Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando commissioners narrowly approve alcohol sales at more sponsored events

BROOKSVILLE — Even after the success of last month's Reggae Festival, some county commissioners still had concerns about serving alcohol at county-sponsored events.

A divided commission agreed Tuesday to let county Parks And Recreation serve beer and wine at more events, including a two-day event planned in September.

Alcohol sales at the reggae event generated about $3,000 in profit, said Parks And Recreation Director Pat Fagan. But that wasn't the whole purpose of the event. "It's providing additional recreational activities to the community,'' he said.

Commissioner Rose Rocco, who spent several hours at the festival, said she didn't see any alcohol-related problems, adding that she has received positive comments about the event.

"I have somewhat of a problem with this,'' said Commissioner Jim Adkins, who noted that he would rather see private vendors selling at the events rather than county employees.

County resident Michael Burmann told commissioners that he believed people were overwhelmingly against the alcohol sales and that the commission should consider that.

Commission Chairman Dave Russell asked how much business would be lost if the county hosted such events in the future and didn't offer beer and wine. Fagan said he believed that the alcohol sales did draw a number of people to the event.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to allow serving of beer and wine at two additional events, with Adkins and Russell voting no.

In other business:

• Commissioner Jeff Stabins told the board that the Budget And Finance Committee wanted the County Commission to reconsider its recent vote to allow in-house maintenance staff to build the new courtroom in the government center. Since that vote, the St. Petersburg Times has reported that similar projects done in-house were done on overtime and after hours.

County Administrator David Hamilton told commissioners he was meeting with county engineer Charles Mixson and assistant engineer Gregg Sutton this week to gather more information for the budget committee and the commission.

• Hamilton apologized for hiring an outside law firm to assist the county in the first bargaining session with the Teamsters Union earlier this month. He said he now knows that such decisions must be made by the commissioners. "You have been to the woodshed,'' Russell told him.

Commissioners voted to pay the $2,186 bill from the law firm of Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez and Hearing, P.A.

• Commissioners held a public hearing on the proposed new water and sewer fees crafted to pay operational costs and pay for $150-million in planned utility upgrades.

The restructured water rates, which will be phased in over five years, would mean the typical water and sewer bill for the user of 8,000 gallons of water per month would increase from $42.25 to $43.01 next year. By 2014, that bill would rise to $57.12.

The hearing was continued until June 9 at 9:30 a.m. to meet a requirement county staff just discovered that all utility customers be notified of the rate increase in their utility bills.

• Commissioners approved changes to eight existing personnel policies and added a new fraud policy. Cheryl Marsden, personnel director, said she has been working on the policies that she has seen needed changes since she came on board months ago.

Policies ranging from military leave to bereavement leave, vehicle usage and tuition reimbursement were tweaked.

Commissioners questioned the genesis of the fraud policy and Hamilton said it was an attempt to formalize the process county human resources, county legal staff and audit services functions have used when past personnel issues have arisen.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando commissioners narrowly approve alcohol sales at more sponsored events 05/12/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 8:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy


    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  2. Funeral held for U.S. soldier at center of Trump fight


    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  3. Chemical industry insider now shapes EPA policy


    WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

    This is the Dow chemical plant near Freeport, Texas. Before the 2016 election, Dow had been in talks with the EPA to phase out the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is blamed for disabilities in children. Dow is no longer willing to compromise.
  4. Unforgiving wildfires affect vineyard workers and owners


    SONOMA, Calif. — When the wildfires ignited, vineyard workers stopped picking grapes and fled for their lives. Some vineyard owners decided to stay and fight back, spending days digging firebreaks and sleeping among their vines.

    Wilma Illanes and daughter Gabriela Cervantes, 8, found their home intact, but had lost a week’s wages and sought aid.
  5. O'Reilly got new contract after big settlement


    Last January, six months after Fox News ousted its chairman amid a sexual harassment scandal, the network's top-rated host at the time, Bill O'Reilly, struck a $32 million agreement with a longtime network analyst to settle new sexual harassment allegations, two people briefed on the matter told the New York …

    Bill O’Reilly was fired by Fox News after multiple allegations.