Zephyrhills presents draft budget, appropriations requests

The City of Zephyrhills has unveiled its proposed budget for fiscal year 2019-20 — totaling more than $67 million. The $67,043,615 draft budget is based on a tentative tax rate of 6.35 mills previously approved by the Zephyrhills City Council. The draft budget was shared during an Aug. 12 council meeting. Based on the 6.35 millage rate, the total budget for the new fiscal year will be … [Read more...]

Nikki Alvarez-Sowles named county clerk & comptroller

Gov. Ron DeSantis has named Nikki Alvarez-Sowles to serve as the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller. She will serve in that role through January 2021, filling out the balance of term for the post vacated by Paula S. O’ Neil, who retired on July 1. Alvarez-Sowles is the county’s eighth clerk & comptroller. She was named an interim successor by Sixth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge … [Read more...]

Florida aims to stop motorists from texting while driving

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign into law a measure that would allow tickets to be issued to motorists for texting while driving — as a primary offense. The current law considers texting while driving a secondary offense — meaning motorists can only be cited for the offense, if they are initially pulled over for another violation. The Florida House passed a bill on April 29 … [Read more...]

Danny Burgess bids farewell to House District 38

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ selection of Danny Burgess to serve as the state’s executive director of Florida's Department of Veterans Affairs has been confirmed, and Burgess has issued a letter of farewell to his constituents in House District 38. The letter recounts Burgess’ love for Pasco County, the wonderful memories he has and his love for serving the community. “I could not imagine a better … [Read more...]

Wilton Simpson reflects on Parkland in Dade City visit

More than five months removed from being one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland is still a considerable talking point for legislators statewide. At least that — and the state’s ensuing school safety actions — was at the forefront of discussion in State Sen. Wilton Simpson’s recent stop in Dade City. Speaking … [Read more...]

Approval recommended for TECO solar farm

Opponents are disappointed A proposed solar farm in northeast Pasco County cleared the first hurdle needed for approval — despite impassioned pleas and even tears from area residents who oppose it. The Pasco County Planning Commission recently voted 6-3 to recommend approval of the project to the Pasco County Commission, which has the final say. Tampa Electric Company, or TECO, needs a … [Read more...]

Club meetings planned, endorsements announced

Upcoming club meetings Land O’ Lakes Democrats The Land O' Lakes Democratic Club will host Stephen Perenich, who is running for U.S. Congress in Florida District 12, at the club’s April 4 meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. The club meets at Brick City Eatery, 16540 Pointe Village Drive in Lutz. Wesley Chapel Republican Club The Wesley Chapel Republican Club meets April 12 at 6:30 pm at … [Read more...]

Proposed solar farm sparks controversy

An open house to preview a proposed solar farm in northeast Pasco County drew an impassioned crowd of residents who mostly panned the project. Tampa Electric, known as TECO, is seeking a special exception permit to build the solar farm on about 350 acres, off Blanton Road in Dade City. The first public hearing for the project will be with the Pasco County Planning Commission at a future … [Read more...]

Pasco Sheriff’s Office unveils app to help stress

Pasco Sgt. Matt Rosenbloom has handled countless distressing calls throughout his 12 years in law enforcement. “I’ve seen things that people shouldn’t see out there,” he said. Sometimes it takes several days for him to get past a particular incident. Witnessing the death of a child, for instance, takes a heavy toll. It’s something many deputies aren’t mentally prepared for … [Read more...]

Legislative forum covers wide spectrum of issues

Dozens of speakers signed up to draw attention to topics they think are important at Pasco County’s annual legislative delegation meeting. The topics ranged from fracking to Medicaid; the opioid epidemic to immigration; medical marijuana to homelessness; and, scores of budget requests. Some requests were for items vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, for … [Read more...]