Time to get this party started
Now it’s their turn.
I’ve spent many waking hours in recent weeks writing about the myriad challenges facing our community heading into this very significant election.
Nail down this one, candidates
Let’s talk about affordable housing.
Those folks in the green shirts who showed up at the June 16 planning and development commission meeting wanted to talk about affordable housing. As in, they didn’t want it in their Meadowcrest neighborhood.
Priority One: Fix these streets
There you go. That’s the Big Three facing Citrus County commissioners and candidates.
A lot harder than it looks
The Citrus County Chronicle candidates forum is Thursday and I couldn’t be more excited.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that publisher Trina Murphy requested I ask questions of county commission District 4 candidates because her husband, John, is one of the candidates and she wanted as much Chronicle separation of that race as possible.
Sheriff could say no, if he wants
One other thing about the sheriff’s pay raise and then I’ll let it go.
It’s been bugging me how I missed that Sheriff Mike Prendergast’s budget to the county commission included a brand new $24,000 pay raise given to him by the state, and not the sheriff simply boosting pay on his own.
Here’s how: There is no way most people would know about this state-approved pay raise amount unless they stumbled on it, like I did on Wednesday.
County to sheriff: Answers please
Certainly learned plenty about Sheriff Mike Prendergast’s personal pay Wednesday, didn’t we?
We learned he isn’t adding $24,000 to his salary because he feels like it.
Turns out this gift — and, my what a generous one! —- comes from the Legislature. I’ll return to that momentarily.
Sheriff includes self in pay raises
It’s Wednesday so let’s talk about Sheriff Mike Prendergast.
You may have heard the sheriff wants pay increases for his employees. That is certainly commendable.
Not just deputies, but all employees. All. Even a worker with the title, “Sheriff.”
Prendergast’s proposed $40 million budget includes a $34,000 personal pay raise over this year's budget, a startling move I thought impossible because the salaries of constitutional officers are set by the state.
Toying with the political gods
Here’s a Citrus County race that won’t make the headlines but is fun nonetheless.
And another reminder that it’s not smart to mess with the political gods.
We all know about the governor deciding he knew better than we who our state senator should be, so he endorsed Spring Hill Rep. Blaise Ingoglia over our Rep. Ralph Massullo.
Signs point to tight campaigns
Preliminaries are out of the way, wannabe candidates off to the sidelines and now the real fun starts.
The Aug. 23 primary will be here before you know it, and we’ve got a lot to cover in that short time. One county commissioner will be elected in the primary. Perhaps a school board member as well. The stakes are high and there’s a nervous energy among the candidates that, frankly, is refreshing to see.
The 2-month clock starts at noon
It’s qualifying day and I know you’re thrilled, as am I. By noon today we’ll have the full ballot lineup, and there are always a few surprises here and there.
Former Commissioner John Thrumston is a case in point. He had been considering the County Commission District 4 race but instead surprised us all Thursday with a campaign for School Board District 3, now held by Doug Dodd.
Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 35 years.