Saul-Sena returns to Tampa City Council
Former Tampa City Council member Linda Saul-Sena returned to the council chambers on Thursday, this time as a citizen concerned about historic preservation. Saul-Sena resigned abruptly from her council post in June to run for Hillsborough County Commission. She made the hasty exit because she missed the deadline to file resign-to-run papers. As Saul-Sena approached the audience side of the lectern on Thursday, council chairman Tom Scott remarked: "Good morning. Welcome back. I believe I recognize you."
Saul-Sena was there to weigh in on a debate about changes to the city's historic preservation code that would get communities involved early in the process of designating historic districts. Some residents in the Hampton Terrace neighborhood have been battling just such a designation, saying it's being done without their permission. They want the code changed to require a vote by property owners before creating a historic district. Saul-Sena said that's a bad idea. She pointed out that the City Council makes a final decision on designations, and they can do it with community input at a public hearing. Requiring a vote of neighbors "would be a mess." "I encourage you not to go to a voting process," she said. "You'll be getting the neighborhood equivalent of hanging chads."
Saul-Sena, a Democrat, is running for the countywide District 5 commission seat against Republican Ken Hagan and Jim Hosler, who is running with no party affiliation.