Government

Florida Electors go for Trump amid protests

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 19, 2016.......... With more attention than usual --- following the most-unusual presidential campaign in recent memory --- Florida's 29 electors met Monday to formally cast their votes to send Republican Donald Trump to the White House.

A last-ditch effort in Florida, and across the nation, tried to get members of the Electoral College to bolt from Trump and throw the election into the U.S. House, where supporters hoped that a more mainstream Republican could prevail.

TOURISM CHIEF OUT AFTER PITBULL CONTROVERSY

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 16, 2016.......... Gov. Rick Scott on Friday requested the resignation of the state's tourism-marketing leader amid a controversy over an expired $1 million contract with a Miami hip-hop artist whom the governor praised for his "devotion to our great state."

Visit Florida President and CEO Will Seccombe agreed to resign from the $120,000-a-year position he's held since November 2012.

Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department in limbo

STAFF

Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Dept

A “termination for convenience” of the agreement between the county and the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department (HBVFD) was on the agenda for the December 6, 2016 meeting. This is important, since a Volunteer Fire Department is generally cheaper for the taxpayers of the area served, so if the county ends the agreement it could result in increased taxes for that area.

Dangerous dog procedure changes

STAFF

This dog is probably not very dangerous.

This county amendment changes the venue from the county court to circuit court for the dangerous dog determination and is considered a "housekeeping item" since the changes are needed to come into compliance with the newly amended state law.

Previously, the owner of a potentially dangerous dog had the opportunity to appeal the written dangerous dog order through filing a 'request for hearing' in county court within 10 days of the date of the written order.

Sidewalks to somewhere

Safe roads to school sidewalk projects underway for Spring Hill and Deltona Elementary Schools

Assistant County Administrator Brian Malmberg discussed new sidewalk projects before the BOCC on 12/06/16. The Local Agency Program (LAP) agreement works in conjunction with the Department of Transportation(DOT) and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

Under the Safe Routes to Schools Sidewalk Project, Malmberg said the process takes several years from the ranking of the project in order of importance (or safety), then funding the design, and then the project can begin. Malmberg explained that the steps involved: design, permit, and build, each in successive years.

Field to be named in honor of Coach Ernie Chatman

photography by Alice Mary Herden

Coach Ernie Chatman

Ernie Chatman, the remarkable and beloved coach, left an impact on so many lives. The City of Brooksville wanted to commemorate his 40-year legacy in a way that would be meaningful. Council member Frankie Burnett had the perfect suggestion: name a field at Tom Varn park after Chatman.

County raises septage disposal fee

STAFF

Chart from agenda packet showing a comparison of septage fees of various counties

The BOCC was presented with an item to increase septage disposal fees at their two septage receiving stations: one located at the Airport wastewater treatment facility and the other at the Glen wastewater treatment facility.

The increases were proposed due to costs of the airport facility expansion, to help with debt payments, to prevent out of county septage haulers from seeking a more affordable rate here in Hernando County and to adjust for inflationary expense increases.

PITBULL RELEASES $1 MILLION DEAL WITH TOURISM AGENCY

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 15, 2016.......... The Miami rapper Pitbull released details Thursday of a controversial $1 million deal to promote Florida, two days after the state House filed a lawsuit to try to get the information.

But while the House intends to end the lawsuit, House Speaker Richard Corcoran said lawmakers will continue their "dogged pursuit" of how government agencies spend taxpayers' money.

COUNTIES TO GET MONEY TO CURB BEAR CONFLICTS

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

image by FWC

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 13, 2016.......... State money was spread across 12 counties on Tuesday to help reduce the potential for conflicts between Florida's bear and human populations.

Most of the $825,000 in "BearWise" program money will go to lower the cost of bear-resistant trash cans for residents, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a release announcing the grants.

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