Mayor Pam Iorio is optimistic about Obama's Thursday visit

01/22/10 Arielle Stevenson
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Next Thursday President Obama and Vice President Biden are coming to Tampa for the first time since the election. Proponents of high speed rail are hoping he will announce that Florida received the $2.5 billion for the project.

This morning WMNF asked Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio if she thought Obama was coming to Tampa to announce if Florida had won the bid.

Iorio: Well all indications that I have received, there is a very positive vibe I'll say in the direction of us getting high speed rail money. I never count anything until it happens but I certainly have been getting some very positive indications.

Are you excited to see that prospect after this work?

Iorio: It, it is so big. Because what it means is that we are one of two cities in the state of Florida, Tampa and Orlando that are now linked by another transportation system other than the interstate highway system. That’s really huge. That’s saying that these two major metropolitan areas are now linked by a modern bullet train. And that has real ramifications for both of our economies and it also has an important ramification in linking to our light rail system that the referendum is all about. And that’s what I get excited about. Because when people get off our high speed rail system in Tampa, they can hop onto our light speed rail system and got to Westshore, go to USF or go wherever they are going. That’s exciting because it means that we can really have a sophisticated and modern transportation system for the future.

So it makes all that patient incremental work worthwhile?

Iorio: Well that’s how I operate because I find that it does produce results. So when you begin to see good happening and results occurring, you say “well this is the way to do it.” Because you have to always take the time to along the way to see where the public is and hear the public is and listen to their feedback. And that’s one of the things we have been doing over the past many years, in many many talks and forums. So this is really a significant time in our history.

That was Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio speaking with WMNF this morning. Details on Obama’s Thursday visit to Tampa have not been released.

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Congratulations to Tampa, Mayor Iorio and the City & County Commissions and to Orlando. Where is St. Petersburg and Pinellas County...sitting on their hands? Perhaps the progressive thinking and planning will rub off.