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Sharon Calvert

Hillsborough County Commission approve $811 million to fund roads, $1 million for transit

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County Commissioners approved a proposal Wednesday to spend $812 million on transportation over the next decade, with almost all of that money going directly for roads, rejecting a last-minute alternative offered by Commissioner Pat Kemp to redirect much of those funds to more transit projects. The 6-1 vote (with Kemp dissenting) came after more than 40 members of the public signed up to speak about the proposal, with many reciting desultory statistics about how the county is the worst in the nation…

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For ‘Dem-witted’ Florida Democrats, stop arguing and get to work

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In case Democrats haven’t figured it out yet, they are in a position of increasing irrelevance for a couple of big reasons: They consistently have been outworked, and they apparently can’t understand what’s actually happening in Florida and this country. The election of Donald Trump is just the latest in what has been a series of events that left Democrats dazed and confused (apologies to Led Zeppelin). I was reminded of that Saturday when an enthusiastic and large crowd (yes,…

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Tampa Bay Tea Party transit critics get their say at forum

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Whatever adjective(s) you may wish to use to describe Sharon Calvert, Tom Rask and Barb Haselden, “effective” has to be one of them. The three Tea Party-aligned citizen activists have led the opposition to the two major public transit initiatives that have gone down to defeat over the past seven years, and contributed strongly to a third never making it to the ballot in Hillsborough County in 2016 (they also proudly add the failed referendums in Polk County in 2010 and…

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Janet Long lashes out at transit critics

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long was not happy. Last Monday, the board of the Hillsborough County Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) inserted revised language into a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PSTA to ensure that the agreement did not mean that the two transit agencies would be merging or preparing for a sales tax referendum pending because of it. That rankled some board members, who said that the agreement is simply to officially collaborate on more issues going forward. Upon…

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Brad Miller takes PSTA’s wish list to Tallahassee

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

PSTA executive director Brad Miller is in Tallahassee on Tuesday, making the rounds with lawmakers from Pinellas County about the wish list for his transit agency for the 2017 Legislative session. The visit has been described in somewhat dark tones by critics of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PSTA and its cross-bay transit partners with HART. The MOU was spurred by Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long’s advocacy for more formal collaboration between the two agencies, with the opportunity to have a…

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HART board approves agreement with PSTA – but not without considerable debate

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority board approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate and collobarate with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), but only after adding additional language clarifying that it is not a move towards a potential merger or a regional sales tax increase. That language was needed ostensibly to assuage the MOU’s critics, including HART board member Karen Jaroch. “The MOU is very vague and I keep questioning what is the need for this? And I haven’t…

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HART board members deny that collaboration with PSTA is a backdoor attempt to merge agencies

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) committee approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) on Monday for further collaboration between the two Bay area transit agencies, but not before some members had to tamp down the notion that the agreement could ultimately lead to a merger — and perhaps a tax increase for transit. “This would be adopting an agreement to codify some opportunities to work more closely together,” said HART CEO Katharine Eagan in presenting the…

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