Charlie Frago - Tampa City Hall Reporter

Tampa City Hall Reporter

I joined the Times in 2013 after working in Chicago, Greensboro, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark. I've covered Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and developed an interest in all things municipal. I have a bachelor's degree from Grinnell College in Iowa and masters' degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University.

  1. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announces federal grants Friday that will equip at least 600 officers with body cameras.
    Mayor Jane Castor announces a nearly $600,000 Department of Justice grant Friday.
  2. The Tampa City Council was told Thursday that it had little power to prevent a medical marijuana cultivation,  processing and dispensary approved for East Tampa.
    Trulieve plans to open a facility near a recovery center. State preemption prevents the city from taking action.
  3. Tampa has assessed heavy fines against a property owner and arborist for cutting 28 trees down in August. The action may spark a reaction from Tallahassee lawmakers who passed a law earlier this year banning cities from regulating tree removal. [CHARLIE FRAGO | Times]
    The city says trees were illegally cut down at a Gandy Boulevard mobile home park. An attorney for the owner says no law was broken.
  4. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor appears at a September forum on the Equal Rights Amendment at the Centre Club of Tampa. Her first budget was approved 7-0 by City Council.
    The mayor made some concessions in her $1.04 billion spending plan, especially to council member Orlando Gudes’ demands for East Tampa.
  5. Tampa City Council member Bill Carlson wants the city's Community Redevelopment Areas to have an executive director that answers to council members, not Mayor Jane Castor.
    Council members voted Thursday to advance a plan to hire an executive director to manage the city’s Community Redevelopment Areas, removing that position from Mayor Jane Castor’s control.
  6. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister speaks Tuesday at a kickoff in Tampa for a campaign to encourage first responders to seek help if contemplating suicide.
    Tampa advertising firm ChappellRoberts will partner with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay to encourage police officers, deputies and firefighters to seek anonymous help if they need it.
  7. A construction crew repairs City of Tampa Water Department water distribution system located on South Davis Boulevard between Marmora Avenue and Severn Avenue on Davis Islands in Thursday.
    The City Council votes 6-1 to raise billions of dollars to address water main breaks and sewer line cave-ins. There have been more than 3,500 in the last two years.
  8. Jane Castor faces an important City Council vote tonight on a $2.9 billion plan to upgrade Tampa's infrastructure over the next 20 years.
    Tampa’s mayor also announces an expansion of aid to low-income residents to help them pay for proposed utility rate increases.
  9. Tampa City Council member Orlando Gudes during a June meeting.
    Just four months after winning a City Council seat, Gudes is quickly securing big-ticket budget items for Tampa’s only majority-black district.
  10. Crews work on the northbound lanes of Dale Mabry Highway south of Gandy to fill in a hole caused by a water main break in 2018.
    The proposed increases for water and sewer would pay for more than $3 billion in repairs and upgrades. The City Council will vote Thursday.