Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Well trouble continues for Dade City commissioner

David Hernandez sits with his wife, Dade City Commissioner Camille Hernandez, after the two appeared before Judge William Sestak to dispute their citation for having an illegal well. They’re due back in court June 4.


David Hernandez sits with his wife, Dade City Commissioner Camille Hernandez, after the two appeared before Judge William Sestak to dispute their citation for having an illegal well. They’re due back in court June 4.

DADE CITY — Two prominent couples came to court Friday after receiving citations for having illegal wells on their property.

The Avilas left with the charges dropped.

The Hernandezes pleaded not guilty and left with another court date.

Robert Avila, a former city commission candidate, and his wife, Lucy, had their citation dismissed after providing documentation that their well predated the city's 1982 ban.

According to City Clerk Jim Class, Robert Avila searched city records and found minutes from a decades-old commission meeting showing the previous property owner received permission to replace the well. City officials now consider the Avilas' well to be "grandfathered in," Class said.

City Commissioner Camille Hernandez and her husband, David, have also argued their well predates the ban. So far, they have not provided the documentation to convince city officials.

The well controversy bubbled up last fall, after Camille Hernandez and other commissioners suggested lifting the ban on private wells, which the city had outlawed to protect its water supply and utility revenue.

A few days later, documentation from 2007 surfaced at City Hall indicating the Hernandezes had a private well on their Bougainvillea Avenue property.

The commission later voted to uphold the ban, and city officials began researching the private wells in town to determine which ones might be in violation. The city sent letters to about a dozen possible violators. By the end of January, all of them provided proof that they either didn't have a well, or that theirs predated the ban.

Except the Avilas and Hernandezes.

After presenting their documentation, the Avilas left court Friday in the clear. The Hernandezes were told to report back June 4 for another hearing. If found in violation, they could face a fine of up to $500 plus administrative fees.

Camille and David Hernandez declined to comment.

Well trouble continues for Dade City commissioner 04/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 9, 2010 9:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law


    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations.
  2. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot


    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  3. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  4. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  5. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.