Jim Norman is a Republican but his campaign literature is blue … and black and white.
The Hillsborough County commission candidate’s mailers and pamphlets have a distinct Tampa Bay Lightning theme to them, almost making it seem as though Norman is the team’s candidate.
He’s not, though. The team has not endorsed anyone at this point, a Lightning spokesman said....
TAMPA — The business community has weighed in on Hillsborough County's transportation funding debate — sort of.
The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce board of directors on Thursday released a statement regarding transportation that is vague in its wording and somewhat cryptic. But chamber president Bob Rohrlack said Friday the board's intent was to support putting a sales tax transportation referendum on the 2016 ballot....
Tampa’s business community weighed in on Hillsborough County’s transportation funding debate — kind of.
In a somewhat cryptic statement approved Thursday and released today, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce board of directors said it would “support a referendum that includes measureable (sic) transportation outcomes, including mobility options and additional funding sources.” It also said that the board believes “transportation investment in the community requires additional funding sources to solve our transportation challenges.”...
11/20/15 Local Government
TAMPA — This summer the Hillsborough County Commission unanimously voted to designate the county as "welcoming" to refugees. Now that has become a contentious issue after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
Commissioner Stacy White said he now has reservations about Hillsborough joining "Welcoming Cities and Counties," a national program that helps localities improve outreach and helps refugees who relocate to the United States....
TAMPA — Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner reached out to concerned citizens Wednesday to clarify that the county has no say in whether Syrian refugees settle here, despite a recent resolution that designated Hillsborough a “Welcoming County.”
After a handful of angry and concerned calls and emails in the wake of the Paris attacks, Beckner sent a letter to constituents explaining that the “Welcoming Cities and Counties” program Hillsborough joined this summer merely acknowledged that Hillsborough would be more inclusive and improve outreach toward refugees assigned to relocate here. It didn’t, however, mean Hillsborough was committed to taking on more refugees....
Yesterday, Bay Buzz laid out the case for why Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist might vote to put the half cent sales tax transformation referendum on the 2016 ballot. You can read that here.
Today, here’s three reason why Crist, currently positioned as the tiebreaker on this, won’t vote for the referendum....
A few months back, I spoke with Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill about the county’s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program. At the time, the program, known as ELAPP, was running out of money, even though voters in 2008 overwhelmingly approved $200 million in new borrowing to purchase and preserve more environmentally sensitive lands....
As we wrote over the weekend, Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist is the clear swing vote positioned to decide whether the county will move forward with a referendum to raise the sales tax by a half cent to fund 30 years of transportation projects. The vote to put the question on the ballot could come as soon as next month....
11/14/15 Local Government
TAMPA — The fate of Hillsborough County's ambitious transportation initiative appears to lie in the hands of one man: Commissioner Victor Crist.
County commissioners will soon decide whether to ask voters for a half-cent sales tax increase that would raise $117 million a year for transportation projects. Six of seven commissioners have staked out positions.
Commissioners Kevin Beckner, Ken Hagan and Les Miller back the sales tax referendum as the county's best option to improve roads, highways, bridges and transit. Commissioners Al Higginbotham, Sandy Murman and Stacy White oppose it in favor of other solutions that don't need voter approval but provide less flexibility and fewer dollars....
Republican Todd Jones is apparently willing to spend quite a bit of his own money to unseat incumbent Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez.
Jones, a career real estate appraiser who announced his bid October 1, loaned his campaign $100,000 last month, according to campaign finance reports due Tuesday. Outside of the six-figure contribution to his own campaign, Jones raised $3,850....
Republicans hold a 5-2 majority on the Hillsborough County Commission but in a stunning turn Tuesday they decided to vote a Democrat, Les Miller, the new chairman. The decision came at the expense of Commissioner Sandy Murman, who lost her bid for a second term as chair, with two Republicans, Commissioners Victor Crist and Ken Hagan, voting for Miller over her....
11/10/15 Local Government
TAMPA — Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman lost her bid Tuesday for a second term as the commission's leader. It was a surprise rebuke that came just days after she spoke out against a proposed sales tax increase to fund the county's transportation needs.
Surprise was then followed by shock: The Republican-controlled board named Democratic Commissioner Les Miller the new chairman for the next year....
Penny Vinik, wife of Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, donated $500 to Democrat Kevin Beckner in his clerk of the circuit court race against incumbent Democrat Pat Frank.
The contribution was part of a $11,460 haul for Beckner, according to campaign finance records posted Tuesday. It was his strongest month of fundraising since July. Beckner has raised more than $140,000 to date....
TAMPA -- In a surprise move Tuesday, the Hillsborough County commission named Democrat Les Miller its new leader for 2016.
The commission, made up of five Republicans and two Democrats, voted to name Miller chairman, unseating outgoing chairwoman Commissioner Sandy Murman.
Murman was nominated for another year as chair but failed to get the four votes needed to secure a second term. Miller, who was nominated by Republican Commissioner Victor Crist, said he was stunned but honored to receive the accomodation. ...
11/08/15 Local Government
TAMPA — It wasn't long ago that Hillsborough County banned gay pride parades.
What a difference a couple of years make.
The pride parade prohibition was lifted in 2013. A year later, the county commission moved unanimously to ban government discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Along the way, a historic U.S. Supreme Court decision opened the door for hundreds of Hillsborough same-sex couples to marry....