It's Time for A Fresh Face in District 48
Excerpt from St. Pete Times:
"McKone, 59, has been elected fire commissioner since 2004. He is a board member at the Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce and past president of the East Lake Library board...
McKone would sponsor a bill to protect unincorporated East Lake from annexation. He opposes oil drilling in Florida waters, supports light rail for the bay area and decries recent declines in state per-pupil spending.
McKone wants education spending increased to build a better-educated work force.
Nehr, 58, also supports annexation protections for East Lake but was unable to get that legislation passed. He voted to weaken growth management laws and to force women to submit to ultrasounds before getting legal abortions. Nehr did resist pressure to support oil drilling and repeal teacher tenure, but those were rare departures from the Republican playbook.
Nehr's business, a flag shop in Tarpon Springs, has failed since his last run for office and he has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It's time for a fresh face in this district.
In House District 48, the Times recommends Tom McKone." (St. Pete Times, October 15, 2010)
Please make a contribution to my campaign - it's time for real leadership in Tallahassee, and it's time for results in District 48!
Posted on 10/15/2010
Palm Harbor, FL – Tom McKone received official word today from the Supervisor of Elections office that he successfully completed his petition drive for his candidacy for state House District 48.
“I am very thankful and proud of the many volunteers who gave tirelessly of themselves towards our campaign’s efforts in our petition drive,” stated Tom McKone. “This campaign will be a true grass-roots driven effort and we will continue to take it door-to-door. Having successfully completed the petition drive is the first of many victories for our campaign.”
“During our petition drive we heard over and over again how frustrated folks are with the shenanigans in Tallahassee,” stated McKone. “Voters are tired of the politicians in Tallahassee who aren’t focusing on the real needs of the District. We talked to many voters who are saying they plan on voting incumbents out and replacing them with new individuals who will focus on the real needs of the District. I feel very confident that we will be successful at the polls in November!”
Tom McKone is Fire Commissioner for the East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Control District serves 33,000 residents in the East Lake portion of the District.
In addition to serving as Chairman of the Fire Control District Board, Tom McKone also runs a successful business in the Heathcare Industry, serves on the Executive Board of the Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce as Secretary and is a candidate for Florida House District 48 running against incumbent Peter Nehr.
Posted on 05/10/2010
The following article appeared in the East Lake Eagle and written by William Stone.
The battle over Palm Harbor incorporation attempts by several factions continues to resonate with citizens. Last issue we reported how Rep. Peter Nehr (R-Tarpon Springs, District 48) said although it doesn’t matter to him “one way or the other” whether Palm Harbor is incorporated, he supports residents’ rights to vote on the issue and as such, will support legislation supporting incorporation again in 2011. In contrast, although Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) was originally poised to support the measure, he will not support the effort in 2011. “Since there is no way to exclude Crystal Beach, Sen. Fasano will not support it,” Chief Legislative Assistant Greg Giordano said.
The incorporation effort is drawing widespread opposition from residents residing in Crystal Beach, Ozona and other parts of unincorporated Palm Harbor. About 36 percent of Pinellas residents reside in an unincorporated area. These residents pay a substantial portion of the County’s budget (Municipal Services Taxing Unit or MSTU) directed to fund municipal services to the unincorporated areas. The county readily admits, “Unlike a city, the MSTU does not have revenue diversification.”
Palm Harbor resident and activist Kevin Fisher points to a study completed in 2002 determining the feasibility of incorporation. “It was discovered unincorporated Pinellas was not getting its full share of revenue from the local halfcent sales tax program. The county was allocating a fraction of the amount derived on behalf of the unincorporated areas to the MSTU Budget,” Fisher said. Fisher maintains revenue from unincorporated areas are diverted from the MSTU Budget and said he met with Assistant County Administrator Chief of Staff Mark Woodard regarding the issue and said Woodard told him nothing in the law requires that the County give the MSTU Budget the full allocation of revenue obtained from the local government half-cent sales tax but Florida Statute (Chapter 218.64) “authorizes the County to allocate a portion of the One-Half Cent Sales Tax to the MSTU.” As an example of fairness regarding funds, Fisher points to 2006 fi gures regarding local governments’ half-cent sales tax. Hillsborough County collected slightly more than $69 million from its unincorporated residents and budgeted more than $70 million for return to unincorporated areas. Similarly, Volusia County collected more than $6 million from its unincorporated residents and budgeted more than $6 million for return. In contrast, Pinellas County received approximately $16,000,000 in 2008 from the half-cent sales tax on behalf of residents residing in unincorporated Pinellas County but officials earmarked a return of only $3 million, a $2 million reduction from the prior year.
A report by Senior Legislative Analyst Chuck Hungerford raised concerns regarding revenue, expense projections and the possibility of increased taxes should Palm Harbor incorporate. Palm Harbor Coalition member Jim Kleyman disagrees with Hungerford’s report. “There was never a need to raise taxes. Not one analysis has criticized our expense projections nor indicated in any manner where something was left out. The revenue projections were acknowledged by the County as being correct. Therefore, either Mr. Hungerford’s analysis is in incorrect or Pinellas County is sending Palm Harbor and East lake substantially less than what we should receive in direct tax benefi ts,” he wrote. “Hungerford said our feasibility study was exceptional, one of the best they have seen. His study said expenditures would be more than $100 million. Is the county stiffing us by $100 million? Does the county agree with these figures?” asked Kleyman.
East Lake is an unincorporated area that would be affected by Palm Harbor incorporation. East Lake resident Tom McKone served the East Lake Special Fire Control District since 2004 and currently serves as its Vice Chairman. He is a trustee of the Firefi ghters Pension Plan, sits on the Board of Directors for the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce, is past Chairman of the East Lake Community Library and a Grand Knight and 4th Degree Knight at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Church in Tarpon Springs. Besides his extensive civic service record, McKone is president of Healthcare Recruiters International. He recently announced his candidacy for State House District 48, challenging Rep. Nehr. “I am concerned about East Lake becoming part of Palm Harbor. I believe the people deserve better representation than they are receiving. I believe Rep. Nehr lost touch with the voters. They are closing schools in the District and spending is down dramatically in Pinellas County. I would support an MSTU for East Lake so they can retain those taxes,” McKone said. “An election (regarding incorporation) will cost taxpayers money. It should be a regular scheduled election, not something that will cost the County and taxpayers,” he added. “I believe voters should decide if Peter Nehr should be in offi ce in 2011.” McKone noted that he is “not a career politician. If I serve two, maybe three terms, that’s enough. I’m in this to serve the District. I like public service and spent a lot of time serving my business, church, wife, family and community. That is what I am about. That is what I was taught. I consider myself a very morally and ethically sound person.”
McKone is also opposed to offshore drilling along our beaches. For more information visit www.TomMcKone.com.
Posted on 05/04/2010
Palm Harbor, FL – Recently Fire Commissioner Tom McKone was presented with the Patriotic Employer Award given on behalf of The National Committee For Employer Support Of The National Guard And Reserve (ESGR.)
As stated on the award the recipient is honored, “for contributing to National security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve force.”
“I am honored to receive this award from the United States military. I think it is imperative that the brave men and women who are serving our great Country have job protection while they are fighting for our freedom. I will always support the interests of our Veterans past, present, and future,” stated Commissioner McKone.
Tom McKone is Fire Commissioner for the East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Control District serves 33,000 residents in the East Lake region.
In addition to serving as Chairman of the Fire Control District Board, Tom McKone also runs a successful business in the heath-care industry, serves on the Executive Board of the Chamber of Commerce as Secretary and is a candidate for Florida House District 48.
Posted on 03/31/2010