Tampa officials zing Charlotte over convention secrecy
Each is receiving a $50 million grant to cover police expenses related to its convention. In
Now members of each City Council are defending their own city’s approach to striking the necessary balance between security and open government.
“This same process is happening in
City Council chairman Charlie Miranda said that while
“This discussion that we’re having is never happening in that city, because they put it (with) the city manager,” Miranda said. “They hide it away. … There’s no vote taken. There’s no discussion. There’s nothing.”
After hearing from Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, who briefed council members on the camera purchase beforehand and discussed it further at the meeting, Suarez thanked her “for being so open.”
“We’re so different than
To understand why Suarez is grateful, consider this report from the Charlotte Observer. In January, the newspaper reported that
That's because the council voted the year before to give the
After Thursday’s Tampa Council meeting,
“Inasmuch as we would like to be transparent, the one thing you don't want to be is so open with your security (that) you leave yourself open for an attack of some sort,” Charlotte Council member Patrick Cannon told WSOC.
“We've asked our city manager, we've tasked him with taking these dollars, and it's a huge task,” Charlotte Council member Andy Dulin said. “He's not doing it by himself. He has folks helping him, and I'm comfortable that the city manager can handle it here in
To be sure,
And the reluctance to disclose details has included one of
Early last week, police initially said details of a second purchase going to the City Council for approval – $1.9 million for police protective gear – were exempt from disclosure under Florida's Public Records Law because they concerned security system plans.
But when Castor briefed council members before their meeting, she answered their questions about the purpose of the purchase. And immediately after those briefings, she told a Tampa Bay Times reporter generally what the money would buy.
"Much to the chagrin of the Secret Service, we have been very transparent," Buckhorn said. "I understand they have their job, but I also have my job and (Castor) has her job, and our job is to make sure our citizens know what we're doing and why we're doing it to the extent possible."