Wednesday, September 26, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa’s charter, getting its first review, will seek public comment Wednesday

For the first time since the city adopted a home-rule charter in 1975, a nine-member appointed commission has been meeting to consider possible changes to Tampa's city charter.

The Charter Review Commission's inaugural work might be new to Tampa, but St. Petersburg, Clearwater and the county governments in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties have had similar bodies review their charters at five or ten year intervals for years.

On Wednesday, the commission will hold its first public workshop to see the ideas residents have for changing the way the city works.

Not everyone thinks much needs to change, including Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who would have veto power over any changes.

Buckhorn said, aside from eliminating outdated language or legislative inconsistencies, "my sense is that the community is not interested in wholesale change on any level," Buckhorn said in a statement Monday. "It is a charter that has stood the test of time….There is no need to fix what is not broken."

Tampa, the mayor said, is efficient, transparent and high functioning in its current structure. Its strong-mayor system gives "voters confidence that someone is in charge," he said.

So far, commissioners have discussed whether city workers should be required to live within city limits and what kind of subpoena or investigative powers should belong to City Council among other subjects.  The only formal motion—to limit city council members to a maximum of 16 consecutive years—failed by a 5-4 vote at the December meeting, although it will be held open for public comment, according to the commission's minutes.

Since August, the commission has met five times. Starting this month, it will meet twice a month until May, when the commission will forward its suggestions to council members.

The council can adopt some, all or none of those suggestions. Whatever the council approves would proceed to the ballot for voters to decide. If Buckhorn decides to veto anything, it would take five council members to override the veto—the same number required to vote to put any charter measure on the ballots, said City Council attorney Martin Shelby.

The meeting will take place between  5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.in the City Council chambers on the third floor of Old City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd.

Comments
It took awhile, but Tampa City Council approves Buckhorn’s last budget

It took awhile, but Tampa City Council approves Buckhorn’s last budget

It took 5 ½  hours, punctuated by 90 minutes of breaks to work out the fiscal math, but the Tampa City Council approved a  more than $1 billion budget Monday after striking a deal that allows city employees to keep their current health...
Published: 09/24/18
Updated: 09/25/18
‘Strippers, Cigars and Gasparilla’: Topher Morrison wants to rebrand Tampa

‘Strippers, Cigars and Gasparilla’: Topher Morrison wants to rebrand Tampa

No one can accuse Topher Morrison of not having ideas.The branding consultant turned political candidate has lots of them. Make Tampa known for its rooftop scene? Yes, and: hold a contest to see who can build an elevator that wraps around a building ...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/22/18
Hillsborough commission candidates still dancing on sales tax for transportation

Hillsborough commission candidates still dancing on sales tax for transportation

In a Seminole Heights forum last week, only one of four county commission candidates, Kimberly Overman, responded directly to a question about whether they back a proposal for a one-cent sales tax increase for transportation improvements – she'...
Published: 09/21/18
Pinellas commission candidate Amy Kedron loses support from council member and commissioner

Pinellas commission candidate Amy Kedron loses support from council member and commissioner

Pinellas County Commission candidate Amy Kedron has lost a key endorsement from one of the few elected officials who publicly supported her campaign.St. Petersburg City Council member Gina Driscoll said she pulled her endorsement after Kedron told th...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Capin on Buckhorn and Ulele: ‘If it was his bust, he’d light it up.’

Capin on Buckhorn and Ulele: ‘If it was his bust, he’d light it up.’

Tampa City Council member Yvonne Yolie Capin blasted Mayor Bob Buckhorn for his administration's decision to remove a bronze bust of Ulele, a mythical Indian princess, from the city's Riverwalk this week.Capin, who has clashed with the mayor over the...
Published: 09/20/18
Tampa City Council approves liquour and rezoning for Stovall House making it private club

Tampa City Council approves liquour and rezoning for Stovall House making it private club

It took nearly 13 hours over three weeks, but developer Blake Casper won City Council approval to convert the historic Stovall House on Bayshore Boulevard to a private club.On Thursday, council members listened to nearly six hours of testimony on the...
Published: 09/20/18
Buckhorn says Tampa City Council playing politics with budget

Buckhorn says Tampa City Council playing politics with budget

Mayor Bob Buckhorn's hot take from watching Monday's City Council budget hearing?"I think, unfortunately, reality met election year politics," said the mayor on Tuesday.The City Council voted unanimously to delay final approval of the city's more tha...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18
DeSantis’s school visit is “not a campaign stop,” Hillsborough district says

DeSantis’s school visit is “not a campaign stop,” Hillsborough district says

Social media this morning was abuzz with questions about gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis's planned 2 p.m. visit to Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy, a public middle school in Hillsborough County.Educators are asking: Wouldn't this be a violatio...
Published: 09/18/18
Bronze bust of Princess Ulele hauled away before dawn from Tampa Riverwalk

Bronze bust of Princess Ulele hauled away before dawn from Tampa Riverwalk

TAMPA — With only a moving crew as witnesses, an 1,800 pound bronze bust of Native American Princess Ulele was hoisted up and hauled away before dawn Tuesday under orders from the city of Tampa.The sculpture was installed in December on ci...
Published: 09/18/18
Tampa City Council rejects Buckhorn budget over health care costs

Tampa City Council rejects Buckhorn budget over health care costs

TAMPA — The city's $1 billion-plus city budget was put on hold Monday evening by a City Council determined to strike a better deal for Tampa employees on health care costs.After a sometimes tense 2 ½ hour hearing, the City Council delayed ...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/18/18