Redner and Miller debate on Local Fox affiliate by Mitch E. Perry

03/19/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday

Redner vs. Miller

“Your Turn”

 

Early voting began today in Tampa for next Tuesday’s Run-off election.

 

All of Tampa Citizens will be able to decide whether to re-elect 3 term incumbent Gwen Miller to the city wide District 1 seat, or adult club entrepreneur Joe Redner.

 

Registered voters in Tampa’s District 7 race will be able to decide on who will succeed Sean Harrison.  Joseph Caetano faces Frank Margarella in that race.

 

In the District 1 race, the St. Petersburg Times on Saturday endorsed Redner.  Yesterday the Tribune endorsed Miller.

 

Today Redner and Miller squared off in a live televised discussion on Fox 13’s “Your Turn “ program hosted by Kathy Fountain.  Fountain asked Miller to counter the opinion that Miller has little to show of her work on the City Council after serving for 12 years

(roll tape# 1 o.q.”     which was flooding”)

 

But Redner says those things would have happened anyway, regardless of Miller’s involvement .

 

Last year the Tampa City Council voted to give a small property tax cut to citizens.  Originally, Miller was with the majority of the council that rejected such a cut…But after angry citizens descended upon the Council, the Council reversed itself and voted for a modest 2% cut.   

 

Miller was accused by both local newspapers last week of flipflopping about whether she’d support cutting property taxes again, during a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters.  In fact, the St. Petersburg Times reported it was the 5th time she had switched positions on the issue during this campaign.

 

But Miller denied she had done any such thing today (roll tape#2 o.q.”I never said no”)

 

Although Joe Redner’s ownership of the an adult Night Club always is listed at the front of stories about him, his success in getting into the run-off election has been seen by some political observers that voters are ready to drop their reservations about that .  But some of those same observers now say Redner made a mistake last week when he said that, to encourage that more voters go to the polls, he would allow free admission to the Mons Venus with proof of voting in the election.

 

But Redner says his move simply was to stimulate voter turnout, which was  at only 16% in the General Election earlier this month

 

He also says he won’t vote on issues involving adult businesses that come before the Council if he’s elected to it (roll tape#3 oq.”   That talk like that”)

Redner’s mantra during this City Council race, and going back to last year’s candidacy for Hillsborough County Commission, is that growth must pay for itself.

 

He was asked if that means he thinks impact fees, which had not been raised by the Hillsborough County Commission in 19 years until last year, Redner responded

(roll tape#4 o.q.”on the city of Tampa”)

 

In their series of forums, Redner and Miller have kept to the issues, and not personalities.

When asked by host Kathy Fountain why voters shouldn’t put their finger next to Redner’s name on the touch screen voting machines,  the incumbent refused to take the bait, saying she’d prefer to discuss her candidacy

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