Town halls will tackle funding for schools
Facing a projected shortfall of $26 million, the Pasco School Board is looking for ways to slash spending and increase revenue. It has already begun collecting ideas from staff members. Now it wants to hear from parents, students and other county residents. Four of the five School Board members have scheduled town hall meetings to gather input. They are:
• 6 p.m. May 21 - John Long Middle School Cafeteria (Joanne Hurley)
• 6 p.m. May 22 - Hudson High School mini-theater (Steve Luikart)
• 6 p.m. May 23 - Trinity Oaks Elementary School Cafeteria (Cynthia Armstrong)
• 6 p.m. May 24 - Chasco Elementary School Cafeteria (Alison Crumbley)
Hundreds of people filled the rooms where the board held similar sessions a year ago, with a heavy emphasis on protecting athletics and the arts. Some board members have individually said they hope to keep those areas, which they consider draws that keep kids in school, off the chopping block. But they have stressed that nothing is yet off the table for consideration.
Weatherford hosts chamber event
House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, will host a "coffee and conversation" event next week with the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce. The event is from 7:30 to 9 a.m., May 24 at Golden Corral, 6855 Gall Blvd. The event is free and includes a continental breakfast. For information, contact Weatherford's office at (813) 558-5115 or the Zephyrhills Chamber at (813) 782-1913.
Bilirakis' fair honors veterans
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, will hold his annual Military & Veterans Resource Fair and appreciation event on Saturday at East Lake High School, 1300 Silver Eagle Drive. The resource fair runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with information from more than two dozen veterans organizations and agencies. The appreciation program, which runs from 1 to 2 p.m., will include a patriotic concert by the East Lake High School Band & Chorus. "My office provides many important services for all veterans and their families in the Tampa Bay area," said Bilirakis, whose district includes west Pasco. "Whether it is providing assistance with VA claims or working with federal agencies to solve complex issues, my office is here to help."