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Baseball park dedication not a hit with all commissioners

County Commissioner Rubin Padgett is having a tough year, and he doesn't seem to be getting any breaks as his departure from the political scene approaches. He lost a close re-election contest in September to fellow Democrat Sylvia Rodriguez Kimbell. Authorities are investigating the propriety of absentee ballots cast at the nursing home he runs. Then, on Wednesday, a simple request by a community group to honor him turned into a matter of commission debate.

The board of directors of Southeast Little League in Palm River voted unanimously to ask the commission to rename the league's park in honor of Padgett, whose support, the league said, was instrumental to its survival.

The commission agreed, but not before Commissioners Phyllis Busansky and Jan Platt said they couldn't support the idea on principle because Padgett still sat on the commission.

They asked the league to bring back its request after Nov. 20, when Padgett's term expires. After about 10 minutes of debate on the ethics of naming something in honor of a current county commissioner, the group passed the motion 3-2, with Platt and Busansky voting no and Padgett abstaining.

Later, apparently to try to offer some support to her colleague, Commissioner Haven Poe, who was absent when the vote was taken, phoned in a message to the board that she, too, would have voted in favor of renaming the park.

Sinicrope opens campaign offices

TAMPA _ County Commission District 5 candidate Al Sinicrope is gearing up for the final stretch of his campaign against Democratic incumbent Jan Platt by opening two campaign offices.

Sinicrope, a Republican, opened the offices in Mango and Town 'N Country last week. They will be staffed full-time during the day so people can pick up yard signs and campaign literature. The offices, which were donated to the campaign, are at 6614 Hanley Road in Town 'N Country and 11505 E Broadway in Mango.

This week's agenda:

Tuesday _ Al Sinicrope will sponsor a coffee-and-doughnut reception 7 to 9 a.m. at campaign headquarters, 6614 Hanley Road.

Country Meadows Retirement Community and Golf Club will sponsor "Meet the Candidates" at 7 p.m. in the clubhouse, 723 Country Meadows Blvd., Plant City. For information, call 752-6699.

Jan Platt will attend Lake Towers Retirement Center's "Jan Platt Appreciation Day" at 7 p.m. in the dining room of Lake Towers, 101 Trinity Lakes Drive, Sun City Center. For information, call 634-3347.

Wednesday _ Sinicrope will participate in a Human Rights Forum at 8 p.m. at the Hillsborough County Courthouse, 419 Pierce St.

Thursday _ The Sun City Women's Republican Club will sponsor a "Meet the Candidates Social" at 9:30 a.m. at the Old Town Hall in Sun City Center.

Saturday _ The Northwest Republican Club will sponsor a reception at 6 p.m. at the American Legion hall, 17413 Gunn Highway, Odessa.

Compiled by staff writers Jennifer Orsi and Anne Plohr

News about upcoming political events in Hillsborough County should be sent to St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Edition, Barnett Plaza, 101 E Kennedy Blvd., Suite 1140, Tampa 33602.