAM is a volunteer-driven organization committed to making the greater Punta Gorda area a great place to live, work, and play. TEAM Punta Gorda operates the Free Bike Loaner program in the city. The canary yellow bikes can be found at loaner locations throughout the downtown, including the Four Points Sheraton, Laishley Marina, Springhill Suites, Shorepoint Wellness Center, and usually Fishermen’s Village. Despite the site at Fishermen’s Village being temporarily closed since July for construction, year-end rider totals at 6,250 nearly matched 2019,which was a banner year (and included some 2,000 riders from Fishermen’s Village). This is a wonderful amenity to be able to offer to residents and visitors of the city.

On behalf of TEAM, I’d like to invite you to the 2022 TEAM Community Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association at 2001 Shreve St. in Punta Gorda. This not-be-missed event features TEAM CEO Nancy Johnson discussing current projects and coming events. In addition, Charlotte County Economic Development Director Dave Gammon and I will share valuable insights into the future of our community as we develop together. Also joining me will be Urban Design Director Joan LaBeau, to share upcoming benchmarks for implementing form-based codes and updating the comprehensive plan. I guarantee you will learn something new about our city by attending this event.

The city is grateful and appreciative of all the partnerships established over the years that contribute to making Punta Gorda, Florida’s Harborside Hometown. No matter what the group, public-private partnerships build trust, align incentives, demonstrate transparency and accountability, ensure public interest objectives are being met, and optimize proactive relationships at all levels. Together, we will continue to preserve our small-town character while promoting diversity, economic development, and sustainability.

Readers may reach City Manager Greg Murray at citymgr@cityofpuntagordafl.com or by calling 941-575-3302.

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