Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hillsborough County Moves Connector Trail Item To Feb. 18

When Hillsborough County wanted local voters to approve a tax years ago to pay for the Bucs stadium, they told local residents that some of the money collected from the sales tax would go to pay for local "community investment tax" projects.

One such project: the connector trail that would link the northern end of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail with the southern end of the Suncoast Trail to create the longest continuous paved bike trail in Florida.

But Hillsborough County has never built that connector trail and today they moved a county commission item about the trail to Feb. 18. This item has to do with a landowner who does not want to sell her property along the bike trail route and the county wants to re-align the connector trail -- a move that could ruin it.

I appeared before the Hillsborough County Commission to remind the commissioners that this connector trail should have been built years ago because the county said it would be built as part of the community investment tax deal that built the Bucs' a new taxpaper-financed taj mahal.

I will be back Feb. 18 before the county commission.

Dave, who made a comment on a previous post about this issue, shared the property owner's location. Check it out here -- thanks Dave.

When I arrived at the Hillsborough County Commission meeting this morning, I was met by a metal detector and a wand-wielding sheriff's deputy. It was the first day of this new security.

Interesting that in a country that prides itself on liberties we readily give them up. Because you never know when someone might be packing at a county meeting. Like me. I was packing pen. It kicked off the metal detector and I had to show the deputies that yes, I pack pen.

I felt so much more safe today. If you ask me, we need metal detectors in malls and fastfood restaurants, not local government meetings. Seems people go off more in malls and fastfood joints than at county meetings, which actually can induce sleep if you have ever attended one.

Welcome to Hillsborough County, where even a Little Leaguer from Citrus Park can be a threat.

Afterwards, the media swarmed the new elections supervisor, Phyllis Busansky, to get a few sound bites about how the former elections supervisor, Buddy Johnson, went on a spending spree and left a financial mess for Busansky. The metal detector was quite the nice frame for the photo shot.

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