Tampa unveiled its newly-remodeled Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park Friday morning for Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s State of the City address. Buckhorn praised the $35 million renovation and the city staff who worked on it.
Before his speech, the City showed a polished video with the theme “Finish Strong” that looked back at a tough year that included Hurricane Irma and weeks of terror with a serial killer on the loose in Seminole Heights.
During his speech, Buckhorn praised city leaders and civil rights activists. Buckhorn says the region has failed when it comes to transit, transportation and traffic.
Buckhorn will leave office next year after 8 years as mayor.
One of the 800 or so people to watch Buckhorn’s speech was Ed Turanchik, a transit advocate who is among a crowded field running to replace Buckhorn.
As he did in his speech two years ago, Buckhorn pushed for Tampa to be able to use treated sewage water to augment drinking water supplies.
Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park is the site of the largest mass arrest of Occupy Tampa demonstrators. In 2011, Tampa Police arrested 29 members of Occupy Tampa when they tried to camp overnight inside Riverfront Park.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn also had some harsh criticism of how the Florida Legislature is treating cities.
“Now, over the next couple of years we’re going to continue to face financial pressure. And that is compounded by an outright attack on local government by leadership in the Florida Legislature,” Buckhorn said.
Video of Bob Buckhorn’s address, part 1:
Video of Bob Buckhorn’s address, part 2:
Here’s Facebook Live video of the full program: