The big local news that dominates the front pages this morning in Tampa Bay is Jim Norman ending his work relationship with the Salvation Army after a 31-year career. We blogged about this the moment we heard about it nearly 24 hours ago, but just wanted to take a few paragraphs to ruminate further on what it all means.
Personally, it was only a year ago during a discussion about a homeless "tent city" proposed off of Hillsborough Avenue that I first heard Norman talk about his work with the non-profit. Some readers immediately pounced upon learning that info, since in fact his $92,000 Hillsborough County Commission job is actually a full time gig (unlike working for the Tampa City Council or in the state legislature, which are considered part-time jobs with a commensurate salary). Some wondered then if he wasn't lobbying for the group, which officials at the Salvation Army have steadfastly denied.
Having said that, it boggles the imagination that now that Norman has officially left his $92,000 gig for one that pays $30,000, and does not meet most of the year round like the BOCC does, that he won't have the time to do....well, whatever the heck that has done for decades there.
As has been commented on elsewhere today in the local media, the big loser here is the Army, who took far too long to act, and has not been transparent with the public about the nature of Norman's work, and what justified the very decent salary. Some could say they've just given a permission slip to local citizens to ignore those soliciting for donations this holiday season.
Whatever's the case, it's hardly good news for the new state Senator representing North Hillsborough and Southern Pasco County in Tallahassee.
In Florida last week the Latino vote went heavily towards Marco Rubio in his smashing annihilation of Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek in the U.S. Senate race - but Florida was an outlier in that demographic, as nationally Latinos voted nearly 2-1 in favor of the Dems, according to exit poll information.
Next week a local offshoot of a national environmental organization will be giving out an award to the oil or coal company that, in their words, is the "worst of the worst," in terms of their damage to the environment.
And just for fun we had to reprint some of conservative pundit Dick Morris lamest predictions he made as recent as a week ago on Fox News.
the report here.