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Tampa City Council District 2 candidates

Tampa City Council | District 2

Incumbent Mary Mulhern, who has served four years in this at-large seat, faces two political newcomers. Susan W. Long joined the race, frustrated that the council had not banned panhandling. Both she and Scott Strepina say the city would benefit from their backgrounds in finance. Tia Mitchell, Times staff writer

About the job: District 2 is an at-large seat, meaning it serves voters citywide. Council members serve four-year terms and are paid $40,250. City elections are nonpartisan.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to compare the candidates.

Susan W. Long, 64
Seminole Heights (D)
Mary Mulhern, 52
South Tampa (D)
Scott Strepina, 32
Palma Ceia (R)
Experience Long has never run for office, but she has been a regular fixture at City Hall speaking on various neighborhood issues. She is the former president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association. She serves on the city's Code Enforcement Board/Public Nuisance Abatement Board. Long is a college professor. An artist by trade, Mulhern was elected to the Tampa City Council in 2007. She serves as chairwoman of the council's Finance Committee and vice chairwoman of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Committee. She also serves on the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Strepina moved into the Tampa area in 2001. He doesn't have any political experience but says his financial expertise garnered while working as an account executive for Coca-Cola would benefit the council. He handles business development for a print, design and marketing firm.
Education Bachelor's degree, Syracuse University; master's of business administration and doctorate, University of South Carolina Bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan Finance degree from Northern Illinois University
panhandling be prohibited and, if so, to what extent?
"It should be totally banned and not driven into the neighborhoods." Voted in favor of an
ordinance prohibiting
panhandling at busy
intersections. The
proposal failed.
Supports a ban on all city streets. Says nonprofit organizations should be tapped to provide services to the homeless.
How would you address the city's budget issues? She would consider eliminating nonessential departments, as well as adjustments to employee salaries and benefits. She created a Citizens Budget Advisory Committee that gives the council recommendations for the budget. Focus on funding pensions while considering privatization and consolidation of certain services with the county.
What would be your top priority if elected? Getting a total ban on
panhandling, which would lead to economic development.
Top priorities are job
creation, balancing the budget and to "make Tampa a livable city."
Business development. "Businesses in our city do not feel the city is consistent in its zoning."
How will you balance needs of neighborhoods with the needs of downtown? Sees no conflict between the two because a vibrant downtown helps neighborhoods thrive and vice versa. "This is not a matter of balancing but serving the needs of all neighborhoods, including downtown." "Encourage growth in downtown, which will result in increased tax revenues to the city, allowing the funding of additional infrastructure projects."
Assets Home, car, retirement account Home and retirement account Two homes and a retirement account
Liabilities Mortgage and car payment Mortgage and home equity loan Mortgage and auto loan
Income Teaching positions and retirement accounts City Council salary Salary, rental property, freelance marketing work
Personal Divorced with two adult children Married with two children Married with one child
E-mail susan4citycouncil@

Tampa City Council District 2 candidates

02/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 25, 2011 3:50pm]
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