Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough County lays off 94 as commissioners hold line on taxes

TAMPA — Ninety-four Hillsborough County workers will get pink slips today after commissioners gave final approval Thursday to a budget that includes a nearly $50 million decrease in operations.

Nearly 70 of those employees come from the Parks and Recreation Department, which took an $11 million hit.

The new budget will farm out park maintenance to private contractors and begin turning over county after-school programs to community organizations.

One of the laid-off workers who couldn't find another job with the county is Glenda Hoxit, 50, a parks landscaper. She showed up with dozens of other workers, many of them wearing the green T-shirts of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

"Twenty-two years of service to Hillsborough County," Hoxit said outside the meeting. "It's heartbreaking to know I've always dedicated myself to my job."

The plan cut nearly 450 positions, but the actual number of layoffs is far lower thanks in large part to the county's early retirement incentive program and the transfer of some employees into other slots.

Commissioners Les Miller and Kevin Beckner cast the only votes against the $2.95 billion spending plan. Both men expressed uneasiness with the process by which some employees in eliminated positions were put into new jobs — and others were not.

"I have a real serious issue with what has happened to our employees," Miller said. He also cast doubt on whether contractors would be up to par.

"Privatization has been a failure everywhere it's been," he said.

That line drew applause from union members, who told commissioners the county would end up paying more to clean up behind private contractors.

Commissioners set aside $300,000 for the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, saying they wanted the money earmarked to assist laid-off county workers.

Commissioners slightly lowered the county property tax rate to about $8.96 for every $1,000 in taxable value. So officials can say they've lowered the rate 18 consecutive years.

No one in attendance Thursday night complained about taxes, but Commissioner Mark Sharpe recalled that just a few years ago, the room was filled with fed-up homeowners — not county workers.

Reach Jodie Tillman at jtillman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3374.

Hillsborough County lays off 94 as commissioners hold line on taxes 09/22/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn proposes $974 million budget for 2018

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Mayor Bob Buckhorn today proposed a $974.2 million budget for next year that would raise the city's property tax rate for the first time since 1989 and use the additional revenue to improve parks, expand fire service and prepare for looming financial challenges in the years ahead.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn presented his proposed $974.2 million budget for 2018 to the City Council on Thursday. RICHARD DANIELSON | Times (2016)
  2. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.
  3. Florida house where O.J. Simpson lived listed for $1.3 million

    Crime

    MIAMI — What happened to the Florida home where O.J. Simpson lived with his children after his acquittal in the death of his ex-wife and her friend?

    O.J. Simpson explains his golf scoring to his daughter, Sydney, as he played golf on Key Biscayne in Miami in 1997. The house south of Miami where Simpson lived with Sydney and his son, Justin, until his 2008 conviction in an armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas, is on the market. [AP photo]
  4. Behind the lens: To capture an exhilarating moment, it's better to be lucky AND good

    Travel

    Editor's note: Boyzell Hosey, our Assistant Managing Editor - Photography/Multimedia, shot this image while on a family vacation in Alaska. Below is his description of the shot.

  5. Council candidate James Scott sees a green future for St. Petersburg

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG — James Scott's central tenet is sustainability.

    St. Petersburg City Council District 6 candidate James Scott. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   TIMES]