2019 City Election Results – Meet your 2019-2023 Aldermen
John Canepari, Dan Allen, Hazel Nieves and myself were elected by Spring Hill voters on April 11th to serve for the City for the next four years. The newly elected Aldermen will take their seats prior to the May 2019 work session.
I want to especially thank out going Vice-Mayor & Alderman Bruce Hull for his service to the City. Bruce served the City for over 12 years, and was a true leader on the Board. The City will certainly miss his leadership.
Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 City Budget
Spring Hill’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30th, as such we are approaching the beginning of the 2019/2020 Budget Year.
Spring Hill certainly has challenges as we embark on a nearly $200,000,000 capital improvement plan targeted at improving roads, public utilities and quality of life improvements. BOMA must remain disciplined in reducing costs wherever feasible, avoiding wasteful spending, and seeking additional revenue sources such as increasing impact fees. We’ve got a difficult job in front of us.
BOMA will hold three separate special budget meetings throughout the course of April to prepare for the first budget vote in May, and final budget vote in June. You can find more information about these special budget meetings here.
For updates throughout the budget process, please use and visit www.SpringHillBudget.com
Crossing Circle North Bridge Construction Underway
The long necessary and overdue second entrance to the Crossing Shopping Center is under construction. A new bridge connecting the Crossings to new commercial development to the north is now under construction. Work should be complete and the bridge ready to use by the Christmas shopping season this year. Check out some cool drone photos of the work so far.
Proposed Derryberry Mixed Use Project Fails
A proposed mixed use project for the corner of Port Royal Rd and Derryberry Lane was voted down 3-6.
The proposal would have seen 402 new apartments and 280,000 sq feet of commercial/retail space developed on the 46 acres site.
Beyond the proposed density for the site, concerns were raised over adding additional apartments to the City, and the fact the proposed developer had listed the commercial aspects of the development for sale – demonstrating a lack of intent in developing anything beyond apartments
2019 City Elections
Voter turnout for the 2019 election was very poor. 1,545 voters out of a possible 27,271 participated in selecting our Aldermen, a participation rate of 5.67%
While many blame the April election date for the low turnout, others point to past City elections, which show voter participation has declined as our population has grown. Spring Hill had more voters participate in the 2011 election (1,569 vs 1,545) than 2019, despite having 16,000 fewer registered voters in 2011!
The City Charter does allow the BOMA to move City election dates to either August or November. However, current terms may only be lengthened, and not shortened. This would mean every current Alderman would receive an additional 15 or 19 months added to their term. Would you want the BOMA to give themselves additional time in office solely to allow for a change in Election Day?
While higher voter participation would be positive, there certainly is a positive aspect to Spring Hill elections being a stand alone event. This ensures that all voters are very intentional about their votes as it relates to the City. If City elections were moved to coincide with the August or November election dates, we could reasonably expect some number of voters chose to participate not because they had a vested interest in the outcome of an Alderman race, but rather chose to vote in another race, and filled out the Alderman section of their ballot with little knowledge or insight into any candidate.
I don’t have a complete answer, but I do know Spring Hill would be better served with more engaged, invested citizens and voters.
Thank you for reading!
Feel free to share this newsletter with any neighbor’s or friends. Your neighbor’s and friends can visit MattFitterer.com to sign up to receive the next email newsletter.
Thank you for reading!