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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Development community hosts Mariano fund-raiser



WESLEY CHAPEL – Pasco Commissioner Jack Mariano must be feeling the love from some first-time campaign supporters.

Crown Community Development, the developer of Watergrass and Seven Oaks in Wesley Chapel, is the host for a campaign fundraiser for Mariano 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10. Listed as co-hosts on the invitation are land-use lawyer Barbara L. Wilhite; RIPA & Associates, a civil and utility contractor; and the engineering firm, Florida Design Consultants Inc. 

None of the hosts supported the Republican Mariano in his re-election campaigns in 2008 and 2012, according to campaign finance reports on the web site. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve been politically inactive. For instance, Wilhite, a former assistant county attorney, contributed to the 2012 campaigns for Commissioners Ted Schrader and Kathryn Starkey.

And the hosts, along with Crown Community Development executive Craig Weber, combined to donate $5,750 to Mike Moore’s successful election campaign in 2014.

Mariano’s voting record hasn’t always lined up with the interest of the building community. He voted against a 5-cents-per-gallon increase in the gasoline tax last year, a proposal aimed at maintaining the county’s road-building budget without increasing transportation fees charged on new development. More notably, he rejected the idea of adding Crown’s Watergrass development to the county’s urban service area, a move that would have made reduced that project’s transportation fees.

Mariano, seeking his fourth four-year term on the commission in 2016, has no announced opposition for the District 5 seat.

[Last modified: Thursday, November 5, 2015 1:49pm]


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