TAMPA'S CITY COUNCIL ON REZONING, STREET FAIRS, AND CRIME-Andrew Stelzer

06/24/04

At today’s city council meeting, the Tampa city council heard a report back from its key staff retreat, where a vision statement was created for the city of Tampa: Tampa will be recognized as a diverse progressive city, celebrated as the most desirable place to work play learn and live. As they do most every week, the citizens of Tampa challenged the council to live up to this statement. WMNF’s Andrew Stelzer was at city hall and filed this report.


A representative from the west Tampa Cultural Society complained to the council that permit and police regulations are unfairly being placed the Main Street Music Festival and Motorcycle Show, scheduled for July 3rd.. The city asked them to have 6 police officers on site to oversee alcohol sales, while it normally requires only 3, in addition to the 10 which will be. After discussion, the city agreed that 3 officers would be enough. Huey Johnson told the council that he was surprised on Tuesday of this week, when he was told that his half a million dollar insurance policy was not enough, but the festival needed to take out a million dollar policy.

ACT “There’s no code that says there is a million dollar liability required. We have had half a million dollars since May, now we have a surprise.�

The council will revisit it this afternoon, and determine whether there is in fact a regulation on the books that requires a million dollar insurance policy.

Also today, controversial business owner Joe Redner told the council that they made a costly mistake last week when they denied his application for a wet-zone permit for a property on 411 South Florida in downtown Tampa. Render pointed out to the council that he has recently won a court ruling, and as a result, the city is offering him 10,000 dollars for a similar application denial several years ago, at the same location.

ACT “In a dispute with the city of Tampa I made new law…�

ACT “The original application was denied, I went through the system, now I’m setting you up!

Councilman White moved to reconsider the denial, based on the evidence supplied by Redner, which he says puts the city of shaky legal ground.

ACT ‘Mr. Redner does make a good point, i'm tired of paying him.

But Council member Rose Ferlita was against revisiting the permit.

ACT ‘In terms of Mr. Whites comments, i’m quite confident wit the research they do. I get tired of Mr. Redner, I’m worried about paying him money.�

Councilman Dingfelder also wanted to revisit the issue, suggesting that because of the emotion attached to the Issue, the council may have treated Redner unfairly. Redner is the owner of several strip clubs, and is a politically active citizen who frequently has public disagreements with public officials.

ACT “ I look at it as how do we look at other petitions in relation to the law?

The council voted 4 to 2against revisiting Redners application; render says he will see the city in court.

The council made final approval for four Community redevelopment areas, in East Tampa, Drew Park, Channelside, and Ybor city. These designations mean that taxes coming from residents and business in those neighborhoods will come directly back into the neighborhood to help build infrastructure. What this money will pay for depends on the needs of the particular neighborhood—sewer repair, building sidewalks, and street repairs. The idea is to get more businesses to move into the neighborhood, and reduce crime. WMNF also asked councilwoman Rose Ferlita about a story printed earlier this week in the Tampa Tribune, in which Police Chief Hogue told c city budget meeting that Tampa had the most property crimes and second most violent crimes of any similar size city in the country. This statement seemed to contradict what the chief reporter earlier this year: that crime was way down in Tampa. Ferlita is chairwoman of the city’s public safety committee. ACT

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

comments powered by Disqus