Hillsborough County Commission Votes for Transportation Task Force by Mitch E.Perry

12/06/06

The Hillsborough County Commission today voted to support convening a task force to study transportation needs. It’s not the first time the Commission has done so, but Board members seemed to be on the same page that it would be a dereliction of duty not to begin looking to alleviate the region’s concerns.

The motion was introduced by Commission Vice Chairman Ken Hagen(roll tape#1 o.q.�multi-modal solution�)

Hagen listed some of the issues which indicated how the time is now to begin seriously dealing with transportation (rolll tape#2 o.q.�in South County�)

Hagen said the goal was not for a study, but with recommendations and an action plan for options for implementation and funding.

Commissioner Rose Ferlita cautioned the Commission NOT to make the same mistakes that have happened in the past (roll tape#3 o.q.�another task force�)

The commission then debate the size…Jim Norman advised Ken Hagen that the Task Force should be big enough (roll tape#4 o.q.�community buy in�)

After the Comission voted unanimously to have the County Administrator come back with a plan for a task force, Commisioner Mark Sharpe then discussed the possibility of a Transportation Czar (roll tape#5 o.q.�all in place�)

But Commissioner Hagen said that wasn’t part of his vision (roll tape#6 o.q.�that’s the place I’m going�)

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, local activist Denise Layne volunteered to be a part of any task force. She said there were 2 words they needed to reminded of .Density and funding (roll tape#6 o.q.�best way to fund�)

Jim Davidson told the Commission NOT to put together a task force, saying if committees were formed like they have been in the past, the answer would be the same- that is, nothing going forward(roll tape#7 o.q.�their not incumbered�)

In an editorial in Tuesdays St. Petersburg Times editorial, the paper challenged the Board NOT to call for another task force. They wrote� Voters want a plan to deal with congestion; they will not be mollified by studying it to death four, five, six or seven times.�

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