Hillsborough to study new districts that could raise Hispanics' clout
TAMPA - Hillsborough County will explore the idea of reconfiguring its county commission seats to create a district that concentrates Hispanic residents. Commissioners voted 6-0 Wednesday to hold public workshops and hearings that could lead to a referendum on the November 2014 ballot.
If passed, it would take effect in 2016. Commissioner Les Miller's proposal would reduce from three to two the number of commissioners who are elected to countywide seats on the seven-member board.
The at-large seat that would likely be converted to a district is now held by Commissioner Kevin Beckner, who must leave office in 2016 due to term limits. The proposal would also require the county commission to redraw boundaries for all of the district-based seats.
The so-called Hispanic opportunity district is needed, Miller said, because of the county's growing number of Hispanics. Read more.