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Charlie Frago - Tampa City Hall Reporter

Tampa City Hall Reporter

Florida is the ninth state I’ve lived in. Hopefully, it’s the last. My family and I live in Clearwater and try to get to the beach at least once a month. I grew up mostly in the Midwest, but have spent the bulk of my adult years in the greater South, teaching elementary school and studying history in Texas before working for newspapers in Arkansas and North Carolina. I started my journalism career in Chicago. That’s where I met my wife. We like to visit the city of her birth as often as we can. Along with our two teenagers, we also spend time with my family in the Missouri Ozarks and New Hampshire’s lake country. It’s nice to see ridges and mountains every once in a while. Florida feels more like home each year. A big part of that is the reporting I’ve done for the Times, covering Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa since 2013. In nearly a quarter-century of being a reporter, I never covered City Halls before coming to Florida and I’ve become interested in all things municipal from zoning to sewage to City Hall politics. Local government is the perfect window into what matters to us on both sides of the bay. I hope to see you at a Tampa City Council meeting or community event.

  1. Mayor Jane Castor, left, and City Council chairman Orlando Gudes, right, sign a new Citizen Review Board ordinance in the mayor's conference room on Thursday.
  2. Tampa City Council member Bill Carlson said his stance on the Cuba protests has been misunderstood.
  3. Luis Viera presentó la propuesta de apoyo a  las protestas de Cuba. Viera es descendiente de cubanos que tuvieron que abandonar la isla debido a las atrocidades del comunismo.
  4. Tampa City Council member Luis Viera's resolution in support of protests in Cuba was approved Thursday, but only after two hours of often heated debate.
  5. Protesters dance and sing while blocking Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa in solidarity with ongoing protests in Cuba on Tuesday. Mayor Jane Castor said Wednesday that Tampa police treated the protesters with respect and patience.
  6. Luis Viera, miembro del Concejo Municipal de Tampa, 4 de junio de 2020.
  7. Tampa City Council member Luis Viera, June 4, 2020. At a council meeting at the Tampa Convention Center.
  8. Jason Viola, with Woodruff and Sons, helps guide the delivery of a section of box culvert to be used in a new stormwater drainage system on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, below Gray Street at the Havana Square apartment complex in Tampa. The site is part of a massive, multi-block construction zone in North Hyde Park, the result of a $251-million stormwater assessment approved by the Tampa City Council to tackle perennially flooded streets, particularly in South Tampa.
  9. Chickens walk along the trolley tracks in Ybor City, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 in Tampa.
  10. Chairman Orlando Gudes, inside the Council Chambers at Old City Hall in Tampa, on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
  11. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
Fireworks blast off in front of the Tampa Convention Center, one of four locations around the river during the City of Tampa's Boom by the Bay independence day celebration on Thursday, July 4, 2019 in Tampa.
  12. Former Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam Smith has been named Tampa Mayor Jane Castor's communications director.
  13. Mayor Jane Castor and City Council chairman Orlando Gudes sign a new Citizen Review Board ordinance in the mayor's conference room Thursday.
  14. Mayoral candidate Wengay Newton poses for a portrait at his childhood home in St. Petersburg, which he has donated to Pinellas County Habitat for Humanity.
  15. The Tampa City Council reached a compromise on police reform Thursday in a 4-3 vote.
  16. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, speaking in May at a press event. On Wednesday, Castor said she remains opposed to key changes sought by police reform activists.
  17. Tampa City Council Chairman Orlando Gudes said this week he was disturbed by comments made by Beach Park residents opposed to 252 apartments proposed for the neighborhood.
  18. 
Tampa Mayor, Jane Castor delivered her 2021 State of the City address virtually, via Facebook Premier on June 2. Her agenda was delivered visually with an eight and a half minute video. Text graphics were used to help emphasize her points. The video started with the Mayor picking up mystery guests from Tampa International Airport and touring them around the city. In the end the Mayor turned in her car seat to address her guests who were revealed as the city's recent sports championship trophies, including: The Lombardi, Stanley Cup and MLB's American League Championship
  19. Tampa Fire Chief Nick LoCicero.
  20. Association steward and Tampa icon Charlie Miranda keeps a close eye on a horse race during a recent day at the races on Jan. 8, 2020, at Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa. On Friday, the longtime council member told the Tampa Bay TImes that Rays officials had brought up possible relocation to Nashville, Tenn.
  21. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speaks at the Resilient Tampa press event on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at the Sulpher Springs Pool Complex in Tampa where Castor and the city’s sustainability and resilience officer Whit Remer unveiled a “road map” to city's future. The 58-pt plan seeks to address climate change, poverty, racism, affordable housing, transportation and employment opportunities for residents.
  22. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor weighs in on the Rays future in Tampa Bay during a morning press event at the Sulphur Springs Pool Complex.
  23. Tori Brown, far right,  waits for a turn to speak at a Citizens Review Board meeting at the Tampa Convention Center on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.