Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando may ask: What would you cut from budget?

BROOKSVILLE — In January, Hernando County voters overwhelmingly supported the property tax-slicing measure known as Amendment 1. Now, County Administrator David Hamilton wants residents to help choose which county services they will trade off for a lower tax bill.

On Tuesday, Hamilton will ask the County Commission to approve a survey of residents, plus a half-dozen town hall meetings in May, as the budget process gets cranked up.

The meetings would feature an overview of the budget along with an explanation of the impacts of Amendment 1 and other state-mandated property tax reduction measures. County officials will also explain the services the county offers and have residents rank those services in terms of importance.

"Each workshop will be conducted in an open environment that encourages an exchange of ideas and opinions from the public that choose to attend,'' Hamilton told commissioners in a memo.

After the meetings, staffers would summarize the results. Commissioners could also conduct their own workshop and Hamilton is suggesting they do that at the end of one of their regular meetings in June.

Hamilton's proposal also includes a two-page survey asking residents to rank county departments based on their importance to the public.

Respondents will be asked if they have had to contact the county for services in the past year and how county employees responded. They would also be asked if they were satisfied with the response, how long it took for them to get to the right person, and how they access information about county services.

The survey might also be available online if approved by the board, according to Brenda Frazier, community relations coordinator.

"It's important that we have the community buy in for what we're doing,'' said County Commissioner Dave Russell. "I think it's a good way to take the community's pulse.''

Commissioners have already seen early details about the 2008-09 budget, with staff determining that revenues would fall $15.9-million short of expected expenses. Some adjusting and cutting has already been done but the county still needs to find another $2.6-million to slash in spending.

Last year, Russell said cuts in the 2007-08 budget focused on the "low-hanging fruit,'' reductions that didn't get to the heart of making the government structure more efficient.

Now, Russell said, Hamilton's efforts to put together an understandable county organizational chart and now invite the public to the table should begin that needed streamlining process.

"It's a fresh approach,'' Russell said of Hamilton's efforts. "Frankly, that's something this county could use more of.''

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

. If you go

Workshop schedule (subject to approval by the County Commission)

Tuesday, May 6, 6:30 p.m.

Lorenzo Hamilton Community Center, 899 Kennedy Blvd., Brooksville

Thursday, May 8, 2 p.m.

Withlacoochee Bicentennial Hall, 16257 Lingle Road, Istachatta

Thursday, May 15, 2 p.m.

Ridge Manor Community Center, 34240 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville

Tuesday, May 20, 6:30 p.m.

The Lake House Hall, 1202 Kenlake Ave., Spring Hill

Thursday, May 22, 2 p.m.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Building, Shoal Line Boulevard, Hernando Beach

Tuesday, May 27, 6:30 p.m.

VFW Post 10209, 14736 Edward R. Noll Drive, Spring Hill

Hernando may ask: What would you cut from budget? 04/18/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2008 12:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  2. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended


    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.
  5. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners


    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.