Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mitch Perry Report 11.27.12 - Days of fluoride and rail

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 8:03 AM

In recent years, two of the biggest issues in local Bay area politics have been the light rail and fluoride.

In the case of Pinellas County, the local government may put up a referendum in 2013 to help fund a light rail line between St. Pete and Clearwater — a major development since the region remains one of the biggest in the nation without such a form of transportation.

Hillsborough County had its shot two years ago, but overwhelmingly rejected a penny sales tax measure that would have allowed for the construction of a system. The Tampa Tribune's Ted Jackovics reported that the Hillsborough Metropolitan Organization is looking at a "hybrid" project that would modestly run from USF to downtown Tampa, as a sort of starter project to show the community the benefits of such a system.

Meanwhile, expect to hear a lot of details about the evils of fluoride in Clearwater, as activists who helped spur the Pinellas County Commission to vote in 2011 to remove the chemical from the drinking water reverse that vote today.

Yesterday, the Public Service Commission opted to give carte blanche to two of the biggest investor-owned power companies in Florida, granting them the ability to charge Florida taxpayers nearly $300 million to build their nuclear power plants.

In Clearwater, Gov. Rick Scott announced a challenge to have Florida's state colleges and universities offer up four year scholarships that don't cost more than $10,000. Critics say it would be better if the state stopped cutting funding to higher education.

And former Hillsborough County Commissioner and Tampa City Council member Tom Scott confirmed he's thinking about running again for County Commission in 2014.

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