They faced each other before, but with different parties
County Commission: District 2
By ASJYLYN LODER
Published October 25, 2006
Rose Rocco hopes the third time will be the charm.
This go-around, she wants to win the District 2 commission seat that's been held for the last 12 years by Nancy Robinson.
The two rivals have faced off before. Robinson, then a Democrat, beat Rocco handily in 2002.
Since then, both women have switched parties. This is Robinson's fifth commission race, her first as a Republican. She joined the GOP in 2004.
Rocco ran again in 2004, losing the race for the seat now held by Jeff Stabins. She changed allegiance to the Democratic Party to run against Robinson this year.
Both candidates cite the same top three issues: growth, taxes and property insurance.
But there the similarity ends.
Robinson recently moved for a half-mill cut in the county's tax rate, and pushed for an even deeper cut. The cut saves the average homeowner $36.09. Not much, Robinson admitted, but the county had to at least try to offer some relief from the rising cost of taxes and insurance.
Rocco said the move was not fiscally responsible. The county has too many big bills coming due, like the cleanup of the polluted public works compound and the potential renovation of the old Brooksville Hospital. On top of that, prices for roadwork are skyrocketing. Rather, the county should address the inequities in how properties are assessed, she said.
The two women also differ on Hickory Hill, a controversial golf course development slated for a 2,800-acre ranch near Interstate 75.
Robinson voted in favor of sending the 1,749-home proposed development to the state for review. The developer will have to allay the state's concerns or risk rejection by the commission.
Rocco said Hickory Hill is premature and would promote sprawl in an area that remains largely rural.
County commissioner, District 2
County commissioners are elected at large and serve four-year terms. District 2 covers the southwest portion of the county. The annual salary is $55,463.
Hannah "Nancy" Robinson, 61, is a four-term commissioner looking for a fifth term. She won her first commission seat in 1992. This is the first election year the former Democrat has run as a Republican. She easily beat a Republican challenger in September's primary. Born in Philadelphia, the semiretired nurse graduated from Lansdale High School in Lansdale, Pa., before receiving her nursing degree from the School of Nursing at St. Agnes Medical Center in Philadelphia. She was nursing supervisor at St. Agnes and head nurse in emergency departments in Philadelphia and Florida. She is married and has three children. She moved to Spring Hill in 1987. Assets: House, vehicle, savings. Liabilities: Mortgage, car loans, credit cards. Sources of income: County Commission salary, part-time nursing income, spouse's salary and pensions.
Rose Rocco, 65, is making her third run for the County Commission. The former Republican changed parties to run, and won a three-way Democratic primary in September. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she moved to New Jersey, graduating from Eastside High School in Paterson. She retired as a customer service representative before moving to Florida in 1993. She is a founder and president of Operation PRIDE, a member of the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce, board member of the National Federation for the Blind for Hernando and east Pasco, president-elect of the Spring Hill Central Rotary Club, and governmental chairwoman of United Communities of Hernando County. She lost to Robinson in 2002, and lost again in the 2004 race for the seat now held by Jeff Stabins. Assets: Home, savings. Liabilities: Mortgage, car loan. Sources of income: Pension and annuities.
[Last modified November 3, 2006, 15:29:17]
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