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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. Council members Charlie Miranda (left) and Bill Carlson (right) engaged in an explosive exchange Thursday.
  2. If the ordinance passes a final vote on Dec. 2, it will make it more difficult for home builders to avoid putting in a sidewalk.
  3. Two of the new homes and sidewalks at 1518 and 1520 E Diana St. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 in Seminole Heights. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor backs code changes to build more sidewalks. In West Tampa, an area of Florida’s third-largest city notorious for its lack of sidewalks, Mayor Jane Castor met with reporters Wednesday to push for changes in city code that would force more builders to either build sidewalks or pay into a citywide fund. In a city with 1,300 miles of streets without sidewalks, the mayor said builders of new homes or ones that are being substantially renovated have been benefiting from too many exemptions in current code.
  4. Tampa City Councilman John Dingfelder addresses the council members and visitors during the council meeting, Thursday, June 4, 2020 at the Tampa Convention Center.
  5. The former Kforce headquarters on East Palm Avenue in Tampa is the focus of a possible new stadium pitch from the Tampa Bay Rays, county officials have said. The Rays already approached Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson about possible state help with infrastructure costs with a new stadium in Ybor City.
  6. A Kforce building seen in the distance on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, at a possible site for a Tampa stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.
  7. From Nuccio Parkway, the city of Tampa skyline is in the distance and the Kforce building is on the right Monday at a possible site for a Tampa stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.
  8. Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld speaks at the Oxford Exchange on Friday morning.
  9. John Bennett, Mayor Jane Castor's chief of staff, was widely credited Thursday with creating a smooth budget process that met the needs of all of the city's seven council districts.
  10. Meridian Apartments on N 50th St. in Tampa is one of about 100 apartment complexes that participated in Tampa Police Department's Crime-Free Multi Housing program.
  11. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has been aggressive in her response to the coronavirus pandemic, earning praise from the medical community and public health officials, but angering some city employees and vaccine opponents who say she has gone too far.
  12. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced her endorsement of Ken Welch for St. Petersburg mayor on Wednesday morning.
  13. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor wants to be certain all street repairs are completed within three days.
  14. Council member Guido Maniscalco during a city council meeting at the old city hall in downtown Tampa on June 6, 2019.
  15. Event organizer Yvette Gough, 55 of St. Pete speaks to the crowd protesting in front of Tampa City Hall against Mayor Castor’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all city employees on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 in Tampa.
  16. A planned $100 million fundraising campaign by the Straz Center for the Performing Arts hinges on a $25 million city contribution. But some Tampa officials have recently signaled their ambivalence over the size of the request.
  17. The sidewalk in front of a South Tampa home disappears into the grass of its neighbor. Recently, the city proposed a hefty increase in fees for developers who rely on the city to put down sidewalks in front of new homes.
  18. Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan after appearing before the City Council Thursday to receive a commendation for his 31 years of service with the department, including four years as chief.
  19. Tampa City Council member Luis Viera at a 2020 council meeting at the Tampa Convention Center.
  20. La alcaldesa de Tampa, Jane Castor, habla con miembros de los medios de comunicación mientras asiste a la gran inauguración del Publix GreenWise Market, en 555 Channelside Drive, el jueves 19 de agosto de 2021 en Tampa.
  21. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor talks with members of the media while attending the grand opening of the Publix GreenWise Market, at 555 Channelside Drive, on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in Tampa.
  22. Mayor Jane Castor and City Council chairman Orlando Gudes sign a new Citizen Review Board ordinance in July. The mayor of Florida's third-largest city has submitted her FY2022 budget to City Council. They have ideas for changes. Will she agree?
  23. Tampa City Council member Luis Viera's resolution in support of the Cuban protests  passed last month. On Thursday, he'll offer another resolution in support of Afghan refugees.