Reactions to possible cutbacks at Hispanic Liaison's Office

06/17/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

Hillsborough County is facing over $100 million dollars in budget cuts. Among possible departments that the County is considering reducing would be the County’s Hispanic Liaison office, from 2 full-time positions to one half-time person.

This morning a handful of citizens complained about that.

Angelette Aviles quoted Census figures that say that Latinos will comprise nearly a full quarter of the County’s population by next year, and said it simply could not afford to dismantle that office. Aviles said she was 'boggled' by the pay raises recently revealed that County Administrator Pat Bean gave to some of her top assistants, with the explanation that they have more work to do now.

Elio Eduardo Mueller Jr said that the County and community is well served by the department, and has prevented virtually any dissent from the Latino community.

A man who identified himself as 'Kelso' from Gibsonton, said the County should spare not only the Hispanic but also the African American Liaison office, which is also on the chopping block.

The complaints come as an analysis of Census numbers indicates that young Americans who are minorities outnumber young whites in nearly 1/6 of U.S. counties.

USA Today reported on Wednesday that an analysis of the under-20 population shows that minority youths are the majority in 505 counties and that 60 counties have reached that milestone in this decade.

The Board will resume budget negotiations tomorrow (Thursday).

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