Since 01/02/12, Republic Services has been the sole provider for waste and recycling collection services to Hernando County. The contract includes four weekly pickups: two days of garbage and various rubbish items, yard waste to be left at the curbside once a week, and one pickup of recyclable material. (This is called 2-1-1 service.) Recyclables are further broken down to plastics and paper/cardboard products which must be placed in separate containers.
Christi Charlow, Human Resources/Risk Director for Hernando County, reported the results of her most recent meeting with the Teamsters Union (No. 79), held on 07/06/17. The collective bargaining agreement covers both professional and non-professional union workers.
“I’m pleased to announce that right now we have a balanced budget.” Those opening words from Budget Manager Pamela Lee were followed by, “The libraries are in there.” Following last week’s meetings with the commissioners individually, Lee prepared her presentation.
The General Fund showed an initial deficit of $1.8 million. New employees (who were hired with an effective date of 04/01/17), what Lee called “re-classes” and funds toward other organizations (such as AmSkills) increased the deficit by approximately $700,000, with a total new deficit figure of $2.5 million.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.