Local News

Public works officials resign in wake of BRW Inc. lawsuit

On Aug. 3, 2017, county engineer Mark Guttman and Public Works project manager Al Toler resigned given the outcome of a recent lawsuit in which the county settled with BRW Inc. for $250,000. On the same day, County Administrator Len Sossamon prepared letters for Guttman and Toler, informing them of employment termination due to information “disclosed during a recent lawsuit that has resulted in the County having a lack of confidence in you performing your duties.”

Readying reef balls for the water

Finished reef balls of differing sizes to accommodate a range of marine life

On August 4th, The Hernando Sun published an article featuring 19 year old Cole Kolasa and his family. Cole kayaked 788 miles from Pensacola to the Everglades to raise awareness for artificial reefs, and raise money to purchase reef ball molds to create new artificial reefs off the coast of Hernando County. According to the Reef Ball Foundation, “Reef Balls are made of a special, marine friendly, concrete and are designed to mimic natural reef systems. They are used around the world to create habitats for fish and other marine and freshwater species.”

Senator Bill Nelson and Grace Nelson speak at Chamber of Commerce events

“Orbiting Earth every ninety minutes, I didn’t see any political borders, any strife, just a whole world, with everyone all together,” said Senator Bill Nelson to the crowded room at the Hernando Chamber of Commerce on Friday morning, August 11th. He was referring to his 1986 flight as a crewmember on the spacecraft Columbia when he was a representative to the Florida House. Now the senior senator from Florida was back home from Washington, DC.

Commissioners pass ordinance repealing two 70’s era laws

On 08/08/17, Board of County Commissioners Chairman Wayne Dukes told the audience that the Trump Administration invited local county commissioners to Washington, D.C. recently to discuss a way to improve business and the economy by reducing the number of laws that constrict free enterprise.

According to Commissioner Steven Champion, one comment that stood out to him during the visit was the Administration’s determination to repeal or remove two old laws for every new law that was being passed.

Correctional Institute programs help female inmates gain education, skills

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, during the regularly scheduled Board of County Commissioner’s meeting, Karen Worthey-Osborne Program Director for the Intensive Outpatient Program, presented an overview of the Hernando Correctional Institution’s (Hernando CI) Programs. The Hernando CI is a prison that houses around 400 female inmates and is located on Spring Hill Drive, in Brooksville.

County consultant will put together plan for Shoal Line Blvd recreational area

Aerial of 60 acre former water treatment plant site in Hernando Beach; Hernando County Government

Just north of the Weeki Wachee Preserve is an abandoned 60-acre parcel on the eastern side of Shoal Line Boulevard owned by the county. The property had been used for utilities, but has been idle for some time. Residents have asked for a recreational area to be built, and this space could be ideal.

A divided city council votes not to send letter in support of MSTU

In an effort to consider their options for reducing the tax burden on their constituents, the Brooksville City Council discussed sending a letter to the county in support of the county adopting a Municipal Service Taxation Unit (MSTU). The city of Brooksville residents currently pay for both the city and county law enforcement. While the city uses most of the Sheriff’s Office services, it was specified during the meeting that the city does not rely on the Sheriff’s Office for scheduled patrol services, which the city taxpayers end up paying for.

City of Brooksville, on the search for legal services

Over the past few budget sessions, the 10-year relationship between the City of Brooksville and the Hogan Law Firm has become strained. Statements from various council members and discussions during Brooksville City Council budget meetings have addressed the retainer cost and a $200,000 legal services budget item, as well as an idea for an in-house counsel.

Council members decided only on a Request For Proposal (RFP), a process by which an entity seeks candidates to fill a position or complete tasks.

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