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  1. Transportation

HART names three board members

TAMPA — County commissioners have named three members to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit board whose terms will be effective Nov. 1.

Karen Jaroch and Wallace Bowers were reappointed to the board and architect Mickey Jacob was selected to his first term. Seventeen people filed with the county to fill the three open spots on the 13-person panel. The positions are unpaid.

"That was the highest they've had in a very long time," spokeswoman Sandra Morrison said. "I guess being part of the HART board is a hot option now."

Current board member Steven Polzin applied but was not selected. Morrison said Jacob's experience as an architect made him a favorable option because of his focus on economic development, a key issue for the area.

"He has experience bringing transit and economic development together and will move the conversation forward," said Kevin Thurman, executive director for Connect Tampa Bay, a transit advocacy group.

The HART board could undergo a major transformation, expanding beyond bus service and into a transportation super agency for the county. Some have proposed reorganizing the board to allow it to take on a greater role within the county. But group members tabled the governance discussion for now, opting instead to focus on public outreach for a potential 2016 transportation referendum.

Directors serve three-year terms. They are required to file an annual financial disclosure with the supervisor of elections within 30 days of their appointment.

Two more positions will open up in November when former HART chairwoman Fran Davin and County Commissioner Mark Sharpe vacate their spots, Morrison said.

Contact Caitlin Johnston at cjohnston@tampabay.com or (813) 661-2443. Follow @cljohnst.

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