Monday, April 1, 2013
Hillsborough County Commissioners will consider a measure to extend the 6-cent local option gas tax when they meet April 3.
Seminole Heights drivers hoping for some relief at the pumps aren’t likely to get it from Hillsborough County. The commission is expected to discuss extending the county’s 6-cent gas tax during its Wednesday, April 3, meeting. The local option gas tax, which expires Aug. 31, is used to fund road maintenance projects. If it’s allowed to expire, the county and its three cities stand to lose millions. “If the Fuel Tax is not extended, the County would lose an estimated $1,780,000 in FY 13 revenue that is currently used exclusively for the maintenance of transportation infrastructure,” the commission agenda reads. “The estimated loss in FY 14 and future years is estimated at $21.5 million per year.” The cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and …
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The County Commissioner from East Hillsborough is running for a countywide seat in 2014, but some are saying his stand on two recent controversial issues will hurt him in the long run. We’d like to get your thoughts!
Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham is in for a fight in 2014 – one that some say he’s going to have an increasingly difficult time winning. The District 4 commissioner from East Hillsborough County is running for a countywide seat on the board. While his strong support base of Eastern Hillsborough Republicans has carried him through in the past, skeptics say Higginbotham is going to have a hard time overcoming his own voting record when residents countywide turn out to the polls in 2014. 2 Possible Sticking Points The Tampa Tribune calls into question Higginbotham’s ability to overcome two recent decisions it says have cast the commissioner in a less-than-positive light with those who don’t share his conservative views. They …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The Hillsborough County Commission has agreed to set aside $6.25 million to repay developers for road construction projects that will ultimately serve customers of Bass Pro’s new location. We’d like to get your thoughts on the issue.
Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan says the math is simple. The county pays out up to $6.5 million to help a developer build roads that will benefit not only Bass Pro Shops, but also a number of other businesses. In return, it will get nearly $3 million in combined property and sales taxes collected on the Brandon area parcel each year. The land only generates about $800 a year in property tax revenues now. Based on those figures, the taxpayers will get their money back in only a few years while continuing to see a large increase in property and sales taxes thanks to the development. Commissioner Kevin Beckner opposed using county dollars to help pay for the road project. He said he fears the county is turning into a “…
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Backers of a plan to allow same-sex couples to enjoy more of the freedoms afforded to married couples aren’t taking no for an answer. Do you agree with them?
Less than two weeks after Hillsborough County Commissioners voted against creating a domestic partnership registry, proponents of the measure are holding their ground. The proposed registry, similar to what has already passed in Pinellas County, would have given same-sex partners more freedom to make financial and medical decisions for their significant others. In late January, the Hillsborough Commission voted 4-3 against creating a registry. Supporters of the registry met Tuesday, Feb. 5 to discuss what they are calling a “temporary” setback, according to The Tampa Tribune. Attendees at the event, which was sponsored by Equality Florida, say they will continue to push for the county to enact a registry. "Hillsborough County is so out of …
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The businesses were forced to close down during the Republican National Convention in August.
August’s Republican National Convention in downtown Tampa was a mixed bag of good and bad news for businesses in the county. Some businesses that thought they’d see a surge in business didn’t realize the profits they’d hoped for. Others reported doing very well as hundreds of Republicans converged on Tampa Bay. But a few businesses had to shut down entirely, forgoing all hope of realizing profit during the event. Three of the businesses that faced the latter circumstances will be brought up during Thursday’s Hillsborough County Commission meeting. Commissioners are being asked to give the three businesses that operate out of the first floor of County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., a month of free rent in December to make up for the losses …
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
The incumbent Democrat will serve another four years.
The results are in and incumbent Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner will serve another four years. The Democrat was first elected to the countywide District 6 seat in 2008. Beckner is the county’s first openly gay commissioner, according to TBO. Beckner’s Republican challenger in the race, Margaret Iuculano, is a foster child advocate. Here’s how the county voted: During his election watch party earlier tonight, it was evident to Beckner and supporters that he would win the race. Even so, Beckner was humble about the victory. “I never take any single vote for granted,” he said. “You always run like you're 20 points behind and never take a single vote for granted." So what’s the incumbent going to focus on in his new term? "I'll…
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Greg Baker, a semifinalist for a 2012 James Beard Foundation award, was recognized by the commissioners at Wednesday's meeting.
Greg Baker, chef at Seminole Heights' The Refinery, was recognized by the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday for his recent nomination for a 2012 James Beard Foundation award. Baker was a semifinalist for the Best Chef: South award, presented annually by the nationally recognized foundation. Also recognized Wednesday were two other local nominees for James Beard Foundation Awards: Richard Gonzmart of Ybor City's Columbia Restaurant, a semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurateur honors, and Chad Johnson of South Tampa's SideBern's, also a semifinalist for Best Chef: South. Commissioner Al Higginbotham presented their commendations and thanked the culinary standouts "for working to improve the economic success and positive…
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner is holding office hours this Friday, May 25, at the Seminole Heights Branch Library.
What issue would you like Beckner to address about Seminole Heights? What would you like to ask him? Post a comment below. Want to talk to a county commissioner about issues in Seminole Heights? Here's your chance. Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner will host community office hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, May 25, at the Seminole Heights Branch Library. Beckner, the District 6 (countywide) commissioner, and his staff welcome the opportunity to meet citizens to discuss their ideas and concerns about Hillsborough County issues. No appointment is necessary, and residents are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more about Beckner on his profile page on the county's website, or call his office at 813-272-5730.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
County Commissioner Ken Hagan said the county's current 65 percent euthanasia rate is unacceptable.
There's changes on the horizon for Hillsborough County Animal Services as a new director comes on board and the county studies ways to reduce the number of animals euthanized at the shelter at 440 N. Falkenburg Rd., Tampa. At the Hillsborough County Commission meeting May 2, County Administrator Mike Merrill said the county will release the name of the new director of the shelter. For the past several years, Animal Services has been overseen by interim directors, most recently Jack Carlisle. Merrill told commissioners that the chosen candidate was selected after a comprehensive review of candidates including members of the veterinary community and members of the Hillsborough County Animal Advisory Committee. "There were a lot of …
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday to negotiate Attorney Renee Lee's departure after losing confidence in her.
The Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners has fired County Attorney Renee Lee, according to an article posted Thursday on TampaBay.com by reporter Bill Varian of the St. Petersburg Times. Varian reported that Commission Chair Al Higginbotham was meeting Thursday with Lee and her attorney to negotiate the terms of her departure. The decision to cut ties with Lee came after commissioners voiced a lack of trust in the county's top legal counsel, who came under fire for having lunch twice with former commissioner Kevin White — who is both suing and being sued by the county over a $425,000 legal bill from a 2009 sexual harassment lawsuit against him.