Tampa City Council members say goodbye03/29/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Today was the last Tampa City Council meeting for 4 different members this morning.
Either because of term limits, or losing in elections earlier this month, more than half of the current board will be missing when the Council meets next week.
Two of the Councilmembers were selected on an Interim basis back in November. Chip Fletcher was selected to replace Rose Ferlita, while Frank Reddick replaced Kevin White after he and Ferlita were elected on to the Hillsborough County Commission.
Frank Reddick had tried to retain his District 5 seat, but just narrowly missed getting into a runoff against former Hillsborough Commissioner Thomas Scott, Reddick called it an honor to work with his fellow Council members (roll tape#1 o.q.”but uh”)
Chip Fletcher is an attorney who will go back to practicing law full time now. He told the other Council members that he had more respect for them after serving on an interim basis the last 3 months (roll tape#2 o.q.”thank you”)
Next week the composition of the Tampa City Council will change significantly when 4 different faces will begin their terms. Mary Mulhern, Charlie Miranda, Thomas Scott and Joseph Caetano will be sworn into office this weekend.
Mayor Pam Iorio, just re-elected herself by nearly 80% of the electorate, led the goodbyes at the Council. She awarded a special plate of Tampa to all 4 departing members
Sean Harrison became the first elected official representing New Tampa when he won office in 1999…..There had been speculation that after winning a City wide term this year, Harrison would try to run for Mayor in 2011. But those dreams came crashing down on Election night earlier this month, when Harrison lost in a mild upset to newcomer Mary Mulhern.
Harrison reflected on his 2 terms in office by commentating on his colleagues, such as John Dingfelder (roll tape#3 o.q.”in the future”)
Noticably, Harrison did NOT make any remarks towards Councilmember Linda Saul-Sena. She had angered Harrison during the general election when she endorsed his opponent, Mary Mulhern ,, and donated to her campaign.
The most emotional speech came from West Tampa representative Mary Alvarez, who has become much more vocal on the Board in recent yearsAlvarez (roll tape#4 o.q.”than I wanted to be”)
This Sunday, Mayor Pam Iorio and the new City Council will be inaugurated at a ceremony taking place at the Tampa Convention Center at 2PM