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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. The downtown Tampa skyline seen from an area known as the Rome Yard on Friday, April 16, 2021.
  2. Tampa City Hall.
  3. Ana Cruz, on left, and Seely Bevan, look on as Tampa Mayor Jane Castor holds up her "I Voted" sticker in front of the Stanley Cup, after she cast her ballot in person during early voting at Amalie Arena, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 in Tampa. Cruz is Mayor Castor's partner and Bevan is Castor's son. The mayor told the Tampa Bay Times Wednesday that her partner’s lobbying firm and her nephew’s job with the developer won’t result in any family benefits, financial or otherwise.
  4. A rendering of the Rome Yard development submitted by the Related Group
  5. St. Petersburg City Council chairman Ed Montanari discussed bay area issues with Tampa City Council chairman Guido Maniscalco on Friday at the Oxford Exchange.
  6. Aerial view of Rattlesnake Point showing a chlorine plant near residential areas on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 in Tampa.
  7. Tampa City Councilman John Dingfelder addresses the council members and visitors during the council meeting, Thursday, June 4, 2020 at the Tampa Convention Center.
  8. Hillsborough County Administrator Bonnie Wise said Friday that the federal coronavirus relief money has been a challenge and a blessing.
  9. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor called this week’s Tampa Bay Times investigation into unsafe work conditions at Gopher Resource, LLC concerning. She has directed city staff to gather information from regulatory agencies that monitor the East Tampa plant.
  10. Rattlesnake Point, south of the Gandy Bridge, is prime Tampa waterfront real estate. It also has a chemical plant that uses chlorine and other dangerous chemicals used in water and wastewater treatmen, which could be deadly if leaked.
  11. President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington.
  12. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor attends the ribbon cutting event at the new REI Co-op store on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at Midtown Tampa. The store is an anchor tenant at the development which offers retail, residential, hotel and office buildings on a campus of 11 buildings.
  13. Tampa City Attorney Gina Grimes said Monday that the city's suspension of alcohol sales by bars and nightclubs found to have violated coronavirus orders has been effective in encouraging compliance.
  14. The Tampa Police department headquarters on 411 N. Franklin St. Under a plan unveiled to council members Thursday, the building and other city property would be sold, and a new headquarters building would be built in east Tampa.
  15. Crowds of patrons gather in Ybor City on 7th Avenue as they celebrate New Years Eve at nightclubs and restaurants on Friday January 1, 2020.
  16. Bus riders wait for a bus to arrive recently at the Brandon Town Center Mall.  A HART lawyer said Monday that the state Department of Revenue told him that they don't have the capacity to issue refunds for sales tax collected under the All For Transportation plan overturned by the state Supreme Court last week. The Hillsborough CIrcuit Court would have jurisdiction over what should be done with the $502.3 million collected in the county and unspent, he said.
  17. The HART streetcar line between the Cumberland Avenue and York Street stations will be closed for repairs beginning today until March 12. Vans will be available for transporting those unable to walk the 500 feet between stations.
  18. The Tampa City Council discussed changes to the city's Citizen Review Board Thursday for several hours.
  19. People who want to be in the room stand at a doorway of a Citizens Review Board meeting at the Tampa Convention Center on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
  20. A Tampa code enforcement picture of a crowd at 7th and Grove, an Ybor City bar. The City Council voted Monday that the bar had violated coronavirus restrictions, but took no action on suspending its ability to sell alcohol.
  21. Crowds of patrons gather outside of Tangra as they celebrate New Years Eve in Ybor City. Larger crowds gathered in Ybor during Super Bowl weekend.
  22. Tampa City Council member Luis Viera speaks in favor of his proposal to require apprentices on large city projects at Thursday's City Council meeting.
  23. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor waves a flag during the BuccaneersÕ Super Bowl Championship boat parade in downtown on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.