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County Commission to Consider Renaming UTB Library after Kingsford’s Maureen Gauzza

At the July 19 meeting of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), commissioners will consider a proposal to rename the Upper Tampa Bay Regional Library after library advocate Maureen Gauzza, who passed away on July 3 after a lengthy illness.

A resident of Kingsford, Gauzza led a concerted, years-long and ultimately successful effort to bring the library to the Westchase area. Her campaign culminated in the construction and opening of the UTB Library in January 2005. Serving as the president of the UTB Friends of the Library chapter, Gauzza also led a subsequent effort that resulted in an 11,000 square foot expansion of the library, dedicated in May 2014.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, whose first motion ever made was to fund and construct the original library, made the request to place the name change on the BOCC’s July 19 agenda.

At the Westchase Voting Members (VMs) meeting on Tuesday, July 11, VMs enthusiastically endorsed the effort and the association emailed homeowners on July 12 requesting they email the BOCC to support the library’s name change. “Last week Westchase lost one of the most influential people in Westchase’s history,” the association’s email stated. “Maureen [Gauzza] was known as the driving force behind the amazing achievement of bringing the Upper Tampa Bay library to the Westchase area.  Her leadership, hard work and dedication to this community not only secured the new library but also secured its expansion to the current facility you see today.”

Hagan’s legislative aide, Eric Denney, subsequently contacted WOW stating that the renaming effort would also be assisted by residents attending the Wednesday, July 19, meeting of the BOCC and speaking in support of the measure. The meeting, held on the second floor of the county center at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602, begins at 9 a.m. Commissioners set aside 45 minutes at the beginning of meetings for public comments.

Residents who plan to speak should fill out a public comment form at the sign-in table outside the meeting room. Each person can speak for up to three minutes. Folks can bring printed copies of their remarks (11 copies) for circulation to commissioners and support staff.

A parking garage is located across the street from the county center.

Residents can also email commissioner to express their support at http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/government/board-of-county-commissioners/contact-your-commissioner

Once on the page, clicking on the box beneath any commissioner’s name will open a page that will allow residents to email them all at the same time.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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