Hillsborough County has the money to buy thousands of dollars' worth of food and drinks every year for county officials who plop by the government's luxury skybox at Raymond James Stadium. Yet the fourth-largest county in America's fourth-largest state cannot afford to pick up roadkill.
This is not Haiti or Bangladesh. The county will spend $4-billion this year on everything from the sheriff to the libraries. Yet it scratched $66,000 for an employee to collect dead animals from the road. An administrator dismissed the move, saying an animal carcass was "not really a public health issue." Is he kidding? Bury it or bag it, he said: "Some (services) have to be cut."
The cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City will continue to pick up animals within their respective boundaries. But across the remaining 909 square miles of unincorporated Hillsborough — roughly 90 percent of the county's total area — residents are on their own. That's bush league, and the stench should reach even the skyboxes at Raymond James.