Hillsborough County Commission

Coronavirus mask

People do not have a right to wear a mask to ward off the coronavirus if a business owner says they can't.

That's the decision of the Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group, after their members voted 5 to 3 Thursday to defeat a motion by County Commissioner Kimberly Overman to give people the right to wear a mask any time they want.

Dr. Douglas Holt with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough briefs county commissioners and local mayors on the coronavirus.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough County commissioners declared a local state of emergency for coronavirus, postponed area events -- but not WrestleMania -- and raised concerns about the lack of widespread testing during an emergency policy meeting Thursday.

people wearing facemasks
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough County officials have tested 11 people so far for the coronavirus who they say came into close contact with at least one of the two patients with COVID-19. 


By Ti'Anna Davis

Hillsborough County Board Commissioners held a public hearing last week about a proposed budget allocation for affordable housing.

Hillsborough Clerk Pat Frank and County Commissioner Les Miller
Nicole Slaughter Graham / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough County Clerk of Court Pat Frank has been a public service pioneer since she began her career in the 1970s.

Thursday, she announced that she will not seek reelection in 2020, and that she’s endorsing County Commissioner Les Miller as her successor.

U.S. Airforce

In Hillsborough County, each of the 100 public elementary schools has crossing guards to help children get to and from school safely.

Its 42 middle schools, however, do not offer the same protections for their students.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

Back in October, hundreds of Hillsborough County residents packed the pews of Tampa's First Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Hillsborough County residents will see a new tax referendum on their November ballots.

Voters will decide if they support a half-cent sales tax to help pay for improvements to the county's public schools.

Hillsborough commissioners will allow voters to decide if they want non-partisan elections in the races of five county officials.

Commissioners voted Wednesday to hold a referendum in November. The proposal would affect races for county sheriff, clerk of the court, property appraiser, tax collector and supervisor of elections.

The vote was 5-2 along party lines with Republican commissioners in favor of nonpartisan elections.

Courtesy of HMS Ferries

The Hillsborough County Commission voted Wednesday to bring back the ferry service that connects downtown Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg.

In a move prompted by the Parkland high school shooting, the waiting period to purchase a firearm in Hillsborough County is now five days.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Protesters gathered Thursday at the Confederate statue in downtown Tampa. It happened the day after Hillsborough County Commissioners backtracked on removing it from public display.

Florida Public Archaeology Network

City workers on Tuesday started moving a Confederate statue called "Johnny Reb" from a park in the heart of downtown Orlando to a nearby cemetery, following renewed public outcry that it is a symbol of racism and white supremacy.

Carson Frame / WUSF

The Hillsborough County Commission is jumping ahead of the state legislature by creating a framework for medical marijuana dispensaries.

from Wikimedia Commons

Rush hour is legendary among Tampa Bay residents for bumper-to-bumper congestion and long commutes.

The area has suffered from traffic woes for years. The Hillsborough County Commission recently approved an $812 million transportation plan, which focuses almost exclusively on road improvements.

Rick Homans is CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership, an organization that works to solve economic problems in the area.

hezitate (Flickr)

Convicted animal abusers will no longer be able to adopt dogs and cats in Hillsborough County.

Confederate Flag at County Center Comes Down

Jul 15, 2015
Wiki Commons

Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously voted on Wednesday to bring down the confederate flag display at the County Center in Tampa. 

Commissioner Les Miller, the only black commissioner on the board, proposed a motion to take down the flag. Commissioner Stacy White provided a counter argument and wanted to leave the issue up to a referendum for voters to decide.

Hillsborough County Commissioners today voted to legislate protection of gay, bisexual and transgender people. If it is enacted in an upcoming session, the ordinance would be an about-face of a 1995 vote that excluded those civil rights protections.

Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Mann Wagnon Memorial Park is a peaceful hideaway in the middle of the bustling city of Tampa off Nebraska Avenue. It's where the Museum of Science and Industry got its start as the Museum of Natural History back in the '60s before becoming the MOSI on Fowler Avenue that it is now.

A proposed bill to let voters decide whether to get rid of the Public Transportation Commission (PTC) in Hillsborough County failed to go through today as a majority of legislative delegation members voted against it.

The PTC regulates taxi cabs, limousines and ambulance companies. But a proposed bill, filed by Rep. Jamie Grant (R) and Sen. Jeff Brandes (R), would have given voters the chance to choose whether the Hillsborough County Commission should oversee those regulations, instead.

PTC Chairman and Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist opposed the bill.

Law enforcement agencies have been less than successful in trying to stop the sale of synthetic drugs, also called "bath salts," which are pitched to kids under names such as "Scooby Snax" despite their danger. The dealers simply change the chemistry faster than the Legislature can pass laws against it. 

Transit Talk: First Public Forum

Aug 7, 2013

Hillsborough County hosted its first in a series of public forums yesterday discussing mass transportation in an effort to gauge residents' perspectives.

A group of city and county leaders - including three mayors, the chief of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART), and a number of county commissioners - are meeting monthly to discuss the where's, what's, and how to pay for transportation improvements that will stimulate job growth in the area.

Hillsborough County Approves Amazon Incentive

Jun 19, 2013

The huge Internet retailer Amazon is one step closer to building a fulfillment center in Ruskin. Hillsborough County Commissioners approved Wednesday a set of tax incentives to bring the company here.

Amazon is promising 1,000 jobs for Hillsborough County, with 375 of those being higher wage positions making an average of more than $47,000.

Hillsborough County Commissioners decided the new jobs will be worth the incentive of $225,000.

It's been 17 years since former Mayor Dick Greco named James E. Tokley as Tampa's Poet Laureate. Today, the Hillsborough County Commission approved Tokley as Hillsborough County's Official Poet Laureate.

"Some of the poems that he writes just grab you by the heart and you just can't turn loose when you hear him speak," said commissioner Les Miller.

Tokley told the commissioners of a recent conversation he had with Bay News 9's Dalia Dangerfield, when she asked him what he would say when he was presented with the new title.

The Hillsborough County Commission approved a cost-sharing agreement for road improvements along Falkenburg Road in Brandon for a new Bass Pro Shop.

The deal is just more than $6 million. Backers of the project expect tax revenues to make up for the cost in 5 years after the shop opens in 2014.

The money won't be going to Bass Pro. Instead, the money goes to the developer - I-75/Palm River Road LLC. They'll be the ones doing the road adjustments.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe voted in favor and stands behind his vote.

The Tampa Bay Rays ownership can expect an official invitation soon from Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough Commissioners voted 5 to 2 Thursday to send a letter inviting the Rays organization to make a presentation on the team’s long-term interests, plans and goals to the board.

Commissioner Ken Hagan is calling for a regional discussion about the Rays future.