1. The Hillsborough County Commission finally dropped the developer pork projects out of the proposed penny sales tax for rail, bus and road widening projects. Problem is they also cut out the word "rail" .........oooops!
2. Lawmakers in California passed a resolution to make the first week in March "Cuss Free Week". WTF?
3. The once embattled and now former chief of the Tampa Workforce Alliance is the incoming 2011 Chair of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. This is good news for Chamber members if she is in charge of the menu!
4. Embattled County Administrator Pat Bean supports a so called energy plant that was asking for the expansion of the county's Urban Service Area. Telling smart growth advocates that the line should be expanded is like forcing a vegetarian to eat a steak (rare). In addition to the many questions brought up by such a proposal (like why do they need 30% of what is a 3000 acre project to be retail/commercial instead of the actual energy portion) several citizens found it strange that the County Administer would weigh in on this one way or another. Bean sent a letter of support to the Planning Commission before this vote went to the Board of County Commissioners. The idea of the park could have merit but that has yet to be seen. Bean weighing in on it before it goes to board members sure seems inappropriate. Activist Mariella Smith has a great post up regarding that major lapse in protocol describing exactly why "Bean is off her chain again". Welcome to CL Mariella! I am a huge fan!
Bob Hunter, the Executive Director of the Planning Commission, notes in this article that in his 23 years no County Administrator has ever weighed in on a plan amendment. Bean has repeatedly recommended slashing the Planning Commission's budget significantly more than almost any other agency even though they are the county's only independent planning agency. Hunter is not popular with over-developers or the Commissioners that serve them and my guess is he isn't so popular with Bean about now either.
5. Did Commissioner Ken Hagan and Steve Burton's antics on the airport authority run off the longtime Executive Director of our fabulous airport? Sure looks that way. I don't usually follow the airport politics but I will say that in addition to running our airport Mr. Miller also serves on the MPO and I have always been impressed by his votes on the issues that I pay attention to. As for our airport, I think that one speaks for itself.
From following county politics I can tell you that Mr. Burton's company recently got a fat contract from our County Commissioners (chaired by Ken Hagan) to help us get stimulus dollars without even a competitive bidding process. It didn't pass the smell test and George Niemann questioned it publicly. Not related but two of the same players.
It sure seems to me that Hagan could have just helped chase off the director of one the finest airports in the country yet he wouldn't vote to fire Pat Bean! Is it November yet? Thank you Mr. Miller for efforts in making our airport one of the very best. If our county was run a fraction as good I wouldn't bother paying attention. Heeeeey, about that County Mayor proposal..........maybe he will consider it?
Photo Credit: John of Austin @Flickr.com