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. Harbour Island resident Donovan Pullen asked Mayor Jane Castor on Wednesday about the possible influence of Castor's domestic partner, Ana Cruz, a lobbyist, in city business and about the propriety of Cruz's mother, Janet Cruz, running for a City Council seat.
  2. Sonja P. Brookins, left, and Robin Lockett are the first two Black women to advance to a runoff election for City Council seats in Tampa's history. The runoff is April 25.
  3. Mayor Jane Castor greets onlookers during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Tampa last year. The mayor has had some stumbles in her first term, but Black leaders mostly praise her willingness to listen to their concerns.
  4. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor won Tuesday's city election without an opponent, but with four City Council runoff elections looming, much remains up in the air about her second term.
  5. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor coasted to reelection for a second term Tuesday without an opponent on the ballot.
  6. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor as she exits the polls after casting her vote on Election Day at St. Chad's Episcopal Church, 5609 N. Albany Ave., on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 in Tampa.
  7. Gwendolyn Henderson, Tampa City Council District 5 candidate, waves to cars while holding a sign in front of the St. James House of Prayer Episcopal church on Tuesday in Tampa.
  8. Tampa City Council members will be notified within 10 days of investigations such as the now-discontinued Police Department's "Crime free multi housing" program, which encouraged landlords to evict tenants who were arrested.
  9. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has clashed with several council members during her first term. With six council seats up for grabs, will the mayor's second term be more of the same or will her clout increase?
  10. Tampa City Council candidates for District 3 from top left: George "The Hunted" Feshev; Janet Cruz; KJ Allen; Jose Vazquez and Lynn Hurtak.
  11. The candidates for Tampa City Council are top, Charlie Miranda. Bottom from left: Nicole Payne, Tyler Barrett, Rick Fifer and Hoyt Prindle
  12. Orlando Gudes, left, and Gwendolyn "Gwen" Henderson will be on the ballot for Tampa City Council District 5.
  13. Candidates for Tampa City Council District 2 are clockwise from upper left: Mike Suarez, Guido Maniscalco, Michael Derewenko and Robin Lockett.
  14. Tampa City Council District 4 race features incumbent Bill Carlson, left, and challenger Blake Casper.
  15. Four candidates are on the ballot for the District 1 Tampa City Council race. Clockwise from upper left: Joseph Citro, Alan Clendenin, Chase Harrison and Sonja Brookins.
  16. A man leaves C. Blythe Andrews Jr. Public Library. Early voting is underway in Tampa.
  17. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, left, and her partner, Ana Cruz, walk the tarmac prior to the arrival of President Joe Biden at Tampa International Airport in February. Cruz, a lobbyist at Ballard Partners, is often by Castor's side at political events.
  18. Former State Sen. Janet Cruz asked City Council member Lynn Hurtak, her opponent in the citywide District 3 race, if Hurtak had a problem with gay people at an NAACP forum Monday evening.
  19. Tampa City Council members pressed Mayor Jane Castor's administration on tightening oversight of the city's residency policy for high-ranking employees at Thursday's meeting.
  20. The Tampa City Council elections on March 7 could clear the hostility between Mayor Jane Castor and City Council, or it could intensify it.
  21. Tampa City Council member Bill Carlson has received the endorsement of the West Central Florida Labor Council for the District 4 seat.
  22. Former Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn urges a crowd at the Oxford Exchange Thursday night to vote for City Council candidate and South Tampa business mogul Blake Casper.
  23. The Tampa Police union announced its endorsements late Wednesday for City Council races in the March 7 election.