Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Casting a wider net at Children's Board

The Children's Board of Hillsborough County has made the right decision to broaden its search for a new chief executive. The talent pool of original applicants was shallow, and the agency's governing board has an obligation to look further for a leader who can solidify the future for this valuable organization.

The board voted Wednesday to extend the search by 30 days. It plans to interview the finalists in April and select a CEO in May. That is a reasonable investment of time. The initial pool of 225 applicants was flush with midlevel bureaucrats from agencies across the country and one-man bands at obscure nonprofits. The extra 30 days does not offer a huge chance to widen the net. But it sends a message about the minimum requirements for the job and helps the board focus on the most qualified candidates.

The board also needs to use the next month to highlight in a very public way what it needs in a new leader. As a leading social safety net in Hillsborough, the Children's Board plays a critical role in moving poor and at-risk children and families through an array of services that build self-worth and self-sufficiency. As a public institution funded by local property taxes, the agency has a duty to spend responsibly and produce results. The new CEO must appreciate the dual demands of serving the needy and being a prudent steward. And he or she must have the integrity and political skills to run an agency whose books and meetings are open under the law.

Former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio has put the agency on sound footing as interim chief executive, moving swiftly after the ouster last year of Luanne Panacek to address wasteful spending and low morale. Iorio cut the staff, redirected money from overhead to services and instituted new contracting and ethics controls. She is spreading the success story of the Children's Board, which the agency must do if it hopes to win reauthorization of its tax base in a public referendum in 2016.

The circumstances that led to Panacek's ouster and the year lost looking for new permanent leadership should be a lesson to the board that it needs to put a sharper eye on the operation and take on more responsibility as community leaders for raising the agency's profile. The vote in 2016 will be here soon enough. With plenty of competition for the public's money, the board needs to underscore its mission as a priority in Hillsborough.

Comments
Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but it’s also suppression

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Monday to allow Ohio’s purging of its voter rolls is difficult to dispute legally. While federal law prohibits removing citizens from voter rolls simply because they haven’t voted, Ohio’s purge is slightly different. T...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to ride for free?This fall, the TECO Streetcar Line eliminates its $2.50-a-ride-fare, providing the best opportunity yet to see whether the system’s vintage streetcar replicas can serve as a legitimate transportation a...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

A good way to guarantee you’ll be wrong about something is to predict the future of technology. As in, "One day, we’ll all …" Experts can hazard guesses about artificial intelligence, driverless cars or the death of cable television, but technologica...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

The Florida Department of Children and Families has correctly set a quick deadline for Hillsborough County’s main child welfare provider to correct its foster care program. For too long the same story has played out, where troubled teens who need fos...
Published: 06/14/18