tampabay.com

Hillsborough commissioner Norman has bypass surgery

The county commissioner missed meetings this week because of a "sudden change" in his schedule, according to a statement.

By BILL VARIAN
Published May 19, 2006


TAMPA - Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Jim Norman was recovering at Tampa General Hospital on Thursday after undergoing coronary bypass surgery earlier in the week.

No details were available about his condition or whether the surgery had been anticipated.

Norman, 52, had missed all public meetings he was scheduled to attend this week, including a regular meeting Wednesday in which commissioners passed steep hikes to school impact fees.

Commission Vice Chairman Ken Hagan read a statement into the record from Norman, which said, "I am not able to attend the May 17 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners due to a sudden change in my schedule.''

A Norman aide and declined further comment. Norman's office is expected to issue a statement today.

Norman was first elected as commissioner representing northern Hillsborough in 1992. He is seeking a second term as an at-large commissioner representing the entire county.

He is known for walking parts of the county weekly, knocking on doors and asking residents their thoughts about county government.

He has been board chairman for the past 18 months.

"It's not about personalities. It's not about petty arguments. It's not about behind-the-scenes bickering. It's not about Nancy Bostock. It's not about (school superintendent) Clayton Wilcox, and it's not about Mary Russell. This campaign is about ideas.''

- MARY RUSSELL

"I believe in the power of accountability to affect change. ... Our kids cannot afford for us to be satisfied with a status quo system of education.''

- NANCY BOSTOCK