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Tampa City Council District 4 candidates

Tampa City Council | District 4

Three attorneys, a stylist and a sales and marketing executive are all vying for the South Tampa seat held by Yvonne Yolie Capin, who is running for an at-large position. All of the candidates support consolidating some city services with other governments and agencies to save money but differ on what their top priorities would be in office. Justin George, Times staff writer

About the job: District 4 includes Ballast Point, Bayshore Beautiful, Bayshore Gardens, Port Tampa, Davis Islands, Historic Hyde Park, New Suburb Beautiful, Palma Ceia, Gandy/Sun Bay South and South Westshore. City Council members serve four-year terms and are paid $40,250 a year.

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

Part 1 Joseph V. Citro, 52
Bayshore Beautiful (R)
Harry Cohen, 40
Bayshore Gardens (D)
Tony DeSisto, 26
Bel Mar Shores (R)
Experience President of the Tiger Bay political club, Citro has been a member of several civic and neighborhood groups, including the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Rough Riders and the League of Women Voters. He has served on the Tampa Civil Service Board. Since 2002, he has served as a city magistrate for the Code Enforcement Board. Citro ran for the same council seat in 2007. He works as a color stylist for Divas Hair and Nail Salon. For six years, Cohen was the chief deputy to Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank before he resigned in January to focus on his campaign. He is running for an elected office for the first time. Over the past decade, the Tampa native has been active in campaigns for Frank and Phyllis Busansky, former Hillsborough County supervisor of elections. A contract and business law attorney, DeSisto is a member of the Florida Bar, the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee and volunteers as a Big Brother. He worked on Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe's campaign and has lived in Tampa for five years.
Education High school graduate Bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College, law degree from New York Law School Bachelor's degree in economics from Bates College, law degree from Stetson University
What specific ideas do you have for addressing the city's ongoing budget issues and create jobs? He would request a 12 percent reduction in department budgets and transition the city's pension plan to a 401K retirement plan. He hopes to change the city's code to make it easier for small businesses to open in Tampa and entice more light manufacturing and assembly companies to take advantage of the Port of Tampa. Consolidating fleet maintenance, solid waste and purchasing with Hillsborough County should be considered. "In the city, we should look at each item and ask some basic questions: Is there a more efficient or less expensive way to provide this service? Is there another government agency or private sector alternative that could provide this service for less?" He said health care costs and retirement benefits for future hires should be examined closely and other options should be reviewed. He would like to consolidate some services with county and state offices. He thinks the city should consolidate its fleet maintenance, purchasing, human resources and building departments with Hillsborough County and privatize warehousing and janitorial services. He recommends cutting 5 percent from the salaries of employees who make $100,000 a year or more, as well as City Council members. He thinks permitting issues should be eased for new businesses. Green and biotechnology companies should be lured with tax incentives.
What city programs or departments are your biggest priorities? Permitting, construction services, water, and parking Budget, public safety, water and sewer services. Budget, jobs, roads and infrastructure.
If high-speed rail comes to Tampa, should the city rework its transportation system to fit it? He said the city needs to overhaul its mass transit system. The HART bus system is not efficient enough for the people who need it, he added. "If our bus system is not meeting the needs of the people," he said, "how can we have faith in the same system to oversee light rail or tie into high-speed rail?" He said it would make sense to use the high-speed rail terminal station that could be built in Tampa as a major transportation hub with access points all over the region. Any comprehensive plan should include a way to move passengers from the high-speed train terminal to the airport, he said. Create a regional approach to light rail to spur economic development.
What is your position on the public funding for a Tampa Bay Rays stadium in Tampa? "I do not want taxpayers' money to pay for a new home for the Tampa Bay Rays, donate land used by the city or Hillsborough County," he said. To move to Tampa, the Rays would have to break their contract with St. Petersburg, setting a precedent that ownership would do so again in the future, he said. "We do not have money available for this type of expenditure right now," he said. "I certainly hope there's a regional approach to keeping the Rays in this metropolitan area." "If the Rays want to come to Tampa that would be great," he said, "but I don't support the city putting any money to bring them here."
Assets Home, life insurance Home, investment properties, retirement account, bank account Bank account
Liabilities Mortgage, credit cards, vehicle payment Mortgages None
Income Salary Salary Salary
Personal Girlfriend of five years Single Wife, two kids
E-mail [email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Part 2 Julie Jenkins, 49
Bel Mar Shores (D)
Dennis Meyers, 42
Ballast Point (D)
Experience A one-time staff intern for a U.S. representative in the 1980s, Jenkins has been active in the Dale Mabry Elementary School and Coleman Middle School parent teacher associations and was a Courier City and Bel Mar Shores neighborhood association officer. She has lived in Tampa for 23 years and works as a sales marketing account executive in a family business. A Gulf War veteran, Meyers is the incoming president of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce and, since July 1, the chairman of the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, which Meyers helped restructure and reorganize to make more fiscally accountable after the state accused the organization of misspending federal funds.
Education Bachelor's degree in political science from St. Leo University Bachelor's degree in international politics from Penn State University, law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law
What specific ideas do you have for addressing the city's ongoing budget issues and create jobs? She would like to look at consolidating some services, including fleet maintenance, parks and recreation and purchasing, with Hillsborough County and review all salaries in city government. She would also like to boost tourism and bring more green technology jobs to Tampa. He said the permitting process needs to be eased for small businesses. He supports using city incentives to attract new businesses. He would like to offer incentives to veterans who want to start businesses in Tampa.
What city programs or departments are your biggest priorities? Tourism and conventions Budget, jobs and permitting
If high-speed rail comes to Tampa, should the city rework its transportation system to fit it? "Work on improving and connecting our current bus system," she said. "The route systems should make sense particularly to the airport and other areas needed." She would also like to see road infrastructure improved. He supports resurrecting a light rail proposal that would be funded more "creatively." He said the light rail line should tie into Tampa International Airport and the Westshore business area.
What is your position on the public funding for a Tampa Bay Rays stadium in Tampa? "First, see what happens with St. Pete and how the issue is resolved," she said. "We should look into private funds, tax incentives to keep (the Rays) in Tampa Bay." If the team's agreement with St. Petersburg breaks down, he said, the mayor should consider luring the Rays to Tampa. He thinks a stadium could spur economic development along Dale Mabry Highway or downtown. "I think the Rays would do great in Tampa," he said.
Assets Home, investment properties, bank accounts Home, investment property, retirement account
Liabilities Mortgages, loans. Mortgage, loan, student loan
Income Salary, rental properties, 401(k) distribution Salary
Personal Husband, two children Wife
E-mail [email protected] [email protected]

Tampa City Council District 4 candidates

02/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 25, 2011 3:45pm]
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