Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

District 4: No incumbent, so five look to step up

TAMPA — The five candidates vying for the wide open District 4 City Council seat have similar ideas on trimming the city's budget and creating new jobs.

Most believe the city should consolidate some services, such as fleet maintenance and solid waste, with Hillsborough County or state agencies. Many talk about moving the city's retirement plan from defined pensions to 401(k)s for new hires. Several think permits and fees for new businesses need to be eased.

With no incumbents, South Tampa voters have to look deeper into the candidates' platforms to see clear differences as to whom they want to represent the district that includes Davis Islands, Historic Hyde Park and Palma Ceia.

Joseph Citro, 52, a hair stylist and magistrate on the city code enforcement board, believes Tampa doesn't have enough money to start new projects and proposes that departments cut 12 percent from each of their budgets to help stabilize the city's finances. He wants to entice light manufacturing and assembly companies to the Port of Tampa. Fixing street flooding problems would be a top priority for South Tampa.

"With me, there's not going to be any on-the-job training," he said, referring to skills gained on the code enforcement board. "There will be no learning curve."

Harry Cohen, 40, an attorney, said he has the experience making tough cuts, having helped slice a budget for court services by almost 15 percent during his tenure as the former Hillsborough Clerk of the Circuit Court's chief deputy.

"I think we're going to have to look at a lot of creative ways to look at things," he said.

He wants to recruit companies that would use Tampa as a home base for doing business with Central and South America and the Caribbean. Also, pedestrian and bicycle safety are his major neighborhood issues.

Tony DeSisto, 26, a private attorney, touts a 10-point "Tampa plan." He looked to the city of Pittsburgh's ability to reinvent itself in the 1980s as a path Tampa should follow. He thinks the city should use the Moffitt Cancer Center and University of South Florida to attract more "green" and biotechnology companies, which would bring in more young professionals who could shore up the depressed housing market.

While all the candidates want to diversify Tampa's economy, Julie Jenkins, 49, wants to promote its tourism industry better. Once a bread-and-butter sector, she calls it a neglected "stepchild" these days.

Jenkins, a former account executive for Virgin Atlantic Airways, wants Tampa to become a convention capital, which would be a first step in luring major businesses to relocate here permanently. With travel regulations to Cuba being eased, she said, Tampa should be first in line to forge new business relationships.

Dennis Meyers, 42, a private attorney, serves as chairman of the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance and helped restructure and reorganize the agency after it was accused of misspending federal funds. He's also the incoming president of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

Like most candidates, he believes that permits need to be eased and incentives floated to recruit new businesses. But the Gulf War veteran has a unique idea that goes beyond that: recruiting veterans to start businesses in Tampa.

So many military members are coming back from overseas to a depressed economy and no jobs. The ardent military supporter believes helping them get their business ideas off the ground will make Tampa even more of a hub for government workers and contractors.

Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368 or jgeorge@sptimes.com.

District 4: No incumbent, so five look to step up 02/24/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Bucs

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  3. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  4. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  5. Mastermind of lottery rigging scam that netted millions faces 25 years

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to build computers used to randomly pick numbers for some of the most popular …

    FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director who admitted to masterminding a scheme to rig lottery games that paid him and others $2 million from seven fixed jackpots in five states, is seen in court in Des Moines, Iowa. Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 22. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) IADES501