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County seeks public's ideas for visioning project

County commissioners hope to see a big turnout at the first of a series of informal three-hour round-table workshops.

By ALISA ULFERTS

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2000


Do you think the county could use more code enforcement officers? Or that developers should be required to set aside land for schools? Or that clean industry should be given every incentive possible to locate in Pasco County?

If the answer is yes, county commissioners want to hear from you.

If the answer is no, they still want to hear from you.

Beginning Thursday, the county will host a series of public workshops on the future of Pasco County. The workshops, designed as informal round-table affairs, are the lateststep in the county's visioning process, which began last year.

County commissioners have a workshop under their belt; commissioners brainstormed at Saint Leo University in late January. Planning coordinator King Helie, who has a $50,000 contract with the county to facilitate the visioning process, led the session and then compiled the results.

Now commissioners want to know the public's priorities. The first session is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Raleigh Green Room in the McDonald Student Center at Saint Leo University. Two others will be held in the central and western areas of the county.

"This is a chance for people to speak up," Commission Chairwoman Pat Mulieri said. Mulieri and Commissioner Steve Simon have been the most active advocates for countywide visioning sessions.

During the three-hour sessions, county commissioners will rotate among the round tables. Each table will be dedicated to a particular theme, such as growth management or creating economic opportunities. Residents can jump in and out of any of the discussions, peruse displays and ask questions of county staffers. Residents can come and go at any time during the session, Mulieri said.

The county is hoping for a healthy turnout; it has spent hundreds of dollars on ads in area newspapers. The second session is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O'Lakes Blvd. The third session is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 4 in the gymnasium at Veterans Memorial Park, 14222 Hicks Road in Hudson.

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