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Janet Long calls for changes in transportation governance

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Transportation has been a major issue in Tampa Bay for 50 years, and there’s no solution in sight because of a governance model that has “paralyzed” officials, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long said Tuesday. Long called for commissioners to hold a workshop to “talk about how we can change this governance model that has paralyzed us from moving forward.” She added, “I would respectfully ask we have the workshop sooner rather than later.” But it doesn’t appear that Long will…

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Transit tax foe to Pinellas County commission: Reprimand or fire county administrator — or else

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Two anti-transit-tax activists fired off emails to Pinellas commissioners this week demanding that County Administrator Mark Woodard be disciplined for discussions he held with Mike Merrill, the Hillsborough county administrator. They were reacting to a report in the Tampa Bay Times that Woodard had met with Merrill to discuss, among other things, regional transportation issues. According to the May 3 article, the two had discussed simultaneously asking voters in both counties to approve a half-cent sales tax to pay for…

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Pinellas Commission to sell 67 lots for affordable housing

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Pinellas County commissioners agreed Tuesday to sell 67 parcels of vacant land to build affordable housing. Six of the parcels would be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Nine would be immediately put up for bid to be developed into single-family homes, Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard said. The remaining 52 lots would be sold later this year. County staff members estimate the sales will bring in about $1.3 million. The project is part of a larger goal to provide more…

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Hillsborough, Pinellas hoping joint transit grant bid finds favor with feds

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Thanks to some smart planning and a little federal insight, Pinellas County Commission won’t be going after this year’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery [TIGER] grant money. Instead, commissioners will support the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority’s joint application for those same dollars. The Board of County Commissioners formally agreed to approve a letter of support for the move at its March 29 regular meeting. “For several years, Pinellas County has submitted our own application…

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Norm Roche files suit against Pinellas County — claims he’s been “blackballed” from being hired

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Norm Roche frequently disagreed with the other six members of the Pinellas County Commission during his one term in office that ended in 2014, but would any of them attempt to stop him from being hired by another part of the county government after he lost his bid for re-election last year? That’s the explosive charge that Roche is making in a lawsuit filed last week in the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Pinellas County. The 53-year-old Clearwater resident says he applied for 27…

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Pinellas County paying more attention to its pets

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“It’s been a really great year for animals in Pinellas County.” Those were the words of the Humane Society of Pinellas’ executive director, Sarah Brown, during her October 6 address to county commissioners — their first regular meeting of the month. Brown was speaking  in support of the commission’s proposed new amendments to the County Code’s Animal Services chapter. If approved, the amendments will establish a classification and penalties for “irresponsible pet owners,” and permit Pinellas’ Animal Services to issue…

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Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard receives favorable performance review

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In his first full year on the job, County Administrator Mark Woodard is doing very well. Pinellas County commissioners gave Woodard, who has been working for the county in some facet for close to three decades, an annual performance review score that falls between “meeting” and “exceeding” expectations for the job. In a numerical rating system in which a total of 400 points were available to Woodard — a scale that is in accordance with the Unified Personnel System for rating employee…

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