Ethics panel to investigate fireworks show
Complaints about the city's funding of a July Fourth fireworks show are "sufficient for investigation," the state Commission on Ethics has determined. Former city contractor Kevin Hamm filed the complaints claiming the city tried "to hide the financial transaction" as it provided $5,000 for a fireworks show by a company co-owned by Vice Mayor Bill Colombo. Police chief and interim city manager Dave Brown gave $5,000 to the nonprofit Celebrate Port Richey, which then hired fireworks company B&B of Port Richey, co-owned by Colombo and former council member Bill Bennett. The project was not put out to bid and did not come to the council for a vote. Both Colombo and Bennett maintained they received no benefit from the event and spent all of the money on the show. In a pair of Sept. 14 letters sent to Hamm, the ethics commission said it saw reason to proceed with an investigation of the complaints against Brown and Colombo. The commission also notified Hamm it is proceeding with investigations concerning two other complaints he filed, alleging Mayor Richard Rober and Bennett failed to disclose some income on their state financial interest forms. Bennett had to fill out the form as a member of the city's Planning and Zoning Board.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Sustainable Future event Saturday
The city's Environmental Committee presents "Growing a Sustainable Future" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday outside the New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main St. The event will feature free entertainment and offerings from local businesses and organizations that are working together toward a sustainable future. Vendors include the Florida Native Plant Society, Code Green Community, Daddy's Bees, Ecology Florida and more.
Master Gardeners plan annual sale
The annual Pasco Master Gardeners' Plant Sale will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52. There will be a large variety of annuals, perennials, vegetable plants, herbs, citrus and fruit trees, berry bushes, native plants, water garden plants, butterfly plants, ornamentals, daffodil bulbs and more. Master Gardeners will be on hand to assist buyers and answer gardening questions; and there will be a children's activity area, free parking and cold lemonade. There will also be a Rain Barrel workshop at 10 a.m. but pre-registration is required. Registration forms can be found under the Events Calendar at pasco.ifas.ufl.edu.
Church to present free concerts
Freedom Country Baptist will host free gospel music concerts on the first Saturdays of the month at the church, 11631 Old Lakeland Highway. New Glory Bound and Heavenly Heirs will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 1. Future concerts include the Sunny South Trio on Nov. 5 and Never Fade on Dec. 3. A love offering will be taken. For information, call (410) 688-3121.