Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County official apologizes for pressuring colleagues over homeless shelter

BROOKSVILLE — Ron Caldi said he was only trying to keep his neighborhood safe, but his passion got in the way of his judgment.

For that, he apologized Monday to his fellow members of the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission and the County Commission.

The former assistant county engineer said that from this point on, "I will conduct myself in a professional and businesslike manner."

Caldi had argued strongly against the planned expansion of Jericho Road Ministries homeless shelter last month when it came before the Planning and Zoning Commission. Jericho wanted to convert the existing women's shelter from six beds to a 48-bed men's shelter including men with substance abuse and criminal histories.

During that discussion, Caldi never mentioned he lived nearby.

The County Commission decided to grant an immediate appeal and that's when it got more complicated. Caldi's wife, Kate, ended up leading the opposition to the expansion at the County Commission meeting. And Caldi himself tried to contact individual commissioners to express his concern about the planned expansion.

The commission ultimately approved the expansion.

During that meeting, County Commissioner Jeff Stabins told Land Services director Ron Pianta that he should inform his planning commissioners that they should not be attempting to have what is known as "ex-parte communications" with the commissioners.

Land use decisions are quasi-judicial and a public board can make a decision based only on the evidence heard during the public meeting.

That rule applies to both the planning commission and the County Commission.

Jeff Kirk, assistant county attorney, said that a planning commissioner should not be engaging county commissioners in conversation about pending applications.

Pianta added that one of the pitfalls of a planning commissioner arguing his personal views on an application was that the planning commission had already acted as a board to decide on a recommendation and that decision should be respected by all.

By arguing a different point, "you are potentially undermining the process," Pianta said.

Hernando County official apologizes for pressuring colleagues over homeless shelter 12/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament in Nassau, Bahamas. Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County , various media outlets are reporting. [AP photo]
  2. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge Monday in Jupiter, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff's office.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  3. Boy, 9, hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — A 9-year-old boy was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]