Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Profiles on District 1 Candidates

Yesterday in the Tribune there was a profile on the District 1 (Citywide candidates).

Gwen Miller must be showing some weakness because the Tribune used the following "Gwen Miller is the retired school teacher. She also is the incumbent in the race, trying to hang on to a second term in the seat." Trying to hang on . . . . hmmmm.

Then it goes on to say "None of the other candidates - Rick Barcena, Randy Baron, Denise Chavez, Julie Jenkins and Joe Redner - has had any experience holding elected office, but they all believe that they would do a better job than the incumbent. "I don't think so," Miller said. "I've been on council 12 years. I've been chair three years. That shows leadership."

Really. To rephrase Forrest Gump "Leadership is as leadership does." Others on City Council did much leadership. I never saw any on hers. I wonder if she was booted upstairs to Chair to keep her out of the way of the rest of City Council. Sort of a Peter Principle. She was on the Expressway board for years when all the problems were occurring and did not do anything until Thomas Scott finally stood up.

"Miller says she wants another term to continue working for the residents of Tampa. She doesn't list specifics. Instead, she promises to listen to the concerns of Tampa residents and find solutions."

Here is what Randy said

Baron, president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, lists several issues among his priorities, including traffic calming, spending more money on code enforcement, redeveloping commercial corridors such as Florida and Nebraska avenues, and finding money within the budget to fix the city's infrastructure.

"I agree with the mayor that the city is crumbling from underneath," Baron said.


"Baron says he's not sure a tax cut is necessary and would prefer that the council and administration work together on the budget earlier in the process."


Mal Carne said...

Folks will rise to the level of their incompetence. I believe that point is illustrated quite well with Ms. Miller.
I do like the agenda of no agenda, it's quite Seinfeldian. She'll just listen to the will of the people. But wait....didn't she praise the Spanish style of government without interference from citizens or the press? How exactly can you listen to the people if you don't want them around?

As far as taxes, I have a rather simple solution. Stop waiving impact fees on new commercial development. The area isn't going to die without another Target strip mall. It seems that impact fees are being waived because the corporate giants promise to create x number of jobs. Great, x number of jobs at $8 an hour. We'll waive the fees and let the people making $8 an hour shoulder the burden. Keep that cycle going long enough and no one will be able to pay their taxes.

ranbar said...

Scott, thank you for posting the a link to the Trib article. However, I want to clarify one item. My position is not that a tax cut isn't necessary, but that cuts can be found by having City Council negotiate earlier with the administration and make it clear that a meaningful millage reduction is a goal. Last year the reduction amounted to approximately $24 for an average homesteaded property. Essentially, people got their stormwater fee increase back. Where the reduction was felt the most was by small business owners, rental property owners and apartment dwellers (who pay higher rents because of increased taxes). However, because the Council waited until the actual budget hearing to pass the reduction, the administration had only two weeks to eliminate $3 million from the budget, resulting in various neighborhood friendly projects getting cut.

It will take leadership from the Council to let the administration know that they are serious about crafting a budget that provides for necessary neighborhood services and required infrastructure investment and will still leave room for a millage reduction. Absent that pressure, the administration will spend every dollar it can, because, frankly, there are more than enough projects to spend it on. Indeed, ask the residents along Idlewild or West Hanna or Broad Street whether they would prefer the $24 or sidewalks and traffic calming. The same goes with south Tampa neighborhoods and flooding. Or Soho residents and business owners and parking. In fact, there are very few people out there who want the city to spend less money, they just want to insure that the money that IS spent goes directly to projects that impact their quality of life.

Anyone who has read the budget, or who follows the amounts of money authorized each week in Council’s consent agenda, realizes that there are areas where savings can be realized. Some of them have to do with pet projects (the Riverwalk, for instance), some have to do with city personnel, some have to do with shifting priorities from one department to another. It will not be easy and there will always be people upset with the results.

Therefore, it is imperative that voters support candidates that will fight for the kind of spending that they want to have. As a neighborhood leader, I will be fighting for more dollars for quality of life issues like sidewalks and traffic calming and parking. I will be fighting for smart growth that is compatible with surrounding neighborhoods. I will be fighting for incentives, both economic and administrative, to help redevelop our urban commercial corridors. And I will be fighting for FDOT to restore our roads to local business corridors from the raceways they have become.

Randy Baron
Candidate for Tampa City Council, District 1

RatsAsss said...

I for one think that the fact that most of these candidates do not have political experience is something that should weigh heavily on the voter in looking for who will represent them to the best of their ability. Now don't mistake that statement, I do not support Gwen because she does have poitical experience rather I think her time has come and it's time for her to go. My point is that many of these candidates are full of wonderful ideals but which one will see those ideals thru and which one will not buckle under the pressure of current political experience (ie the 'old-timers' on the council who are very good at swaying a preferred outcome).

I for one have not made my decision yet but can say that Chavez is ahead (by a slim margin) at the moment. I think that Baron's words, though limited as the conservative rag is so good at, are very telling and should be listened to carefully. One can fluff away all of the 'should have's, could have's and what if's' with the city's budget that they want to but the truth is that there are many budget discussions that will happen behind the scenes that we as voters will not be party to...that's just simple politics. Oh now, I know that everything is public knowledge however what I'm saying is that when we as voters are not watching, what really will be said and done on our behalf and what excuses will be made as to why???

So to the issue of property taxes I go. The bottom line is that the city's budget is FAT and everyone knows it including the current city administration that has done so well to protect it and make it fatter! It has gotten FAT because of the money obtained from a tremendously faulted tax system among other things. Don't tell me “that cuts can be found by having City Council negotiate earlier with the administration and make it clear that a meaningful millage reduction is a goal.” FLUFF, FLUFF, FLUFF, FLUFF, FLUFF and more FLUFFFFF! What is clear is that the city budget planners, old and new, need a good old fashioned re-education in efficient budgeting and strategic planning. You can’t trim the FAT if you don’t know how, why or the best possible avenues to do so. Don’t tell me that you are going to work on the millage rate and at the same time quote that “in fact, there are very few people out there who want the city to spend less money…” Really, who are those people…I know that it’s not me or my immediate friends and neighbors…so really, who are they?

I believe that you can reduce property taxes, millage rates, spending and not effect current programs or neighborhood progress but I also know that it will take a good steward of resources to do so and right now there isn’t one candidate who has shown that they are qualified be that vehicle. Ironically in the district 1 running there is only 1 person who has any strong financial experience and given her views, she’s not worth her salt nor do I think she has the gumption to stand in front of the masses and represent us. Perhaps a review of the 2 prominent cities in Florida that have reduced their spending, taxes and millage rates over the past 2 fiscal years might be worth looking into…just a suggestion but then again as district 1 candidates you have already done your homework and know this.

So just in case I’m not being heard and you want my vote; I DO WANT my property taxes lowered, I DO WANT the fat trimmed off of the city’s budget, I DO WANT my city’s millage rate to decrease, I DO WANT my city council members to educate themselves on strong and efficient budgeting, I DO WANT the historic neighborhoods of this city to be respected as staples of Tampa’s history, I DO WANT my neighborhood to see the benefits of tax dollars such as simple street repair, attention to neighborhood parks, regular street light maintenance….you know the little things that the current administration could give a rat’s *ss about. I DO WANT to see QUALIFIED person’s being hired for city jobs and being made accountable for their duties, actions and follow thru, I DO WANT RESPONSIBLE growth to continue in our city and by that I mean attention to the protection of trees, green spaces, traffic, neighborhood history and so on. What I DON’T WANT is an increase in sales tax, I DON’T WANT band-aid solutions, I DON’T WANT to see another request for salary increase by any of our elected politicians, I DON’T WANT lack of accountability to continue within our city departments, I DON’T WANT traffic calming that is not well researched or given because of neighborhood economic stature and lastly I DON’T WANT a new politician in office who is afraid of stepping on toes and needs an image consultant to dress him/her. That’s my 15 cents…next…

Chris said...

Okay, ratsass. Put up or shut up. What things in the city budget would you cut so you could get lower property taxes? Where, exactly, is the fluff? The city budget is online, so you can go through it line by line and pick out items to get rid of.

Anonymous said...

Do you really need to go there?
All the heads of state gave themselves gigantic raises..

Anonymous said...

I will go through the budget as I did to some extent on my own blog during the budget hearings. I went to council for those hearings with specific numbers about the rise in revenue and the dramactic growth in spending.

The growth in the city's ad valorum (ie property taxes) should not be allowed to rise more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI did not rise last year by 21%, people's income did not rise 21%, but the City of Tampa's ad valorum revenue sure as hell did.

But hey I guess that is better than the nearly 500% increase in my own taxes in just 2 years!

Start by rolling back the raises given to Iorio and council. Start by eliminating the positions she created for political friends and cronies. Start by firing the over paid dead weight in the upper levels of the city departments... you know the ones, the ones who have been there for 20 years and only wring their hands and say we understand that various things in the city don't work but that their hands are tied. Start by putting an end to mayorial monuments. Start by not trying to curry favor with the police department by creating more positions when crime in Tampa is at it's lowest per captia rate in 35 years and we already have highest ratio of police per 1,000 residents of any city in the state.

I can find ways to roll back that rate. Hell I think there is more than enough fluff that the city would survive and move forward even with a complete freeze on ad valorum revenue increases.

For those who don't realize it. The annual "rollback rate" is what would happen if the local taxing authorities adjusted their millage rates to be pretty much revenue neutral.
(I don't think Gwen Miller could grasp that on a good day).
Joe Redner is correct, growth should pay for itself.

Rick F.

Anonymous said...

Joe Redner is the best candidate to make a positive change for our neighborhood and for Tampa. He can do more for our area than Randy.

Tired-of-whiners said...

Well, firing a lot of the management in the City will certainly affect how our tax money is spent. That's 100% true. Not sure it'll be a net decrease, though. My experience suggests that replacement employees for those positions will cost a great deal more than the exisiting managers. (You'll have to get them from outside of existing City employees, for example, and pay them more, and if they really are more compentent, pay them a LOT more.) Which sorta runs against the whole "reverse the pay raise" thing, right? I mean, if we aren't willing to raise wages to the average for a city our size just to attract average management, that pretty much rules out affording above-average management. "Throw out the bums!" is a nice rant, but it's really nothing more than just that, an empty rant.

Meanwhile, Nebraska south of Hillsborough requires a 4x4 to get down it without damaging your kidneys. Seminole Heights has almost no sidewalks and nasty cut-through traffic. Some of the residential streets flood during storms. Reduce my taxes or fix these issues? Please fix these issues.

And could you explain how a homesteaded citizen has their taxes go up 500% in two years? Day one of buying your home on Hanna avenue is a "0%" increase. You homestead, being a realtor and knowledgeable about such things, and your base taxed value drops by $25K. (so, technically, your taxes drop or change by a negative percentage.) Thereafter, your taxes can only go up by 3% a year. So 500% sounds like something else is going on. I just don't see how your personal residence, that you own and homesteaded, can increase by 500%. (Heck, if you didn't homestead, in order for your taxes to increase 500% in two years your assessed value has to increase 500% in two years and quite frankly, if that happened, you won the real estate lottery! Sell! Pay the taxes and move to South Tampa 'cause you can afford it now. ) Or, perhaps, the 500% is something of a clever fabrication you use to make your case sound more compelling?

I'm happy to vote for Redner when there aren't any qualified candidates running against him. I did that in the last general election. But in this election there are two decent candidates. Randy Baron is getting my vote. He has a background in law, non-profit charities, and neighborhood issues. But what really impresses me is that he doesn't pander to his constituents-to-be. He doesn't tell the Rick F's of Tampa that he'll cut taxes and increase spending (as Barcena does), he gives a very rational, well-thought answer that isn't easy for idiots to grasp and vote over. He comes from a neighborhood that pays the taxes but doesn't get the same level of services as other parts of the city. He works a regular job. What does Redner know about that sort of stuff? Nothing. What does a South Tampa Soccer Mom know about that sorta stuff? Nothing. Randy has already proven he can get things done in the city environment and is able to make decent, rational decisions based first on the facts.

Randy easily gets my vote.

Chris said...

If Randy doesn't win this seat, I would love for him (if he's a Democrat) to go take out Rose Ferlita.

Anonymous said...

Lets get real.
So you want us to settle for incompetence because you think no one will take the job thats qualified for what the current people make?
Did I hear that right?
Lets find out.
And who needs to train the managers if they are competent?
What planet are you residing on?

Anonymous said...

tired of whiners-
since you know where I live. My taxes when I bought the house were $576. I knew they would go up because they were based on the previous owners situation. What I got was an over zealous property appraiser because it was two 50 foot lots (not that they were buildable without a variance because because is is rs60 zoning)
assessed our property at 96+% of purchase price. Taxes jumped to $1700 after homestead. We added a net of 453 sq ft (just less than 1/2). Our assessed value for an additional 453 sq ft of air conditioned space rose over $60,000. The tax bill rose another $1,000. You do the math...nearly 500%. For a house that is still less the 1500 sq ft.
I have never had an issue with taxes before.
Low interest rates and the lure of fast money drove up housing prices well beyond historic norms of appreciation. We all have to live with the results. The least the elected politicos could do is stop treating the revenue as manna from heaven and start recognizing that is making it that much hard for people to buy their first home or keep it once they get it.
Yeah, I can bitch about my taxes and so far can pay them.
But what about the first time buyer today who called me upset because the projected taxes on the home she was hoping to buy kept her from qualifying through a first time buyer program. Based on projected taxes the most they would qualify for was a 120k. You can't find anything that would pass the inspection requirements in the lowest income neighborhoods at 120k. So I guess that buyer is another victim of a spendthrift City Hall and County Commission.
--Rick F.

Tired-of-whiners said...

Rick F. Your taxes went up 63% (1700/2700) as a result of adding on a very large room and taking your home from 900sqft, which is below modern market expectations, to 1300sqft, which is closer to the ideal size for resale. As a realtor, do you think the addition added $60k or more of resale value to the home?

As you know, $576 was the previous owner's tax rate and not yours. Your base tax rate is $1700. If you buy a house from a little old lady that lived there 40 years and has extremely low taxes as a result, it is not truthful to say your taxes increased 500% in two years, when in fact the actual increase is due to market value changes over the 40 years. If you hadn't increase the size of your home, your taxes would have gone from $1700 to roughly $1753 this year.

I agree that there's a lot more drama in 500% than your self-inflicted 63%. Exagerations like this one weaken your argument.

It's also good to point out that a large portion of those taxes don't go to City Hall, but to Tallahassee. Here in Florida, we have no state income tax. Would you like one of those instead? We can drop all the non-city property taxes and just fund schools and such through property tax like other states do. Then your income could be taxed at a progressive rate that, I bet, would be far larger than $3000 a year.

The real issue is homeowner's insurance, which has increased alarmingly over the last 4 years and for which there is no "homestead" protection. My payment has gone from $1300/mo to $1900/mo in that time with no capital improvements or other self-inflicted miseries to exagerate the effect. All of that cash is going to cover the idiots that build homes on South Florida beaches. None of it is returned to me in the form of any gain, like roads, schools, and museums.

Tired-of-whiners said...

Anon 7:49...

With the exception of Code, no one has proven incompetence in existing City management. (And I haven't seen much evidence that shows Curtis Lane is particularly bad. Some of the issues attributed to him come from Legal, not Code. But I'm equally frustrated with Code and probably want to believe firing him will help--an emotional position.)

So, I'm unconvinced that we have "incompetence" that we are settling for in the first place.

Rick F called for rolling back salary increases. The increases were based on average wages for those positions in cities similar to Tampa around the nation. I would call that "average". If you roll back wages to below average (pre-Iorio) and you fire the existing management, you must replace them. Who are you going to hire to fill a slot vacated in that sort of political heat that is competent and willing to make less than average? Most people taking a new job in that climate would insist on above-average wages.

I'm residing in the real world. What planet are you on, if we're not on the same one? :-)

Tired-of-whiners said...

Tax Burden statistics:

This article
on places Florida at 44th for tax burden per capita in 2005. (9.2%)

Of course, we could spend what we have better, and it seems like we're being taxed into oblivion, but only 6 states are cheaper tax-wise than Florida.

RatsAsss said...

Oh Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris, with regards to your 2/7 4:53pm comment I do apologize, I was thinking that being so long winded I would spare the masses the reading of the budget given that most are more than aware of the fluff it contains. However I see that my knowledge of these documents interests you so provided that you have at the very least skimmed thru the 176 page city budget document (will skip the 252 supplement piece for now) to include pages 3 to 5 and from page 61 forward (oh and don't forget to locate the breakdown document...gosh that's right you won't find that online but will if you go downtown to public record....just an FYI), I will be more than happy to share with you my budget issues. Let's start with these: 200K for office relocation, 255K for garage improvements, 75K building paintint, 9K bathroom stall replacement (only includes parititions in bathrooms for 2 city buildings), 105K for 25mph signs, 52K vehicle washing....I think you get the idea. The irony is that these budgeted items are not just found in one place but in several places within the budget along with other things like travel. But what I really think is most interesting Chris is that in looking back at the previous 2 years worth of budget, many of these absurd amounts have not been spent but have in fact "rolled over". In most budgeting models, you would trim the requested budget off of the items not spent in totality the year prior. This of course helps you to continually manage an appropriate budget based on past spending. The city clearly does not like this idea. Now I realize that I have picked out a few attention getters of the budget but those attention getters account for nearly $1,000,000 of our budget. I wonder how many property tax bills amount to those attention getters??

Anonymous said...

RatsAsss said:

"105K for 25mph signs"

Having not read the budget, this is an honest question: Is that 105K for the signs and posts themselves or cost installed? (wages added)

Also, in just my small area of Seminole Heights alone the city installed 16 of these signs last year. Most of the streets in Seminole heights had no speed signage. It was one of the issues that landed Tampa in the top ten list for most pedestrian un-friendly cities in the country. (Default speed is 30mph if not posted.)

Given that this issue existed over most of the city, 105K is a believable number and I can imagine it rolling over for a number of years until the job is done.

Chris said...

ratsass - well, let's see. As of the 2000 census, Tampa had a population of 303,447 people with 124,758 occupied housing units. That works out to $8 per housing unit per year. (Homeowners pay this directly, and renters pay it indirectly through rents the landlords charge.)

Also, I'm not sure if you know how government (and really any nonprofit) budgeting works. If you remove a budget line item because you didn't spend it this year, it won't be in the budget for you next year when you probably will spend it. The logic is "If you took it out this year, you must not need it next year."

Anonymous said...

For the record re-read what I said about salaries. No Iorio did not deserve a 15% raise. No city council did not deserve a large raise. Lastly the number of positions over 80k per year is way out of wack. How quickly we forget Iorio hiring Fran Davin for 93k as a part-time assistant!!
The average city employee doesn't get paid what they should. What raises they get they should keep.

But with average incomes in Hillsborough county up by 40% over the past few years and tax revenue up by 80% in the same period. It is not rocket science to understand there is a problem.

Would it be great if the city focused on addressing long standing issues of speeding and cut through traffic with the sea of new revenue? You bet.
Would it be great if the money were used to rebuild crumbling sewers? Yes again.
If the crisis of deferred maintenance is putting the city in peril then put that extra money into those items...not wasting it on museum studys that go no where...modify the existing museum and add more popular exhibits. Eliminate that whole new Creative Industries boon doggle. Quit wasting money on the mayor's personal riverwalk monument. Quit giving away the store on impact fees to businesses to create $8-$12 an hour jobs...what is the logic multi-million or billion dollar business get a tax break that their new employee pay for at a less than living wage???!
It is no different when we the citizens of this community paid to build the Malcolm Glazer play pen. Did our infastructure just start to crumble?
Priorities. Most of us have enough sense not to go and blow our savings on expensive vacations if the roof is leaking and the sewer is backing up. Is it so foreign a concept to expect our elected officials to exercise the same judgement?
No we instead get folks that because they can't set priorities want to pick their neighbors pockets through the backdoor tax increase offer by rising assessments.

Tallahassee will curb local spending with whatever ammendment comes out of the legislature. It will pass when it gets to the ballot. Voters never fail when given the opportunity to vote themselves a tax cut. The tax revolt is here, it is not some distant possibility. Local city and county elected officials have no one to blame but themselves and their spending habits.

By the way...I would favor an income tax over a sales least than one I can ALWAYS itemize on my federal taxes.

Rick F.

Anonymous said...

Iorio doesn't deserve a 15% increease. I would agree if it were a 12 year increase, butthis was an 8 yr increase. That works out to a little over 2% per annum. How many of you have only had 2% per annum raises. Rick F, Iknow thqat because you are in RE laduring the RE Rush you hadmore than a 2% increawe...Maybe that's how you afforded your addition.

Also if your taxes rose 500% it might be becsause you didn't know the rules. If you increase the size of your by more than a give percentage, the County Tax Appraiser can reassess your home without the 3% cap. You should have read the rules more carefully.

Gwen Miller is q2ualified? NOT. She'snot even around when th budget is voted on. Denise Chavez? She hasnever done any more budgeting than try tomake payroll on her catering (Dinner to go) business. Her concerns aren't the budget, they're traffic in So. Tampa. She says so on a regular basis. She's know nothing about Central Tampa and even admitted it in the League of Women's Voters Panel discussion. Go ahead, vote for someone who has never done any work with the city, knows no one in the city departments and doesn't care aboutanything N.O.K! Makes sense to me!

Anonymous said...

Writing off your state income taxes on your federal taxes is nice. We can write off our sales taxes here, but it is harder to track. I just take an "average" amount. I know I spend more but that's sufficient for effort wasted in tracking Home Depot receipts.

Of course, an Income Tax is going to hurt you more than you think. For starters, Snow Birds won't pay it where they do pay property taxes now. So the income tax will have to be increased to make up for that loss. Even with your 25-30% write-off for state income tax, you'll pay more than you do now.

"Use" taxes are annoying, but they do something income taxes do not: tax the people that use the government service. Property tax is a use tax.

And again, Tallahassee spends the largest majority of that tax--not the County or the City, but Tallahassee. By focusing on the City, you've only picked the weaker target, not the one with the greatest impact.

Paul Willies said...

Do not under estimate Julie Jenkins' appeal to the community. This is no "soccer mum" - she is the only candidate with experience marketing Tampa internationally - as Marketing and Sales Manager for Virgin Atlantic Airways, Florida Chairperson for Travel Professionals... among other professional positions. She manages her own Investment and Rental Property company. She is deeply involved through her church and her children's school - with community issues. As a Congressional Aide to "Buddy" McKay, she experienced another side of politics - that will stand her in good stead. Having lived in Tampa 18 years, in Florida for 30 - she intimatly knows this community - both sides of Kennedy!

Anonymous said...

She has the benefit of comming from the part of town with the largest bankroll, most political power, and that gets the largest share of political attention (and thus funds). It is entirely fair, then, to worry that she'll have no reason to end this trend that has served her and her children so well these many years.

On the other hand, the largest neighborhood in the city of Tampa has a slew of problems that South Tampa doesn't have to worry about due to all that wonderful cash. A Bayshore jogger gets hit by a motorcycle and the entire city government mobilizes. Several people have died or been in serious accidents on Florida avenue and Code sends a letter asking the used car dealers to move their stock back 10 feet.

Julie is probably a very nice person. But there are lots of nice people in city government that, through their own routines, ignore the needs of Seminole Heights in favor of Ybor, Channelside, and South Tampa. If we are going to actually have a voice on council, we need someone who experiences what we experience sitting there.

It's not that I'm worried about Julie not caring about what happens North of Kennedy, it's that I'm worried that she couldn't imagine life North of I-275/I-4 at all.

People in Seminole Heights are paying as much as $8K a year for property tax that apparently is being well-spent calming South Tampa traffic and fixing New Tampa road issues.

IFly said...

Creative Loafing has an interesting little blurb about a recent candidate forum that doesn't appear to have been covered by the other papers:
Taking Exception With Iorio

Anonymous said...

There will be a run off in District 1. I am betting it will be Julie Jenkins with either Miller or Redner. Julie came from nowhere to a formible candidate. I am impressed with her campaign.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "formible" sounds about right! lol Although I agree with you that there will be a runoff....Miller and either Baron or Jenkins.

Anonymous said...

Julie "Jenkins" is the one for the District and I am "voting early". Thanks for working to help the entire City Julie.

Anonymous said...

...because anything that helps South Tampa helps the entire city.


Anonymous said...

I lay donuts to "developers dollars" that if Julie wins the district that she will not even know where to find Seminole Heights.

Much like the representation we get for " I knew New Tampa needed transportation issues addressed" Shawn Harrison - does Seminole Heights ever hear from him??? Oh wait we have - it must be election time.

I for one live in a neighborhood that has more importance that a vote during elections. Our votes go to Randy Baron.

YesterDazed said...

I urge everyone to watch the Candidate forum on COT TV Channel 15. It's very telling, and if you know nothing about any of the candidates, IMO Randy Barron is a stand-out among the choices. Even if he weren't from our neighborhood, I'd vote for him!

This forum airs at 11 a.m. on Mondays, 5 p.m. on Saturdays, 10 p.m. Sundays throughout February.

Watch it and see for yourself who knows and really cares about the issues!

IFly said...

Also you can view CCTV Ch 15 on the web:

Tampa Gov TV

Anonymous said...

Just got 10 of my neighbors to vote absentee for Julie "Jenkins"
Thanks Neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Absentee, how appropriate as I am sure that's just how she will be on issues that lie outside of South Tampa.

Anonymous said...

Absentee voter........just what words of wisdom did you use to convience your neighbors to vote for Julie? I haven't placed my absentee ballot yet - give it your best shot. Did she promise you a swim in her pool or a ride on a Gasparilla float next year??

Mal Carne said...

I'm gonna leave it like this: Back in early Dec. I was approached by a supporter of Julie Jenkins for the sole reason that I live in SH. This person wanted me to host a meet and greet at my house so that Julie could get some face time with people in the area. As I knew nothing of her, I said that we'd have to meet to ensure that she wasn't some white supremacist/Rhonda Storms type before opening my house to her.
Not another word has ever been said. Guess she didn't want the face time too badly.
Is this a comment on the importance of this part of town?

Greg said...


I think we all realize that about her but don't want to face the fact that the neighborhood isn't relevant to anyone SOK. She quickly realized that if she could carry South Tampa that she would not have to bother with any neighborhood north of Kennedy to get inot the runoff.

That is why it is sooooo important to our neighborhhod that we vote and support someone who not only lives in but cares about the our neighborhood and the city as a whole.

Bungalowlady said...

As almost none of you hae had in depth interviews with each of the candidates fro Dist 1, most of your opinions are based on PR and personal biases...both good and bad. The St. Pete Times spent several hours with each candidate trying to find out where they stood on everything from the budget to the Art Museum to affordable housing. They said Randy Baron is the best choice in this race. So,maybe you ought to spend some face time with these candidates and find out what they really are.