Politics

Hospital matters come before county commission - indirectly


The troubles between the Citrus Memorial Health Foundation and the Citrus County Hospital Board surfaced again at Tuesday's county commission meeting - at least, indirectly.

Top Video: Thorpe stays, Adams 'to work'


On Tuesday, the Citrus County Commission voted 3-2 to keep Brad Thorpe as county administrator.

During discussion prior to the vote on whether to keep Thorpe, Commission Chairman Joe Meek took a page out of Governor Rick Scott's notebook and challenged Commissioner Scott Adams to "come to work."

Scott's campaign slogan while running for governor was, "Let's get to work."

County approves fire protection MSBU fee in 3-2 vote


The Citrus County Commission late Tuesday night approved a new Municipal Taxing Benefit Unit that will raise fees for fire service throughout Citrus County - except for Inverness and Crystal River.

The vote was 3-2 to pass the MSBU fees, with commissioners Scott Adams and Rebecca Bays voting against the fees.

A total of 93 people spoke out about the measure, the majority of whom were against the passing of the additional tax, which is more technically referred to as a "fee."

County moves fire district MSTU hearing to county auditorium


The Citrus County Commission has moved the public hearing on its fire MSTU from the County Commission chambers in downtown Inverness to the Citrus County Auditorium off State Road 44.

The public hearing will reconvene at 3:45 p.m. at the Citrus County Fairgrounds auditorium 3610 S. Florida Ave., also in Inverness.

Public jumps in early before fire MSBU discussion


Members of the public jumped in early in vetting their opinions before the Citrus County Commission about the county's proposed fire tax district MSBU, and even the proposed budget.

Top Video: Citrus Memorial Hospital

Josh Nemzoff, Transaction Agent trying to shepherd along a sale of the Citrus Memorial Hospital (CMH), briefed the Citrus County Commission on the specifics.

Subsequent to this briefing, the list of bidders was narrowed to three: RegionalCare, HCA and HMA.

Subsequent to that event, Nemzoff was fired on June 19 by his employer, the Citrus County Hospital Board. (July 9, 2013)

Coming on the November tax roll: Higher taxes


The Citrus County Commission, by a vote of 3-2, approved the creation of a fire MSBU-MSTU that will end up costing taxpayers more money on November tax bills.

The new revenue stream, as it is called, is a hybrid - one which will use existing ad valorem tax money in the MSTU with new revenue from the new MSBU to fund fire protection services.

Dissenting were county commissioners Scott Adams and Rebecca Bays.

Gov. Scott signs five Dean bills into law


State Sen. Charlie Dean (R-Inverness) announced today that Governor Rick Scott has signed five bills he sponsored into law.

The bills are: HB 487 Relating to Freemasonry License Plates, HB 571 Relating to Marshal of the Supreme Court, HB 969 Relating to Recreational Vehicle Parks, SB 1806 Relating to Total Maximum Daily Loads, and SB 1808 Relating to Numeric Nutrient Criteria.

Professional appraisal concludes Duke Energy owes money to county


Citrus County Property Appraiser Geoffrey Greene today released the results of a professional appraisal of Duke Energy's assets in Citrus County.

Not surprisingly to some, the appraisal indicates that Duke still owes the county taxes on property it holds here, despite the company's legal position in its lawsuit that it doesn't owe anything more.

Thorpe announces resignation at county commission meeting

Citrus County Administrator Brad ThorpeCitrus County Administrator Brad Thorpe today announced to the county commission that he is resigning.

In an emotionally charged atmosphere, Thorpe read his resignation letter to commissioners, saying that it was time to start another chapter in his life.

Each commissioner expressed regret that Thorpe was leaving, and all said they respected his decision to resign.

County engages consultant to develop 5-year strategic financial plan


The Citrus County Commission voted 4-1 today to engage the services of a consultant to look into the county's revenues and expenditures and develop a five-year strategic plan for doing the most with revenues and the wisest ways to spend it for the public welfare.

The study will cost the county $31,680, and will be undertaken by the consulting firm of Government Services Group.

Citrus Recycling president still indignant over anonymous accusations


Citrus Recycling president Sandra L. Messina went before the County Commission for the second time to complain about allegations made in an anonymous letter accusing her business of overcharging for services.

Although she was not allowed to engage Commissioner Scott Adams during the April 9 meeting, she was allowed at today's meeting.

Hatchet buried in landfill pan/scraper issues after final report


It's over.

The final report has been issued, and the county will move ahead with its plan to trade in a piece of earth-moving landfill equipment for a new piece of equipment of a different sort.

Kenney calls for investigation of his conduct by State Attorney


True to his word given in an interview with a local media outlet, Citrus County Commissioner John 'JJ' Kenney today called on the County Attorney to ask the State Attorney's Office to investigate him regarding allegations made in an anonymous letter.

The letter attempted to link both Kenney and his son, Mark, to wrongdoing at Citrus Recycling at its facility in Lecanto. The company takes recyclable material from the county's landfill, processes it, weighs it and then bills the county by the pound.

Thorpe digs into facts surrounding landfill pan/scraper

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a memo sent from County Administrator Brad Thorpe to members of the Citrus County Commission to give more details about the recent sale of the landfill's pan/scraper.

Board Members:

Pursuant to the discussion which occurred at last night’s Board meeting (March 26, 2013), I will place on the agenda for April 9, under my agenda, the discussion of the pan/scraper and excavator purchase issue.

County hammers out ideas to deal with foreclosed homes


Citrus County government, growing tired of the poor state of decrepit foreclosed properties, has embarked on the road to do something about it with an ordinance.

For the second meeting now, county commissioners have discussed a method of registration that would allow the county to know, and hold accountable, the person in possession of the title to the foreclosed property. The reason for that is that there would be someone held accountable for the maintenance of the foreclosed property.

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Landfill equipment discussion doesn't pan out


The hour was late - nearing 10 p.m., and the Citrus County Commission had begun its meeting at 1 p.m.

So, when the issue of the county's landfill pan/scraper came up at the tail end of the meeting, there weren't many who were willing to get into the issue.

So, it will be brought up again at the commission's April 9 meeting.

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Impact fees: A revolving door


Every year for the past three years at least, the subject of impact fees come up for discussion by Citrus County commissioners.

And today, they came up again. Not by commissioners, but by the Citrus County Builders Association, who asked county commissioners to suspend all impact fees.

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County's piecemeal budget presentations at end


The last of six pieces of a deconstructed county budget was presented today at the Citrus County Commission.

Citrus County Administrator Brad Thorpe this year decided to present the budget in pieces so commissioners could see what was being spent and where the money was going.

Now comes the hard part.

County Pan-Scraper repair: Was it broken, or what?


Is a piece of heavy equipment normally used at the Citrus County landfill working, or is the story of its "brokenness" more like a tale like "Peter Pan" in "Never Land?"

The county voted 4-1 on Tuesday to trade in its Caterpillar Hydraulic Excavator (short name: Pan/Scraper) for a new one at a cost of $161,586. The cost of repairing the equipment would have been about $35,000, and Caterpillar has offered the county $36,000 for trading in the old Pan for a new one - and a five-year warranty on the new one.

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