Thursday, October 13, 2022

Very Risky Business! 5 Democrat Commissioners Vote to Appeal Judges Ruling Throwing the AFT Sales Tax Off the Ballot

Tampa Centric 5 Democrat
county commissioners vote to appeal AFT ruling

A special BOCC meeting was called by BOCC Chair Kimberly Overman today at 5pm today. At the meeting, the Tampa Centric 5 Democrat commissioners voted to use taxpayer money to hire outside legal counsel and appeal Judge Moe's AFT ruling. 

Judge Moe ruled Monday from the bench to throw the All for Transportation (AFT) Sales Tax referendum off the ballot because it is misleading to the voters. 

Overman called the special meeting at 5pm, an hour before a 6pm commission meeting that had already been scheduled. 

The special meeting was noticed to the public that those who wished to speak would have 3 minutes to make their public comment. The County Attorney clearly stated that the 6pm meeting can start late, it just cannot start earlier than 6pm.

But the Tampa Centric 5 wanted to get the special meeting over as quickly as possible because they had already made their decision. Gwen Myers told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday the county was appealing:

Commissioner Gwen Myers said the county will appeal a judge’s ruling voiding the transportation tax referendum.
About thirty-three citizens had properly signed up for public comment expecting to have 3 minutes to speak. 

The 5 Democrat commissioners who consistently lecture about citizens having a voice, did not want to hear citizens voices at the special meeting. They voted to cut public comment to 90 seconds. 

The 5 commissioners punished the citizens who wanted to speak because Overman chose to schedule this special meeting, to discuss a very important issue, an hour before another meeting. 

The citizens who took the time to signup to speak were not at fault but the 5 commissioners punished them anyway. Horrible optics! 

About 10 people who signed up to speak did not speak after the 5 commissioners took half of the speaking time away. 

Kudos to Commissioner White for diplomatically bringing up numerous reasons why the County should not appeal. 

Remember White won his lawsuit last year that threw out the 2018 illegal AFT sales tax.

The 5 Democrat commissioners totally ignored White's pragmatic warnings and Pat Kemp and Harry Cohen are lawyers. 

The meeting became a circus as the 5 Democrat commissioners made emotional pleas, tried to paint themselves as victims and want to blame everyone else for the big messes they keep creating. Harry Cohen's loud rant was quite a show. 

Instead of making their case for appealing the ruling, the 5 commissioners made the case for their own incompetence and negligence. They are incapable of properly managing the County's $8.5 BILLION budget. 
So the 5 Democrat commissioners voted to spend more taxpayer money hiring more legal counsel and appealing the ruling. 

That money would be better spent filling potholes.

What the 5 Democrat commissioners are doing is risky business that could subject taxpayers to more litigation/lawsuits and another big refund issue.

Watch the meeting here.  

Commissioners Overman, Cohen and Smith are up for re-election.

Voters Beware!

More to come.


  1. I listened to the meeting and I think that demonstrated that they did not care what any one said except for those groups that supported the deal and will benefit. Sad day to have this continue on! Now we have a tainted volte if they tabulate them as many will think that this is dead!

  2. Tim Pearson's claim that the sales tax must be passed because of safety and quicker response times does not hold water and just tells the world he has not read the safety and congestion studies. HCFR response times were essentially unchanged percentage wise over the last 5 years even though traffic was decreased 20% in 2 of those years. Outcomes were unrelated to response times overall. Passage of the sales tax will go a long way in meeting the 29% pay increase over the next 3 years. Same with Sheriff Chad. He could not have read the studies for congestion and safety. Average commute will increase 3-4 mins, not go down. Hours of congestion will increase over 200% and there will be no decrease in crashes or fatalities on local roads. He needs a new jail and would like to give those same raises too! The sad part is there is money for all that already in existing revenues. They didn't have to take more money from their neighbors.

  3. Someone needs to investigate the county website This is put up by the engineering firm that was contracted to "inform" the voters on transportations issues in the county. We don't have to be informed. We know the roads and congestion suck. What they are doing is using taxpayer money to sell the sales tax which if I am not mistaken is against state law. To top it off the information being given on the website comes from data put out by the TPO 3-4 years ago from their LRTP. Nothing from the county public hearing earlier this year, nothing from the presentations to the BOCC by the cities and HART this year. YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE BALLOT QUESTION TO SEE THE LIES. THE ENTIRE AFT MARKETING CAMPAIGN FOR THE LRTP IS ONE BIG LIE.