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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough commissioners want more info on light rail



Bringing light rail to Hills­borough County may be a top priority for Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and many other civic leaders. But Hillsborough County commissioners took several tense moments Wednesday to remind everyone just who holds the keys to Iorio's mass transit dreams.

It's the County Commission that must decide whether to ask voters in 2010 if using tax money to build a rail system is acceptable.

"You guys have been meeting for two years, and now you're coming to us?" Commissioner Rose Ferlita observed.

The topic came up during a budget workshop at which commissioners discussed future construction projects. That's when Commissioner Mark Sharpe mentioned the possible mass transit referendum in 2010.

Ferlita seized on Sharpe's use of the word "we." As in, we've been meeting, we've heard presentations, we've brought in experts. Just who is this secret "we committee," and why is it only now deigning to include the county? Ferlita wanted to know.

"After two years, the 'we committee' has decided to do something," Ferlita said. "After two years you're going to tell us we have to come together with this 'we committee.' "

Read the full story here.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:45am]


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