Don’t Settle | Membership Committee | 2024 Elections & BOCC
June 28, 2023
REC Meeting: July 13, 2023
The next Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 13, 2023, with social hour beginning at 6:00 PM and the meeting starting promptly at 7:00 PM. Guests are welcome to attend.
A Message From the Chair
STEVE JOBS, speaking at Stanford in 2005: “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is gonna fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. "So keep looking. Don’t settle.”
Dan Negrut (Bernard A. and Frances M. Weideman Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin) calls Jobs’s speech a masterclass in the art of storytelling for being emotional and inspiring. He shared the lessons he learned from his personal life and hardships he endured.
I chose to open my comments with this portion of Steve Jobs’s address because I think finding and pursuing what we love should be of utmost importance to the quality of our lives.
Next month, July 13 we will be having a Committee Fair at our HREC meeting. We appreciate our volunteers. You are the backbone of this organization. You are the reason we are here fighting and planning as a team. If you want to really get involved, I’d like to encourage you to look very closely at the committees we have available and find what you love. If we don’t have a committee or team that you’d be interested in, we would certainly be open to adding a new team. Read about what these committees do and think about how and where you fit.
We, like you, want to keep our county voting red. Why? Because whom we place into office matters a great deal to our everyday lives. Our local BOCC, City Hall, Mayors, judges, and school boards matter.
We love our country but we show concern for our family, our neighbors, and our co-workers by encouraging all those around us to vote for fair and transparent elections, fair tax laws, and strong conservative values.
Let’s work together and build a stronger Hillsborough County.
My Top Film of the Month: Nefarious on Salem Media
My Favorite Book of the Month: “San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities” by Michael Shellenberger
Get Involved - Volunteer for a Committee
Whether you are an HCREC Member or a Concerned Citizen, your participation is needed. Contact one or more Committee Chairs and volunteer.
- Precinct Development Committee Contact: Carmen Edmonds [email protected]
- Communications Committee Contact:
Kathy Gallo [email protected]
Includes: Social Media Team, Military/Veterans Team, Faith-Based Team, Email/Texting Team, Community Engagement Team
- Legislative Affairs Committee Contact: Teresa Miller @[email protected]
- Election Integrity Committee Contact: Jeff Lukens [email protected]
- Get Out The Vote (Elections) Committee Contact: Rick Kunz [email protected]
- Finance Committee Contact: Gina d’Angelo [email protected]
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE - MAGGIE LALK (HCREC SECRETARY)
Maggie Lalk was disturbed by the growing socialist trends on display in the USA and the retired US Air Force Colonel felt compelled to take action. “I had to do something; I could not sit back and do nothing,” she recalls. So Lalk took action at the urging of her friend and Hillsborough County Republican Party Chair Dana Galen. In December 2022 Lalk was elected to a two-year term as Secretary of the Hillsborough County Republican Party (Hillsborough GOP). As Secretary, Lalk is responsible for all of the data which goes into the Party’s membership directory. Each month she sends an updated membership list to both the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and the Republican Party of Florida in Tallahassee.
Lalk’s duties also involve taking the minutes at the Party’s monthly Executive Board Meeting; and recording the minutes at each month's Party Membership Meeting. Along with serving as Secretary, Lalk also serves as Chair of the Hillsborough GOP’s Membership Committee. In this regard, Lalk stresses that she “wants to make a difference” and takes positive steps to “stay in touch with members on a regular basis and keep them motivated.”
But Lalk needs volunteers to join her and help pursue an aggressive strategy to help strengthen the membership base. Lalk seeks to recruit 10 volunteers who would be split up into two teams. One team will “contact our newest members and ask them if they have any questions. This is important because we want to help keep these new members motivated,” Lalk stresses. The other team will follow up on and contact potential membership leads such as people who leave contact messages on the Hillsborough GOP website, for example.
If you’re interested in volunteering with the Membership Committee, you can contact Maggie via her email address: [email protected] – or you can phone or leave a message for her at the Hillsborough GOP office at 813-621-7909 between 9 am and 3 pm, Mondays through Fridays. Lalk will appreciate hearing from volunteers who will “stand with me” and help grow the Hillsborough GOP membership in the coming months and years ahead.
There are many Republican Clubs that meet throughout Hillsborough County. Attending a club meeting is a great way to get in touch with like-minded people, to hear from interesting and informative speakers and to keep abreast of the issues that are important to Hillsborough County, our State,and our Country. If you would like more information about Republican Clubs, please visit our webpage at hillsborough.gop/clubs
Challenges for 2024
All seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election in 2024, with three of those representing parts of Hillsborough County. As the map shows, Congressional Districts 15 and 16 are currently represented by Republicans Laurel Lee and Vern Buchanan. Congressional
District 14 is represented by Democrat Kathy Castor. We must hold on to our two seats and work hard to unseat Congressman Castor.
There is so much at stake in the 2024 election: locally, state wide, and nationally. We must take back our Republic. Register to vote. Change your name, address, or party affiliation here: registertovoteflorida.gov
Hillsborough County - Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)
Important budget issues are coming before the Board of County Commissioners. Dr. Jim Davision has written an in-depth analysis of the budget issues facing Hillsborough County. We also call your attention to the Non Profit Funding Report commissioned by Commissioner Josh Wostal, which revealed that over the past 10 years Hillsborough County has provided over a quarter of a billion dollars to non profits with virtually no accountability of how the funds are spent. You can read more about this report by going to our website at: https://www.hillsborough.gop There you will find a link to the report, a link to contact the commissioners by email and to sign up to speak at the July 12, 2023 Board of County Commissioners’ meeting.
By Jim Davision, DO
Hillsborough County citizens are well acquainted with this time of year as the start of hurricane season. But there is another type of storm season also, one that can be more costly and more deadly than a hurricane, only this storm is created and unleashed by Hillsborough County. It is man-made. It is the “Budget Season”, and the Hillsborough County Administrator, Brenda Wise, kicked it off in May at the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting for fiscal year 2024. There have been 2 workshops in total. No public comment was allowed. What did she tell the commissioners? More importantly, what did she leave out?
The first workshop was May 10th. County Administrator Wise explained how the county was doing a great job in holding down the growth in size of county government and that most expenses are in the name of public safety. The program continued by demonstrating that the growth in ad valorem revenues would be decreasing to +14.5% for fiscal year (FY) 2024, but that the revenues for FY2025 would be “more challenging” increasing only 8.1%.
Next came the county’s favorite budget weapon, the 5-year pro forma. This is a 5-year modeling forecast of the county’s two major operating funds. The Pro forma predicts revenue growth, growth in expenses and the economic outlook.
Sounds fairly straightforward, doesn’t it? What’s interesting is that despite revenues for the last three years far exceeding the growth assumptions detailed in their respective pro forma, actual expenditures have eradicated the expected surplus. The 2024 pro forma predicts a huge surplus of $351 million over the next 5 years in the countywide operating budget. (By the way, since 2016, the countywide operating budget has always shown a surplus.) However, the unincorporated county pro forma is not so lucky. It shows a $141 million dollar deficit in 2028.
How is this possible, especially since the BOCC is doing such a great job keeping down the growth of government? Has it always been like this?
The answers are the BOCC is not containing government growth, and no, it has not always been like this. The FY2017 budget pro forma the countywide general fund showed a $170.4 million surplus. In the FY2018 pro forma, the administrator stated there was plenty of money over the next 5 years to fund the transportation policy. The pro forma even contained the $812 million 10-year Transportation policy passed in 2016. In the FY2021 budget pro forma, the unincorporated general fund showed a $145.2 million surplus.
What happened to those millions of dollars in predicted surplus? The majority on the board flipped to Democrat and the people were conned into passing an illegal sales tax.
The growth in government expenses is best shown by looking at the “Major Organization Operating Budget” found every year in the Executive Summary section of the budget. Comparing the numbers over multiple budgets it shows exactly what happened.
From FY2020 to FY2023 the County Administrator departments and BOCC, with a Democrat supermajority, increased the County Administrator’s operating expenses from $1,114.6 million (actual) to $1,793.4 million (adopted). This is a $678.8 million dollar, 61% increase and annual growth rate of 17.2% per year. By contrast the Other Elected Offices combined operating budgets increased from $551.9 million in FY2020 to $668.5 million in FY2023. A $116,6 million increase or only 21%. This is a 6.63 % growth year over year. It does not appear we can blame the other elected officials for the budget problems.
The contrast is even greater if we compare growth and growth rates From FY2017 to FY2020, when a Republican majority BOCC passed the operating budgets. They only increased the county administrator’s operating budget by a total $164 million dollars over 3 years or 17% and that was with the transportation policy in place. The Other Elected Officials budgets over those 3 years only increased $70.4 million or 15%.
After passing the illegal sales tax the county went on a spending spree, but canceled the 10-year Transportation Plan. Now they have neither a transportation plan nor the All for Transportation (AFT) sales tax. They say there are massive expenses.
So massive that County Administrator Wise is asking the BOCC to raise all your water fees already indexed at 4% per year until 2025. They want to extend that for another 10 to 15 years. This will increase the cost of water coming out of your faucet by almost 100%. The county is raising your garbage collection fees $84.72 next year and your stormwater fee about $5 each year for the next 3 years.
They say that these are not huge raises in fees and property tax millage has not increased for years. They never talk of the effect of future CIT taxes. Wait a minute, didn’t the FY2023 budget show a big decrease in operating expenses for the county when it was planned in 2022? Wasn’t Covid over? Yes, the planned FY2023 budget had a 9.4% decrease in the operating budget. These planned funding amounts were a ruse. The adopted FY2023 budget INCREASED the amount budgeted for the administrator by +$208 million and the total county operating budget by +$500 million. This is an increase of 19% over what was budgeted just 12 months before. The County Covid Emergency ended 6 months before the FY2023 budget was adopted, so shouldn’t its end have DECREASED in the operating budget?
BOCC and the county administrator will probably ask the people to reauthorize the CIT tax in 2024. There is no mention of these future funds or how they may decrease your water, garbage, and stormwater fees.
Confused? The county bureaucracy wants you to be confused about the budget. They even have a name for it, strategic misrepresentation, otherwise known as lying. It’s as frightening as a cat-5 hurricane on the TV radar: the BOCC has lost control of the budget.
Call your county commissioners or better yet show up on July the 12th at the County Center and tell County Administrator Wise and the BOCC what they need to do to prevent damage from an unfair budget. Tell them to get control of the budget and stop all these fee increases. Tell them to roll back at least our county-wide millage rate or make a swap to the unincorporated fund. Tell them to STOP THE OVERSPENDING!
Note: Jim Davison is a candidate for County Commissioner, Countywide District 6. The seat is currently held by Pat Kemp, a democrat. She is term-limited and cannot run again for that seat. At this time, there is one democrat challenger.
Committee Accomplishments / Events Highlights
At our June 8, 2023 Executive Meeting, we heard from Mr. Jaime Arellano, a journalist who was persecuted and exiled by the communist government of Nicaragua for speaking out against the dictator, Daniel Ortega. Mr. Arellano spoke about the similarities he sees between his country and what is currently happening in the United States under the Biden regime and he sounded the warning for Americans to wake up.
On June 10, 2023, our Get Out The Vote (GOTV) volunteers represented the Hillsborough County Republican Party and the Hillsborough County Black Republican Club at the Caribbean Heritage Festival. On June 17, 2023, our volunteers were out again at the Juneteenth Festival and Celebration at Raymond James Stadium. We are reaching out into the community to let our fellow citizens of Hillsborough County know what we stand for and why they need to vote Republican in 2024. Thank you to all of our volunteers for giving their time.
HOW TO CONTACT THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
It is imperative that we let our School Board members know how we feel about the issues that are important to us. You can contact the board members at any time via phone or email. You may also speak in person at School Board meetings. Following is contact information to ensure your voice is heard.
- The School Board website: https://www.hillsboroughschools.org/domain/282
- The School Board meets at 4:00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. Here is the School Board calendar: https://www.hillsboroughschools.org/domain/282
Click a date to find the physical location.
The Board members are listed here: https://www.hillsboroughschools.org/boardmembers
Click a picture and get their contact information.
- The guidelines for public comment and the speaker registration form is here:
- All speakers must check in with the Communications staff by 3:45 p.m., including those who sign up online.
- School Board meetings are broadcast on Hillsborough Schools TV, Spectrum Cable channel 635 and Frontier channel 32, live on Tuesdays at 4:00PM replays on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
We would like to thank Harry Simon, owner of the International Event Venue, 6463 W. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, for his generous donation of the Venue for our monthly HCREC meetings.