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Citizen Oversight Committee First Committee Meeting

November 27, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

Tampa, Fla. – (November 27, 2018) – Now that the community has spoken and approved the Education Referendum, the Citizen Oversight Committee, the group that will oversee the spending on school improvement projects, will hold its first meeting on Friday, November 30, from 8-10 a.m. The meeting will be held in room 242A at the Velasco Student Services Center, located at 1202 E. Palm Ave., Tampa.

The meeting will serve as an introduction and orientation for members. Members will receive a brief overview of current practices in construction and will have the opportunity to discuss their procedures and “way of work”.

In future meetings, the committee will review the spending, progress and completion of all spending related to the $131 million a year generated by the half-penny sales tax over the next decade to address essential district needs including air conditioning, aging roofs, classroom technology and safety and security improvements.

Money will begin coming into our district in February. This is a ten-year referendum, so the projects will be spread over those ten years as the district receives the money. Our facilities and maintenance teams will focus on high priority projects. The district will go out for bids from outside vendors for larger projects such as fire alarm replacements, school repainting and elevator upgrades and crews will begin the first phase of those projects in March and April.

The first wave of the major projects, including up to 20 air conditioner replacements and millions of dollars in roof repairs, will begin over the summer when students and staff are off campus.

The Citizen Oversight Committee is chaired by Betty Castor, former University of South Florida President and Florida Commissioner of Education. The committee Vice Chair is Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. The other committee members are Bonnie Carr, accountant and former VP and Chief Financial Officer for Hillsborough Community College; Dr. Earl Lennard, former Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and Superintendent of Schools; Ed Narain, former State Representative and Jose Valiente, Certified Public Accountant and past Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Chair.

A detailed list of the 1,785 school improvement projects planned over the next ten years is available at


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