Tampa City Council will adjourn early for Obama
Tampa City Council will adjourn early on Thursday so board members can skedaddle on over to the University of Tampa for Barack Obama's town hall meeting at 12:30 p.m. Mayor Pam Iorio extended the invitation to the council after the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs notified her she would have 20 tickets to the event for herself, the City Council and others. Iorio gave one ticket each to Randolph Kinsey, a columnist for the Sentinel Bulletin, a Tampa newspaper that focuses on the African-American community; Fran Davin, a longtime friend and political adviser; Kay Menzel, who managed Iorio's mayoral campaigns; Bridgett McCormick, Iorio's executive assistant; and Sophia Sorolis, Iorio's appointee to the Tampa Housing Authority. She gave two tickets to each of the city council members.
The council typically breaks for lunch at noon. But Chairman Tom Scott said Thursday's meeting will end at 10:30 a.m., giving them 90 minutes to complete workshops on the police and firefighter pension fund and the zoning appeals process. Two other workshops had been scheduled for Thursday -- one on illegal political signs and another on alcoholic beverage licensing. But Scott said city attorneys asked the council to postpone them to later dates. Joseph Caetano, the only Republican on the council, says he'll be going to the event. "I may be a Republican, but he's our president," Caetano said.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita, whose district includes the University of Tampa, will receive two tickets to the event. All the other commissioners will receive one ticket. Commission chairman Ken Hagan says, he won't be going to see Obama because he has a prior commitment.
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer