Safe streets summit tackles regional safety issues

The fourth annual Gulf Coast Safe Streets Summit scheduled for Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 2-4, is going hybrid and it’s free.

The Sun Coast Transportation Planning Alliance (SCTPA) is bringing together industry leaders, elected officials, policymakers, planners, businesses, nonprofits and residents to encourage safety and accessibility for everyone in our region, providing an opportunity for education, partnership and collaboration.

The free summit will include an array of virtual speakers, panels, presentations and networking events, as well as in-person mobile tours and events held throughout the region.

Local elected leaders, agencies, community groups, developers and interested media are invited to register at

“This event is a great opportunity to learn more about safety efforts in the region, lessons learned from elsewhere and to explore how we can continue to work together to make our community safer for everyone,” said Forward Pinellas SCTPA representative and Petersburg Councilmember Brandi Gabbard.

The summit covers topics including safety education, designing for safety, new technology and initiatives that can help us get to zero deaths on roadways. In-Person mobile tours will include a Vision Zero showcase, Courtney Campbell Causeway bike ride and a neighborhood walking tour.

COVID protocols will be in place per CDC guidelines and capacity is limited for in-person events. There will also be on-your-own mobile tours available.

The Sun Coast Transportation Planning Alliance works as a region to prepare plans, studies and priorities for regionally significant projects; review the impact of significant land-use decisions; share current travel data and trends; and adopt regional transportation plans and priorities for highway, public transportation and multi-use trail improvements.

As the region stands to see continued growth in population, economy and travel, the SCTPA will provide sound, forward-thinking transit and transportation options to support this growth and a sustainable future for our region.

To learn more about the Summit and to register, visit

Tax collector helping to keep families together

Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas and his offices are teaming up with local nonprofit, Suncoast Voices for Children, throughout September to help keep families together.

While Pinellas County has many wonderful attributes, one statistic is particularly startling – it and neighboring Pasco County has the highest number of children in foster care throughout Florida.

This month, Pinellas Tax Collector Offices are raising funds and collecting donations to help Suncoast Voices for Children continue to fulfill their mission of helping local children stay with close family members in times of turmoil instead of being placed in foster care while also attempting to help the affected children maintain a "normal" childhood.

Located inside the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Protection Division, the organization works closely with the agency to support families who have taken in nieces, nephews and grandchildren to prevent them from going into foster care. The organization accomplishes this in a variety of ways including providing critical supplies to family members and funding for activities, hobbies, and skill development.

Since 2004, Suncoast Voices for Children has raised over 2.5 million dollars for local families and children.

Customers visiting a tax collector's office during September can support the cause during their appointment by bringing in an item to donate or by giving a monetary donation at

The offices will be accepting donations of diapers, baby wipes, infant formula (Enfamil brand), and school supplies (backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.). Tax collector customers who choose to give a monetary donation in an office will be offered a keychain for a one-time donation and a backpack if they sign up as a recurring donor. All donations will be used to support local families who have taken in a child relative in need.

If you would like to donate diapers, wipes, or any of the other items listed above and do not have an appointment this month, you may drop them off at your local tax collector's office. To make a monetary donation now or for more information about Suncoast Voices for Children, visit

Suncoast Health Council vacancy announced

Pinellas County is now accepting applications to fill one vacancy on the Suncoast Health Council for a Health Care Purchaser. This vacancy represents a current two-year term set to expire March 31, 2023.

This position will be eligible for reappointment at the completion of the current term. Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. The application can be found at

The Suncoast Health Council board is comprised of 12 members; eight members are appointed by the Pinellas County Commission and four members are appointed by the Pasco County Commission.

Suncoast Health Council is an independent, private nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors to represent the concerns of health care consumers, providers and purchasers in Pinellas and Pasco counties.

The Health Council collects and analyzes health care data; describes community health status; identifies health care needs and resources; and works with community partners to design programs and services to respond to current and emerging health care needs.

The board is made up of consumers, providers and purchasers of health care. Members are appointed to specific member categories: Health Care Provider, Health Care Consumer and Health Care Purchaser.

A Health Care Purchaser is defined as an individual licensed to provide or who provides health care services to individuals and/or groups, such as insurance executives. A Purchaser may also purchase health care services on behalf of others, provided they don’t also provide direct medical care. Examples include human resource managers and business owners purchasing health coverage for employees.

Meetings are held the third Wednesday of alternating months, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., in the Madison Building, 9600 Koger Blvd., St. Petersburg. To learn more about the Suncoast Health Council, visit

The County Commission will review all applications and make its selection at an upcoming meeting.

Note: All materials submitted to Pinellas County government are subject to the public records law of the state of Florida.

Vacancies announced on Educational Facilities Authority Board

Pinellas County is now accepting applications for two appointments on the Pinellas County Educational Facilities Authority. Each appointment will serve a five-year term.

Applications are due by 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17. The application can be found at

The Educational Facilities Authority was created pursuant to Chapter 243, Part I, Florida Statutes, and assists fully accredited institutions of higher education and other educational providers with “projects” as defined in Chapter 159, Part II, Florida Statutes, by providing an additional means to finance facilities and structures.

The authority issues bonds to make loans for the costs of projects, with the institution receiving the loan responsible for repayment and for cost of administration. Bond issues for educational facility financings are projects approved by the Pinellas County Commission. The Commission appoints five members, including one member who must be a trustee, director, officer or employee of an institution of higher education, for five-year terms.

Meetings are scheduled monthly and are normally held at the St. Petersburg College in the EpiCenter, Room 1-200; 13805 58th St. N., Clearwater. Meetings are usually on the third Thursday at 4 p.m. and are canceled when there is no business to consider.

Note: All materials submitted to Pinellas County government are subject to the public records law of the state of Florida.