As the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority continues to try to maintain as much bus service as possible even as revenues continue to decrease, the words "light" and "rail" are rarely if ever heard at HART board meetings. The rejection by Hillsborough voters on Election Night, 2010, still carries an overwhelming impact.
And don't expect light-rail discussions to resume anytime soon. Today Governor Rick Scott named a major critic of the rail ballot measure, Josh Burgin, to the board.
You might recall that Burgin decided in 2010 to challenge County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, a fellow Republican, in his bid for re-election to the Hillsborough County Commission. Sharpe had alienated a swath of people in his own party for his unstinting cheerleading for the rail initiative, and Burgin answered the call of those who wanted to teach Sharpe a lesson.
It didn't work, however, as Sharpe skunked Burgin in that August 2010 election.