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Policy Leadership Group

Tampa Chamber says it supports “the right” to have a transportation referendum

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The last time Hillsborough County voters weighed in on a transportation tax in 2010, the effort was led by the business community, specifically the Tampa Bay Partnership, going under the title of Moving Hillsborough Forward. Despite the discussions over the past couple of years with the Hillsborough Policy Leadership group about the intentions of bringing back a sales tax referendum on transportation in 2016, it’s still questionable whether Hillsborough voters will actually get that opportunity. That remains up to the Hillsborough Board…

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Go Hillsborough proposal moves forward as half-cent sales tax, but obstacles loom

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The Hillsborough Policy Leadership Group on Thursday voted to accept the recommendation by County Administrator Mike Merrill to move forward on a referendum for a half-cent sales tax to last the next 30 years. However, that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to go before voters next year to pay for a series of transportation improvements. That’s because County Commissioner Al Higginbotham acknowledged after the meeting that he won’t support putting the measure on the ballot. That means it could come down…

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Reacting to media report, Hillsborough County internal auditor to again review Go Hillsborough effort

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Although there was already a 94-page investigation conducted by Hillsborough County’s internal auditor earlier this year that gave the thumbs up to the county’s contracting of the Go Hillsborough public outreach program with engineering consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff, the Board of County Commission today voted to have internal auditor Peggy Caskey conduct another investigation immediately. The motion by Commissioner Kevin Beckner came two days after a report by WTSP-Channel 10 reporter Noah Pransky that investigated local public relations and communications guru Beth Leytham, and her involvement as…

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Mitch Perry Report for 8.20.15 — The 1% solution for a Hillsborough County transportation tax

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The news that the Go Hillsborough campaign has reintroduced the prospect of the Hillsborough transportation tax going from a half-cent to a full penny apparently alienated a few county commissioners, who didn’t get a heads-up that County Administrator Mike Merrill was about to do that on Monday. So now that they’ve got that out of their system, I’m curious as to what will be the magic moment that convinces Merrill and consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff to tell the Policy Leadership Group that…

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600 Hillsborough County residents have attended public transit meetings to date

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The Hillsborough County Policy Leadership Group met again today to convene. Well, some of them did. The PLG is made up of all of seven members of the Hillsborough County Commission, plus the mayors of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City. HART officials often sit in as well — all charged with crafting a transit plan that may be taken to the voters in the form of a transit tax referendum in 2016. But nearly half the group at todays’ meeting were…

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Hillsborough County now using elections officials to safeguard public comments on transit effort

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Score one for Sharon Calvert and the critics of Hillsborough County’s public information campaign that could lead to a transit tax referendum on the ballot a year from this November. In what is being described as an unprecedented move, the county is using members of the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) office to safeguard the written comments made by the public at one of the numerous public meetings being held over the next few months. What’s at stake is the possibility…

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