Tampa Mayoral Debate 2011: Recap

7:08 AM, Feb 3, 2011   |    comments
  • Rose Ferlita
  • Thomas Scott
  • Bob Buckhorn
  • U.S. Green building council
  • Ed Turanchik
    
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Tampa, Florida - 10 News' Mike Deeson moderated the Tampa Mayoral Debate from the History Center of Tampa Bay.  Here's a recap from our live blog:

8:12pm: Debate has ended.  Mike Deeson thanked the candidates, and appreciated their honest answers.

8:06pm: Final thoughts:

Turanchik would focus on green energy.  Best way to create jobs.

Buckhorn wants to give city "wings."  Calls it most important election in city's history.

Ferlita will do "the right thing" every time as mayor.

Greco knows how to make city works. Says did it 4 times before.

Scott would make bold and tough decisions.

8:00pm: How would you make Tampa a safer city for pedestrians and bikers?

Thomas Scott wants to create bike lanes and better signage.

Ed Turanchik would educate drivers.  Wants to buy CSX tracks and build mass transit and trails.

Bob Buckhorn wants to make city better for pedestrians and bicycles.  Only way to compete with other cities.

Rose Ferlita would design complete streets.  Plan streets with bicycle safety.

Dick Greco would educate people on safety.

7:54pm: How would you solve the Rays stadium issue?

Dick Greco would look for private money.  Wants to keep them, but it's a legal issue with St. Petersburg.

Thomas Scott agrees it's legal issue with St. Pete.  However, very important to keep the Rays in this area.

Ed Turanchik says Rays owner needs to be more responsible for new stadium.  Wants to be smarter than Rays when negotiating deal.

Bob Buckhorn says divorce needs to be played out.  Wants Rays in downtown Tampa and would be great for economic development.

Rose Ferlita says Rays would only be in Tampa with private dollars.  Would step in if Rays decide to move.

7:48pm: Dick Greco answering question about impacting young people.  Wants to get young people involved in voting and government.

Bob Buckhorn answering question about biggest economic threat to Tampa.  Says city has lost edge to being competitive and great.

Thomas Scott answering question about how to reduce crime.  Says he will look at budget and prioritize issues so crime will stay down.

7:41pm: What about reclaimed water and high water rates?

Bob Buckhorn said reclaimed water is great program.  Too much water dumped into the bay that could be used.

Rose Ferlita would give businesses incentives to use reclaimed water.

Dick Greco said high water rates would hurt businesses.  Calls high water rates fluke with cold weather.

Thomas Scott said he wanted internal audit over high water bills.  Says mayor reacted to him.

Ed Turanchik said he wants smart grids and not meter readers.  Should find out how much water you're using every day instead of 60 days afterwards.

7:34pm: How would you deal with opening up Cuba for trade and tourism?

Turanchik calls Cuba a game changer.  Big proponent of free trade.

Bob Buckhorn says city must be prepared for fall of Cuba.  Says mayor doesn't set foreign policy.  Must take advantage of Panama Canal.

Ferlita says wouldn't do anything until federal law takes precedent.  Wants to encourage relationships with Cuba.

Dick Greco says you can't make that decision.  Visited Cuba before and would try to make it democracy.  Out of his jurisdiction.

Thomas Scott says Tampa can do business with Cuba if New Orleans does it.  Will use port as major economic engine.

7:28pm: What would you do about escalating government salaries and spending?

Thomas Scott says everything is on the table to cut.  Would work on adjusting pension plans.

Ed Turanchik says some branches of government need to be privatized.  Wants permanent adjustments in city budgets.

Bob Buckhorn says health care costs are a big portion of government spending.  Says must separate police and fire pensions.

Rose Ferlita says everything needs to be revised.  Will do comprehensive audit.  Wants to revise pension program.

Dick Greco agrees with Buckhorn to separate police and fire pensions.  Everything is on table to cut.

7:22pm: Third question: Would you try to pass a transportation tax?

Dick Greco is for a transportation tax.  Says have to solve problem of expanding transportation from high speed rail.

Thomas Scott would want a transportation tax.  Says originally failed because of lack of information.

Ed Turanchik is for it.  Said the comprehensive plan was bad last time and timing was bad as well.

Bob Buckhorn is for it.  Saw mass transit help urban areas in Washington, DC.  Says it's vital for economic survival and look at it regionally.

Rose Ferlita says she most definitely is for it.  Will bring it back if elected mayor.

7:16pm: Second question: If you're mayor, how would you create incentives for green buildings?

Rose Ferlita would offer major tax incentives for green buildings.

Dick Greco would offer incentives as well.  Wants government to do everything possible to encourage green buildings.

Thomas Scott wants to make sure the incentives are successful to mainly create jobs.

Ed Turanchik would offer incentives.  Says he's the only one on panel to build green homes.

Bob Buckhorn agrees to incentives. Says it's need to think about entire economy driven by green energy. Went to Iowa to see wind turbine industry in action.

7:10pm: First question: What to about panhandling?

Bob Buckhorn says it will stop if he's mayor.  Says the issue is bigger than panhandling, and dealing with the homeless in general.

Rose Ferlita agrees.  Calls panhandling a public safety issue and an economic development issue.  Businesses intimidated by panhandling.

Dick Greco says panhandling has to go.  Says people feel unsafe with homeless people around.

Thomas Scott says he will agree to a partial ban on panhandling.  Calls it mainly a social issue.

Ed Turanchik wants a total ban of panhandling.  Wants diversion program for homeless.  Won't put them in jail.

7:08pm: The debate has officially begun.  Mike Deeson is introducing the candidates.  He has maintained he will try to get the candidates to actually answer questions, and not stick with talking points.

With a little more than a month to go until the Tampa Mayoral election, the five candidates will go head to head in their first debate.

The candidates are:

  1. Bob Buckhorn
  2. Rose Ferlita
  3. Dick Greco
  4. Thomas Scott
  5. Ed Turanchik
  6. And write in candidate Arthur Richardson

The candidates will take their stand on who can build a better future for Tampa. The debate is presented by the USGBC Florida Gulf Coast Chapter and hosted by the Tampa Bay History Center.

We will also have a wrap of the debate and what each candidate had to say tonight on 10 News at 11 p.m.

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