Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Budget forces Hernando County elections chief to reduce early voting by 34 hours

Barring a budget miracle, Hernando County voters will have to make do with 62 hours of early voting prior to the Nov. 6 general election — 34 hours fewer than the maximum allowed by law.

Adding the extra hours would require Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams to keep the Brooksville and Spring Hill offices open for eight 12-hour days. The estimated price tag for the overtime, according to Williams' office: $20,000.

Other elections supervisors in the Tampa Bay area say they plan to offer the maximum number of early voting hours because of the higher turnout expected for a general election that features a presidential race. Williams said her 2012-13 budget of $874,216 won't allow her do that.

That figure is nearly half of what it was five years ago, and doesn't include another roughly $30,000 the County Commission recently directed Williams to lop off to help cover an unexpected shortfall in the county's general fund.

"I think it would be beneficial to our voters to have the 12-hour days, but I can only do what I can based on the budget I'm given," Williams said. "I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel."

Early voting will run from Saturday, Oct. 27, to Saturday, Nov. 3. The current schedule calls for hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Rowden: Add student rep to commission

It seemed to work for the School Board, and now Diane Rowden wants to try it for the County Commission.

Rowden, the Democratic candidate for the District 3 seat on the County Commission, is proposing to add a student representative position on the commission. If elected, Rowden said, she would like to see a student selected from Pasco-Hernando Community College who would attend commission meetings and be a liaison between the commission and students.

"I believe that if we want our young people to stay in our county, then we need to offer them more opportunities to have a say in their government," Rowden stated in a recent press release. "This will be a new perspective on the commission that has been underrepresented in the past."

The first student representative on the School Board, Tori Selby, is now working for Rowden's campaign.

Rowden faces Republican Jason Sager, no-party candidate Greg Sheldon and write-in Tanya Marsh in the general election.

Fundraiser to benefit GOP candidate Sager

Speaking of the District 3 commission race, one of the county's most prominent residents is opening his Brooksville home this week to raise money for Republican candidate Jason Sager.

Retired mining executive and developer Tommy Bronson and his wife, Connie, will host a fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. A donation of $50 per person is requested, though an invitation notes the maximum contribution allowed by law is $500.

Among the "special guests" listed on the invitation is state Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill.

The event is open to the public, but space is limited, so an RSVP is requested, said Sager's wife, Stephanie.

Tommy Bronson was traveling last week and couldn't be reached for comment. The Bronsons are members of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, where Stephanie Barnett Sager is director of music.

"We truly appreciate their friendship and support and their willingness to open their home to us," Barnett Sager said of the Bronsons.

To RSVP, call her at (813) 394-8671.

Staff writers Barbara Behrendt and Tony Marrero contributed to this report.

Budget forces Hernando County elections chief to reduce early voting by 34 hours 09/08/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 8, 2012 11:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  2. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  3. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond


    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
  4. Mayor Rick Kriseman says election is about moving forward


    Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office  Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward..

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally
  5. Mulberry teens, 15 and 18, killed when cars collide at Plant City intersection


    MULBERRY — The local high school has an enrollment of 1,000 but to some it feels like a tight-knit family. Many of Mulberry High School's students have spent all of their school days within the city limits, said principal Michael Young.

    Pepe Salgado, 18, Frinzi’s brother, died at the hospital.