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Hernando County Commissioner Jeff Stabins wants to start own TV show

BROOKSVILLE — County Commissioner Jeff Stabins wants to take Hernando County residents on a trip down memory lane.

On Tuesday, the County Commission will be asked if he should get that chance.

Stabins has been talking to the staff of Government Broadcasting and Community Relations about having his own television show, called Memory Lane, on Channel 622.

He has already asked Chuck Smith, a former state representative and county commissioner, and longtime Spring Hill resident Grace Bouma to appear on the first show, which is set to be taped on Wednesday if the commission approves the plan on Tuesday.

The two guests share a common interest: poultry. Smith was an executive with the Florida Poultry Federation. Bouma used to help prepare chickens for the old chicken-plucking contest in Spring Hill.

"The main theme here is to interview some of our people who have lived here a long time who have great memories of things, to tell stories to people who haven't lived here as long,'' Stabins said.

He called the show "a work in progress'' and said that it would have elements of the old Groucho Marx show You Bet Your Life, possibly even copying the idea of having a "secret word,'' and classic talk shows with Jack Paar and Johnny Carson.

There also will be door prizes, which Stabins has solicited from local businesses.

Stabins has a rubber duck to use in the show and is considering singing the theme song, a take-off on Primrose Lane by Jerry Wallace with new lyrics to fit with Memory Lane. But he isn't sure he can pull that off.

It wouldn't be the first musical interlude for Stabins. He serenaded former Commissioner Rose Rocco during her final board meeting with Country Rose, a take off on John Denver's Country Roads. He also wrote and sang his own version of I've Been Everywhere, using Hernando County place names, for the county fair a few years ago.

If the commission approves the show, it will be the first since former County Commissioner Betty Whitehouse had a show on Government Broadcasting called Positive Aging in the early 2000s, according to Brenda Frazier, the county community relations coordinator.

Frazier said that other commissioners could certainly have their own shows but she doubted they would be lining up to do that.

To produce the show, Stabins will have to work closely with Frazier and Rick Foti and Richard Johnson of Government Broadcasting, the same three employees who complained about Stabins' unprofessional behavior and inappropriate language to Commission Chairman Jim Adkins more than a month ago.

Earlier this month, Adkins filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics over the employees' concerns including Stabins using the f-word in front of the employees. Those allegations came out of another project Stabins worked on with the group, a DVD designed to focus on how County Administrator David Hamilton has performed his job.

Since then, Stabins has twice called for Hamilton to resign.

Stabins said he didn't see any conflict with the employees and that he expected that since they thought his show was a great idea weeks before that complaint that there was no reason why it wasn't still a great idea now.

The bonus, he said, was that the show is not live.

"It's going to be taped so, God forbid I should use the f-word, Rick can just delete it,'' Stabins said. "But I don't intend to use any salty language. I'm just going to have fun with it.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando County Commissioner Jeff Stabins wants to start own TV show 06/22/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:00pm]
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