NEW PORT RICHEY
Sen. Rubio will speak at Reagan Day Dinner
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address and is being eyed as a future presidential candidate, will be the main speaker at the annual Pasco Republican Reagan Day Dinner on April 30 at Spartan Manor. Rubio made headlines two years ago at the annual Pasco GOP fundraiser when former Gov. Jeb Bush, the event's keynote speaker, endorsed him for Senate against former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who ran his campaign as an independent. Crist recently became a Democrat and is being viewed as a possible challenger to Republican Gov. Rick Scott. GOP state committeeman Bill Bunting said he hopes Scott will attend the dinner as well. "I'm working on it," he said. Rubio told attendees at the 2010 dinner that a year before, he was 30 points behind in state polls. Pasco's GOP became the first group to overwhelmingly endorse Rubio in a straw poll. "As Pasco's straw poll goes," said Rubio to applause, "so goes the Republican primary." Visit pascogop.org for information.
Early budget musings: raises
Four months into this fiscal year, City Commissioner William Dennis is gearing up for the next budget talks, expected to begin in late spring. At the close of the commission meeting Tuesday evening, Dennis said he wants to see a proposed budget this year that includes a 3 percent raise for city employees. He also wants a budget that reflects the total needs of the city, without being restrained by the tax rate. City commissioners typically finalize and vote on the budget in September, just before the fiscal year begins Oct. 1. City employees received raises of one-half to 2 percent in the 2011-12 budget and before that, a minimal raise in 2007, said City Clerk Jim Class. The commission recently passed an ordinance tripling city commissioners' pay from $100 to $300 a month and boosting the mayor's monthly salary from $150 to $450, effective next fiscal year. Dennis and Commissioner Scott Black opposed the ordinance, saying they wanted to discuss the pay hike in conjunction with budget talks later in the year. City commissioners have had the same salary for at least 20 years.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Our Lady Queen of Peace turns 100
Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a Centennial Mass at 4 p.m. Saturday at the church, 5340 High St. Bishop Robert Lynch will preside. There will be a multinational flag procession to celebrate parish diversity and light refreshments. Due to the anticipated crowd, parishioners can participate in the Mass via a simultaneous video broadcast in the parish hall. The celebration will continue at 6:30 p.m. March 9 with a free concert featuring Desert Rain Band and Act One 5. Call (727) 849-7521 or visit ladyqueenofpeace.org.