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Tampa City Council District 6

Tampa City Council | District 6

Incumbent Charlie Miranda has served on the City Council for 17 years over three decades while challenger Kelly Benjamin is a neighborhood activist, teacher and former community radio station operator. Both come from families with deep Tampa roots. Justin George, Times staff writer



About the job: District 6 includes Westshore Palms, West Tampa, Drew Park, Beach Park, Lowry Park, Lincoln Gardens, Tampa Heights and parts of Seminole Heights. City Council members serve four-year terms and are paid $40,250 a year. City elections are nonpartisan.

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

Kelly Benjamin, 35
Seminole Heights (D)
Charlie Miranda, 70
Plaza Terrace area (D)
Experience Benjamin worked with refugees in Croatia after the Balkan conflict, teaching classes and helping to build a school and infrastructure. He has held several positions, including college and elementary school teacher, journalist and operator of a Seminole Heights community radio station. He ran for a citywide council seat in 2003 and has served as a local and international planning commission consultant. He is involved in several neighborhood groups. ? Since 1974, Miranda has been elected five times to the City Council. He works as a state steward for Florida Thoroughbred Horse Racing, judging races and administering rules and regulations. He has also owned and trained horses. He was an owner of well-known restaurant Cafe Pepe in the 1980s and 1990s and worked as a busboy at the Columbia Restaurant as a youth.
Education Bachelor's degree in urban anthropology from the University of South Florida; some graduate classes in Florida studies Bachelor's degree in criminology from the University of Tampa
What specific ideas do you have for addressing the city's ongoing budget issues and to create jobs? Audit city contracts for waste and better management, reform the pension system, streamline the budget and cut the fat. He wants to diversify the economy by using incentives to attract businesses that deal in solar power, medical technology, aerospace, international trade and electronics. Consider a 5 percent cut in salaries across the board in lieu of layoffs or department eliminations. Continue to use incentives to recruit new businesses and help current companies expand. Use property tax dollars in community redevelopment areas to spur more downtown development.
Growth management and development services, community redevelopment, neighborhood and community relations. What city programs or departments are your biggest
priorities?
Water supply and infrastructure issues. "Without an underground infrastructure in place, you cannot have growth and you cannot have prosperity and jobs."
If high-speed rail comes to Tampa, should the city rework its
transportation system to fit it?
Tampa is behind every major metropolitan area in the country when it comes to a viable mass transit system. Multiple options need to be explored, including public-private partnerships to create a system quickly and affordably. The HART bus system needs to be expanded. Smaller buses should be used more frequently to decrease wait times. The city and county need to do a better job educating the public on the benefits of light rail if that idea is revisited.
What is your
position on public funding for a Tampa Bay Rays stadium in Tampa?
"In this economic climate, I am against a publicly funded stadium." Opposed to this use of public funds and also voted against using public money to build Raymond James Stadium for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Assets Home, investment property Bank accounts, home, investment properties
Mortgages, student loans Liabilities None
Income Varies, including some teaching pay and freelance journalism jobs State job, City Council salary, Social Security income, rental property
Personal Married, no children Widower, three children
Website votekelly.org None
E-mail kelly@votekelly.org None

Tampa City Council District 6 02/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 25, 2011 3:32pm]
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