Home is where,,,,,,,,,
From the Tampa Tribune-
ZEPHYRHILLS - A higher power will determine whether the city's youngest politician can continue to serve even though he doesn't actually live here.What Mr. Burgess did looks innocent to me. Done out of ignorance of the law. That shouldn't save him from losing his city council job. There are valid reasons to have politicians live in the area they represent.
The city council voted Monday night to have Gov. Jeb Bush order an opinion from the state attorney general's office about Councilman Danny Burgess' unusual residency situation.
Until then, Burgess, 20, a full-time student at the University of South Florida, will stay on the council. That's cold comfort to Burgess, though, who told the board that it's difficult to sleep at night knowing his job is on the rocks.
"To see my position, that's been given to me by the people, under fire is not comfortable," he said after Monday's meeting.
According to the city charter, anyone elected to the council must live within city limits and stay there for the duration of the term. The idea is to ensure that politicians stay connected to their constituents and on top of city issues.
When Burgess was elected last year, he was living at home with his parents and driving 30 minutes every day to college in Tampa.
In late August, he decided the commute was too much. He signed a lease at an off-campus apartment off Bearss Avenue.
Burgess never told anyone, though, until the city clerk found out last week when she tried to reach him at his home telephone number. There, Burgess' mother told the clerk about the apartment.
The matter went to the city attorney, who ruled that because Burgess' legal permanent address is still with his parents, Burgess technically is still a Zephyrhills resident.
The ruling didn't stop council members from raising their eyebrows. Monday night, Mayor Cliff McDuffie asked why Burgess didn't say anything sooner.
Burgess said he didn't think there would be a problem and noted that the city attorney, after reviewing the matter, ultimately didn't think so either.
"I will go on record saying this was definitely a learning experience," Burgess said.
TFM is betting Burgess lived mostly with his parents. For somoene his age is usually still having Mom do his laundry. Home is where the washing machine is.
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