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Tampa mayor, council candidate replies

Ed Turanchik | Mayor

I am proud of consistently being characterized as the "visionary" in this race. But naturally I take objection to your questioning my follow-through. That assertion is simply not true.

The Olympic effort I led brought $2.5 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail. Civitas laid the foundation for the current Encore development. The rail referendum was a great effort, with the wrong plan and tough timing. I've outlined an affordable, regional plan that I believe voters will support. My affordable housing career in West Tampa, a neighborhood that had been neglected for years by my opponents? Today, 50 families are living proof that a neighborhood can be revitalized one lot at a time. The Lightning arena is downtown because of my leadership and tenacity.

I could go on, but I invite voters to compare my accomplishments with Bob Buckhorn's. They will find a record of vision that works.

Susan Long | District 2

After $160,000 plus benefits over four years, Mary Mulhern has succeeded in accomplishing nothing substantial. Not even her community gardens project is complete. While my campaign may have started by sending a message that residents, police and businesses should not be ignored on the issue of panhandling, my positions on other issues are equally important. They include creating an atmosphere that encourages job growth and creation, streamlining processes, returning taxpayer dollars to the taxpayers, and being willing to compromise to make things happen.

Mulhern can criticize the city for not utilizing its port, airport or universities sufficiently, but she has yet to provide solutions. In her own words, her top 10 accomplishments include: walking with neighbors, voting in favor of neighborhood initiatives and not getting involved in neighborhood internal fights. Those are basic functions of every City Council person.

Michael Ciftci | District 3

I'm delighted that the Times acknowledges I have energy our community desperately needs in the Tampa City Council, District 3 seat if we are to get Tampa back to work.

My experience helping private companies in key industries in Florida and internationally manage their relationships with governments has given me the knowledge to understand how government can help the private economy grow and create jobs. I pledge to work hard to make Tampa a business-friendly city that creates the good jobs our citizens require while maintaining our beautiful and healthy environment. I hope to serve as the "customer service desk" for all constituents, especially for the small business community.

If we can right-size our city government and get rid of the regulations that don't protect our citizens or our environment but do impede our economy and kill jobs, Tampa can reach its full promise.

Jason Wilson | District 3

The Times editorial board noted that I have "sound ideas for balancing commercial and residential uses in neighborhoods."

As a young physician, I will bring much more depth as your representative on City Council. I have the vision and skill set to lead this city through an economic transition by finding ways to attract young professionals to our area and create opportunities in all neighborhoods, from Port Tampa to New Tampa.

I serve my patients within the hospital walls every day, and I want to provide voters with that same level of service, accountability, accessibility and integrity. The budget is your tax dollars and we must spend them wisely by looking for job creation and business growth opportunities.

Kelly Benjamin | District 6

I appreciate the Times' acknowledgment that I have a deep understanding of the issues facing the city. It's disappointing that my opponent does not.

Tampa is facing many tough challenges over the next few years. Re-electing a career politician who has been in office since the Nixon administration is not an answer. My opponent has not been an advocate for sustainable economic growth and doesn't fully understand the concept of livable communities despite being a relic of an era that saw much of that livability in Tampa's neighborhoods destroyed. He has represented West Tampa on and off since 1974 and he has done absolutely nothing to encourage the redevelopment of its historic downtown core.

I am coming up with innovative solutions to the waves of converging crises facing Tampa in the 21st century. Fresh ideas, years of commitment and fifth generation in Tampa: I am ready to serve this community.

Tampa mayor, council candidate replies 02/20/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 20, 2011 3:30am]

    

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