Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Voting by phone, Charlie Miranda could break deadlock to pass Tampa panhandling ban

TAMPA — Chairman Charlie Miranda won't be back for next week's Tampa City Council meeting, but for the first time in two months, his vote will.

And Miranda said Wednesday he plans to cast a vote by phone in favor of three proposed ordinances that would scale back panhandling and other forms of roadside solicitation on city streets.

If he sticks to that — and no other council members change their votes from last week's 3-3 tie on the issue — the council would pass a partial ban on panhandling that has eluded supporters for a year or more.

"It's time that we settled this issue once and for all," Miranda said. "It's been around too long."

Miranda has consistently said that he does not support a full ban on all roadside solicitation, but would be open to a partial ban, and said he will support what's before the council now.

As proposed, most roadside solicitations would be banned six days a week. Newspaper vendors could work the medians every day, and panhandling and charity drives also would be allowed on Sundays. But none of those activities would be allowed on any day at the 10 most crash-prone intersections in the city.

"It's a balance of everything," Miranda said, calling the proposal a "good middle-of-the-road thing" that the city can keep records on and revise if necessary.

Miranda, who is at home recovering from several serious surgeries this summer, told colleagues in a memo that he plans to vote at the Oct. 6 council meeting on two issues.

The first is the proposed six-day ban on panhandling, with exceptions for newspaper sales. The second is a contract to hire a private company to read half the water meters in the city.

As the council chairman, Miranda has the authority under the city charter to decide matters of procedure, unless a majority of the council votes to overrule him, according to City Attorney Jim Shimberg Jr. and City Council Attorney Martin Shelby.

Moreover, several Florida attorney general opinions establish that participating in a meeting by telephone does not violate the Sunshine Law as long as there is a quorum of members physically present at the meeting, Shimberg said.

Miranda, 70, went into the hospital in mid July for the repair of a hernia. That led to two more surgeries and about three weeks in intensive care at Tampa General Hospital.

Now recovering at home, Miranda said Wednesday that he expects to be able to resume a regular City Council schedule in mid to late October.

Voting by phone, Charlie Miranda could break deadlock to pass Tampa panhandling ban 09/28/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep


    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  4. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman


    TAMPA — When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Throughout her battle with brain cancer, Beth Caldwell, 35, keeps her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7, on her mind.
  5. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.