Hillsborough County Commission supports Ambler's Bill




The Hillsborough County Commission today voiced their support for proposed legislation that would boost the County’s representation on 2 public boards.


The bill is being sponsored by Lutz House Republican Kevin Ambler.  He says because Hillsborough County has far more citizens that the City of Tampa, it should have more representatives on both the Hillsborough City- County Planning Commission, and the Tampa Sports Authority.


Support for the legislation was perhaps best articulated by Commission Chairman Jim Norman today. (roll tape#1 o.q.”representation”)  


And Norman said the growth in the unincorporated parts of Hillsborough will only continue in the next few decades (roll tape#2 o.q.”30 years”)

Currently, the 11 member sports authority has 4 members appointed by Tampa’s Mayor, 4 named by the Commision, and then a City Council member, County Commission member, and a county resident named by the Governor.

The changes would give the county six of 11 appointments on the Sports Authority as well as on the Planning Commission County Commissioner Rose Ferlita is just a few months removed from being a Tampa City Council member.   She said she found no reason NOT to keep the 2 boards maintaining the status quo (roll tape#3 o.q.”to tell you the truth”) And Ferlita said that though she respected the 2 boards in question, she said those boards will only suggest how she should vote – but they don’t tell her what to do.In his 2 plus years on the Commission, Mark Sharpe has shown himself at times to want to represent the interests of the City of Tampa.  He agreed with Rose Ferlita that he takes the opinions of the various boards under advisement, but that’s all  (roll tape#4 o.q.”still have some concerns”)The Planning Commission, Sports Authority, and Tampa City Council have all previously weighed in on the proposed legislation, with all 3 bodies opposing.  

Like Rose Ferlita, Kevin White is also fresh from representing the Tampa City Council.  But even though his district is exclusively in Tampa, White said he had no problems supporting taking Tampa representatives off the 2 boards (roll tape#5 o.q.”based on the county”)

The Board voted 5-2 to support Representative Ambler’s bill, with Mark Sharpe and Rose Ferlita in opposition. 

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