RE: "Critics: Too often, developers get their way."
It was refreshing to finally hear a member of the BOCC 'fess up and admit that they are nothing more than a "rubber stamp" for development, as Commissoner Al Higginbotham did in your article. In the past, the board's commissioners have pretended to be lawmakers who served the needs of Hillsborough County. The most recent BOCC has exposed that notion as a sham.
Since developers pay for so much grease that the BOCC receives (campaign contributions, lavish meals, trips to Las Vegas, etc.), perhaps they might also consider paying for the BOCC's salaries. Not only would this help trim the budget, it would also allow them to salvage the EPC, who actually care about the people they serve.
Don't end public tennis at HCC
Subject: Stop the HCC tennis closure
The announced plan to end public tennis at Hillsborough Community College is badly timed, to say the least. Tennis is the only sport where participation is growing. One-third of new U.S. players are minorities. For kids and adults alike, tennis is a safe, healthy inexpensive sport ... if public courts are open.
Tampa's public courts are crowded every weekend and every evening. Davis Islands, Himes Sports Complex, Cal Dickson, MacFarlane Park and HCC are very busy. Now, all 28 of HCC's courts are slated to be closed. That would wipe out nearly half of Tampa's tennis courts and eliminate the only feature tennis facility in Hillsborough.
Bad move! City and HCC leaders need to keep the facility open, at least partially, by using a tiny, tiny fraction of the Community Investment Tax monies.
High schools and colleges, adults and kids, pros and rookies - 20,000 to 25,000 people per year - play tennis at HCC. Keep HCC tennis going, please!
Gary Shepherd, Tampa
Hillsborough County Tennis Association