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 City Council members had a busy Thursday. They discussed an idea to open a cafe in a downtown park and approved an extension of a contract with the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council.
    Council members and residents suggest Mayor Jane Castor’s administration take it slow on the idea and consider bringing back the park’s benches.
  2. The owner of the building at 214 E. Tyler St, next to Herman Massey Park, has gained preliminary approval to move a proposed dog park away from her property.
    A building owner next to Herman Massey Park gained preliminary approval to move a proposed dog park away from her property.
  3. Homeless and needy people sit on the ground in Lykes Gaslight Square Park in April after the city removed the benches in the downtown green space.  City Council members will consider a plan for the Downtown Partnership to open a cafe in the park.
    The Tampa Downtown Partnership plans a cafe with outdoor seating in a downtown park that was a draw for homeless people until benches were removed last year.
  4. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has been in office for six months.  An early pattern is lots of community engagement.
    She doesn’t get into Twitter wars. She doesn’t go negative in public. The last thing the public needs, Castor says, is drama.
  5. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor unveiled an ambitious transportation plan Friday on the six-month anniversary of her tenure. But much of the money that would pay for it is hung up in a legal challenge.
    The ambitious plan would remake Tampa’s transit culture. But a pending court decision on the 1-cent sales tax approved by voters last year is key.
  6. Tampa City Council member Bill Carlson wanted to go on international trade missions organized by the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council. When his plan was rebuffed, he expressed frustration. Did it factor into his decision to recommend a cut in city funding to the agency?
    The Tampa City Council member say his rebuff by the Tampa Economic Development Council isn’t related to his call to cut city funding to the agency. The council’s chief executive disagrees.
  7. Council member Bill Carlson during a meeting this year at the old city hall in downtown Tampa,
    The Tampa City Council member says the development agency isn’t doing its job. Agency officials say Carlson’s “smear campaign” stems from personal malice.
  8. Jane Castor appears to have beaten back an attempt from the City Council to wrest day-to-day control over Tampa's eight community redevelopment areas.
    Council members retreat from hiring an executive director who would report to them on the city’s eight blighted areas.
  9. Times file | Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said his department has "evolved" on ticketing black bicyclists.
    Tampa police are stopping and ticketing fewer black bicyclists, but African Americans still make up the majority of those ticketed and given warnings.
  10. The new owner of a dilapidated mobile home park on Gandy Boulevard has sued the city of Tampa over a record-setting fine levied against the property for a massive tree removal in August. [CHARLIE FRAGO | Times]
    A Gandy Boulevard mobile home park owner is suing the city of Tampa over a record $420,000 fine .