By Brian C. Cole
On the evening of April 13, committee members of the Libertarian Party of Hillsborough County, an affiliate within the Libertarian Party of Florida, held annual elections selecting its new officers and committee chairs.
Through unanimous vote, attendees elected Kevin O’Neill as LPHC Chairman. O’Neill graciously accepted the position, and proceeded to lay out what he saw as priorities for the coming weeks and year.
“We will focus on getting candidates elected for a partisan position to help build our party brand,” said O’Neill. With candidate deadlines due in late May, he said furnishing candidates will be priority number one. “We need your Rolodex of contacts to locate those who have ‘game’ and can be elected and effective in office.”
The LPHC’s second priority is ballot initiatives, he continued. “Within Hillsborough County’s four operating governments, there are enough ordinances in place that we want to undo many of the laws. Our affiliate should focus on what policies anger the most Hillsborough County residents and voters to get the most mileage out of the remedy.”
The LPHC closed its monthly meeting by thanking outgoing Chairman Patrick Kerr for his hard work and accomplishments during the past year. Other executive committee officers and chairs elected at the LPHC’s April meeting include:
Secretary, Francisco Zamora-Medina
Treasurer, Patrick Kerr
Communication Chair, Brad Mostowski
Campaign Chair, Joel Mountain
Brad Mostowski is likely the youngest county EC member within the LPF’s state structure. The 19-year-old Mostowski currently attends the University of South Florida fulltime, where he majors in mathematics and economics. Members were encouraged to reach-out to grassroots supporters, such as Mostowski and others, who O’Neill said will aid in restoring liberty to Hillsborough County, the State of Florida, and nationwide.
The new Chair requested help from affiliate members: “We will need a volunteer lawyer to assist us in writing the language of any ballot initiative to ensure the government does not rewrite the proposed legislation, rendering the original proposal unrecognizable and confusing to the voters on the ballot.”
Also included on the LPHC’s near-term priority list, is seeking a stand down of the Hillsborough Public Transportation Committee’s ridiculous harassment and fining of Uber and Lyft drivers.
“This is a protection racket funded by taxpayer money to stifle a market place, resulting in worse service, virtually eliminating competition to traditional taxi drivers,” O’Neill reported. “Once we achieve a HPTC stand down in Uber and Lyft enforcement, we will attempt to force a nonrenewal of this state-created authority.”
New leaders said they will continue to support any and all efforts to accomplish these goals at the Oct.1 renewal of authority and/or during the 2017 legislative session in Tallahassee. “The LPHC appreciates local, state assembly efforts to accomplish this task last session.”
The HPTC owns about $2.5 million dollars of assets, with an annual cash flow of about $1.8 million dollars all funded by the fares collected by consumers, said O’Neill. “This constitutes an unnecessary usage tax and a bloated bureaucracy.”
Part of the cash flow contributes to members/employee health insurance costs, he said. “This type of self enrichment scheme from elected officials needs to end. The transportation committee is harassing the county’s hard working Uber/Lyft drivers!”
Libertarian supporters and members can sign up on the Libertarian Party of Hillsborough County (LPHC) website at www.LPHC.org. Prospective candidates can reach newly elected LPHC Chairman Kevin O’Neill at chair@HillsboroughLibertarians.org.
Brian C. Cole is a graduate student at the University of South Florida, working on his Master’s in Mass Communications. In his spare time, Brian works as an activist for the Libertarian Party at the county, state, and national levels.