Pam Iorio to receive Hillsborough's good government award
Former Tampa mayor, supervisor of elections and county commissioner Pam Iorio will receive this year's Ellsworth G. Simmons Good Government Award on Wednesday.
The Hillsborough County Commission has given the award annually since 1996 to honor a group or individual who has played a significant role in improving government through leadership and vision.
A two-term mayor who was viewed positively by 87 percent of city voters when she left office in 2011, Iorio:
• Built the city's reserve fund from less than $51 million (about 15 percent of city expenditures) to a robust $106 million (or 25 percent of expenditures).
• Invested half a billion dollars in new water, sewer and storm drain pipes.
• Expanded the Riverwalk and opened the Tampa Bay History Center, the new Tampa Museum of Art, the Glazer Children's Museum and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
• Saw a 61.5 percent drop in serious felonies in Tampa over eight years.
Last August, Iorio was recruited to serve as interim CEO of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County after the agency's previous leader resigned amid questions about how the agency handled contracts, spent money and dealt with employees. In her first two weeks on the job, she cut more than a quarter of the staff, increasing the percentage of the agency's money budgeted for children's programs.
Past recipients of the award include University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft; Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank; the late Nettie M. Draughon, Plant City’s longtime city manager; the late Sam Gibbons, who represented Tampa in Congress for 34 years; former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco; former Hillsborough County Sheriff Cal Henderson; state Sen. Tom Lee; former state legislator H. Lee Moffitt; and former Supervisor of Elections Earl J. Lennard.