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Jan Platt


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Jan Platt
Series Title:
West Central Florida land use oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file ( 72 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Platt, Jan, 1936-
Mansfield, Bill
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Land use -- Florida -- Hillsborough County   ( lcsh )
Public spaces -- Florida -- Hillsborough County   ( lcsh )
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )


Jan Platt, retired member of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners and the Tampa City Council, talks about land use in Hillsborough County and Florida in general. She discusses former corruption on the Board of County Commissioners, the creation of the Zoning Hearing Master Law, the participation of the Planning Commission and Planning and Growth Management Group in zoning, the importance of electronic voting, and the politics of getting elected to a planning position. She also explores impact fees, the preservation of public lands, the pro-growth focus in Florida, the destruction of historic buildings, and the future of planning in Hillsborough County.
Interview conducted September 1, 2006, in Tampa, Fla.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
Streaming audio.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by William Mansfield.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 028708384
oclc - 206921666
usfldc doi - W34-00008
usfldc handle - w34.8
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

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Jan Platt
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1 sound file ( 72 min.) :
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West Central Florida land use oral history project
Jan Platt, retired member of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners and the Tampa City Council, talks about land use in Hillsborough County and Florida in general. She discusses former corruption on the Board of County Commissioners, the creation of the Zoning Hearing Master Law, the participation of the Planning Commission and Planning and Growth Management Group in zoning, the importance of electronic voting, and the politics of getting elected to a planning position. She also explores impact fees, the preservation of public lands, the pro-growth focus in Florida, the destruction of historic buildings, and the future of planning in Hillsborough County.
Interview conducted September 1, 2006, in Tampa, Fla.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Streaming audio.
Platt, Jan
Hillsborough County (Fla.).
Board of County Commissioners.
Land use
z Florida
Hillsborough County.
Public spaces
Hillsborough County.
7 655
Oral history.
2 local
Online audio.
Mansfield, Bill.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
Tampa Library.
4 856


C O P Y R I G H T N O T I C E T h i s O r a l H i s t o r y i s c o p y r i g h t e d b y t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a L i b r a r i e s O r a l H i s t o r y P r o g r a m o n b e h a l f o f t h e B o a r d o f T r u s t e e s o f t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a C o p y r i g h t 2 0 0 7 U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d T h i s o r a l h i s t o r y m a y b e u s e d f o r r e s e a r c h i n s t r u c t i o n a n d p r i v a t e s t u d y u n d e r t h e p r o v i s i o n s o f t h e F a i r U s e F a i r U s e i s a p r o v i s i o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s C o p y r i g h t L a w ( U n i t e d S t a t e s C o d e T i t l e 1 7 s e c t i o n 1 0 7 ) w h i c h a l l o w s l i m i t e d u s e o f c o p y r i g h t e d m a t e r i a l s u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s F a i r U s e l i m i t s t h e a m o u n t o f m a t e r i a l t h a t m a y b e u s e d F o r a l l o t h e r p e r m i s s i o n s a n d r e q u e s t s c o n t a c t t h e U N I V E R S I T Y O F S O U T H F L O R I D A L I B R A R I E S O R A L H I S T O R Y P R O G R A M a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a 4 2 0 2 E F o w l e r A v e n u e L I B 1 2 2 T a m p a F L 3 3 6 2 0


Land Use Oral History Project Patel Center for Global Solutions University of South Florida Interview with: Ms. Jan Platt Interviewed by: William Mansfield Location: Tampa, Florida Date: September 1, 2006 Transcribed by: Wm. Mansfield Edited by: Ja n Platt & Wm. Mansfield Audit Edited by: Kyle Bradford Burke Audit Edit Date: January 29, 2008 Final Edit by: Nicole Cox Final Edit Date: January 30, 2008 WM: I always put a label on the disc by saying: This is Bill Mansfield from the Patel Center for talking to Ms. Jan Platt in the Tampa Public Library on September 1, 2006. Ms. Platt we always get folks to start off by having them state their name and telling us when they were born and where they were born. JP: seventy years old, this month. WM: What month and day? JP: September 27 th JP: I do. WM: L WM: Good for you. But you served on the County Board of Commissioners? JP: I was a county commissioner for twenty four years and a member of the Tampa City Council for four years. WM: Uh huh. And what years were you with the Tampa City Council? JP: From 1974 to 1978.


2 WM: And the Board of [County] Commissioners? ord]. How many years was that? JP: Twenty four years. JP: Only one other person has [served longer], historically. (laughs) He beat me by one year. WM: (laughs) Well, twenty four years is still a record to be proud of. To have served for that long, you must have been doing something right. Com missioners? WM: Okay. JP: Um when I was initially in elected office sion was the main planning agency for both the city and the county. It had been created in 1958 as a result of voting scandals on the City Council. The sponsor of the bill, who created it, was Sam Gibbons, who ultimately was elected to Congress. But it was the main planning agency for both the city and the county. Um when I was elected to the County Commission it was the lone planning agency. If you ever read the history of our county, the Board that I was elected to several of its members were arrested, indicted and convicted of zoning scandals. Some of them, at one time wanted to ah eliminate the Planning Commission, because zoning is where a lot of power is in a high growth county. They would make inroads, trying to cut the budget of the Planning Commi ssion, fire the director. Even though the Planning Commission key source. During the time that the ultimately corrupt commissioners were in office they voted to cut $20 create a planning department in the county; in order to have some of the planning functions closer to them and under their control.


3 That was a major shift in land use plann ing. Up until that point elected bodies had been reliant, solely on the Planning Commission for zoning recommendations. So (chuckles) one of the um (pauses) is that some of the corrupt commissioners are re sponsible [for] the formation of our Planning Department under the county [government], which is now called Planning and Growth Management. [See Paula Harvey interview with Bill Mansfield 8 25 06.] At the same time that that was occurring, Guy Spicola who was a senator (pause) was able to have the legislative delegation pass a Zoning Hearing Master Law for the county, that would require that a Zoning Hearing Master would hear zoning [requests] and could make the final decision. [The Circuit Court] threw th at law out. [The judge] opined that [zoning] was a function of county government that could not be delegated to someone else. I took it upon myself to re write that law and to modify it so that it would meet the it wa s when the corrupt board was still seated. Our zoning [hearings] would start at noon and would go till ah one and two and three Because, back in those days, the sitting co mmissioners would hear the entire case. Prior to the Zoning Hearing Master, the halls would be filled with lawyers and developers, advocating for their zoning, prior to the meetings. Which was perfectly legal. The poor t often times [in some instances] the zoning meetings were very cut and dried, because the um of all the lobbying that had gone on before hand. Well, the Zoning Hearing Master ended all that. I tend to be academic. My major was political science and publi um I tried to make the I was really pleased that I was able to get it changed and get the legislature to pass it in its new form. It has stood the test of law, so that it is still in existence. What it r equires is that there be a Zoning Hearing Master who hears the zoning [request]. The citizens have an opportunity to speak. The advocates (for the zoning) speak. Everything is on the record. There is a verbatim [transcript] of the entire record. The Commis sioners are relegated to sticking with the record. There is to be no ex parte communication, with either citizen, or developers. the JP: It means talking in their offices off the record.


4 WM: Okay. JP: T here can be no [off the record] conversations period about the zonings! The Commissioners are limited to what is on the record, what is in those [transcripts] verbatim; the staff recommendations are in black and white. The Zoning Hearing Master makes a r ecommendation, as does the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission makes a recommendation all of the recommendations are made at the Zoning Hearing Master level. The Planning Commission makes a recommendation based on whether the zoning complies wit guardians, they are custodians, they are the advocates, they are the ones who develop it. Their recommendation deals with whether [or not] the zoning complies with the plan. The Planning and Growth Management group umm takes into account issues such as: gritty of infrastructure issues. They compil e all of the various departmental um reports regarding the parcel [of land]. They make a recommendation, based on that. But again, their recommendation is [given] before the Hearing Master, not before the County Commissioners. So when it comes before the Board, there is a very tight knit legal framework upon which they can act. If they stray, they can be [taken to] court. (chuckles) So Hearing Masters former executive di rectors of the Planning Commission. John Crislip and Martin ah Smith, have served as Hearing Masters, since, I think, the beginning of the process. Then there are several others that have come along too. WM: Well let me ask a question right quick. The Hea ring Masters are appointed? JP: Yes. WM: Okay. JP: And they are paid by the County Commission. time. WM: But you said they were both John Crislip and Martin Smith ar e were both


5 WM: Okay. JP: But there are some others now who are also [serving as Hearing Masters] because we have so many zonings that they are now [serving as] Hearing Masters. But they are hired by the County Commission. They are contracted and paid a set salary. WM: And the qualifications to be a Hearing Master? WM: Okay. But I mean, if Crislip and Smith had been on the planning commission correc t? JP: Uh huh. WM: So they had an idea of the whole land use and planning process? JP: Yes. Yes. WM: Okay. You said Spicola, and I take it he was a state senator? JP: Uh huh. WM: He introduced that law, but it was thrown out. When did you re introdu ce it. JP: As soon as it was thrown out (pause) and after I had a chance to re write it. That would have been in the early eighties, because it was before the commissioners were arrested. They opposed my bill. (chuckles) They were against it being passed. WM: That JP: And see, another reform which relates to land were arrested I also introduced a measure that required we have electronic voting [on the Board of County Commissioners]. Now why is that important? B ecause, say with zonings, if you vote by [a show of hands] you can be slow in putting up your hand and you can see what the votes are going to be, to get something passed. WM: Uh huh. ith a Hearing Master how somebody else is going to vote.


6 But one of the things t hat the corrupt commissioners did was they could tell who was going to vote and how, if you slowly put up your hand. The very zoning that they were arrested on, one of them voted against it. I voted for it. It had the approval of everybody. Because of t he lack of a clear concise voting [system] they were able to play games. And what is very surprising to me is that the City of Tampa has never adopted this process. (sighs) You know, I think you have to protect politicians from themselves. (chuckles) And with growth, as rampant as it is in our area, and [for] high stakes [as well], I just think anything we can do to make sure make sure that it is [objective] the better it is for everybody. WM: I guess he voted against the [issue] he was actually for, so he could [go] on record as voting against it? And he voted against it because he knew it would pass? JP: Yeah, he knew it w ould pass and he got money for voting. He had taken money out there willing to be corrupt, there are all kinds of schemes. orrupt? JP: Yes. WM: Well I guess the big question of the politics of zoning and land use planning There are two interested parties, or sometimes more, I suppose. t the Home Builders Association, a group called NAIOP [National Association of Industrial and Office Properties] and they are the primary groups that attempt to get Then their members um have a great deal of money at their individual disposal. Then they contribute tens of t housands of dollars to their candidates.


7 anybody. Because what sounds good may not be so good when you hear the other side of the question. But if you look at campaign contributions, and I think this is true throughout the state of Florida, that the primary contributors of big money are connected with the construction and the development business WM: Uh huh. disadvantage, when they have to try to appear against you know state their cause against one of those heavy hitters. WM: Right quick, you said NAIOP. What is NAIO P? What does it stand for? JP: (sighs) National Association of have to ask somebody. WM: But it is N A P O. A I O P. development JP: And City [Council]. And the City [Council] too. WM: They this is a nave question but [do] they tend to support the people who are in favor of development and [redu cing] regulation? receive a large amount of contributions from them are, in many instances um less prone to support increases in impact fees. For instance, when the impact fees were first passed in 1985 um they were passed by the Board of County Commissioners that were appointed, basically, by the governor after the arrests of the corrupt group. That was when the first impact fee ordinance was passed by this county. T here was a provision in there that the impact fees would be reviewed on a routine basis and that they would be increased as needed, as a result of that review. WM: Uh huh. JP: Well every time a review was conducted it would indicate that we needed more i mpact fees, but I was always on the losing side for increasing those impact fees. They have not been increased. Well, I think the Board did vote to increase the school impact


8 fees, recently. But there has been a reluctance [by] Commissioners to increase i mpact fees. We need it for a variety of things, especially roads. And we have probably one of the at deals with the development support, because they are very much against increasing impact fees. WM: For the record, tell us what impact fees are. JP: Impact fees are fees that are placed upon new construction that are supposed to relate to the extent o f the impact that that new construction will have on the infrastructure. So that say for roads, when I left the County Commission, the impact fee was only 17% of the true impact of the new house. Which is abysmal! But the Commissioners would never incre ase it. Schools um that impact fee has been limited to, I think, purchase of land, not to [the years has not requested that that impact fee be increased. And they a re the ones who should be requesting that it be increased. Now finally, this year, they did ask for it to be increased. But they had gotten a lot of flak from the media about how low it was and they, basically got shamed into doing it. I think the homebui lder views impact fees as an additional cost for a house. They impact fee, over the years, through their mortgage, or whatever. Well argue that. The dev elopers could make less profit too, if they were community minded. Other counties, in our area charge, charge higher impact fees than our county does. WM: So the builders and the developers oppose impact fees because it does it discourage growth or just l essen their [profit]? insurance, that may not it may slow it down. And that may not be all bad. But um I think that they view it WM: (clears throat) Excuse me. So they lobby against increasing the impact fees but the county commissioners, and most of the people on the Board of the County Commissioners support keeping impact fees low? JP: Yes. Now the planning commission has taken tough stands, urging that [the impact


9 should be incre degree of independence from the County Commissioners, other than that funding. And sometimes that can get sticky. But, over the years, they have encouraged that they be increased. Then t here are large areas in the county that a majority of the Board has voted to waive impact fees all together and even have the county pay for the water and sewer hook up! If you talk about encouraging growth and having a handout, that is the ultimate. Ugh (laughs) appalled by that. JP: I am! I am appalled by it. You know (chuckles) and has got the money and you know a handout]! And why would we encourage growth in an area that has a lack of infrastructure? [That] has lousy the Board of County of County Commissioners has done, by a majority. WM: You said tha because of your stance on regulating growth, or controlling it? WM: Uh huh. JP: They give a lot of money to my opponents. I seldom have much [campaign] money at running for office. opponents have had hundreds of thousands of dollars. (laughs) WM: (laughs) Well you must be doing something right to have been re elected so consistently. How would you account for that?


10 to run from your record. JP: (laughs ) I guess so. WM: So that says a lot right then and there. Now you were talking about that law where people had been buying land [for preservation], tell me about that. um Tape 1, side 1 ends; side 2 begins. beautiful land that had cypress trees, or mangroves destroyed by bulldozers. And it just kills me a h to see our state, basically, laid to waste for the sake of development. um special areas in our state are not leveled by bulldozers is for the government to own them and set them asid e. So in 1987, I suggested I proposed that the county start an environmentally sensitive land program, purchasing and setting aside lands and that a tax be levied for that purpose. The initial vote was for [land purchases of ] twenty million dollars. I used as the centerpiece the Cockroach Bay Islands which are a beautiful set of mangrove islands in the south [of Hillsborough] County. Um it was my suggestion that we use the money to purchase those lands as starters. What was so great the islands are s o beautiful was the media was able to take the pictures and show the value of those islands. So the voters, by about a 71 percent [majority] vote, approved that referendum. So we did have the money then to begin a purchase program. Several years latter u m we expanded the program to one hundred million dollars and put it back on the ballot. The first program was a pay as you go and the second was a bond issue. So that was approved, I think it was in 1990. I may be wrong. But the voters, again, by a large majority I think it was about 71 percent voted to tax themselves to purchase lands. To date we have purchased about forty thousand acres of land and set them aside. One of o match it with other governmental funds that were available. We have successfully done that. Initially [it was] with the CARL Program, which is no longer in existence, which was a state land buying program.


11 JP: [spells] C A R WM: Okay. JP: Then we used it with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, has had Florida Program [and] various other groups, to purchase [land]. So that um a fraction use of other funds. Our program has been used as a model, throughout the state, for land purchases. Again, when I ah wide open as to what developers could do. When I first got into office I saw the bulldozers bulldozing down cypress tree s and building houses and banks in what had been cypress swamps. Again, being a native [of Florida] I knew what was going to happen. I got sad. But anyway have a wetland rule that (pauses) prohibits construction and clearing of cypress heads and has a set back. But any way, back to the land use planning citizens committee reviews possible sites. Anybody can nominate a site, and they do not have to own it. Now, the owner has to to be a willing owner, a willing seller so that there is no condemnation involved with it. win situation for the development community because it ypress head, the government may buy that and set it aside; rather than having them just have it sit there. Then there is the assurance to the public that, that [land] will always be set aside. Um One of the classic examples of having to have a willing buy er one of the major controversies. Again, when I was first in office, was on Cockroach Bay. Tampa Electric owned a major piece of land abutting that bay. They were going to put a power plant on that site. A lot of us opposed it, [and] articulated why that they did not put that plant there. But that land has um and a staff member, on the


12 Agency on Bay Management, which I chaired at the time, he nominated it to be purchased by ELAPP. [Environmental Land Acquisitions and Protecti on Program] um they never built the power plant there. And one of the to me one of my crowning victories, internally, was before I got out of office is TECO [Tampa El ectric WM: (laughs) JP: (chuckles) So it went full circle. WM: Wow, Five million dollars still sounds like a big change. JP: Well it is but it was a big piece of land that they could have done something [to] that would have been very detrimental to the Bay. Had they been able to proceed. WM: And can you tell me what ELAPP stands for? JP: Environmentally um [Environmental Land Acquisitions and Protection Progra m] WM: Okay I just wanted to make sure it was an acronym and not a real word. L A P P. [You should] ask somebody else. (laughs) about the CARL purchasing coral reefs or an acronym for something. A R L. WM: An acronym for something else? JP: Uh huh. WM: Now once land is purchased and set aside is it used as a park or as does it just sit the re? JP: Passive uses. It can have trails and it may have controlled burns that sort of thing. But the whole theory is that they are not supposed to have ballparks or that kind of thing WM: Uh huh. JP: Now with some o order to buy the environmental land, we also had to buy maybe some adjacent farmland,


13 um we may lease out that other piece to continue in farming, or we may sell it off. WM: Uh huh. JP: Sometimes that has happened. You need to really talk to [Pete Fowler and] John Brill with the Parks and Recreation Department. He has been the staff member for that prog ram, he and um done a lot of the purchasing of that land. WM: (Writing down names) Okay. And talking about the politics of land use, though, you said there is the Builders Association and the Bo ard of Realtors and these organize industry groups, what about I guess just call it the opposition to that. I suppose that would be environmentalists, or people with other ideas about how the land should be used. JP: There are environmental groups, such a s the Sierra [Club] and [the] Audubon [Society]. Then there are neighborhood associations and neighbors, so they are the groups that usually form the opposition. WM: It seems that [the neighborhood associations] would be at somewhat of a disadvantage, bec have an attorney th at lives in the neighborhood, its But have become very um educated in the process and have used it well. But you know, one of my observations is, sometimes the citizens get involved too late. If I would give any advice to citizens, I would say get involved early in the process. The To me the critical area, where citizens need to get involved is when that comprehensive determined. WM: Uh huh. comprehensive plan. A zoning has to conform with that plan. If it does, then even if the commission votes WM: How can citizens


14 JP: They need to find out when that comprehensive plan is going to be revised and established process. I know the dev elopers are very attuned to it. (chuckles) They know! They follow it and power of that plan. WM: I [understand]. I come home from work and have supper maybe watch the news maybe not seems like for the citizens, while the opportunity is there, they are at a disadvantage for that, just because it is outside of their everyday experience. JP: I kn and there is constant construction. We constantly get notices about some new zoning goi the price we all pay for living in a community and in a fast growing state, where growth seems to be dominant. The population of the county has doubled een in office as a county commissioner. Doubled! WM: (laughs) Is that a look of skepticism I see on your face? JP: (laugh) Yes. associations did rally to protect their interests, over the interests of development. Could you illustrate that with an example? JP: Um (pauses) office. The citizens down in Ruskin have been having a fight with the County Commissioners over some zoning adjacent to the Little Manatee River and um on the t it though because the County Commissioners voted to approve the zoning. One [dispute] that the citizens won and in this instance the developer was [the] school that and they won. The County did not approve it and the school board found another site for the school. There are numerous instances of wins and losses. WM: Coul d you offer some more?


15 example to go back to. JP: I remember one in Sun City, where there was a request to put a high rise [apartment buildin g] on a golf course a citizen researched the records and [the] original zonings. Her name is Janet Wilson looked up the original zoning for Sun City and found that there was a stipulation that there would be no high rises, abutting the golf course, She rallied the citizens of Sun City course. (chuckles) Ah WM: Okay. Well, if you could, you were telling me about the different environmental groups. JP: Uh huh. WM: Can you think of someone I could talk to, in one of those groups, to get their perspective on land use planning? environmentalist down in that Ruskin area. You might want to talk to her WM: Okay. JP: Ah Laura Swain who lives in the Lutz area has been an outspoken critic of some of the development, from an environmental standpoint, up in the northwest [part of the county]. In fact she was a member of the Planning Commission, and did n ot get re appointed. WM: Uh huh. JP: I cannot help but think it had something to do with her um outspoken and well intended criticism of some of the growth that was being allowed. WM: So the planning commission is appointed by the Board of County Commis sioners?


16 JP: Four members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and four by the city. I think Temple Terrace appoints some, [and] Plant City, all three cities [in Hillsborough County] appoint some members. WM: And what qualifications do they look at for someone [to be on the] planning commission? JP: Citizens you mean? WM: Yeah. JP: Well members propose. WM: Uh huh. JP: People apply who want to do it and t hen the commission selects from those who are listed. WM: Uh huh. JP: Jan Smith is someone else you may want to speak to. She was chairman of the planning commission for a number of years. She has been a staunch supporter for planning and for controlled growth. She lives out in northwest Hillsborough [County], good one to talk to. WM: I hate to keep putting a was not re appointed to the commission because of her environmental interests? JP: I think. WM: Okay. But it seems like, if the Board of County Commissioners selects the peop le who have applied to be a member of [the planning council]; if the County commissioners are favorable to the development industry and the building industry they would choose people who would share those sympathies. JP: (pause) Well I would think so too. And so but they also are wise enough to know that if there is a strong citizen, who can rally a lot of citizens, then it might be to their advantage, from a political sense, to have a couple of those on the board too. I was on the [County] Commission is I would


17 WM: Of the staff of the planning commission? JP: Uh huh. Because some times it was more important to w hat the staff recommended than what the board recommended. WM: Uh huh. Boy! Politics is such a dynamic situation. Seems like there is nothing that, is all so pro growth. Look at downtown Tampa, for instance. All the old buildings have been demolished. Because ah in our community, the builders builders of things have the power. My husband and I went to Montreal, I guess it was last year. [We] went to the old part themselves in restoring old buildings into usable uses. We went to Denver not long ago. Their main street is as it was one hundred years ago [with] the same building. But there is a Wolfgang Puck [gourmet restaurant]. There is a Chick fil A [fast food restaurant]. There is an up those, the buildings have been saved, but retrofitted for the present. It was bustling w ith activity. building. If you look at the facades. WM: Oh yeah. JP: But it is restorers. the University of Tampa. WM: Uh huh. [of the importance of] restoring some of this. We have so little history anyway, because what little we have we just let go by the [way of] the destruction table. will provide jobs for more people than restoring a building and [therefore] stimulate the economy. That seems like that would be the argument they would use.


18 (sighs) al [people]. necessarily here? WM: What do you see in the future? JP: (pauses) Well, I think the state is on the verge of gettin g a rude awakening as a result of an insurance crisis. WM: Uh huh. JP: opportunity for leaders in the state to do some soul searching. And maybe a re headed. Of what our values really are and what our priorities are. I talk to more and more people who are leaving the state and moving to Georgia and Tennessee. [People] who have always lived here but [have left] just because of insurance. I mean that ins urance is major. I think that is going to cause a re prioritization of our values. Which, in a way, is not all bad. WM: One of the things you said that interested me was your talk about [how] being a native of Florida makes you more concerned about protec ting Florida. Some of the other [something]. How do you think that [because] there has been so many people who have moved here how do you think that has affected land use? As opposed to people who are from here. Does that question make any sense? JP: I think the people who have come here because of the attributes of Florida. They love to see the Roseate Spoonbills. They love to see the pelicans. They love to fish. They love the attributes of Florida. But But I believe the people have come here for the very [same] reasons I love Florida, the fishing, the birds, the weather and all of that.


19 Tape 1, side 2 ends; tape 2 side 2 begins. But those can be destroyed very easily. ck. It was on measure to turn things around for the Bay. And paradise can be spoiled very easily. If there are not the proper safeguards in place, the very reason why pe ople come here will no longer exist. I do believe that the people who come here come here for the very reasons that I love Florida. We just have to make sure that those attributes remain intact. WM: Do you see Hillsborough County becoming more and more a residential area and less and less of an agricultural area? JP: Absolutely! I do. I think the agriculture just in my lifetime there are practically no these days. E ven the Sanwa Growers down in Wimauma. I think they have two places where they grow oriental vegetables. One was here and one is down in Homestead. y is basically being held is in a holding pattern until they can sell it for development. Strawberries are the main last land. A lot of the county is phosphate land. D own the line, construction on those lands will be a major issue. Not right now, but it will be. If [you] look in eastern and southern Hillsborough um a lot of that land is permitted for phosphate. A lot if that land is idle now, and is orange groves. Beca use they have to reclaim that land. But then down the line, the question will be what kind of construction can be allowed on that land in terms of radon [gas] and other possible remainders from phosphate mining? A large percentage of the county is phos one of the things you might want to do now but you can get the statistics of how much land is permitted for phosphate mining in the county. But I was amaze people are centered on the City of Tampa, which they should not be, because two thirds of the people live out in unincorporated Hillsborough [County]. The complexion of unincorporated Hills boggling. WM: Changing in what way? Just people moving out there ?


20 JP: Oh yeah. The homes, the shopping centers, the community centers, a whole new world. WM: Just driving north [in the county] goin g up towards Wesley Chapel, the growth is just phenomenal. And these homes who are they being built for? [homes] are being built for and who these condos are being built for, in downtown Tampa. it may be hurtful to find out the answer. (chuckles) questions at you for the past hour or so, is there JP: Let me think. (pause) Well the main thing I would say is, I think the citizens who are here have a responsibility in shaping the future of this county. If they have any sense of responsibility and accountability, I would urge them to take part in the legal processes that exist in Participate in zonings of land in your immediate area. And participate in the political process. Volunteer to help somebody who you think is honest and is going to do the right thing. he ones who are going to be responsible for it not going in a positive direction. So the future is in our hands. I would just encourage everybody to be an active participant in every possible political process. Because otherwise there are those who are goi doing what they legally have the right to do, but we have the legal responsibility to be active participants in the process. WM: You said that citizens have the future i n their hands. Do you see that as a bright future are you optimistic or pessimistic about the way things will turn out? going to come because of this insurance crisis. I think in the next two years there is going to be a lot of soul searching about the future and priorities for the state.


21 pe for the best and prepare for the worst. (laughs) worst and take what comes along. WM: Well this seems like a good place to concl ude then. JP: Okay. WM: I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me and remind you again that [Library], and we need your permission to use it. I have a release form for you to sign. JP: Okay. JP: Sure. WM: Okay, great. Let me stop this thing. JP: What time do you have? end of interview