Guest columns

Reconciling repaving in coming budget

Citrus County Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith, District 3

It's almost budget time for the county, and in that, we have some tough choices to make about how we deal with how much money we collect in taxes and how we spend it.

A look at meaning of 'mixed use'

How to become pro-business

Many people have said “we need you to get business here” and they assume that there is a list of companies we can call and work with to get businesses​, to come.

Veterans and the Veterans Service Office

I want to use this article to talk about an issue that should be addressed as it affects approximately 28,000 veterans and their families -- the issue is our veterans service office.
 
The Veterans Service Office -- what the Veterans Service Office does for us and the challenges that they face in being able to provide services that directly deal with the Federal Veterans Administration, a task that they alone have a unique ability to do above o

Changes needed to Land Development Code to shape future

Internet shopping, drone delivery, self-driving cars, Segways and hover boards, telemedicine, more people working from home -- and so much more -- are changes happening to our world, and whether you like it or not, the millennials and following generations are going to drive these changes inour community.

Impact fee moratorium should stay in place

Why does it matter if impact fees are increased?
 
It should matter to you, the blue collar worker, who works hard for your dollar.
 
With impact fees there is always a chain reaction: if you make it more expensive to build here, people will be less likely to come here at all, which would affect the economy of the county greatly, including your family and their potential earnings.
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Impact fee talks reach critical juncture

Citrus County Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith, District 3Decision time is almost here, and the issue of Impact fees will soon be vetted and decided upon.

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Changing regulations and the culture

Every year government creates more regulations, increases cost to business and comes up with programs that are supposedly there to help, yet what often happens is that government is actually defeating the free market values that is the core of our American way of life, instead of helping.
 
The regulations alone are not the problem, but are exacerbated by the growth of rules that follow and the interpretation of those rules at the lowest level.

The unintended consequences of impact fees

Jimmie T. Smith, Citrus County Commissioner, District 3As a policymaker, I’m frequently questioned on what we as a community can, should and shouldn't do, and the effects of each choice.

Oftentimes, there are “unintended consequences” of our choice, and in the end, we regret the outcome of our decision.

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Impact fees, not maintenance fees

County Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith, District 3At a previous commission meeting, we addressed the issue of Impact Fees.

The majority of people who came before the board had issues of maintenance and even our own presentation suggested we use Impact Fees for debt, to pay for previous projects not specifically correlated to what impact fees are supposed to be used for, which is IMPACT.

Citrus County asks when to expect FEMA aid

EOC Capt. Dave DeCarloCaptain Dave DeCarlo,
Citrus County Director of Emergency Management

Hurricane Hermine left a mark on Citrus County, to say the least.

Now that we have blue skies again, what happens next?

Dallas PD tragedy should unite America

U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent, 11th Congressional DistrictI spent 38 years in law enforcement.

From patrolling the night shift in a police department in a Chicago suburb to serving as Sheriff of Hernando County in Florida, I have been witness to unimaginable acts by horrendous criminals.

More focus on terrorism, less squabbling

U.S. Rep. Richard NugentA week ago, our neighbors to the east suffered a homegrown terrorist attack.  The shooter was an American citizen.  His father (from Afghanistan) is an open and vocal supporter of the Taliban.

Senate takes aim at military housing allowance

U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent, 11th Congressional District.This past weekend, Wendy and I were helping one of our sons, who is now a Major in the Army, and his young family move into a new house.

The Presidency, Congress and war powers

U.S. Representative Richard Nugent (R-Brooksville)What many people may have missed is that Congress did not vote on the question of whether or not to authorize the President to continue air strikes in Iraq.

The border crisis: Not just Congress' problem, sir


The U.S. Border Patrol estimates that this year, they will catch roughly 90,000 unaccompanied minors entering our country illegally.

They expect that number to rise next year. And while this issue has existed for years, we’ve seen a massive spike over the last year – and that trend is expected to continue.

Federal Highway Trust Fund propped up, but at what cost?


Wow. Congress went a little crazy with the accounting gimmicks this week. They did so enthusiastically.


I’m not sure how widely known this is, but the Highway Trust Fund which funds federal infrastructure projects is almost out of money. That’s creating a lot of problems.

Border crisis is just that

Just a quick update this week on a couple of items.

First, the House passed one more funding bill this week. We’ve completed work on six out of 12 at this point.

I would suggest calling your senators to ask how they’re coming along, but my guess is you already know the answer.

Inter-branch lawsuit

Also of note - the House vs. Executive Branch lawsuit is moving forward as anticipated and we should be considering the actual details of it next week. Stay tuned for that.

The deal with the border crisis

Congress addresses legislative, military appropriations bills


Just a quick couple updates from this week.

First, the House has officially begun the appropriations season.

We started with two bills. One, the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill sets the funding levels for Congress – the House, Senate, Library of Congress, Government Accountability Office and some other smaller ancillary line items. I offered an amendment to that bill that, unfortunately, ended up being blocked in the House.

Work continues on budget; bills proceeding


Work continued in Tallahassee last week, with the Senate meeting on the Floor on Wednesday, and the Senate Committee on Appropriations passing the Senate’s budget plan for the 2014-15 Fiscal Year on Thursday.

I am pleased with the Senate’s version of the budget, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the weeks ahead while we construct the State’s spending plan for next year.

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