Former Pasco Commissioner Pat Mulieri is criticizing the make-up of the just-released county advisory committee on charter government.
Within hours of the appointments being made public Tuesday evening, Mulieri fired off e-mail to commissioners and journalists saying the picks lack gender and economic diversity. Of the 15 appointments, School Board member Alison Crumbley - named by Commissioner Kathryn Starkey – is the only female....
03/03/15 Local Government
DADE CITY — Retired County Administrator John Gallagher heads the list of citizens who will consider the merits of a charter government for Pasco County.
Commission Chairman Ted Schrader included Gallagher as one of his two appointments to the 15-member advisory committee that will make recommendations to the commission next year. Gallagher, who turned 68 later this week, retired last year after 32 years as county administrator....
03/03/15 Local Government
DADE CITY — For the fourth time in the past half-dozen years, Pasco County commissioners heard a pitch for a penny-on-the-dollar increase in the county's tourism tax. And, as with past commissions, the current board turned inhospitable to the idea.
The proposal came Tuesday during a workshop among commissioners and the advisory Tourist Development Council to discuss a five-year strategic plan for tourism. The tax increase, which would have generated about $400,000 annually, was intended to boost the county's marketing efforts to attract sports and nature-based tourists....
02/26/15 Local Government
Talk with state Rep. Richard Corcoran about a charter government for Pasco County and lots of names come into the conversation.
T. Rowe Price.
So, two financial institutions and Tampa's mayor are a key part of this debate? It harkens back to James Carville's internal campaign message to Bill Clinton in 1992: It's the economy, stupid.
This is the charter logic being offered. T. Rowe Price paid $13.5 million for a prime piece of real estate in Lutz, but then never followed through on its plans to add up to 1,200 new jobs on its 72-acre campus. The six-year romance with Pasco finally fell apart publicly 10 months ago. The county is helping to market the land....
02/24/15 Economic Development
WESLEY CHAPEL — Hockey sticks and pucks replaced shovels and hard hats Tuesday morning, even though a front-end loader and dump truck moved dirt where a Zamboni machine will travel across ice in about nine months.
The dichotomy came as more than 100 people gathered to celebrate the commencement of construction on the Cypress Creek Ice and Sports Complex. The $20 million, privately owned and operated facility, located near the State Road 56/Interstate 75 interchange, is about to be rechristened, however. ...
02/23/15 Local Government
Pasco County is poised to pay $450,000 and become partners with a developer on 13 new rental homes reserved for low-income and special-needs residents to settle a legal fight over a scuttled affordable housing partnership.
If commissioners approve the proposed settlement Tuesday, the legal fight will have cost the county $400,000 in legal fees, plus the $450,000 payment to CWHIP Partners LLC, General Home Development Corp. and Ten Oaks Development Corp. Additionally, the county will use state and federal housing dollars to let the developers build the 13 homes....
02/19/15 Local Government
State Rep. Richard Corcoran says he trusts the citizens of Pasco County.
It's one of the standard talking points from the future speaker of the Florida House of Representatives when the topic turns to charter government for Pasco County. Corcoran likes the idea of a charter. So much so that he previously talked about forming a political action committee, raising money and paying people to collect 46,000 petition signatures, which would force the issue to an eventual ballot referendum. He thinks a charter ought to provide for an elected county executive/chairman, single-member districts for commissioners, terms limits and a recall provision....
02/18/15 Real Estate
GOWERS CORNER — The suburbanization of central Pasco is heading north.
Residential growth patterns for the past two decades primarily followed the east-west route along the State Road 54/56 corridor from Trinity to Wiregrass. That trend certainly isn't slowing, with Starkey Ranch under construction in Odessa, the Asturia development slated to add 900 homes and apartments on the former Behnke Ranch, Newland Communities planning to offer homes for sale at the massive Bexley Ranch development by year's end, and Standard Pacific homes debuting its Estacia at Wiregrass just last week....
02/17/15 Local Government
NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County commissioners agreed Tuesday to explore a charter government on their own terms, and plan to appoint an advisory committee of voters to propose potential changes on how local government operates.
Under the plan, to be formalized in a local ordinance, commissioners would retain the option of blessing the finished product, or modifying the recommendations, before seeking a voter referendum, possibly in November 2016. ...
State Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, isn’t too pleased that the Pasco County Commission is staking out an alternative route toward charter government.
Corcoran, who started this public debate, said in January he planned to form a political action committee to raise money and obtain the 46,000 signatures necessary to require a charter commission. Under state law, that panel would have 18 months to complete its task and to take the results to the elected County Commission for a voter referendum....
02/12/15 Local Government
NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County commissioners are considering a "starter charter'' form of government to retain greater control over a proposed makeover of how the county operates.
By adopting a local ordinance to create a charter government advisory committee, commissioners can retain the ability to select from multiple options for a voter referendum, including whether the county administrator should be appointed by commissioners or elected by the public. More significant changes could be made later, if voters approve....
PORT RICHEY — The sign proclaiming Florida state parks as a "national gold medal winner voted America's best'' is low the ground, partially obscured by dead branches from a nearby palmetto bush. It sits amid a short, pothole-filled lime rock driveway leading to a trail head off Scenic Drive, one of three public access points to Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park in western Pasco County....
The beautification of U.S. 19 through Pasco will begin in the middle of the road.
At least that is the plan of the West Pasco Board of Realtors and the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce. They want green palm fronds to replace orange construction barrels. Greg Armstrong calls it creating the "wow.''
Armstrong is head of the political affairs committee for the Realtors. His business, Coldwell Banker F.I. Grey and Son Residential Inc., fronts on U.S. 19, just north of the Main Street intersection in New Port Richey. For the past several months, he's been preoccupied, not with "wow,'' but with "when?'' As in, when is this construction going to be finished? Fall of this year, says the Florida Department of Transportation. ...
The sales pitch starts early.
Old Dixie Highway, south of SunWest Park, needs to be paved. If you do that, then all the people living in Sea Ranch and elsewhere west of U.S. 19 in Hudson can get to the soon-to-open county park without having to navigate U.S. 19 traffic.
Parking spots for 240 cars isn't enough. Not nearly enough.'
And can move from parking to potties....
The swimming pool at the former Hercules Aquatic Center in Zephyrhills is still empty. Unless you count trash and rainwater.
Consider that a public service announcement and a reminder of a wasted asset.
It's worth keeping the Hercules site in mind because Pasco County is about to embark on a long-term parks and recreation master plan, the details of which will be presented to commissioners in a March 3 workshop. (See related story on this page.) But in an October preview, consultants reported that telephone interviews and mail surveys of 621 people revealed the public's top two priorities: taking better care of existing facilities, and adding water facilities and programs — splash parks, swimming pools, water fitness and swimming lessons....