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Mayor, firefighters get along _ for now

For one night, Tampa's firefighters and Mayor Sandy Freedman called a truce, albeit a temporary one. Freedman spoke briefly to firefighters as they gathered for the Tampa Fire Department's second annual awards banquet at the Tampa Garden Center on Friday night.

"No matter what our differences are, we're in this together," she told the crowd of about 290 people. "We've got the public to serve. I know we've got a great department and the public knows that, too."

Despite Freedman's veto this week of 37 new hires for the department, her audience was pleased with her visit and the spirit of her speech.

"We're just happy she came. It's not a night for politics," said firefighter Jose Bibiloni, 32.

But whether the firefighters will support Freedman for re-election in March is another question.

This week's agenda:

Thursday _ The Westshore Midday Business and Professional Women will sponsor a candidate forum at noon at the Centre Club, 123 S West Shore Blvd. The cost is $15, or $10 for members. Reservations must be made by Tuesday. Call Denise Chenault at 876-3196.

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