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C.T. Bowen, Pasco Times Columnist

C.T. Bowen

C.T. Bowen has been reporting and writing about the people and politics of Pasco County since moving to Florida in 1987. A native of upstate New York, he lives in Land O' Lakes with his wife, Mary Beth, a public school teacher. They have two sons.

Phone: (727) 869-6239


  1. Five seek Pasco contract to lobby in Tallahassee


    Five companies, including the incumbent, are seeking a Pasco County contract to lobby in Tallahassee.

    On Tuesday, county commissioners will be asked to allow the staff to short list the five companies to three and to schedule oral presentations for Oct. 19.

    The applicants include the Pittman Law Group of Tallahassee, whose government clients include the cities of Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, Port Orange, North Miami, Royal Palm Beach, and Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties; Public Affairs Consultants of Tallahassee which represents the municipal governments of the village of Tequesta and Jupiter Inlet Colony; Smith, Bryan & Myers, whose client list includes the Florida Association of Counties, the city of Pembrook Pines and Osceola County; incumbent Shawn Foster whose Sunrise Consulting Group is based in Trinity; and the county’s former lobbyist, The Advocacy Group of Cardenas Partners....

  2. Corley seeks another term as Pasco elections supervisor


    Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley filed campaign papers Thursday morning to seek re-election in 2016.

    Corley, a Republican, was appointed to the job in 2007 by Gov. Charlie Crist to fill the vacancy after Crist named then-Elections Supervisor Kurt Browning as Florida secretary of state. Corley, 45, defeated Democrat Patricia Carroll in 2008 and ran unopposed four years ago. The current president of the Florida State Association of Supervisor of Elections, Corley was instrumental in working with the Legislature to authorize online voter registration beginning in 2017....

  3. Gowers Corner residents perplexed by recent, and persistent, flooding


    LAND O'LAKES — John and Linda Pollock have to use a rented, portable toilet sitting next to the driveway outside their house.

    Across the street, Damon Navari built an outdoor shower — it's the blue-tarped rectangle at the corner of the house — to keep the bath water out of the septic field. Neighbor Joe Morrow doesn't bother with his well.

    "I wouldn't drink that water; I'm pretty sure nobody else would,'' Morrow volunteered....

  4. Bowen: Time to fill in the blank along SR54/56 corridor


    Pasco County is trying to figure out how to move people from here to there, besides the traditional way of staring at the red brake lights in front of you.

    Essentially, the county wants residents to complete the sentence: The best way to get from Trinity to Wesley Chapel is (fill in the blank).

    Helicopters don't count.

    The county purposely left that sentence incomplete when it compiled its 25-year transportation plan through 2040....

  5. Hotel boom follows growth in Wesley Chapel


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Construction of the Tampa Premium Outlets mall and the Florida Hospital Center Ice complex is helping to trigger another burgeoning business sector along the State Road 56 corridor in Pasco County — the hospitality industry.

    Three new motels are planned east of the Interstate 75 interchange. The latest is a six-story, 125-room Hilton Garden Inn, earmarked for SR 56 and Silver Maple Parkway in the Cypress Creek development....

  6. Bowen: Environmental stewardship ends where the wildlife trail begins


    The environmental stewardship lasted exactly seven days.

    That's how long it took some Pasco commissioners to morph from waxing nostalgically about preserving favored fishing spots and kayaking routes along the coast to hemming and hawing their way toward another delay on a proposed ordinance to protect wildlife from encroaching development.

    What's the hurry? It's only been 15 years since a court settlement required the county to start working on the ordinance....

  7. Pinellas baseball plan nudges Pasco toward indoor sports


    NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County's quest for a sports tourism attraction should be heading indoors, a consultant reiterated to commissioners Tuesday.

    The Atlanta Braves likely hammered home that point earlier in the day when it was revealed that the Major League Baseball team, retired slugger Gary Sheffield and a private developer want to put a spring training stadium and tournament-caliber amateur sports complex in Pinellas County....

  8. Pasco approves budget with higher wages, higher taxes

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Here's something you don't see every day — people applauding a property tax increase.

    But, that's what happened Tuesday evening when deputies, firefighters and their families gave a round of applause to Pasco commissioners after the board unanimously approved the 2015-16 county budget, which included salary increases for the first responders and a higher tax rate to help pay for the increased wages....

  9. Pasco commissioners agree to change rules for resolving excessive water bills

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County utilities customers with disputed water bills will be getting some relief, but the amount of their discounts remains unresolved.

    On Tuesday, county commissioners agreed to change their rules governing when the county will forgive exorbitant water bills. Under the proposal, which is still subject to a public hearing and a commission vote, the county would offer discounts of more than 50 percent for customers showing unexplained high water use....

    Commissioner Mike Wells Jr. wanted one couple’s bill cut to zero.
  10. Bowen: Searching for a bike path to prosperity

    Local Government

    The city of Webster in Sumter County and Dade City, the Pasco County seat, are separated by 24 miles, but connected by a burgeoning political squabble — over bicycles.

    Webster, a town of fewer than 1,000 people, is known regionally for its Mondays-only flea market that has been around for more than 50 years. Dade City, with more than 6,000 residents, boasts an antique-laden downtown shopping district and a tax base crowned by the privately owned, 355-acre Dade City Business Center....

    Both Webster and Dade City would like a state bicycle trail to come through their town.
  11. Anonymous donation could complete SunWest Park project

    Local Government

    ARIPEKA — An anonymous benefactor plans to donate $600,000 toward the county-owned SunWest Park in Aripeka, money that would be earmarked for additional parking, a second restroom and a splash pad for children.

    Those amenities, included in the unscheduled second phase of the park's construction, have been a bone of contention among commissioners for the past 18 months as Commissioner Jack Mariano has lobbied often, but unsuccessfully, to get those items expedited with public money....

    Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano points out features at SunWest Park in Aripeka while giving a tour of the work in progress.
  12. Redesign slows ice rink progress; opening pushed to March


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Skating enthusiasts are going to have to wait a little longer before knocking around a hockey puck or landing an axel jump at Florida Hospital Center Ice.

    The $20 million ice rink and sports center remains a work in progress, slowed most recently by a redesign of the building's foundation and structural components to accommodate the mechanical system piping needed for the center....

    The Florida Hospital Center Ice will now open in March 2016.
  13. Unexpected Transportation dollars put U.S. 19 landscape project back on track in Pasco


    NEW PORT RICHEY — The makeover of U.S. 19 is going to happen sooner than expected.

    Six weeks after Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $500,000 to add landscaping to the center medians of U.S. 19, the state Department of Transportation told Pasco County it had earmarked $545,000 toward the beautification project through an existing grant program.

    Additionally, the DOT notified the cities of New Port Richey and Port Richey that a combined $676,000 was available to landscape the highway within the corporate limits of the two municipalities....

  14. Pasco commissioners approve proposed budget, higher tax rate

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Pasco County commissioners gave preliminary approval to a 2015-16 county budget Tuesday night that includes a 3.7 percent property tax increase for most of the county to finance above-average raises for public safety employees, hire two new code enforcement officers and add an ambulance and crew at the fire station along County Line Road in northern Pasco.

    The proposed $1.3 billion budget also eliminates the $10 fee charged to some youth athletes at county parks and sets aside money for a planned fire station in the Watergrass area of Wesley Chapel that is not expected to open until 2017....

  15. Pasco buys Rocky Creek coastal preserve


    DADE CITY — Pasco County will buy a new coastal preserve, and the 65-acre tract could get a new name, with a purchase agreement approved Tuesday by county commissioners.

    The commission, in a unanimous vote, agreed to acquire land known as Rocky Creek in the city of Port Richey for $3.1 million, more than $2 million less than the average value of $5.15 million set by two independent appraisers....