Cory Lake Isles
Still more questions
as fiscal details unfold
As the Cory Lake Isles community prepares to take over control of its developer-controlled taxing district board in November, some residents continue to go over the board's financial documents with a magnifying glass.
Toward the end of a 3 1/2-hour community development district meeting on April 16, resident Kerri Ringhof questioned an item in the quarterly financial report: a $13,507.50 check made out to Playpower LT on March 14.
Turns out, it was for playground equipment installed to create two pocket parks. Those pocket parks were supposed to have been given to the community as part of a "developer giveback" — one of the last contributions to Cory Lake Isles from developer Gene Thomason.
"Gene is paying for the parks," CDD supervisor Jane Taggart said repeatedly.
Then why was the check ever written? Ringhof demanded to know.
Supervisor Suzanne Manzi, whose term expires in November and would need to run for re-election, said she discussed the item on Tuesday with district manager John Daguirda, who was not at the meeting.
When Ringhof asked Manzi why she didn't bring the issue to light, Manzi said that they were looking into it. "I personally disagree with your approach," Ringhof said.
Separately, homeowners who sued for access to operations and maintenance documents are still sorting through them.
There are no bank statements to verify the books, said plaintiff Michelle Shaw, and accounts are all co-mingled. She predicted the group would go back to court to request specific records.
"We were expecting this game to continue," she said.
2 juniors, a senior take
Rotary speech honors
Jacquelle James, a Freedom High School senior, placed second in the New Tampa Rotary's high school speech contest, winning $50. Catalina Holzer-Torres, a junior from Academy of the Holy Names, won the first prize of $100 and will compete with other Rotary winners at round two on May 16-17 at the Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club.Katie Davis, a junior from Academy of the Holy Names, took third place with a prize of $25.
Freedom student named
Hillsborough Youth hero
Christian Nunez of Freedom High School was named a "Hero for Hillsborough Youth'' on April 17 at a 20th anniversary celebration of the Hillsborough County Children's Board. Nunez, 17, is described as "an outstanding young woman who is active in service to her community. She is active in the General Federation of Women's Clubs through the Little Women of Lutz and in the Florida Junior Women's Club where she is now the State Leadership Chair. In 2007, Christian was a member of the Mayor's Youth Corps, and this year she is part of the Leadership Council for the Mayor's Youth Corps.''
Zephyrhills man chosen May Artist of the Month
Luis Rodriguez is the May Artist of the Month for the North Tampa Arts League. Rodriguez lives in Zephyrhills with his wife, fellow artist Gloria Barreto.
The league says this about him: "Born in Isabela, Puerto Rico, Luis has had an interest in art since he was 12. He studied on his own and took many classes to hone his techniques and skills, but it was not until 2003 that Luis decided to dedicate much of his time to his passion for creating works of art. Working mainly in acrylic, he gives these canvases a splash of the Caribbean.
"Flowering trees, parrots and sun-drenched architecture are a few of the images one can find in his work. The daily life of Puerto Rico is lived out with all the color and beautiful landscapes the island is known for. Each painting is a captured moment that is transformed into a work of art."
His work will be on display at the New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd.
Benito Middle teams excel in math contest
At the Hillsborough County middle school math competition April 16 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Benito Middle School's sixth-grade team took second place, its seventh-grade team took fifth and Liberty Middle School's eighth-grade team was fourth.