Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Results of Town Hall Meeting

As I was unable to attend the Town Hall Meeting, I am going to take advantage of the good comment made on previous Town Hall post and make it a post of it's own. Thanks Anonymous

I attended the Town Meeting and I found it quite enjoyable. However, I was disappointed in resident turn out. I am not a politically active person but this meeting left me feeling compelled and inspired to do more for my community and city.

It was fascinating to see our government at work. The department heads to appeared to be very aware of the challenges and concerns of our community and the city as a whole. I appreciated Pam's candid responses and felt she really wants the best for our city. Not always the best decision for us personally but the best option/solution for the greater good.

This being my first encounter with our City Government I may be a little naive to some of the organizations down falls but I do believe my initial impression of the group as a whole is pretty close to accurate.

Almost every citizen who voiced a concern also offered praise for the accomplishments thus far.

If you have not attended a town hall meeting I would encourage you to do so.

Below are a few of the items that were addressed.
Some of the questions and answers:

Is Seminole Heights going to get a noise abatement wall?

---Currently there is not a plan to add a wall.

Are there any plans to address the aging curbs in the neighborhoods- mainly the crumbling concrete?

----The city for the first time has allotted funds to help repair curbs in disrepair. It didn't appear that the money had been earmarked for a certain section yet. If you have concerns please contact the city.

Is Giddens Park going to be developed to its full potential and plan?

----Yes the permitting has just come back for the interactive fountain and work should begin shortly on transforming the concrete donut.

Is someone going to address the problem with the increase in prostitution?

----The Chief of Police- I think- said he didn't realize it had become an increasing problem but now it has been brought to their attention and they will address it.

A citizen asked if someone could patrol the parking lot of Bird and Nebraska for prostitutes and to discourage overnight parking for Semis.

-----Code said they would investigate along with the police.

Two citizens mentioned different concerns with the customer care center. One being that the departments don't seem to communicate amongst themselves and that no one knows what another department does.
The other concern was that issues are being closed out without any status resolution.

----Pam seemed to take these concerns seriously and said she would have meeting to investigate the breakdown in both areas.

There were questions on:

How the City plans to help fuel the commercial corridor of Nebraska, Central, Florida and Sligh.

How the storm water problems were going to be addressed.

Whether Neighborhood Associations would have to subjected to the new Special Event rules.

How the Historic Preservation process can be implement to be all inclusive and help those who don't have the means- financially or physically- meet the standards.


Anonymous said...

Sounds just like last years answers. We are moving right along!

Anonymous said...

They ARE last year's questions and answers. Didn't you read the post's introduction by the blogger??

IFly said...

Actually the posts are from a comment in yesterdays post re: Questions. I was in attendance last night. I was not around last year so I cannot speak to the content of last year's meeting. In addition to what was posted by anonymous and reiterated in this posting I would like to express my disappointment in the turnout. So many comments on this blog complaining about this or that, and it seems none of those complainers were in attendance. If, and I stress "if" you had any credibility before you certainly have none now. Here was an opportunity to express your concerns to those who make decisions, and you let it go. So rant away here and let those ravings fall on deaf ears.
No offense intended at all to my elders, but I also was disappointed at the lack of younger people at the meeting. We are a community that encompasses every age group yet there was almost no one in attendance that was my age or younger. Even if you didn't have a concern to voice, a show of support for the neighborhood by your attendance speaks volumes to elected officials, and those they appoint.

Anonymous said...

The problem is Hillsborough County had a meeting on the exact same noght so many went there to protest higher property taxes.
It doesn't mean I like the mayor by any stretch.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to attend but I don't get off work until 5:30. I even joked with my husband and said that obviously the 6:00 pm start time was designed for nonworkers or workers with more flexibility. How about pushing the meeting to 6:30 or even 7:00. That will allow people to go home, feed their kids or come home from work instead of racing to meet the 6:00 time.

IFly said...

I agree the start time was a bit early, but it will never please everyone, no matter when they schedule it. However, they didn't lock the doors at 6:00 and it actually didn't get going until about 6:10 and it ran until 7:45 or so. People did enter and leave throughout the duration.

Anonymous said...

This may have been an early start for a meeting for some, but for those city staffers who attended, they already had worked a full day and I would imagine that they did not get home until well after 8:30pm to even see their loved ones. Not only were the department heads there, but support staff was also there from the city and high school.

NewPlaces said...

IFly makes a valid point in his statement regarding attendance: So many comments on this blog complaining about this or that, and it seems none of those complainers were in attendance.

The real change takes place when your concerns are voiced even if it's only to the board members of the association. If it were not for the Associations of the Neighborhood, Seminole Heights as a whole would not receive the attention it does.

Until last night, I didn't realize how hard the board members work and how much time and effort they devote to making our community a better place. They are the true catalyst behind the success of our community. They deserve respect and appreciation from every resident of Seminole Heights Area.

I thank everyone who voices their concerns, suggestions and comments and those who make those words become actions.

Anonymous said...

Was anything mentioned about this special Seminole Heights Task Force I have been reading about. I would have loved to gone but way to early for me. What is it all about, who is in this so called task force, are they qualified or is it just thrown together with the bad elements in CODE. If any one has any info. Please inform me

CouldBeSherry said...

Your various boards will be attending a meeting shortly where the task force will be explained so we can tell everyone in the neighborhood.

BTW the city felt the turn out was very good. I do to except for one thing. All those of you who had so very much to say. You will never learn how things work if you don't expose yourself to things like the TH meeting. To make up your own mind you need to gather first hand information. Can't do that sitting home watching HOUSE.

mightbeMIKE said...

I am truly sorry that I was not able to attend. My every intention was to do so. But I was not able to do to and urgent health issue. I always like to do and participate in as much as possible regarding the neighborhood. I know that we are all very busy in our lives and sometimes it is just easier to use the blog as a place to vent our frustrations with our surroundings. I know that this may sound harsh but someone great ( I don't remember who) once said that, "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem". Can anyone who attended the meeting provide us with an outline or summary of what ocurred? I am curious as to the responses we received regarding the 1303 E. New Orleans issue. Thanks.......

IFly said...

This summary in this blog post is most of it. Perhaps someone else took notes, but I don't recall any specific SH issues that aren't mentioned above. They didn't address E New Orleans at all during the meeting, though there was a very brief mention of the code task force that's been established.

Anonymous said...

wAS it not stated here
to not discuss the
situation @ New Orleans address.

Yes it was......I attended and only ONE person spoke up about hookers .......
one lady
for as much as complaining I have seen on this blog .....some of you should of spoken up ......Im not a home owner here I simply rent here.
I do have concerns about the prostitution only its my own personal opinion if there wasnt a demand in this area .....and that includes some of this area known to you all as OSH.
legalize prostitution and end your problems
if they did not have a following here
they would hook eleswhere
you all know why they do

Anonymous said...

There were actually two or three people who mentioned the problem with prostitution. And just because you rent here and don't own a home doesn't make you any less important. Your actions or inactions still have an influence.

I can't imagine that the Hooker Patrol would exclude you from participating because you are renter. If you have concerns about the prostitution problem you could volunteer your time to help patrol for prostitution.

I personally feel as long as the motels are here there will be prostitution and drug dealers on the street. The motels help provide resources for these activities to take place.

Been Looking for Hookers for YEARS Now said...

Anon 10:55

I don't feel that it is as much the local demand for the hookers as the reputation that Nebraska has had since the '40's of being the place to find a "girl".

Have you tried doing an on-line search for hookers in Tampa - those blogs catering to the johns are pretty specific about where to find girls when you are in town on business.

Since the advent of hooker patrol those same blogs have also noted not to go south of the river as the police and neighborhood harrassment is not worth the hassle.

It might be time to refocus on the problem. You know as reputations go - once you have them they are hard to get rid of.....

I ask everyone that sees a working girl/guy to call the police nonemergency number (dispatch)at 231-6130 and report the activity and most importantly get an event number - this assures that it will be entered into the system and generate a dispatch to check it out. Worse case it creates stats that can then be used for QUAD squad for tarketing for stings to allivate the presence of hooks and johns crusing the area.

I know it's all been said before but it bears repeating.



Greg said...

After you read the above post - pick up your cell phone and program the non-emergency number for the police - that way you don't have an excuse when you see a hooker - you can even call when you are on your way to Cappy's or out of the hood to a movie or on your way home from Ybor at 3 am!!

Rick F. said...

Tonight the Mayor's budget received a small rebuke. Council by a vote of 4 to 2. (Shame on Mary Alverez and Linda Saul-Sena) to reduce the city millage rate a mere 2%. This is the first reduction in the City of Tampa's millage rate in 20 years!. To hear Ms. Saul-Sena and Ms. Alverez you would think Tampa budget had no fat and was ready to crumble into the bay. Not that it was just a slight decrease in the projected 22% increase in property tax revenue! To claim that there is no way to trim 3.34 million from a total City budget of 728.4 million dollars when last years budget was was 674.4 million dollars in '06 and 673.8 million dollars in '05 is a bad bad joke.

Apparently according to the city attorney, the millage rate can bot be increased at the second budget hearing. People should still turn-out just in case they want to punish those uppity taxpayers that said enough is enough!

Shawn-non-anonymous said...

The millage rate is just fine the way it was, thanks. Now I know who to avoid voting for next time around. Mary and Linda get my vote and thanks.

What is it with conservatives and reducing taxes? The only thing dummer than "tax and spend" is "tax cut and spend". Nothing like reducing your wages and spending even more, right?

If I didn't own a 4x4, I wouldn't be able to drive many of the streets in Seminole Heights. Especially Nebraska ave south of Hillsborough and pretty much all the streets West of Florida in OSH. The potholes are large enough to eat small cars. Then there's the flooding down Idlewild avenue due to over-paving that street the last 80 yeasrs. Of course, now that we've got our vote-getting tax cut, we'll have even less money to repair our aging infrastructure. And we can just forget any actualy *improvements* to that infrastructure that might make this city competitive and liveable into the future. So no real public transportation, no quality museums, no money to draw run-down industrial areas out of poverty. Woohoo!

Kinda reminds of Bush's tax cut. That whole whopping $300 paid off a small bill and nothing more. Imagine what a nation full of $300 could have done? Like, say, kept us out of such horrific national debt?

Property taxes are high, but we pay zero state income tax. It's my homeowner's insurance that threatens to chase me out of Florida.

Again, thank you Linda and Mary! It's hard to stand against "chicken-in-every-pot" political pandering and I appreciate the two of you voting with a level head.

Anonymous said...

Property taxes have gone crazy over the past few years along with real estate taxes. To use your analogy, if you got huge unmerited pay raises for 3 years in a row, then you shouldn't be surprised about a tiny decrease in the 4th year. Also, considering the huge increases in property taxes over the past few years, your potholes should have been fixed before now anyway. But instead, that extra money has been wasted on government inefficiencies...a decrease in the millage rate is needed and well overdue.

Anonymous said...

Over the next few years, we as a city need to focus on reclaiming and rebuilding our local government. We have a mayor that has spent more than any previous mayor, riverwalk park for the homeless, adding high dollar salary to staff, maintained ineffective department heads and the list goes on. We have council members that insist on spending more and more money on projects that affect a limited few. I for one will not vote for one incumbent over the next few years. Any Jack Ass would be better than the ones we have in office now! Send a message to City hall, we are sick and tired of their constant spending spree with our money.

Rick F. said...

Well unless you move to South Tampa you can't vote for Linda. Mary is term limited.

Property Tax revenues are up 36% in just two years. The Mayor's budget is up 53 million in ONE YEAR...over 8% in one year.

Just because you have been in your home for a few years or can afford the increase maybe you can pay the bill for some of your new neighbors.

I for one have never jumped on a band wagon to cut taxes. Most have been irreponsible. This is the first time and until he City and the County's spending priorities reflect restraint I am going to stay on this one!

Property tax revenue for the city..up 36% in two years...the millage rate needed to be cut more than 2%.

Property Tax revenue from existing property should be capped or controlled. The city should be forced to roll back the millage to be more in line with the cost of living. Then if they need more, let them ask for a rate increase.

I supported the community investment tax because there were needs that justified the tax (the fact that so much went to the Glasers' not withstanding).

Spare me the grand standing the city budget will still grow from 674.4 million to 725.1 million.

PacificGirl said...

I read your post.I do not know
about the 1940"s as this being the place to come to for a "date"

The hookers were here while I homeowned in the late 80s and on

Im sorry I hadnt the inclination to decipher where they came from or how it is they are here .
Not being a native to Tampa I suppose its a large part of why I dont understand.

I suppose I would enjoy "hooker"patrol.sometime and do not have the names or connections to get together with a group for this sorta of thing
Nor do I blog about hookers .
Cant imagine why anyone would spend so much time searching Blogs for them.
Go out and discuss with them to move has anyone ever gone out to interview these women..No one with a good mind would want this for themselves.to service men all day and night for a few dollars.Some
where deep inside they were someone good.Life forwhat ever reason has kicked them down.and they have nothing..They are drug addicted Im sure of that.
What programs are in this city to provide these women some alternative to life they exist in.
This isnt a life.hooking.

I sure couldnt handle that for my life but Im compassionate toward those who' life path is gone to hell.
Im just wondering if anyone has knowledge of the history how this came to be in this area

Seemed to me when I first arrived to this city .Dale Mabry had some hookers on it.Now they have sex show clubs .is that the alternative?

Bungalowlady said...

Many of the hookers are not poor females. They are males! Some even have good jobs but make as much money hooking on Fri and Sat nits as they make all week as managers at MacDonald's. So, there is a financial motive.

Nebrasks historically has been hooker lane. The blogs no longer push Nebraska this far south. They are pushing Nebraska further north. That's because of hooker patrol.

Talking to the hookers gets an assortment of responses and sometimes it means you're taking your life in your hands. We had one throw a hunk of concrete through the vehicle window. Others have thrown rocks, bottles of water, etc., etc.

The difference between "our" hookers and those in Carrollwood is the ones in Carrollwood make you buy them a drink at the bar first - - or so my friends who live in C'wood say.

Greg said...


Get ahold of your neighborhood assoication if you want to assist with "hooker patrol".

They will get the contact info for you - are you in OSH or SESH?


Shawn-non-anonymous said...

Rick... the realtors and title company goofed on our home sale. While the city recorded our purchase in 2000, the county did not. Our homestead application was rejected (without notice) because they didn't think we owned the home. But the previous owner's homestead stayed in effect and everything _looked_ like it went through. Needless to say, four years later after SH had aquired most of its gains, the homestead was terminated and we were reappraised at 2004 levels. Our taxes increased roughly 2400 in one year alone. We pay close to 4K a year. So I think I can speak for people who bought recently as I pay roughly the same as they do.

To say that tax revenue increased by 36% in two years doesn't tell us much, really. For example, tax rates could remain exactly the same and we'd still get that increase if population increased. So how much of that 36% is due entirely to the rise in housing costs? That's the number that is more meaningful for your point. Increases in population bring increased pressure on our infrastructure and thus increased costs. That the city only spent 8% more this year than last but revenue increased 18% each year (divide by two) is pretty amazing. Again, without population figures, and that would include county increases and increases in nearby counties where the resident work in Tampa, these numbers may not be as bad as they look.

Property tax is controled through Homestead exemptions. The most my tax can increase now that this snafu is over is 3% a year. That barely covers the average inflation rate, so I don't think it's unreasonable at all. We could peg the increase to a cost-of-living index, but it'd average out at 3%, and quite frankly I'd rather have a stead increase than the lurches and jumps we'd get with a direct index.

Again, growth in population and aging infrastructure must be taken into consideration before these budget numbers have any real meaning. Residential property taxes for owner-occupied single-family homes are capped at the average rate of inflation. This isn't some huge conspiracy here.

Rick F. said...

Shawn- I read the budget and crunched the numbers. The rise in revenue is not new construction though it is a part of it. If you don't like the voodoo in my numbers talk with the mayor...I took them from her budget.
In my 20 years in this city I have watched one mayor after the other build their monuments with tax-payer dollars. Meanwhile the infrastructure crumbled. Republican Bob Martinez left the city so far in hock that Freedman had to raise taxes.

So now experiencing my fourth Tampa Administration it is the same old **** under a new name. I have pushed for traffic calming in this neighborhood and city long before you discovered the Idlewild freeway.

The mayor's budget gives more money to a consultant for a small section of her beloved Riverwalk than she does for traffic calming.

The mayor throws more money at code enforcement but keeps the same incompetent jackasses running the show.

The city keeps approving McMansion's that max out the allowable impervious surface in South Tampa and then wants the rest of the city to subsidize the solution to their flooding issues.

The special assistant to the mayor can get 93k a year for working 35 hours a week.
Gee no wonder Pam wanted an 11% raise!
The Adminstration budget looks like it is being decreased because they rearrange the deck chairs.

There has been no money to address the problems of the commercial areas of Seminole Heights or Sulphur Springs or West Tampa but they could find money to pour into garages and arches and trolleys to no where for Ybor and channelside.

to answer the question about growth development accounting for the increases:

FY 2005 19.157 billion
FY 2006 21.657 billion
FY 2007 26.309 billion

New to tax rolls
FY 2005 0.443 billion
FY 2006 0.663 billion
FY 2007 0.631 billion

Valuations rose 2.5 billion from 2005 to 2006 at a time when new valuations to the tax rolls rose 443,000,000.

valuations rose 4.65 billion from 2006 to the proposed 2007 budget but new property on the tax rolls amounted to 663,000,000. 4 billion of the valuations were courtesy of Mr. Turner's office. It amounts to a back door tax increase that the city didn't have to justify or explain.

I don't want to hear about museums and riverwalks until I see a serious effort to address the festering issues that never get addressed.

When the mayor and council can divert the majority portion of the windfall of the past 2 years to these long standing issues, I'll quit bitching about the taxes.

Pacificgirlie said...

I do most graciously thank you ALL for those responses.

Seminole Heights is OSH?
I moved to Hanna W. almost on the river.Its nice.. and boy are the people here really cool,friendly and fun.Our neighbors include a fire man .his paramdic wife ..also
a doctor in residence..somewhere..her spouse is in law. new grad.those two lived across the street .they just bought here. We have lady teacher.
Quality people.

I have some sense of compassion for working streets people.I used to once have a program titled
"street scene" in another very progressive city.I can say this.the hookers here are very hardened.
Anyhow Im just stating I accept alot in life. Some people I WOULD rather have prostitutes to drink with or talk to them some people who are in places they have NO buisness being in.
People are People..Learn to be tolarant to others.
You surely dont want to pass on this life recalling all the crappy things you did to strangers

Some of us have a conscious

Already they are the "disease"of the society.Yet,they have managed to be amungst us.no matter where we are.
hookers and sex trade.before it was less conspicuious.How about they find some way to board them in some brothel>?
and legalize the sex trade.clean it up your city is cleaned up as well.?

The sex trade certainly is a huge buisness ..however I do not like seeing what I do see.Women and the erosion of life.
Howere it has never ever surprized me as I have aged on........what another HUMAN being will and has done to another HUMAN being..

Thank you.....please find a way to keep this area safe..I adore OSH.

Greg said...


OSH is the neighborhood association for the area north of Hillsborough Ave and up to the river primarily. SESH is MLK up to Hillsborough Ave.

I think you will be hard pressed to find anyone that goes on "hooker patrol" that is hell bent on demoralizing any of the women or men that are on the streets working for whatever reason - I think - I know for myself - it is a quality of life issue. I am not thrilled to come home from school after dark and find a john parked in my side drive getting a BJ - once is enough and it has been more than once. I don't like finding used condoms in my yard or hearing about my neighbors finding them in the alleys. In the past (pre HP "hooker patrol"), if you lived in my neighborhood and decided to walk to Lake Roberta or to the Publix for pop-tarts then you would be swarmed by johns trying to pick you up.

I am not trying to save any of the "girls", I'm not trying to preach or judge why they are out there - they just need to do what they do outside of my neighborhood - NIMBY

Just because I'm not living in Hyde Park doesn't mean that I can't have a neighborhood that is free of prostitution and the drug dealers that follow and the petty thefts that result. If I need to continue my efforts on HP for another 5 yrs then so be it.

Come to the next association meeting and let's talk.

CouldBeSherry said...

As one of the patrollers, let me say I agree with Greg. We have nothing against the hookers on the streets other than just that.....they are on our streets.

What made me go out the first time was driving by a bus stop some four years ago and seeing a man with two young kids,,,,,,,,,,very young, siting at the bus stop. It was barely 7:00 PM. Standing not three feet away from his daughter was a transgender prostitute. He/She wore a halter top with her man made boobs almost out the top. She had a skirt on that did NOT cover her manly assets. She had high shoes, a fall and a ton of makeup. She stood there, in an wide open legged stance, flipping her fall and talking to her partner who wore a teddy, mostly see through, and some shorts that were painted on.

To me this is demoralizing to the kids. This is how bad it used to be. Then we worked on it,,,,,hard, not just by patrolling and working with TPD, but by educating people to clean up and care. One of our neighbors working with the city, started the Prostitution Task force and the John School. We worked on cleaning things up and educating neighbors how and when to call TPD. We marched and used the media. All of this made a huge difference.

It will again. It is not a problem that will go away, but it is a problem we can control, if enough people are willing to become involved! It takes a community effort.

Anonymous said...

You are right.
It is awful to see the women do what they do because a lot of them dont know any other way.
They have been abused, mentally or physically, had a husband leave them, or became addicted to drugs because of depression.
I think they should have a rehab center for this so that the police can offer to take someone to the center and they can help them obtain skills, maybe sleep in peace for a little while, get off drugs, and receive the counseling that they need.
Without these things, they cant stop.
They dont know how to be normal.
There has to be some support.
There are the few of course who will resist and be back out on the streets but I think a large majority are lower income females who for whatever reason, don't know any other way.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:46. Your sentiment is great, but please know that all that you think would be a good thing to help the ladies lead more healthy, productive lives ALREADY EXISTS!! Also, people must understand that what motivates the transvestite prostitutes that we have here on Nebraska Ave. is not the same as what motivates your typical female prostitute. We have found that many of our trannies are actually somewhat successful, productive members of society during the day. They are working as "women" prostitues in an effort to express something that they are driven to express. The ultimate expression of a woman, as seen by someone who wants to be one, is to participate in sexual activity with a heterosexual man. That's why they are here.