Monday, May 28, 2018
News Roundup

Voters will decide how to fill Plant City commission vacancy

PLANT CITY — Voters will have the last word on whether vacancies on the City Commission can be filled by appointment rather than a special election.

In a 4-0 vote Monday, commissioners approved a resolution to add to the November ballot a question of whether the city's charter should be amended to allow appointments.

The decision came as Commissioner Dan Raulerson is running for the state House.

Raulerson, who has eight months left on his three-year term, plans to resign his commission seat in November, which would create a vacancy on the five-member commission. He wasn't present for Monday's vote.

Raulerson's successor would need to run back-to-back campaigns to stay in office — first in a special election in mid January and then again in a regular City Commission race in April.

And the special election would cost the city $15,000.

"You would have to start campaigning all over again two weeks later," Commissioner Rick Lott said.

Rather than have candidates run back-to-back campaigns, he said, it makes more sense to spare taxpayers the expense of the special election.

Political analysts are divided on the issue. Some back Lott's assessment, saying appointments can save money while serving to quickly fill a vacancy. Others argue that appointing someone to an elected position can give the appearance of circumventing the electoral process.

At Monday's City Commission meeting, the vacancy issue seemed to generate little buzz either way.

Commissioners discussed the issue a couple weeks ago but haven't brought it up since, and the vote followed a public hearing at which nobody testified.

Commissioners said they would ask either the city attorney or city manager to develop a list of possible appointees. Commissioners said they might prefer a former commissioner to fill the vacancy.

"It would be nice to have someone who knows the ropes and knows the Sunshine Law, who doesn't have to go through the training," Commissioner Mary Yvette Thomas Mathis said.

Rich Shopes can be reached at (813) 661-2454 or [email protected]

Comments
Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Austin Pruitt has started and worked out of the bullpen, in both short and long relief.But he did not expect to pick up his second career save Sunday by having to log 5⅔ innings, allowing only three hits whi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Floodwaters surge in Maryland town

Floodwaters surge in Maryland town

Crews were engaged in multiple water rescues and buildings collapsed in historic Ellicott City on Sunday evening as floodwaters raged through its streets following torrential thunderstorms, Howard County, Maryland, officials said.Maryland Gov. Larry ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

So the team that just got back from a 10-day, 11-game road trip in three time zones is headed back out west for Memorial Day? The Rays travel to Oakland, Calif., Seattle and Washington, D.C. It's the first time they visited the West Coast on back-to-...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and an overbooked shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging them...
Updated: 8 hours ago
RFK’s son: There was 2nd shooter

RFK’s son: There was 2nd shooter

Los Angeles Times (TNS)As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy approaches, conspiracy theories still abound.The latest to back the theory of a second gunman is the senator’s son Robert F. Kennedy Jr.Sirhan B. Sirhan, a ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Visa woes have summer businesses hiring Puerto Ricans

Visa woes have summer businesses hiring Puerto Ricans

PHIPPSBURG, Maine — Frustrated by red tape and visa limits on foreign workers, tourism businesses from Maine to Missouri are turning to Puerto Ricans who are fleeing a shattered economy and devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Bob Smith, owner of S...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEYDriver surrenders after crash that kills bicyclistThe driver Florida Highway Patrol troopers say struck and killed a bicyclist then drove from the scene turned herself in Sunday afternoon.Shanna Marie Rampino surrendered a 2000 Toyota ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
A solemn display

A solemn display

Associated PressVisitors to Boston Commons in Boston last week pass 37,000 American flags planted to honor every Massachusetts resident killed in war dating to the Revolutionary War. The "flag garden" idea on Memorial Day started in Boston about a de...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Former President George H.W. Bush was hospitalized Sunday in Maine after he experienced low blood pressure and fatigue, a spokesman said. Just after 2 p.m., Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the 93-year-old Bush, said he was awak...
Published: 05/27/18
None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

TRINITY — No one was hurt Sunday morning after a fire broke out at a rehabilitation center.According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, Trinity Regional Rehab Center at 2144 Welbilt Blvd. is running on generator power after the blaze broke out about 10:30 ...
Published: 05/27/18