By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published November 26, 2011
If all seven members of the Hillsborough County Commission were drowning and you could only save one, would you go to lunch or read the paper?
Last week the world’s greatest deliberative body within six blocks of the Hillsborough River demonstrated why good intentions don’t mean better government.
Before it got all well-meaning, the commission went about its business of organizing its “leaders” for the coming year. Mostly this means electing who amongst them will serve as chairman. The chairman signs legal documents, represents the county at official events and manages commission meetings. For his efforts, the commission chair earns an extra 10 grand in pay.
A well-trained monkey could probably do the job, but that didn’t keep some commissioners and their puppeteers from jockeying for the position. It apparently got nasty and personal, with commissioners cutting deals behind closed doors — a clear violation of Florida’s sunshine laws.
Mark Sharpe, who was nominated last year by Kevin Beckner, was nominated this year by Al Higginbotham. He faced Ken Hagan, who apparently really needs the extra 10K because he has already served as chairman three out of the last four years.
But despite his Dudley Do-Right image, this board wouldn’t elect Sharpe “man of the year” if he saved a busload of school kids from driving off a cliff. Politics and paybacks are apparently the order of the day at One County Center, and Sharpe doesn’t play that game. (Click here to read the entire column in today’s Tampa Tribune)
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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