HCRR Residents’ Reception

HCRR 2015

Read More

Gov. Scott Picks the Public’s Pockets

Rick Scott

Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald

Is Rick Scott the worst governor in the history of Florida?

It’s a question lots of people ask, and the verdict’s still out. The state has had many lousy governors since 1845, when the job first opened.

Scott is certainly a prime contender for worst ever, and each new screwing of Floridians pushes him closer to the title. The latest outrage reveals the fair-weather fiscal conservative reaching deep into public pockets to bail himself out of legal trouble.

During the last few months, taxpayers have been soaked for more than $1 million to settle lawsuits in which Scott and his dim-bulb Cabinet flagrantly violated Florida’s open-records and open-meetings laws.

No other sitting governor has used tax money to end public-records cases that were caused by his own...

Read More

After Backlash, Hernando Commission Restores Environmentally Sensitive Lands Committee

Hernando Times

Diane Rowden

After stirring up a firestorm when it suddenly and without warning disbanded the county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Committee two weeks ago, the Hernando County Commission voted Tuesday to reinstate the committee — but with some changes.

A discussion of the Environmentally Sensitive Lands program had been placed on the commission’s July 28 agenda, but no backup material was included. Commissioner Wayne Dukes made a motion to immediately disband the advisory committee, which helped guide the program, and his motion passed.

But Commissioner Diane Rowden argued that the program, established by a vote of residents in 1988, and the volunteer committee should not be disbanded without warning, and asked that the item be revisited on Tuesday.

Ron Pianta, assistant county ad...

Read More

How Not To Fund The Highways

Al Ambs, Accordingtoal.com

I was reviewing a bill proposed by the Republican-controlled Senate and noticed some interesting features. This bill dealt with providing three years worth of funding for the National Highway Trust which in turn funds highway infrastructure – construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, and tunnels. The Trust will run out of money on July 31st. This is another last minute proposal being offered just ten days before the deadline.

The bill was over 1,000 pages long. All the Democrats and several Republicans combined to defeat the bill. The primary reason for its defeat was the funding mechanisms being proposed...

Read More

Florida’s Legislators Forced to Behave, Crying About It

Daniel Ruth, Tampa Bay Times

Here’s a simple question to ponder. Suppose you found yourself sitting next to a member of the Florida Legislature in a saloon. Would you feel comfortable leaving your bar change unattended within arm’s reach of one of our elected officials if nature suddenly called?

Scary thought, isn’t it?

And that explains why the House and Senate have been ordered by the state Supreme Court to conduct yet another special session, this time to redraw Florida’s hinky congressional districts simply because a conniving, duplicitous, scheming Legislature was deemed to be more untrustworthy than Lord Voldemort meets Lance Armstrong.

In 2010 voters approved a Fair District amendment to the Florida Constitution that required the Legislature to draw congressional and state legislati...

Read More

Campaign Gears Up As Voting Begins on Half-Cent Sales Tax for Hernando Schools

Dan DeWitt, Hernando Times

Red T-shirts advertising the Sept. 8 school sales tax referendum have been a common fashion accessory at recent Hernando County School Board meetings.

Billboards are going up. Smaller signs supporting restoration of the half-cent tax, which expired at the end of 2014, are showing up on the sides of highways and in residents’ yards.

“We are moving forward on the campaign with rapid speed,” Jimmy Lodato, co-chairman of the Save Our Schools Hernando political action committee, told the School Board last week.

And, this week, some voters are beginning to see an even more definitive sign that the election is fast approaching — mail-in ballots from the county Supervisor of Elections Office.

The board was not willing to pay to open some polls for early voting, which h...

Read More