Should The Hillsborough County Commission Be Expanded To Provide More Diversity Among Its Members?

05/25/10 Robert Lorei
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Should the Hillsborough County Commission be expanded by two members in order to better represent the people of Hillsborough County? Our next guest testified yesterday before the Hillsborough Charter Review Board- saying that Hillsborough County is larger than seven states and that county government needs to better represent its citizens.

Patrick Manteiga is editor and publisher of the newspaper La Gaceta and he argues that the county population is so big that a commissioner elected county-wide represents more people than the governors of seven states. Manteiga believes that expanding the number of single member districts on the commission from four to six would ensure that commissioners would be more in touch with the issues in their community. And, he says, there would be a greater opportunity to elect a Hispanic member to the commission. Mantaiga says there have only been two Latinos elected to the county commission in the last three decades but that there is a sizable Hispanic population in the county that is under-served by the current makeup of the commission.

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