The problem we face is that Hillsborough county is about to propose a sales tax increase as the nucleus to solving the transportation problem.
Unfortunately the tax increase proposal is approaching the problem in a bass-ackwards manner.
The first step in resolving the transportation problem is realizing what, and who, caused it. Once we learn how these deficits were created we can attack the causes, instead of focusing on getting the money without addressing what we're doing wrong.
It's surprising that not many people are asking how we ended up with an exponentially exploding transportation deficit. Elected officials don't talk about it. Some refuse to talk about it. They treat it as though the deficit was an act-of-God. They say, "well folks, the deficit is balooning and we don't have money to fix it so the only thing we can think of is to increase your sales tax". But in fact, God didn't create this deficit, they did. And they're going to continue doing it if we allow it.
The truth is that the citizens of Hillsborough have been victims of a scam. The scam has been perpetrated for decades. The perpetrators are the county commission, both past and present. Those in charge have mismanaged our future by approving growth without requiring developers to fully pay for the impacts. The beneficiaries are the land developers, as well as, those that have a financial interest in land development.
Margaret Iuculano is running against incumbent Kevin Beckner for the Countywide Commission/District 6 seat. She is selling herself as a successful business person with the skills and business acumen necessary to manage the county’s multi-billion dollar budget.
Recent articles have shed a sobering light on her proficiency as a business manager. She’s had commercial property foreclosures, tax warrants for unpaid taxes, as well as, bankruptcies.
But new information that’s come to light may end up showing that she’s not the one that made all those bad business decisions. It was her crystal ball that screwed up.
A brief study of Margaret reveals that she consults with a “corporate psychic” when she makes those tough business decisions.
At the time, The Sun Sentinel reported that, "among his proposals, Martinez wants a state law requiring women seeking abortions be tested if they are at least 20 weeks pregnant a reduction of the states current 24-week standard. If doctors determine that the fetus can survive outside the womb, abortion would be allowed only to save the woman's life, under the governor's proposal."
The politicians sold the convention to us saying it would provide an economic boost. It was historic and an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. All along they told us that county residents would not suffer during the convention, especially outside of downtown Tampa and certainly not in more distant parts of Hillsborough County. As long as we didn’t venture into downtown, life would go on as normal.
As we approach the start of this yet-to-be-determined economic windfall, officials have now changed their tune. We’re being told that some services will be suspended until after the convention. Sheriff David Gee told WFLA TV Channel 8 on yesterday’s 6 o’clock news that, “We’re stretched. There’s no doubt, we’re stretched”. That’s a far cry from what officials were saying less than a month ago.
Leading up to this convention, officials felt the need to promote the idea that there would be little impact outside of the convention area. They spent a lot of time prior to this week conducting a public relations blitz.
These so-called hacktivists are kind of heroes of mine, and the elephants not so much. I could tell you exactly how to keep them out, but I'll let Kevin Mitnick do it. You see once a long long time ago, like before the iPhone long time ago, there was this master hacker who got busted and went white hat. Well, he's throwing out some decent tips on how to keep yourself safe while attending, or reporting on, or protesting, or just hanging around one of the biggest targets for hackers ever.
On Monday at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa, the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County (HCHC) organized an informal question and answers forum. The Q&A followed a presentation by Tampa-Hillsborough Citizens Task Force on Homelessness as they unveiled their recommendations for a 10-year plan to stave off and end homelessness in Hillsborough County. The audience which came to the forum was comprised mostly of individuals from the agencies and organizations, both public and private, involved in the developmental stages and the eventual implementation of the 10 year plan.
The 22nd anniversary of the signing of Americans with Disabilities Act was celebrated Wednesday at the Fred Karl Hillsborough County Center building in downtown Tampa. Although the building dates from the early 1990's and is nearly 30 stories tall, a skyscraper by Floridian standards, it is nevertheless equipped with many ADA regulated accessible modifications. The locale was befitting to the public forum, which was organized by The Hillsborough County Board of Commissioner along with the Hillsborough County Alliance for Citizens with Disabilities to commemorate this landmark piece of legislation.
Finally, someone almost got a chance to use the “Taj Mahal” Regent in Brandon. That someone happens to be a five foot alligator. He was luckier than most Hillsborough citizens. He almost got inside the Regent. Unfortunately for him he was discovered before he made it through the doorway and was captured and taken away. If he was looking to rent the ballroom for a gator event he should have known, looking inside is by appointment only, and it’s frightfully expensive.
He may have gotten tired of waiting, like the rest of us, to enjoy the Regent as a community center. His gator relatives over in Carrollwood probably bragged about their community center, the Carrollwood Cultural Center, which offers concerts, theatre shows, children’s programs, art shows and a whole host of community activities at little or no cost to residents.
When you compare what local residents got for the $7M spent to build the Regent vs. what the Carrollwood Community Center offers, it makes you want to snap at Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, who was instrumental in obtaining much of the county funding while he sat on both boards (the Board of County Commissioners and the Regent’s board), but has since done nothing to change it from a private catering palace to a real community center.
Here's a comparison of scheduled events at the Regent vs. the Carrollwood Center for the month of June 2012: