by Mitch Perry
Although she has only been at HART since the summer of 2010, the agency has been in the news a lot in that span. Start with its focus on trying to implement the one-cent sales tax referendum for light-rail that went down to a big defeat in 2010; then, a few months later, there was the nasty departure of executive director David Armijo; and most recently, HART board members have received some negative press for their resistance to form a partnership with their colleagues at PSTA in Pinellas County.
Beginning this Friday, Mejia replace Ellen Gedalius, who worked for Castor since 2008, but recently departed for the Baltimore area.
From 2003-2010, Mejia served as a community relations coordinator with Hillsborough County, where she first got to know her new boss.
"I was fortunate to be at Hillsborough County when Congresswoman Castor was a County Commissioner. I really feel like I got to know her from the sidelines, obviously, so I’ve always admired her positions, and what she stands for," Mejia told CL on Wednesday afternoon "It’s exciting to go and work directly for her."
Unlike so many other public information officials in the Tampa Bay areas, Mejia is not a former reporter, though that was always her intention. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with majors in both political science and print journalism, and accepted a job with the Dodge City Daily Globe in Kansas immediately after her graduation.
But after her father fell ill, she delayed leaving home, and ultimately she opted not to move to the Midwest to take the job. She began working in local government in late 2002, initially for the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections in the waning days of Pam Iorio's tenure.
Then came the county, HART, and now working for Congresswoman Castor in her local West Tampa office, not far from where Mejia grew up.
2013 was already going to be a big year for Mejia as she is scheduled to have a baby this summer.