Hillsborough BOCC Tells Tallahassee to Keep its Hands off Children's Board
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04/07/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

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The Hillsborough County Commission resolved to oppose two bills currently in the state legislature that would require several youth service organizations that have taxing authority to be approved by ballot every six years. Hillsborough’s Children’s Board is one of these. Commissioner Kevin Beckner sponsored the resolution, which passed five to one.

Beckner said that asking voters to approve the board’s existence would cause an undue burden on taxpayers, adding that the county already has the authority to put that question on the ballot.

Commissioner Jim Norman was the only “no” vote. He said that while the he thinks Hillsborough Children’s Board has had a positive impact in the community, taxpayers should be able hold these entities accountable in some way.

Hillsborough Voters adopted a tax to fund the Children’s Board in more than twenty years ago. The Board provides numerous services oriented toward children and families. Children’s Board CEO Luanne Panacek said that the board doesn’t do much advertising, which may hinder its ability to justify its existence in time for the next election.

Panacek began her testimony with an alarming statistic.

She said that this is one of the many reasons that communities need to invest in their youth. The two bills are quickly moving through the legislature, with the House version going to the House Military and Local Policy Committee tomorrow.

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