Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick has a remarkable capacity for wasting his time and political clout by thinking small, talking big and picking pointless fights with the mayor. The city's poorest neighborhoods deserve better from their representative.
Reddick blasted Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn last week after the mayor reorganized the Clean City division, whose employees are responsible for cleaning up trash, graffiti, illegally dumped items and overgrown grass. Reddick said it was unfair and "cold-blooded" to fire the Clean City manager in the wake of a disastrous audit. And he warned that the city's midlevel managers should "not be able to sleep at night" because of the mayor's unilateral act. "I would be filling out resumes right now," he said, "trying to get the hell out of this government."
Shortly after being elected in 2011, Reddick needlessly jabbed at Buckhorn over plans to renovate a pool in his east Tampa district. Now he's criticizing the mayor for taking decisive action in the wake of an internal audit that found that Clean City employees wasted public money on equipment and didn't do their work.
Reddick's latest criticism was not a principled dispute but grandstanding. That only diminishes the voice of a council member whose district is to be home to the biggest projects on the drawing board in Tampa, from new downtown development to parks and housing.