Pasco County Commission selects new chairman

Mike Wells Jr., took the helm as chairman of the Pasco County Commission in a vote taken Nov. 28 in New Port Richey. The District 4 county commissioner replaces Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore who served as chairman during the past year. The position typically rotates year-to-year among the commissioners. Duties include leading county commission meetings and being the public face … [Read more...]

Gary Joiner takes on new role as property appraiser

Gary Joiner will be sworn in as Pasco County’s property appraiser in the new year. But, he started laying the groundwork for his first day soon after winning the Nov. 8 election. Joiner’s starting point is customer service. He has met with some of the office staff members to discuss ways, for instance, of modernizing the website. He wants ideas on how to make it more … [Read more...]

Glimpsing the upbeat in a gloomy 2016

You don’t have to be a disappointed supporter of Hillary Clinton to have arrived at the notion that 2016 can’t end soon enough. I mean, lots of us got there long before Nov. 8. Simply put, 2016 was, in many respects, a rough year, and not just because of the rancor of the election. We needn’t revisit the particulars here. That’s for the news services, networks and major dailies. Let’s … [Read more...]

Ron Oakley sworn in as Pasco County Commissioner

Ron Oakley brings more than 50 years of business experience and a passion for public service to his new job as Pasco County District 1 commissioner. Oakley was sworn into office on Nov. 29. He replaced former Commissioner Ted Schrader who decided not to seek re-election and instead made an unsuccessful bid for property appraiser. Though this is the first time Oakley has served as an … [Read more...]

CORRECTED: Pasco County looks for ways to boost recycling

A corrected version of this story appears below. Pasco County’s waste-to-energy facility at Shady Hills burns trash to produce renewable energy. Recyclables are not burned, but processed and sold to market. This information was incorrect in the original cutline of a photo and in the story. A correction also will appear in the Dec. 7 publication of  The Laker/Lutz News. Pasco County faces a double … [Read more...]

Digital billboards illuminate controversy

Stand-alone, static billboards litter the highways and roadways across Pasco County despite a 17-year-ban on permitting new billboards. Dismantling and removing many of these outdoor signs is a longstanding goal of county officials who want to reduce what they view as visual blight on county roads. But, in a high technology world, the wave of the future is illuminated digital billboards that … [Read more...]

Pasco testing idea of cat license fees

A catfight nearly broke out as Pasco County commissioners couldn’t quite agree on whether to mandate $5 license fees for man’s best feline friend. The fees are among a package of changes proposed for the county’s Animal Services, which is searching for ways to boost its budgetary bottom line. In a compromise, county commissioners agreed to approve the entire package included in an amended … [Read more...]

Pasco property tax rates holding steady

Property tax rates won’t go up in fiscal year 2017, though a more robust trend in property values could bring a slight boost in property taxes for some homeowners. At a final hearing on Sept. 27, Pasco County commissioners approved a $1.3 billion operating budget that includes increases for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, and 16 new business initiatives that give residents more … [Read more...]

Rural protections in place for Northeast Pasco

After more than a decade, a set of regulations laying out a plan to preserve the rural character of northeast Pasco County finally is in place. The Pasco County Commission unanimously approved an ordinance to adopt development standards for the Northeast Pasco Rural Protection Overlay District on Aug. 9. Nearly 50 area residents attended the public hearing on the ordinance. A handful spoke … [Read more...]

Celebrating St. Leo’s storied past

On the surface, the town of St. Leo easily could be underestimated. After all, the town’s population is just 1,350, and it has a tiny town hall. But this place of rolling hills recently turned 125, and its history was celebrated with a mass at Saint Leo Abbey, followed by a barbecue luncheon and speeches at Saint Leo University, and then, an ice cream social. Abbot Isaac Camacho … [Read more...]