Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County Commission disbands committees

BROOKSVILLE — Over the past six months, they grappled with mental health funding, the future of the Little Rock Cannery and economic incentives to broaden Hernando's tax base and jump-start the local economy.

And while county commissioners were quick to praise their work, the county's standing committees on business and economic development and budget and finance unofficially met their end this week.

Saying it was time to get back to discussing issues themselves, commissioners decided to return to two regular meetings a month and possibly add a third — a workshop — where they can delve into more details.

The committee idea grew out of a goal-setting session in late 2008. The notion was that the groups would meet on the Tuesdays that the full board did not, and that it would allow for more public comment than a typical commission meeting.

The committees were each composed of two county commissioners, one of whom was the chairman, and three citizens, along with alternates as needed.

During a workshop Tuesday, County Administrator David Hamilton gave a synopsis of the work done by the committees, saying there has been a benefit because issues have been discussed at length before going to the full board.

But from the first meeting, the concept was blasted by community activist Janey Baldwin, who said they were a waste of time and electricity because commissioners would still have to discuss the items before making a decision.

"I'd like to see the committees gone,'' Commissioner Rose Rocco said Tuesday. A commission workshop each month would take less staff time and issues could move forward quickly.

"I think we could accomplish more this way,'' Rocco said.

Commissioner Jeff Stabins said the committees were "like Prohibition — a noble experiment'' and agreed with Rocco's conclusion.

Voicing appreciation for the citizens who served and what they accomplished, Commissioner Jim Adkins also sided with his two colleagues. "We need to do our job,'' he said.

"The handwriting is on the wall,'' said Commissioner John Druzbick.

Druzbick said he appreciated the committee members from the public because they brought different perspectives to discussions.

Adkins said he expected the commission will still get plenty of public comment at the workshops.

Commission Chairman Dave Russell, who had pushed hard for the committees during last year's goal setting, praised their work.

"There were a number of tough issues the committees dealt with and dealt with extremely well,'' Russell said. The citizens who volunteered their time "did a great job for us.''

The commission agreed to send out letters of thanks to the former citizen members of the committee.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando County Commission disbands committees 10/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 15, 2009 7:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Investigators reviewing HHS chief's private charter flights


    WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are examining Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's recent use of costly charter flights on the taxpayers' dime for official business.

  2. FSU gives president John Thrasher a pay bump as its academic standing rises


    TALLAHASSEE — With Florida State University moving closer to becoming a top-25 public university, the school's trustees on Friday bumped up President John Thrasher's salary by 7 percent and awarded him a $200,000 bonus.

    Florida State University President John Thrasher, center, is surrounded by lawmakers in 2016 as he visits the Florida Senate. Thrasher on Friday received a pay increase to go with the university's increased academic standing, including in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of public universities. FSU ranks 33rd this year, and is aiming for a top-25 spot. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Pasco driver, 66, dies in Friday crash on SR 54


    NEW PORT RICHEY — A 66-year-old man died Friday after he collided with oncoming traffic on State Road 54 in Pasco County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  4. Florida reverses decision to shield information from nursing home inspection reports


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida regulators decided Friday they will abandon the use of software that allowed them to heavily redact key words from nursing home inspection reports posted online, choosing instead to link to the more complete reports available on a federal site.

    Officials for the state Agency for Health Care Administration said Friday they will no longer use software that allowed them to heavily redact key words from nursing home inspection reports posted online. The agency has been under increased scrutiny since Sept. 13, when eight residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, pictured here, died after power was lost to an air-conditioning system during Hurricane Irma. Two more residents died this week. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
  5. Trump's travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans told the New York Times on Friday.