Kathryn Dentato

Kathryn Dentato
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Ms. Dentato earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1991 from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida. She worked as an elementary school teacher in Hillsborough County for many years and currently works as an Adoptions Case Management Coordinator in Brooksville. She is excited to also be part of the Hernando Sun team, bringing local news in government and education to Hernando County residents.

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2017-2018 proposed bell schedule

Though school is out for teachers and students, the School Board and other staff continue to work through the summer months to prepare for the next school year. One of the changes proposed at the 05/30/17 workshop was of interest to students: approval of the bell schedule.

Students shouldn’t get too excited, though. Elementary times are not changing, and the start times for middle and high schools are not much later.

Lyndon Bonner Hired As Brooksville’s Interim City Manager

The 05/08/17 Brooksville City Council meeting was a special meeting to hear from the four candidates seeking the Interim City Manager position. The council members selected Lyndon Bonner, with more than 20 years of both city and county managerial experience.

On 05/09/17, Brooksville Mayor Robert Battista offered the position to Bonner via email. He also sent a copy of the proposed employment contract, indicating that the negotiation would occur on 05/15/17. Bonner returned to the City Council with the proposed contract, and some changes and additions.

Brooksville city council on the search for an interim city manager

City of Brooksville Seal

Readers may recall that the annual February evaluation of Brooksville City Manager T. Jennene Norman-Vacha was a topic of debate this year. Norman-Vacha, who accepted the position in 2007, has enjoyed automatic renewals of the contract from 2009 until this year. Opinions were divided, and the City Council voted 4-1 against renewing her contract.

PRMG, Inc. completes financial analysis on alternative waste processing project

Chairman Dukes will travel to Elk River, MO to tour waste-to-energy power plant.

Readers of the Hernando Sun may recall the articles about the long-proposed contract with Freedom Energy Hernando, LLC (“Freedom”), an untested company that was selected to provide landfill management and waste disposal using a waste-to-energy process. Multiple questions and incorrect figures during contract negotiations prompted the BOCC to request a feasibility study (financial evaluation) which was completed by Public Resources Management Group, Inc. (PRMG).

Changes for Hernando/Citrus Under Proposed TBARTA Legislation

TBARTA’s Executive Director, Ray Chiaramonte, spoke to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) last week to share potential changes to the structure and members of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority. His legislative update briefly explained what is in the bills being considered.

Additional funding for several programs is anticipated through one bill. This includes the Vanpool program and One Bus Away, which uses a cellphone app to tell riders when the next bus will arrive, and the Regional Fare card, which can be used like a debit card to purchase bus tickets.

Firefighter Union- County Collective Bargaining Agreement

Florida prides itself on having transparent, open government where its records (including emails and meeting minutes) are public. Florida’s “Sunshine Law” is designed to make government officials more accountable. According to the Florida Attorney General, the “public has the right to know how government officials spend taxpayer dollars and make the decisions affecting their lives.”

Safe Routes to School and Quality Drive Sidewalks

Local Agency Program (LAP) agreements were approved between the Florida DOT and Hernando County to pay for updated sidewalks under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. Under the agreement, Assistant County Administrator Brian Malmberg stated the DOT will reimburse the County for costs of the design, up to the maximum amount approved for each of the two projects.

Water and wastewater treatment rate increases tabled indefinitely

Hernando Counties Utilities Director Gordon Onderdonk presented information to the BOCC about proposed increases in the water and wastewater rates for the next three fiscal years. It would be part of the PILOF, or Payment in Lieu of Franchise Fees, which allows the utilities department to use the right of way for the water/sewer lines, fire hydrants, etc. The PILOF is made to the County’s General Fund.

Dollars for dogs: love is the answer

photography by Elizabeth Dentato

Ten year old Harrison is the founder of Dollars for Dogs.

One of the most powerful commercials I recall seeing was of children following adults and imitating their actions. It ended with the tagline: Make your influence positive.

It’s a simple concept, but it requires adults to be conscious of their acts and consistent in providing good examples. That is what Mandy Celt has done. Mandy runs ASAP Rescue, which quite literally takes small animals from the euthanasia lists at animal shelters – abandoned pets, the injured or old, the throwaways.

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