Tampa mayor gives her state of the city BY Roxanne Escobales

03/12/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday

Fresh from last week’s landslide re-election victory, today Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio delivered her fourth state of the city address. As WMNF’s Roxanne Escobales reports, the theme has changed little, focusing on steady progress in community investment.

 

Tampa voters gave Mayor Iorio resounding approval last week with 79 percent electing her into a second term. With the confidence of residents behind her, the state of the city speech should have gone smoothly… but a glitch with the audio visual equipment left the mayor ad-libbing.

 

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So what is the state of the city? According to Iorio, Tampa is good.

 

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Good suggests an emphasis on basics and lacks the flash and grandness of her predecessor, Dick Greco – all traits that have marked the first Iorio administration. AS for the challenges, there’s always the Tampa Museum of Art -- yet the biggest thorn in the mayor’s side was taken out and treated this year

 

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Other than that, over the past four years, crime has dropped by over a third. The inner city has two promising makeovers scheduled at the Heights and at Central Park, both north of downtown. In downtown itself Mayor Iorio touted a hopeful beginning for bringing life into a rather dead town center.

 

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The mayor highlighted her investment in communities, such as East Tampa and Grant Park, as well as stormwater drainage projects to ease flooding roads. Nothing sexy or spectacular but necessary functions for living. And that is her stated goal, to make Tampa a “livable” city. We asked her what she meant by that.

 

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Conspicuously absent from her speech was mention of the Riverwalk, a pet project of the mayor’s that featured prominently in last year’s state of the city. Gerald White sits on the board of the Tampa Housing Authority. While he told WMNF that the mayor’s speech inspired a “remarkable sense of unity” and accomplishment, he wished he had heard more on one subject in particular.

 

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Another big issue that went unmentioned was mass transit, something Iorio has pushed for on the ground, but didn’t spend any time speaking of in her speech. She promised that would be addressed – along with a 4-year agenda -- during her swearing in ceremony that takes place, no joke, on April Fool’s Day.

 

Roxanne Escobales. WMNF News. Tampa.

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