Sheriff Chad Chronister Named Vice Chair of Citizen Oversight Committee for Education Referendum
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications
Tampa, Fla. – (September 24, 2018) – Committee Chair Betty Castor has selected Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, a community leader with a long record of protecting children and fiscal responsibility, as Vice Chair of the Citizen Oversight Committee for the education referendum that would support schools in Hillsborough County. Chronister’s vast experience in law enforcement and management will be invaluable, as the hundreds of projects to be funded by the referendum include $23 million in improvements focused on safety and security.
Sheriff Chronister oversees the $433 million budget of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which includes two jails, a juvenile detention center, and other large-scale facilities, along with a fleet of hundreds of vehicles and thousands of employees. HCSO is recognized as one of the most cost-efficient law enforcement agencies in Florida, in terms of the agency’s budget as a proportion of overall county government spending. Sheriff Chronister’s jurisdiction covers all of Hillsborough County’s 1,000 square miles, giving him an important countywide perspective.
“Excellent schools are the backbone of our community, and when we invest in those schools, we’re investing in everyone’s future,” Chronister said. “I’m honored to be part of the group that will ensure the tax dollars used for that investment deliver their maximum benefit for our children.”
Sheriff Chronister has been closely involved in children’s causes for years; he has held significant leadership roles with the Boys and Girls Clubs, Metropolitan Ministries, and several other nonprofit groups.
“Sheriff Chronister’s superb character and commitment to students make him the ideal person to lead this committee with me,” said Castor, former state commissioner of education and president of USF. “Our schools need this support, and voters need to know that the money from this referendum will go straight to the schools that need it. The school district has a very specific plan, and our committee will make sure they stick to that plan.”
A detailed list of 1,785 school improvement projects planned over the next ten years was released Friday by Hillsborough County Public Schools. It includes 203 air conditioning replacements or overhauls, 63 aging roof replacements, $25 million for classroom technology upgrades, $23 million in safety and security improvements, and funding for four new schools in growing areas to relieve overcrowding. Details and a school-by-school list are available at hillsboroughschools.org/referendum .
Castor and Chronister will work together to select the remaining four private citizens who will serve on the Citizen Oversight Committee, aiming to create a diverse and balanced panel with representatives from a range of geographic, professional, and ethnic backgrounds. Those members cannot be affiliated with the school district and cannot profit from the education referendum projects. One additional member will be named by the school district. The committee will review and report on all spending related to the half-penny sales tax referendum.
With extensive connections in our community, Castor and Chronister intend to select the remaining committee members in the coming weeks. Nominations from the public will be accepted through 5 p.m. this Friday, September 28, online at hillsboroughschools.org/referendum or in person at school district headquarters at 901 E. Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.
Sheriff Chronister, Betty Castor, and Superintendent Jeff Eakins will be available for media interviews Wednesday, September 26, at 10 a.m. at Rampello Downtown Partnership School, 802 E. Washington St. in Tampa.