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Rick Scott signs death warrant for Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Among the bills Governor Rick Scott signed into law on Tuesday is HB 647, which eliminates of the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission by December 31 of this year. The agency, originally created by a special act of the Florida Legislature in the 1970’s and the only one of its kind in the state, has been shrouded in controversy for years. It’s last executive director,  Kyle Cockream, remains under investigation for his handling of public records. The PTC had been criticized for years by local lawmakers,…

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It’s the end of the road for the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Legislation that would effectively kill the controversial Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission (HB 647) passed in the Florida House on Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Tampa Bay Republican Jamie Grant, was first introduced as a local bill at the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meeting last December. Although the PTC has reaped a slew of negative news stories over the past three years in its attempts to regulate ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft in Hillsborough County, widespread antipathy to the organization goes back years, if…

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Chloe Coney stepping away from district director job in Kathy Castor’s office

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Chloe Coney, the “women who wears many hats” and the only district director to have served Tampa Bay area Congresswoman Kathy Castor since she was elected a decade ago, is retiring. “Chloe’s passion and expertise have served our neighbors, families and businesses well,” Castor said in a statement released Wednesday. “She is revered by Tampa’s community for her lifetime of service and my congressional district has been fortunate to have her as district director. Moreover, it has been my honor to call her…

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Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission likely doomed after local delegation approves bill to kill it

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The troubled Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission received a terminal diagnosis Friday after members of the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation voted unanimously for a local bill that would eliminate the agency on December 31, 2017. After that, the County Commission would pick up its regulatory duties. “The public has lost complete faith in the ability of this agency to regulate credibly, equitably and efficiently,” said bill sponsor James Grant said before the entire delegation vote in support of his bill. The proposal was similar…

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Dana Young calls for FDLE investigation into Hillsborough County PTC

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In the aftermath of published reports about questionable decisions made by Hillsborough County Public Transportation Executive Director Kyle Cockream over the past year, Tampa state Rep. Dana Young is calling for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to conduct an investigation into the agency. “When the line is blurred between the regulator and the entities they regulate, the public cannot rely on impartiality in the government,” wrote Young in her letter to the FDLE. “The disturbing revelations of the relationship between the PTC, Mr.…

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Jeff Brandes wants a legal opinion of Hillsborough PTC’s lobbying efforts

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Jeff Brandes is taking another shot at the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission — this time over the fact that the PTC has hired a lobbyist. The St. Petersburg based state Senator has been calling for the demise of the agency for several years now, in part for their attempts to regulate ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft. Now he wants Attorney General Pam Bondi to review the statutes governing the agency to determine if thy are lawfully permitted to spend…

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Time for change on the composition of the Hillsborough BOCC?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

For over three decades, the seven-member Hillsborough County Commission has consisted of representatives from four single-member districts and three at-large seats. But the county is much larger now, and there are a lot of people who think its composition needs to change to reflect that growth. In the past few years, there has been two futile attempts to add another single-member district and eliminate an at-large seat. The opportunity to debate the issue comes back this Tuesday night in Tampa, where the…

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