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Alumni Spotlight: Andrew Ketchel, MPA `12, Named as Rising Star by St. Petersblog

via Saint Petersblog

Andrew Ketchel, Political Science `10, MPA `12, was named as a 30 under 30 rising star in Florida politics by the St. Petersblog. Ketchel is deputy legislative affairs director for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and has previously worked for U.S. Senator George LeMieux and Governor Rick Scott. Read more >>


Sunshine State Survey: Public lacks information on amendments, rates state badly for health care for seniors

via Tampa Bay Times

A majority of Floridians believe the passage of a constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana will lead to recreational use, according to the latest report from the Sunshine State Survey. But most of those surveyed said they didn't get enough information about proposed amendments or only heard one side.

The survey, administered by the University of South Florida School of Public Affairs and Nielsen, also offers Floridians' views on health care, race relations, elections and transportation. Read more >>


Sunshine State Survey finds Floridians concerned about environment and crime

via Tampa Bay Times

Feeling safe in public places and concern about the environment are two critical concerns for Floridians, according to a new Sunshine State Survey on guns and the environment, administered by the University of South Florida and the A. C. Nielsen Company.

"It's clear that Floridians are increasingly worried about security in public places," said Susan MacManus, the survey director and professor at USF's College of Arts and Sciences. "They're also getting a little more critical about what the state has been doing about the environment."

Floridians believe the state's performance in protecting the environment has dropped, the survey found. Read more >>


Sunshine State Survey: As state economy rises, concerns over job loss, foreclosure decline

via Tampa Bay Times

An improving state economy shows Floridians are less stressed over job security and the threat of home foreclosure, two onerous pressure points on consumers in recent years, says the latest installment of the Sunshine State survey released Tuesday.

Focusing on economic matters, the survey found that the No. 1 concern, job loss and unemployment, was almost halved between 2012 and 2014. That indicates Florida's economy is recovering from the recession and average people are feeling more confident in the job market. Read more >>

Resident concerns shift from jobs to growth

via WWSB ABC-7: My Suncoast

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- For the 23rd year in a row, a survey of Sarasota County residents is showing what many like and don't like locally. For years, the biggest issues have been jobs and the economy. This year though, it's concern about growth and development.

In June and July, the Florida Institute of Government interviewed 800 Sarasota County residents about the place they live and their local government. Read more >>


Sarasota County's report card: Citizen survey cites good governance but room for improvement

via Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Sarasota County posted its report card online last week, and it shows that government officials have a lot to be proud of, and some areas that need work.

The grades came in the form of the results of the "2014 Sarasota County Citizen Opinion Survey," itself an example of good government. It's the county's 23rd annual survey of residents, and the overall positive results this time suggest that the county has responded to previous concerns.

Any such survey is only a snapshot of public opinion at a given point in time. Yet the county's survey is thorough and professionally conducted by the University of South Florida's Florida Institute of Government, under the direction of noted USF political scientist Dr. Susan A. MacManus. Read more >>


Sunshine State Survey: Floridians divided on politics, less so on social issues

via Tampa Bay Business Journal

A new Sunshine State Survey from the University of South Florida indicates that Floridians see political difference as the biggest divide between people, but don't view divides of gender, age, religion, and citizenship as significant.

This indicates that while becoming more partisan in politics, Floridians are also becoming more tolerant of other differences, according to Susan MacManus of USF, who spoke on a conference call Thursday about the survey findings. Read more >>


Sarasota County earns good marks on Citizen Opinion Survey

via North Port Sun

VENICE—Results of a citizens survey released Tuesday showed that a majority of those polled found the quality of life in Sarasota County to be either “good” or “excellent.”

While the survey, which was conducted by the Florida Institute of Government at the University of South Florida in Tampa, suggests that the number of people who think quality of life is excellent has decreased and the number of those who think it is good has increased, overall the county received favorable marks.

Citizen Opinion Survey sees shift in Sarasota County residents' priority issues

via Sarasota Herald-Tribune

VENICE—In a sign of an improving economy, an annual survey of Sarasota County residents showed their top concerns have shifted from jobs and the economy to development, population growth and traffic.

Over the past three years, the number of people citing concerns about growth and development has spiked to 21 percent from 3 percent. This is the county's top issue, surveyed residents said, and the number of people citing it as a concern has reached nearly the same level as during the real estate boom. Read more >>

URP represents USF at FCAPA Annual Conference

JACKSONVILLE—USF was well represented by students, alumni and faculty at the annual conference for the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association Sep. 3-6 in Jacksonville.

In the University track, URP student Chris Zuppa presented his thesis research on accessibility for light rail; URP student Matrell Everett and PAD student Neveen Nawawy also discussed economic issues related to disaster planning.

Faculty participated in two panel presentations: Kristine Williams, AICP, of the Center for Urban Transportation Research presented on access management, and Van Linkous, PhD, AICP, discussed fiscal neutrality policies for new development. Also present from the faculty were Liz Strom, PhD, and Trent Green, PhD. URP alumni presenting included Stephen Benson, AICP, CNU-A and Chelsey Welden.