Representatives will serve on the Independent Oversight Committee representing the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority

Tampa, Fla. - The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) has appointed attorney Sean Shaw and Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Dean Dustin Lemke to the Independent Oversight Committee (IOC) that will help oversee millions of taxpayer dollars to fund transit projects.

Shaw is an attorney at Vanguard Attorneys, formerly of the Merlin Law Group, a former member of the Florida House of Representatives who ran for State Attorney General in 2018. Lemke is a Dean of Associate in Arts at HCC and a frequent HART rider.

The citizens’ committee will oversee the spending of the one-cent transportation sales tax that was approved by Hillsborough County voters on November 6, 2018. According to the Hillsborough County Charter Amendment Article 11 Section 11.10, the role of the IOC is to provide “oversight of the distribution and expenditure of the Surtax Proceeds” in a manner consistent with approved referendum. Under the charter amendment, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority appoints two members to the committee.

“We had an exceptional group of applicants for these appointments,” said HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward, but “Mr. Shaw and Mr. Lemke’s experience and background made them a clear choice among the strong field of candidates.”

“We look forward to Mr. Shaw and Mr. Lemke representing the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority on the Transportation Oversight Committee,” said HART Board Chair Commissioner Lesley “Les” Miller. “This new source of stable funding will bring transformative changes to HART and our community, and it will allow the Authority to provide much-needed service improvements and place HART on the road to the future.”

The IOC will consist of 13 members, each chosen by a variety of county leaders representing a range of interests, professional expertise, and experience. According to the charter amendment, the IOC will consist of:

Four individuals appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, two of which will be experts in either transportation, planning, sustainability, engineering, or construction.

One individual from each county municipality, appointed by the mayor thereof; one additional member from each city for every 200,000 residents in such municipality, selected by the legislative body of that municipality.

The County Property Appraiser shall appoint one individual of the oversight committee who is a land use or real estate expert.

One attorney, who is a member of the Florida Bar, named by the Clerk of the Court.

One certified public accountant, appointed by the Hillsborough County Tax Collector.