Saturday, April 21, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Experienced new chief for Tampa Bay Water

Matthew Jordan will have a full plate when he moves from North Carolina this summer to become the new chief executive of Tampa Bay Water. The three-county public utility is repairing its reservoir, thinking through its water supply plan for the next five years and working to re-establish public confidence in its operation. Jordan should bring these efforts to an orderly landing and strengthen ties among local governments.

The agency is scheduled to approve Jordan's hiring today. He would replace Gerald Seeber, who is leaving after five years to become city manager in Temple Terrace. Jordan's training as a professional engineer and work experience with public utilities prepare him for a position that demands both technical know-how and diplomatic abilities.

Jordan comes in without any ties to the trouble with the reservoir or earlier problems with the agency's seawater desalination plant. But he is taking command of an agency that has reacted too slowly to problems and which at times has been more interested in playing the blame game than in taking responsibility for the water supply projects under its control. Officials estimate that repairs to cracks in the reservoir could be completed by 2014. That will require that Jordan explore a range of options both long- and short-term to reduce the region's need to pump groundwater and to operate the relatively costly desalination plant.

Jordan also should strengthen Tampa Bay Water's image among policymakers and the public. The utility has been at different times both a model for further regional collaboration and warning sign of the challenges in looking beyond parochialism. But it serves a vital function in protecting and managing the region's natural resources. And taking such a broad approach to water policy has a springboard effect beyond the environment, giving area governments a fuller appreciation for how growth can be accommodated in a delicate coastal environment. As chief executive, Jordan will play a key role in the region, and he should run the operation in ways that inspire further cooperation in job development, tourism and other regional priorities.

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Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

A new foster care provider in Hillsborough County is poised to take over operations in May, only months after its predecessor was fired for what was alleged to be a pattern of failing to supervise at-risk children in its care. Many of the case manage...
Published: 04/18/18

Another voice: Back to postal reform

President Donald Trump is angry at Amazon for, in his tweeted words, "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy." Yet in more recent days, Trump has at least channeled his feelings in what could prove...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

A bipartisan Senate bill clarifying that only the attorney general or a high-ranking designee could remove a special prosecutor would send an important message amid President Donald Trump’s attacks on the investigation into Russia’s inter...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18