By Tamas Mondovics
Valrico area residents demonstrated their ongoing interest in how things are going in their neighborhood and surrounding communities by showing up in great numbers to speak to their County Commissioner Stacy R. White, District 4. As it is done by his fellow commissioners, White’s recent visit with his constituents at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library in Valrico was scheduled as the kickoff for his Community Office Hours, allowing residents a one-on-one time with their commissioner without having to travel to County Center in downtown Tampa.
“We had a much larger crowd than we had originally anticipated,” White said, adding that the sizable turnout is a great sign of people’s interest and desire to engage in community issues.
White acknowledged that meeting with members of the community on a more informal setting is a great platform to discuss a variety of topics and issues, but he was not surprised by the majority of residents’ showing concern over issues involving transportation, traffic and growth management.
“I am working hard to address these issues and to bring reform to benefit our residents,” White said, adding that rezoning and land use issues are on the top of his agenda.
In a post event interview, White commented on his support of the county’s new mobility fees structure, which will replace the old impact fee arrangement and ensure that the money from new building projects and businesses will be used and spent within the district from which it is collected. As an example, such projects include a future 160,000 sq. ft. BayCare Wellness Campus now planned to be built on a 21-acre parcel east of the corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Lithia Pinecrest Road behind the Former Alberston’s Plaza in Valrico.
White said that the mobility fees of some $1 million from the BayCare project will help greatly to balance its transportation impact on the community.
White joined forces with Commissioners Sandra Murman, Victor Crist, and Al Higginbotham last month to shut the doors on a proposed 30-year, half-cent sales tax option to reach voters in November.
In his routine online letter to the community, White makes mention of his recent tour of Valrico areas with County Administrator Mike Merrill, which gave an opportunity to draw Merrill’s attention to a “much-needed construction on Valrico Road, south of the State Road 60 intersection.” White is pleased to see construction in the often impassable intersection due to flooding. Visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org or call 272-5740.