County Mayor Concept dissed again by County Commissioners by Mitch E. Perry

04/19/06

Most of the Hillsborough County Commissioners have made no secret they have little love for a proposed referendum that would enact an elected Mayor form of County Government.

In previous discussions, they have ridiculed the concept and its architect, lobbyist Mary Ann Stiles.

Today at the County Commission’s bi-weekly meeting, economic advisories who had been authorized to conduct a study analyzing the financial impact that a County Mayor has had on other Counties in Florida.

Dan Klein is a Budget Director with the County (roll tape#1 o.q.�financial indicators�)

After the brief analysis, County Commissioners, for at least the 3rd time this year, then took shots at the audacity of Stiles and others – specifically the Tampa Tribune, would want such a form of Government.

Commissioner Tom Scott – who earlier had called for an economic study, dropped any pretense that he was neutral on the issue (roll tape#2 o.q..�voters did�)

Scott emphasized that the County Charter Review Board met for an entire year, and nobody brought up the issue about a County Mayor.

Commissioner Ken Hagen- a County Mayor opponent- respectfully took issue with the study’s conclusions that there is not a negative financial impact on the County’s bottom line by going to the strong mayor form of government (roll tape#3 o.q. “into debt�)

Brian Blair joined Commissioners Hagen and Scott in dissing the concept of a County Mayor and specifically The Tampa Tribune for its editorial stance , which has been critical of Commission overall(roll tape#4 o.q.� their city council�)

Commissioner Ronda Storms is another critic of the County Mayor proposal…But she doesn’t want to see the issue decided by a majority vote of Hillsborough Citizens if it comes before them later this year.…She has been tinkering with possibly spearing a competing ballot question that if passed would require 60 percent approval for any amendments to the County Charter, which would be needed if the County Mayor proposal were to be approved.

In concluding their discussion, Commissioner Brian Blair said the proposal could be framed to voters this way (roll tape#5 o.q. “for your future�)

WMNF attempted to speak to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office about the status of the 2 proposals regarding the County Mayor issue…We did not hear back from that office by airtime.

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