Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Port Richey to launch PR blitz to tell public about its economic woes

NEW PORT RICHEY — With layoffs and deep budget cuts looming, city officials will go on a PR blitz to inform the public on the scope of major economic problems that New Port Richey faces.

City Manager John Schneiger presented a "communications action plan" to the New Port Richey City Council on Tuesday night. It will be an effort to get face-to-face with residents to discuss the city's dire economic situation.

Hopes are the public relations effort — which the council agreed should be called "Meeting the Challenge Together" — will educate the public, drum up volunteers and generate ideas for economic development among the city's business community and civic groups.

"It's an effort to explain to the public why you have to make the difficult decisions you will have to make," Schneiger told the council. "I can't stress enough how important communications are in a situation like this."

Schneiger said plans are to schedule several public meetings at various locations for the council to meet with residents.

The city also is launching a new website at the end of the month that will contain economic news. Schneiger said he also may be writing an editorial outlining the situation to offer local media outlets.

For many on the council, involving groups such as the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce and Greater New Port Richey Main Street will be key.

"We've got to have buy-in from various groups," said Deputy Mayor Rob Marlowe.

The economic projections for the city in the next five years are dire. Last month, the city learned that property values dropped nearly 11 percent this year, drastically cutting the income from property taxes.

In addition, the city faces a $695,000 drop from two kinds of utility taxes: a surcharge that all city residents pay on their electric bill, and a utility franchise fee that Progress Energy pays the city.

The news piled on an external auditor's existing forecast of a deficit of about $12 million over the next five years, but the situation involving the property and utility taxes spiked the projection to about $15 million, according to Schneiger.

Schneiger says layoffs cannot be avoided, and that an announcement on possible job losses could come by the end of the month.

New Port Richey to launch PR blitz to tell public about its economic woes 06/13/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 21: Tears of love and parting mark the beginning of the final leg of a pilgrim's journey.

    Travel

    Day 21: León to Hospital de Orbigo: 32.6 km, 8.75 hours. Total for Days 1-21 = 498 km (309 miles)

  2. Pinellas detectives investigating shooting that led to car crash

    Public Safety

    LARGO — Pinellas Sheriff's detectives are investigating a shooting that investigators said led to a man crashing his car after he was shot in the abdomen early Tuesday.

  3. Trump tweets, McCain return set stage for health bill vote (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump urged Republicans to "step up to the plate" for Tuesday's crucial Senate vote on their bill eviscerating much of the Obama health care law. The stage was set for high drama, with Sen. John McCain returning to the Capitol to cast his first vote since being diagnosed with brain …

    President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and others, speaks about healthcare, Monday, July 24, 2017, in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. [Associated Press]
  4. Teenage driver livestreams crash that killed sister in California (w/video)

    Accidents

    FRESNO, Calif. — A teenage driver lost control of her car while she was livestreaming on Instagram and recorded part of the crash that authorities say killed her younger sister in California.

    This July 22, 2017 photo provided by the Merced County Sheriff, shows Obdulia Sanchez in Merced, Calif. Sanchez has been arrested in California on suspicion of causing a deadly crash that she recorded live on Instagram. She was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter after Friday's crash that killed her 14-year-old sister and badly injured another 14-year-old girl. [Merced County Sheriff via AP]
  5. Fiancee: Clearwater driver in truck trafficking case helped people

    Nation

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When a long-haul truck driver from Clearwater called his fiancee Sunday from a jail more than 1,000 miles from home, he had only a few minutes to describe the gruesome events that led to him being charged with a crime in which he could face the death penalty.

    James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, center, is escorted out of the federal courthouse following a hearing, Monday, July 24, 2017, in San Antonio. Bradley was arrested in connection with the deaths of multiple people packed into a broiling tractor-trailer. [Associated Press]