Tiger Bay Meeting with county commissioners
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08/21/09 Lindsey Kratochwill
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

The Tiger Bay Club of Tampa held their meeting this afternoon. The speakers included four county commissioners who were asked questions by members and explained what they were currently working on with the commission.

The commissioners agreed in their opening statements that the budget is an important issue. Commissioner Kevin Beckner has some projects in addition to that which he felt important.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe agreed with Beckner’s priorities put on transportation as well as including another important aspect of the community.

Commissioner Rose Ferlita had interests in working on a different community problem, but felt the budget took top priority.

Al Higginbotham answered a member’s question about mistakes made while serving as a commissioner. Many of the commissioners felt that mistakes were made in honest ways; in thinking they were doing the right thing.

Another question presented was concerning the Friendship Trail Bridge. Al Higginbotham did not support sustaining the bridge, due to his concerns about costs. He said the bridge would only be able to serve for 10 years due to future construction of the Gandy Bridge. However, Rose Ferlita supports the bridge, and hopes that through a more diverse business practice, there can be funding for the project.

Kevin Beckner also supported the Trail Bridge and saw a correlation between the creativity needed to fund this project and other future projects as well.

One club member asked the commissioners about a specific decision made by Commissioner Kevin White, who was not present. The question was based on what the member called a “lucrative security bid” which was given to a firm not recommended by the staff. Mark Sharpe was one of the two commissioners who voted against overturning a recommendation made by the staff. He said that he felt comfortable with what had been recommended.

Rose Ferlita was the second dissenting vote and felt that the passing of the decision was a “knee jerk” reaction that she thought should be sent back and looked at again with a new broad spectrum interpretation.

Kevin Beckner voted in favor and said that while he respects his staff’s decision, he chose to overturn the recommendation and that he does his own homework and makes his decision from there.

More information about Tiger Bay can be found at www.tigerbayclub.com.

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