Kathryn Dentato

Oct. 23, 2018 Hernando County Regular School Board Meeting Run Down

by KATHRYN DENTATO
HERNANDO SUN WRITER

The meeting opened honoring Mark Johnson and Beth Narverud for their service on the school board.  It was the final meeting of their elected terms.

Students from Deltona Elementary School led the Pledge of Allegiance and introduced themselves to the school board afterward. Superintendent John Stratton thanked the students and told them to wave during his visit planned for Nov. 7, 2018.  

City of Brooksville eliminates economic ambassador volunteer position for now

Brooksville has had a long relationship with local businessman Dr. Dennis Wilfong, but his honorary title was removed during the City Council meeting on Oct. 15, 2018. In 2009, then-mayor Joe Bernardini appointed Dr. Wilfong as the City’s Ambassador of Commerce on the recommendation of the previous City Attorney and City Manager. 

Results of Superintendent survey, intended as tool for improvement

Dr. George McDonald and his colleague Dr. Reginald Lee from the University of South Florida (USF) met with the Hernando County School Board on Aug. 14, 2018 to share the results of the 2018 Superintendent’s Performance Survey. The survey, prepared by USF’s Center for Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Measurement (CREAM), received some assistance from board members Susan Duval and Linda Prescott to better address Hernando County’s specific situation and work culture. CREAM’s evaluation centered on Dr. Lori Romano, who was fired by the school board in June.  Dr.

School District proposed budget increase, but millage rate decrease

Kendra Sittig, Director of Budget for the school district, and Joyce McIntyre, Director of Finance and Purchasing, shared the proposed tentative millage rates with the members of the school board on 07/24/18. Two public hearings are required, and the second public hearing is scheduled for 09/11/18. The School Board will decide then whether or not to accept the final proposed budget, setting the millage. 

Brooksville City Council Member Natalie Kahler steps down under ‘resign to run’ law

At the June 18, 2018 Brooksville City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Kutney discussed assigning council members to one of the five committees designated by the Florida League of Cities for the upcoming annual conference. Council Member Joe Bernardini joked with Bill Kemmerer about taking a place with the finance/taxation committee next year, the committee currently assigned to Brooksville City Councilwoman Natalie Kahler. “We can talk about that next year,” Kemmerer said.

Hunters Lake tussock removal project comes to completion

At the June 26, 2018 meeting, Aquatic Services Manager Keith Kolasa presented a progress report to the BOCC on the year-long tussock removal project at Hunters Lake and the essential role that Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC) played. The tussocks are an invasive species, reducing the oxygen supply to the fish in some areas and creating hazards for boaters. 

Charter application denied for advanced learning high school

At the April 24, 2018 workshop, the Hernando County School Board (HCSB) discussed the charter school application review of the proposed Chehuntamo (chay-hun-TAH-mo) Advanced Performance High School, which was denied unanimously at the regular board meeting later that day.

The school had planned to serve Hernando and Pasco County students beginning with the 2019-2020 school year if the application had been approved.  

School district tax increase may be put to the voters

The Hernando County School Board is starting to review their budget in preparation for this year’s budget hearings. There was a preliminary discussion of increasing taxes to fill the expected budget shortfall. The discussion included raising the milage rate .5 or 1 mils: raising the milage rate .5 mils would generate $4.7 million and raising the milage rate 1 mil would generate $9.4 million.  

Dollars for dogs: love is the answer

photography by Elizabeth Dentato

Ten year old Harrison is the founder of Dollars for Dogs.

One of the most powerful commercials I recall seeing was of children following adults and imitating their actions. It ended with the tagline: Make your influence positive.

It’s a simple concept, but it requires adults to be conscious of their acts and consistent in providing good examples. That is what Mandy Celt has done. Mandy runs ASAP Rescue, which quite literally takes small animals from the euthanasia lists at animal shelters – abandoned pets, the injured or old, the throwaways.