COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATE FORUM by Roxanne Escobales

09/29/06

With a little over month left before general elections, two pairs of opponents in the race for the Hillsborough County Commission met today at a forum for the Tiger Bay of Tampa club.

Two women battle for the District One seat being vacated by the lone woman on the commission, Democrat Kathy Castor. District One covers the southern portion of the county, including south and western Tampa. City councilwoman and Republican Rose Ferlita is running against Mary Mulhern, a former administrator at the Art Institute of Chicago and one-time arts critic for the Weekly Planet.

Ferlita told WMNF that the current county commission and ones in the past have failed to act on mass transit.

ACT: Ferlita 1 (“would have encouraged it�)

Mulhern, too, said that the county must act quickly when it comes to improving the mass transit system.

ACT: mulhern 1 “as soon as possible�

Two men face off for the District 3 seat that Thomas Scott is leaving. They are Tampa City Councilman and Democrat Kevin White, and Republican insurance salesman and community leader Ken Anthony.

WMNF asked the men if they were in favour of the ban on gay pride events that was instituted by the current county commission with Ronda Storms leading the move.

Ken Anthony

ACT: Anthony 1 “proper education for their kids�

Councilman Kevin White ACT: White1 “proper permits, proper protection�

Property taxes have been big news recently, and all candidates weighed in:

Rose Ferlita:

ACT: Ferlita 2 “in parking etc�

Mary Mulhern

ACT: mulhern 2“are fair�

District 3 contender Ken Anthony is a Republican, but he sounded downright progressive with his inner-city agenda.

ACT: Anthony 2 “ten or twenty years.�

One thing emerged strongly from the Tiger Bay Club members -- displeasure with the current commission. One woman from the audience who claimed to be a political junkie called the sitting commission full of “dysfunction and rancor�. And this, too, was felt by Democratic candidate Mary Mulhern, who went so far as to cheer the departure of one county commissioner in particular. She said it is good that social conservative Ronda Storms will not be serving on the next commission.

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