Substance use issues.

We continue to fight the “war on drugs”.   We have an issue here in Pasco.   We currently lead the state in Acute Hepatitis B infections.   Our County is number one in the state.   This is because of our IV Drug use problem here on the West Side.   Yet our constant reaction to substance use issues is incarceration.   We need to start funding rehab programs and work to change the laws of this state so that we can have needle exchange programs.   If we continue to treat people with addiction issues as criminals, we will never solve the problem.   We need to start looking for different solutions for our problems.   If we continue to do the same thing over and over again it will never change or solve the problem.

http://www.tbo.com/news/localgovernment/Pasco-considers-joining-opioid-litigation_163272773

Holiday

While out canvassing in Holiday all I heard about was how angry the residents are at the name change proposal.   They were not consulted, they do not feel the Commissioners care about them, and they do not want the name to change.   What they did express was, that they want Holiday fixed.   They want the flooding issues resolved, they want the crime, and the blight issues handled.   They love the name Holiday and think that changing the name to appease a developer and get tourists in for a short amount of time, will solve nothing.

If you want tourists to come to the area, then we need to fix these issues.   We have opportunities here to improve the way that Holiday is, but changing a name will never make that any better.   It is putting a coat of paint on grass, the grass will continue to grow and the paint will be gone before you know it.   The fact that the Commissioners are excited about this and even considering this, says that they have given up on actually improving Holiday.   If you want large developers to come in then work on improving the way US 19 looks.   Fixing the medians is fine but when the sides of 19 have empty shopping plazas and parking lots that doesn’t make people want to shop there or visit there.   Fix the flooding.   What is going to happen the first time that the RV resort they are building floods?   We all know that Holiday has flooding issues because most of the West Side of Pasco County does.   So what tourist is going to want to go to an RV park with pictures online of everything being underwater?

The actual lack of future thought when it comes to development and things that happen often in Pasco is one of our major issues.   I want to fix this and bring thoughts of how this will impact us in the future as one of the thoughts we have at the County level.

Younger Generations and Voting

I hear it all the time.   The younger generations do not vote.   I am a member of Generation X.   A Generation you do not hear a lot about these days.   I vote.   I have run into a lot of people that are younger that tell me often that they do not vote.   They also tell me that voting does not matter and nothing political effects their lives.   This makes me sad.   Everything we do is effected by politics.   The taxes we pay on items we buy.   The zoning of where businesses can go.   What the minimum wage is that employers can pay us.  All of these things are decided by politicians.   As I explain these things to people they often seem shocked by how politics is in their daily lives.   I have been doing a lot of outreach to a lot of the younger voters.   Trying to get them involved with being a part of the change in politics.   What politicians are deciding today will effect future generations.   So I encourage everyone to reach out to their neighbors and to their friends.   Talk to them about why voting matters.

Tourism

When you think of Florida, you often think of the Disney and beaches.   Our state is a tourist destination.   We need to be using that draw to bring in the tourism dollars.   Why is it that we have been paying for this sponsorship and no one is making sure that we are getting what we paid for.   We need to increase the tourist dollars coming into Pasco because we have a lot of restaurants, and retailers that need those dollars.   How could our current BOCC just let them take the money and not hold up their end of the deal?

We have a lot of natural Florida here that we can be using to bring in tourism.   We have a large population of naturists as well.   We know what tourist draws that we have here and yet we are not working on increasing that tourism base.   We are paying money for a sporting event and not getting what we were promised out of the deal.   We need to make sure that we can bring tourists into Pasco because those dollars help to spur our economy.

We need a BOCC that is actually paying attention to what is being done with our money and making sure that contracts are being enforced.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/tourism/Pasco-cuts-tourism-aid-to-annual-Dick-s-lacrosse-tournament_163407743

Clean drinking water is important

With the County takeover of this water utility the citizen’s in this area will have an increase in their utility bills.   The issue is do we spread the purchase out among all the citizen’s or just the people in this area.   We know that there are a lot of utility companies in Pasco that need maintenance to improve production and to improve the quality of water for those citizen’s.   We need to ask ourselves what is the price that we would pay to ensure clean drinking water and keeping access to it?

http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/Pasco-utility-takeover-will-raise-water-sewer-bills-in-Gulf-Harbors_163265215

 

Canvassing

We have been actively canvassing in the County.   Going out and talking to the people and getting petitions signed.   I enjoy  canvassing because I hear about what is going on with people and what their issues are.   I have found that there are a lot of issues in Pasco that the citizen’s agree need to be fixed.

I believe that the people need a voice in our government and I look forward to being that voice.   We will be doing a lot of canvassing in January.   We need to get 3,360 petitions countywide and i still have a few more to get.   I have been amazed at the outpouring of support from people in the area that are signing for me or willing to take petitions and get them signed by their friends and family.   There are a lot of people that want to see change in this county and a lot of people that want a voice.   I look forward to serving all of the people of Pasco County and working with them to solve their issues and improve their lives.

Talking to people

I went to the CONA breakfast this morning and had a great time speaking to the people there.   I met a lot of great people this morning and got to learn about all of the issues that they have in Pasco County.

Once one of our Commissioners went up there and mentioned the renaming of Holiday, it started a discussion about renaming it.   I heard it loud and clear from this person that they also felt that this decision to rename Holiday is ridiculous.

We also discussed the issues of Flooding along the West Side.   Flooding is a huge concern and we need to start looking at it in a different way.   So we can fix this issue for all of the people in Pasco.   No one should have to worry that a new development is going to increase the flooding that their family has, or that their neighbor is going to go underwater.

I enjoyed talking to the people today at the CONA meeting.   They were inviting and all of them were happy to hear that I was running and quite a few were excited to help me run.   Thank you to CONA for a great breakfast this morning, a great meeting and a chance to meet such great people.

My time in Facebook timeout

So apparently after I posted about my upcoming fundraiser, someone took it upon themselves to anonymously report my page and google email as spam.   I am not sure who did it, but I did win in the google appeal and I am pending on my Facebook appeal at this time.   So Facebook has temporarily suspended me from posting to groups or inviting people to my events.   So please share my posts and invite people to my events, because I am tentatively on Facebook lockdown until the 19th of December.

Either I am making my opponent nervous or one of his supporters.   I can still post on my campaign page but I cannot share my posts with anyone.   So please feel free to share away.

Penny for Pasco

Back in 2015 voters approved the Penny for Pasco again.   The Counties portion of the funds are supposed to be used as listed:

Pasco County’s share of 45% is distributed as follows:

  • 40% for transportation improvements and to address traffic congestion
  • 20% for economic development & job creation
  • 20% for the acquisition of environmental lands
  • 20% for improving public safety

Yet the County is stretching their definition and borrowing from the Penny for Pasco  to pay developers for a park.     We need these dollars for our issues with traffic, job development, public safety and purchasing environmental lands.   Yet the Commissioners in October voted to pay a developer 30,000 dollars per acre for farmland totaling 4.4 million dollars.   Why are we wasting the dollars that we need for other projects to keep a deal with a developer?

http://www.pascocountyfl.net/DocumentCenter/View/6649

http://livesite-prd-5.tampabay.com/news/environment/bowen-park-land-deal-raises-penny-for-pasco-questions/2341280

If we continue to use our funds to help out developers and do not use them to help out our citizen’s by improving infrastructure or creating jobs, we are not solving the issues in Pasco.   We need to have commissioners that pay attention to what is going on with their citizen’s not what they can do to help out the companies that fund their campaigns.

 

Why the environment matters

Our environment matters.   We only have one planet and we need to take care of it.   Building mines in farmland and roads through a wetland is not taking care of it.   We have only one planet to live on and we need to make sure that it is here for future generations.

I am standing with the group that is trying to stop the Lago Verde Mine from being put in farm land at the springs head of the Weekie Wachee Springs.   I do not think that this is a good idea, because blasting near a water source and homes can only lead to problems.   This will disrupt the farms, the homes, and the wildlife that are already there.   I cannot imagine what it would be like to have your homes shaking from blasts as they mine for limestone.   I still cannot believe that our current County Commissioners believe that farm land is the perfect place for a mine.   I understand that they are funded by the mining company but that is not good for the citizen’s.

I am standing with the group that is trying to stop the Ridge Rd expansion.  There is no need for an East West Evacuation road.   Calling it an evacuation road is ridiculous.   During the last hurricane the vast majority of the people went North.   I went East and stayed in Lake Padgett Estates but when I left, there was no one going East.   This road is to appease a promise they made to a developer.   It will go through the Serenova Preserve and will go through a wetland.   The road price continues to increase every year on how much it will actually cost to build the road.   This will be a huge tax increase to the citizen’s of Pasco County for a road that was promised to a developer.

We can develop in Pasco but we need to develop smarter.   Developing on wetlands that will eventually create sinkholes and take homes is not smart.   Building a road right through a wetland will not solve any of our issues with evacuation, but it will cause issues to the environmental land that it is going through.

So if you want more information on these issues and you want to support these causes please check out their change.org pages.   They are trying to save these lands.   It is still possible to stop this from happening.

https://www.change.org/p/pasco-county-board-of-county-comissioners-protect-our-neighborhood-and-the-weeki-wachee-spring

https://www.change.org/p/pasco-county-board-of-county-comissioners-protect-our-neighborhood-and-the-weeki-wachee-spring

https://www.change.org/p/jmariano-pascocountyfl-net-stop-ecological-damage-to-the-serenova-tract-in-pasco-county-deny-ridge-road-extension