County impact fee vote frustrates school board

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BROOKSVILLE – School board member Matt Foreman does not agree with reinstating nearly $7,000 in education impact fees for builders of new homes, and his vote throughout the past year has reflected that position.
The Hernando County School Board expressed frustration with county commissioners for extending a moratorium on education impact fees. MATT REINIG/STAFF MATT REINIG/STAFF

It’s not the fact that county commissioners last week proposed an ordinance to extend a four year moratorium on the fees for a year that galvanized Foreman’s public criticism of commissioners Tuesday, he said.

“It’s not that I oppose the result,” he said. “I oppose how they got there.”

During the end of a workshop Tuesday, Foreman said the residents of Hernando County deserve a better explanation from commissioners as to why, after the school board spent many hours and many dollars meeting their qualifications to have the education impact fees reconsidered, they rejected outright the majority opinion of the elected school board.

“The next time we ask for their consideration, just step up and have the guts to say, ‘no,’ and not waste our time and money, because that’s what they did,” Foreman said. “I think they gave us the runaround.”

Foreman thinks the public deserves a better explanation why the board recently voted to reinstate impact fees for parks, libraries, and transportation, but not education, despite spending tax-payer money to fund an education impact fee study at the board’s request.

Following his remarks, board member Dianne Bonfield told Foreman she is proud to serve on the school board with him.

“We’ve lost millions. We will continue to lose millions,” Bonfield said. “It’s unfortunate the business community couldn’t look forward and say, ‘What do we have going for us? We have the schools.'”

Bonfield concluded the discussion saying she was “enchanted” by lone-Democrat commissioner Diane Rowden’s motion to phase-in impact fees, rather than dismiss them altogether.

Foreman received two rounds of applause for his remarks before the workshop ended.

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