Saturday, April 02, 2011

Muffinquest: saying goodbye to one mayor, hello to another

Yesterday, on the same day that I became mayor of Tre Amici @ The Bunker in Ybor City on Foursquare (yes I did!), Bob Buckhorn was sworn in as mayor of the city of Tampa, replacing Pam Iorio. I'm a huge fan of "Mayor Pam" as she became known and deeply appreciate her service to Tampa, my home sweet home. Here are some highlights:
  • Extended health benefits to unmarried partners - homosexual and heterosexual - of city employees. Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Iorio made the changes by executive order in 2004, bypassing the city council and fierce opposition from Christian evangelical groups.
  • Hired city's first female police chief, Jane Castor in September 2009 to succeed Stephen Hogue, who retired.
  • Increased spending on neighborhoods, from fixing pot-holes to paving roads, from about $2.6 million in FY 2003 to about $10 million today.
  • Boosted Riverwalk, the much-touted $40 million Riverwalk project that had been on the drawing board for years.
  • Oversaw completion of a $42 million renovation of Curtis Hixon Park on the riverfront, including the new Tampa Museum of Art and the Glazer Children's Museum.
  • Spent more than $13.6 million through a federally funded affordable housing program to buy foreclosed properties, most of which will be rehabilitated and sold. To date, the city has bought 18 foreclosed single-family homes and duplexes, mostly in the Sulphur Springs area. Other foreclosed single-family homes and multiplexes in neighborhoods across Tampa have been bought by nonprofit groups under contracts with the city.
  • Reduced the city's operating expenses through a host of initiatives, from consolidating city departments and streamlining services to switching to online auctions to sell surplus vehicles and equipment, reducing the size of its vehicle fleet and other costs savings.
  • Reduced crime rate by 36 percent in her first term and by more than 60 percent in her second term through a mix of targeted law enforcement and community policing.
  • Signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006, pledging to meet a series of tangible environmental benchmarks. She assembled a "green team" to focus on water and energy conservation and expanded the city's recycling program, with limited success. The residential recycling program has been plagued by low participation and few if any of the city's buildings have been retrofitted with energy efficient fixtures.

(Source: Tampa Tribune/

From one mayor to a couple of others, thank you Mayor Pam, for everything you did. And good luck Mayor Bob; you have a tough act to follow.

OR MAIL CHECKS AND/OR MONEY ORDERS (payable to The American Cancer Society) TO ME AT:
3655 Coopers Pond Drive, #202,
Tampa, FL, 33614

And if you'd like to RSVP for the Muffinquest party at Tre Amici, you can do so here.

Oh yeah, we hang out.

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