The centennial anniversary of the creation of Charlotte County is April 23, 2021. Staff will present a plan for centennial events and coordination with community groups organizing commemorative activities to the County Commission during its Tuesday meeting.

On April 23, 1921, Gov. Cory A. Hardee signed a bill dividing DeSoto County into five counties, Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee and Highlands. The county was named for Charlotte Harbor, after the name was picked by a majority of people who responded to a poll conducted by the Punta Gorda Herald.

Staff will present conceptual plans for a year-long series of centennial-themed events, along with a plan to help organizations promote and coordinate their activities through the creation of a centralized calendar, a website and a series of update meetings beginning next month. The board will be asked to provide input on the creation of a centennial logo that will be used to brand events, commemorative items and communications.

The public is invited to attend the meeting to provide input.

Counties conferenceSeveral commissioners and staff are in Orlando this week attending the Florida Association of Counties annual conference. The conference offers many opportunities for public officials to network with peers about common challenges, including technology, managing crisis, infrastructure safety, cyber security, water policy, public works and the 2020 Census.

Professional organizations for county managers, attorneys and engineers piggyback on the FAC conference to hold their annual gatherings to provide continuing education courses, workshops and award presentations. Communications officers from around the state are convening to explore the potential for increased collaboration.

Harbor BoulevardPeople traveling along Harbor Boulevard will encounter some lane closures this week as crews work on decorative crosswalks. The job is the finishing touch on the improvement project, which is part of the Parkside Community Redevelopment Agency citizens master plan.

Funding for the work was provided by the County Commission as part of a $9 million loan to the CRA to jumpstart revitalization of the community bordered by U.S. 41, Midway Boulevard, and the Fordham and Morningstar waterways. The 1,100-acre area has served as a commercial, residential and cultural center for more than 50 years. The district is home to approximately 8,000 residents, 800 businesses (including two of the county’s three major hospitals, a shopping mall, and a large automobile dealership) and many medical, financial, office, institutional and commercial retail businesses.

For information about Harbor Boulevard and the CRA, visit CharlotteCountyFL.gov and click Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs).

Tourism marketingCharlotte County Tourism staff (Wendie Vestfall and Chip Futch) attended the Destinations Florida Marketing Summit May 22-24 at Hutchinson Shores Resort in Jensen Beach. CEOs and CMOs from DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations) across the state attended. Break-out sessions on various marketing and industry operations were held, in addition to keynotes and legislative update from the association’s lobbyist, Matt Forrest.

Ray Sandrock is the Charlotte County administrator. Readers may reach him at Raymond.Sandrock@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

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