Lisa MacNeil

One mill increase to pay for $8 million deficit

JULY 30, 2019- It was a close and contentious vote, but the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted 3-2 to increase the proposed millage rate advertised on the TRIM by 1 mill, which equates to a 14.51% increase in taxes, that promises to fix the county’s deficit, which now stands at around $8,000,000.

Commissioners Steve Champion and Wayne Dukes voted against the increase.

County IT Services moved to Clerk / Comptroller's Office

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With some hesitation, the Board of County Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve an Interlocal Agreement to eliminate the county’s IT (Information Technology) department, and move control of IT from the County Administrator’s office to the Clerk of Court / Comptroller’s Office.

The plan is expected to save the county approximately $300,000 per year after the first year, according to County Administrator Jeff Rogers.  The reduced savings in the first year is attributed to paying out benefits and accrued time. 

Republic Services fee increase denied

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The board voted unanimously to deny an increase of the solid waste collection Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) from $172.80 to 176.40 annually.

The vote itself was irregular, since the increase was written into Republic Services’ original contract as an incremental increase regardless of performance.

Perturbed by this condition, as were the others, Commissioner John Allocco said, “What is the point of me sitting up here and voting if I don’t actually have a vote … that (we) only get one vote, and the vote is ‘yes?’ ”

Former RNRF reporter arrested on grand theft charge

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Tom Lemons, the most well-known reporter of Real News Real Fast (RNRF) was arrested on July 26, 2019 on a charge of grand theft.  Lemons allegedly accessed advertising funds totalling $1,034.34, and deposited them into his personal account after he had sold his company, Real News Real Fast. 

According to police reports, Lemons sold the company to Jonathan “Ray” Hair in August of 2018.  Ray and Lemons had an agreement that Lemons would remain with the company as an employee, and remained until November 2018.  

Big haul for SCUBAnauts

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On Saturday, July 20, 2019, the local SCUBAnauts dove the site of the A.H. Richardson Reef to remove tires that served as the foundation for the artificial reef, that began construction in 1977.  Tires as reef material have since been determined to be harmful for marine life.  The SCUBAnauts also retrieved abandoned crab traps, discarded fishing line and rope.  

Additional dives are planned to retrieve more tires, as the carrier boat on this trip reached capacity.

What matters at the Brooksville City Council meeting? 07.15.2019

Recognitions MATTER

Brooksville City Council recognizes Smokey the Bear and his mission to prevent forest fires and celebrated Smokey's 75th Anniversary. 

Assessments MATTER

Consideration of proposed resolution and Assessment Report for FY 2020 Fire Protection Non-Ad Valorem Assessment Study  (Resolution No. 2019-06)

The votes on this resolution did not pass any changes to the fire assessment methodology, only to approve the reports presented and schedule a public hearing.  

Questions about new signage and zip ties at Tom Varn Park

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Local residents visiting Tom Varn park recently were unhappy to see signs posted and the gates to the softball fields closed and secured with zip-ties.  The signs state, “All organized sports groups and/or independent trainers must provide certificates of insurance to the City of Brooksville and schedule use of these fields by visiting the Parks and Recreation department at 99 Jerome Brown Place, Monday - Friday  8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.” 

Draft of interlocal agreement between housing authorities approved

A draft of the Interlocal Agreement between the Brooksville Housing Authority (BHA) and the Hernando County Housing Authority was approved by the county agency at a meeting on July 8, 2019.  Attorneys for both agencies were present, as well as BHA Chairman Randy Woodruff and three other BHA members.  The approval is contingent on adding language for remediation and handling of liability issues that could arise. 

The BHA will meet on July 16 for final approval.