Keep your smirk to yourself

Word for Word

Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita was quoted in news reports last week criticizing some of her colleagues for skipping out on a planned commission meeting to attend the funeral of a well-connected developer. The next day, one of those four, Commissioner Ken Hagan, responded this way during a meeting:

Hagan: I received a few minutes ago an e-mail on the funeral arrangements for Sergeant Ronald Harrison, and the funeral is scheduled for 1:00 on Tuesday, and I think we should consider rescheduling our land-use meeting that day. I don't know the board's position on this. Judging by Commissioner Ferlita's comments in yesterday's paper regarding rescheduling our Wednesday meeting, I know she feels it's bad government and inconsiderate, and we should just send a designee or a card. I think sending a card or designee —

Ferlita: Mr. Hagan, you are absolutely out of order in terms of the questions of what I said. That is very, very unfair.

Hagan: I certainly think it's not good enough for Tuesday, and so I think we should make every effort to attend Sergeant Harrison's funeral. And it's the least we can do to show respect for this man.

Ferlita: Mr. Hagan, your comments directed to me were absolutely inappropriate.

Sir, nobody is stronger here than me for public safety. ... I was chairman down the street [of Tampa City Council's public safety committee] of that for a long time, and to say that in the same breath — yeah, keep your smirk — to say that in the same breath that you talk about the death of a deputy sheriff who died in the line of duty for us, you are absolutely hitting below the belt, Mr. Hagan.

That is not fair to me, to them and to the gentleman who died.

Chairman Jim Norman: Folks, folks, folks.

Ferlita: That is very, very rude.

[applause from audience]

Hagan: I just want to state that I'm reading directly from the papers yesterday that we should — other ways to express sympathy such as sending a designee from the board or a card, and I'm simply stating — I simply want to say that's inappropriate, and the board should go, all of us.

Ferlita: For Mr. Hagan to continue quoting me when it comes down to the service that this gentleman gave us, Mr. Hagan, I have no respect for your comments. You better correct what you're thinking because you're way out of line.

Edited from closed-captioning scripts, HTV22 Hillsborough County.