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The commission voted to approve a comp plan amendment to allow the county to abandon 5400 sq feet of right of way to have the Hobe Sound Train Station placed there.

The station is presently at Becker Farms which is now the Discovery Project. It was moved there almost 70 years ago. Darlene VanRiper wrote a column about it in our last newsletter. You can see it here  

The station will be returned to Downtown Hobe Sound and placed several hundred feet from its original location.

Human Resource Director Heather Dayan gave a presentation about the problems of recruiting employees for the county. Her focus was on the non-uniformed departments. Apparently, the hardest jobs to fill were entry level and professionals such as engineers.

Gen Z will make up 75% of the workforce in 2025. There average time in any one job is 2 years and 3 months. By comparison, the Baby Boomers were 8 years and 3 months. Gen Zers are looking for the highest amount of pay and work life balance. According to Tim Buckley, the county’s employment consultant, the private sector can adapt much more quickly than the government.

Pay is better in the private sector. He illustrated that with an employment poster from Buc-ees. They start cashiers and stockers at $18 an hour. A department manager at up to $33 an hour and General Managers over $200,000 per year. They also have immediate benefits. However, at that employer their staff also work much harder than they would in any government office.

Another interesting statistic is that for every 100 jobs in Florida, there are only 53 people to fill them. To see the entire presentation go here 

Contained in the OMB items was a contract to hire the Treasure Coast Planning Council to go through all the previous western land studies, bring them up to date, and amalgamate them. There would also be a public outreach component to their contracts. This was discussed previously, and the commission approved doing this.

Commissioner Heard was adamantly against the study. As she has expressed many times, her belief was to just use the comp plan…the one that was written nearly 40 years ago. Ciampi was against it because he claimed half the people would like what the Treasure Coast Planning Council came up with and the other half would hate it.

I thought the purpose of a study was not to have a popularity contest but to see the best way to move forward. The vote was 3-2 with Heard and Ciampi dissenting.


At the end of the meeting, Administrator Don Donaldson asked if one of the commissioners would go to Washington to advocate for grant funds for the new Bright Line bridge across the St. Lucie… not the station but the bridge. The bridge that is vital to the people of Palm City, the boating community, and Stuart. There were no volunteers.

Once again, the commission has spoken by their inaction. I discussed how the commission wants to leave no fingerprints wherever possible in our last edition…and this is another example of that sentiment. You can read the story here 

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