(ran PAS edition)
The following stories appeared last week in The Times:
HAMBRICK'S BIG DAY ENDS IN BIG D: A sign is likely to go up in the lobby of the Master's Inn in Dade City: Help Wanted. The Dallas Cowboys' gain is the hotel's loss after Lacoochee's now-most-famous resident Darren Hambrick was selected April 19 in the NFL draft, making mother Marvis, 41, an ex-employee. The former Pasco High all-state star was selected in the fifth round, the 130th selection overall.
CASINO SHIPS COULD FACE COMPETITION: The city of Port Richey might have another gambling boat to compete with the two SunCruz boats. A Michigan group is seeking to buy the Seaside Inn restaurant and an adjacent parcel, both at the mouth of the Pithlachascotee River, as a base for its operation, said Port Richey City Council member Ron Barnett. He wouldn't name the group but said the company approached him and another marina owner last month about basing a casino boat at one of their properties.
SHERIFF GOES TO 2ND TAX OPTION: A plan to raise the sales tax in Pasco to pay for more deputies apparently has sputtered out, so the Sheriff's Office is pinning its hopes on a second option: a special property tax district. The sales tax plan would require changing Florida law so counties could use sales tax revenue for law enforcement rather than primarily for capital improvement projects. It would have allowed Pasco voters this fall to decide whether they wanted to pay an extra half-cent sales tax for the added deputies. When that failed, the option switched to a county municipal service taxing district. If passed, it is expected to raise about about $8.7-million.
PASCO OKAYS NEW DRAINAGE GUIDELINES: Under pressure from the building industry, county commissioners on Tuesday passed a watered-down plan intended to ensure that builders properly grade lots for adequate drainage. Commissioners unanimously adopted the regulations to address a loophole in county policy highlighted by this winter's unusually heavy rains: The county had no system for checking to make sure builders followed drainage plans submitted by subdivision developers.
COMMISSIONER DELAYS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: On April 8, when commissioners made the extraordinary move of calling for a vote of confidence in County Administrator John Gallagher, one commissioner, Pat Mulieri, abstained. The other four commissioners voted yes. They decided to voice their support of Gallagher after a Times investigation last month detailed his handling of a $450,000 private road purchase in Wesley Chapel. Mulieri preferred not to vote; Commissioner David "Hap" Clark said she must. State law indicates Clark was right. Commissioners may only abstain when there is a conflict of interest. Mulieri expects to make her official vote this week.