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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Buckhorn likely would veto expansion of City Council parking perk

City of Tampa



The ordinance to expand the City Council’s parking privileges hasn’t been drafted yet, but its sponsor should expect a veto from Mayor Bob Buckhorn if it goes forward.

“The likelihood of me allowing that ordinance to pass is probably slim and none,” Buckhorn said Friday.

If Buckhorn did block the ordinance, it would be his first veto since being elected in 2011.

On Thursday, council member Yvonne Yolie Capin moved that an ordinance be drafted to grant council members free parking anytime and for any length of time at city garages, parking lots and in metered spaces on the street.

Capin says the idea is to make it a little easier for council members to serve on the many outside boards they’re appointed to around town.

“You’re running from one meeting to the other,” she said. “It’s just not easy to get around. ... This is one little perk that could help us do our job a little bit better.”

But Buckhorn said it’s not necessary.

“The ability for council members to get reimbursed for parking has been in place for a long time,” he said. “I think it’s totally unnecessary, and I hope when it gets to council for first reading wiser heads would prevail.”

Along with being able to get reimbursed for parking while on city business, council members — except for Charlie Miranda, who doesn’t take it — get a car allowance of $1,800 a year.

Under Tampa’s charter, it would take at least a two-thirds vote of the council, or five of seven members, to override a veto.

While five members of council voted to prepare the ordinance, that doesn’t necessarily mean they support the idea.

That’s because it’s common for council members to support drafting proposed ordinances as a courtesy to their colleagues even when they don’t like the idea.

For example, Miranda last week voted to schedule a vote on an ordinance to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, but said he would vote against the measure when it comes up for a vote on March 3.

Capin acknowledged there’s no guarantee enough support would be there to override a veto.

“Well, I tried,” she said. But “I don’t give up. It does not discourage me at all from doing what I think is appropriate.”

[Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2016 4:59pm]


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