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Hernando commissioner seeks election to full term

Nancy Robinson wants to serve another term _ a full term _ as a Hernando County commissioner.

Robinson, a Democrat elected in 1992 to finish Ginny Brown-Waite's four-year term, has qualified to seek re-election to the District 2 seat. Late last year, Spring Hill Republican Brian Spindelman became her first challenger.

Since joining the board, Robinson has involved herself in the Regional Healthcare Inc. bankruptcy case and has tackled indigent transportation issues.

"We need to finish up on the hospital issue. We've just started on a children's and youth advisory group dealing with some children's issues," Robinson said Friday. "We have a lot to do. We're a growing county."

Ethics promises to be a hot issue in County Commission races this year. Robinson last week joined other commissioners in opposing an ethics ordinance pitched by Commissioner Pat Novy.

"I think ethics is a vital part of my personal life and my life as an elected official," Robinson said. "It has been made an issue, but I feel from a consensus of opinion that there isn't an ethics problem in Hernando County. I looked at that ethics ordinance as a punitive approach when there isn't a problem."

A chief concern about Novy's ordinance was a requirement that anyone with something to gain from talking to a commissioner add their name to a list that would be public record. They would be considered a lobbyist.

Robinson said such a requirement would hinder a constituent's ability, and perhaps willingness, to bring problems to their commissioners.

"I just can't label them as a lobbyist because they look at that as a negative connotation," she said. "We have to have that communication. After all, there is no crystal ball here."

The board voted to ask state legislators to revisit Florida's ethics law to see whether it effectively deals with elected officials on a local level. Adopting an ordinance for the county would only duplicate efforts, Robinson said.