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Tue Mar 10, 2015, 12:31 AM


Opposition mounts to Pasco charter movement

By C.T. Bowen, Times Staff Writer
Monday, March 9, 2015 10:29am

Pasco County’s charter government debate is drawing new public opposition. A Facebook page, “STOP The Empower Pasco Charter Government Committee’’ began Saturday night and had 25 likes by Monday morning.
The on-line community’s mission is to “STOP the Insider/Good Ole Boys appointed to guarantee the socialization of costs and privatization of profits to drive massive development of Pasco County.’’

It is the handiwork of John Russell of Dade City who believes the ulterior motive of the charter government movement is to promote rapid growth in central and east Pasco.

State Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, who started the public debate in January, casts the issue as a way to improve government accountability by adding an elected mayor/county executive, single-member districts and term limits for commissioners and a recall provision. Others are more suspicious of that spin and believe the charter is little more than a power grab by Corcoran and Sheriff Chris Nocco, who also advocates for an elected county executive, rather than an appointed administrator answerable to commissioners.

Russell, however, looked at the make-up of the charter advisory committee to the county commission and Corcoran’s willingness to bankroll a new electioneering committee, Empower Pasco, with $100,000 from a separate political committee, and drew a different conclusion.

“It is clear based on the makeup of the committee’s appointed members that the sole purpose of undertaking the process of changing to a charter form of government in this instance is to facilitate massive development in central and eastern Pasco County,’’ Russell posted on the Facebook page.

Russell, a former Congressional candidate, also filed public records requests to the county seeking the names and resumes of people who applied to serve on the charter committee.
Former Commissioner Pat Mulieri and others have criticized the 15-member panel for its lack of socio-economic, gender and political diversity. The only woman on the panel is School Board member Alison Crumbley and the only Democrat is former Commissioner Michael Cox.

The other committee members are: Randy Maggard, a Dade City business owner who is vice chairman of the Pasco Republican Party; homebuilder Mike Ryan, electrician John Kinsman, a director of the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce; Robert Eckard of Land O’ Lakes whose law practice is based in Palm Harbor; real estate magnate Dewey Mitchell; attorney Steve Booth; Port Richey insurance agent Tim Holladay; Billy E. Brown, head of the Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative; Realtor Chuck Grey; Bill Woodard, president and CEO of Alumi-Guard of Brooksville; Sheriff’s Office Maj. Mel Eakley, and retired Tampa Police Detective Gary Bradford, who is active with the West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association.

The Pasco County Commission is scheduled to formally establish the charter advisory committee Tuesday.

[Last modified: Monday, March 9, 2015 10:31am]

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Reply Opposition mounts to Pasco charter movement (Original post)
TheNutcracker Mar 2015 OP
TheNutcracker Mar 2015 #1
TheNutcracker Mar 2015 #2

Response to TheNutcracker (Original post)

Tue Mar 10, 2015, 12:33 AM

1. John Russell from 'Corporatist Nation'.....the fun begins!


Thanks John!

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Response to TheNutcracker (Original post)

Tue Mar 10, 2015, 03:32 PM

2. Here is the Facebook page to go and 'like' and get involved!!


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