COUNTY COMMISSION DEBATE AT TIGER BAY-Andrew Stelzer

09/17/04

The Tampa tiger bay club held a debate between candidates for 3 county commission seats this afternoon. But the only seat for which more than one candidate showed up for was district 7, which is an at large district currently held by Pat frank, who is stepping down. The three candidates running are Denise Layne, Joe Redner, and Mark Sharpe. The majority of the questions asked were about how the county should handle the rapid population growth which has been taking place for the past decades and looks to be continuing. Denise Layne, a democratic candidate who ran for the commission as a republican 2 years ago, said that transportation impact fees should be used to fund public transportation.

ACT ‘I’m appalled that new Tampa is underwater like south Tampa. have we learned nothing..?..solutions..impact fees..transportation impact fees…we don’t have to move the one, we have to increase the amount that goes into mass transit, 12 percent, 99 percent.�

Layne ran for the commission as a republican 2 years ago, but now she is a democrat. WMNF asked Diane Layne her why she has changed political parties in the last two years.

ACT “My platform is the same whether I’m a repub or democrat…the repub party has been moving away, the democrats opened their arms..im for people…we have to all pay a fair share.

Mark Sharpe, a republican candidate, said his passion for public service was reinvigorated after 9-11.

ACT “We need to be focusing on high tech growth, Boston, Palm Beach, we have to do it, USF, Genshaft, lets grow this community, create the revenue, we need to be looking at the developers not as the enemy, but as…�

While several candidates said that Hillsborough needs efficient public transportation, to help create residential areas in the inner city, Sharpe told WMNF that we have to guide growth first, and then the people will demand transportation later on.

ACT ???

Joe Redner, who is running without any party affiliation, said that

ACT “Right here in our community we have the world renowned center at USF, let them come up with a plan..not let the special interests make the plan..do you know why desirable business don’t come here..why the Olympics didn’t come here? We need a transportation system….but if we let the developers do what they want they’ll do what they want without considering you..ill fight to get the development in urban areas, I would have fought for Civitas, it took the considerations of poor people…it would have brought in millions of federal dollars.�

Redner was asked by a member of the audience if he was ashamed that he operates several strip clubs in Tampa.

ACT “The women’s who work at the mons venus are doing more for themselves than you are. Women who are doing something for themselves, why is sex demeaning for only one of the parties, the women do this to better themselves, support their children. I speak at a class twice a year, I usually see one or two of my dancers in the class,

WMNF asked Redner, who is a frequent critic at city council and county commission meetings, how he would handle cooperating with other commission members

ACT “Getting along with people I can do that, and if you have the best answer, you can convince people. I would surprise people as to how I would handle, I al am leader and ii could get hem to follow if I have reasoned and intelligent answers…YOU don’t think the names you call…the public could see that…�

Brian Blair is running against Bob Buckhorn for the district 6 at-large seat on the commission. Buckhorn had to attend a funeral, so Blair had o opposition at the forum today. When an audience member asked the candidates whether they would raise impact fees to help fund Hillsborough’s failing public schools—Redner and Cutting said yes, Layne said yes, but not by much, and Sharpe and Brian Blair said no. Blair, an ex-professional wrestler, spoke of his travel around the world giving him real world experience that would help him make decisions. WMNF asked him, given that growth management is such an important issue, what cities has he seen that Tampa can use as models?

ACT Roanoke

There is also another at large seat up for election. David cutting is running for the district 2 seat against David Cutting—district 2 takes up much of the county north of Bearss boulevard it is the second biggest district in the county. Cutting is running on a platform that include making all county vehicles environmentally friendly hybrids, giving county employees a living wage, and protecting the environment.

ACT “We have the 13th worst air quality in the county right now..we aren’t going to let uncontrolleed growth hurt that..growth yes, but controlled no.�

District 2 Incumbent Ken Hagan did not attend the forum; Hagan also has not agreed to appear on a televised debate on Hillsborough television that will be taped next week. David Cutting, claims that Hagan is unwilling to debate in front of the voters.

ACT ‘I think he did not want to face the same questions that I face, he would be challenged to a debate and he is afraid he would not win….I haven’t had the opportunity to debate the current commissioner..the voter need this to make an intelligent decision..�

Thursday afternoon, cutting and a dozen of his supporters were on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Amberly Drive in Tampa Palms holding signs for passing cars questioning: We want to know, Commissioner Hagan, where are you?'' andWhy won't you debate your opponent? Cutting says they will be out on the street again today and for the foreseeable future.

The Hillsborough county TV debate will be taped on September 27th, and replayed several times beginning October 1st.

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