Governor makes anti-rail appointment to HART
Gov. Rick Scott, the guy who killed high-speed rail in Florida, tapped a staunch anti-rail campaigner to serve on Hillsborough County's transit agency. Scott made Josh Burgin, 35, of Plant City, one of his two appointments to the board of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Monday. Burgin, a former legislative analyst and current treasurer of the Republican Party in Hillsborough, challenged fellow Republican Mark Sharpe in 2010 for County Commission, his platform consisting of bashing Sharpe's support of a sales tax hike to pay for localized light rail, expanded bus service and road work. He was particularly critical of the rail component. Voters soundly rejected the initiative that same year, though Sharpe was reelected. Scott also appointed Tampa engineering consultant Carlos "John" Melendez, 41, with the firm CPH Engineers Inc., who, like Burgin, will serve a term that runs through October. Burgin joins Karen Jaroch, founder of NoTaxForTracks.com, one of the leading opposition groups to the transit referendum, on the HART board. County commissioners appointed her to the 13-member transit board last year.