Apparently it's going to get a bit colder once the rains wash away later on Friday, but hey, it ain't Chicago. But though it won't reach near freezing temperatures, if you live in Tampa, you better check your water pipes, since that appears to be the lesson coming out of the debacle of thousands of local residents trying to figure out why their water bills have gone up exponentially in recent months.
Of course, the big news in local news & politics was how two City Council members - Tom Scott and Mary Mulhern - who have been passionate in opposing any type of panhandling in Tampa, changed course and voted for what is being called a "partial" ban yesterday in Tampa, meaning in a few weeks it will be illegal for all of those folks you see on Hillsborough, Dale Mabry, Kennedy and other major streets wearing and an orange or green vest trying to get by.
Although one of the local dailies seizes on Mulhern's reversal (as we noted in our dispatch yesterday), it should also be noted that city council chair Thomas Scott, who for seemingly months has been passionate in saying that compassion should be considered before any ban should be imposed, also has done a 180. Of all the major candidates running for mayor in Tampa, he had been the only one opposing a ban on panhandling. Now he supports it. What do you call that? Good politics? Just askin'.
Speaking of mayoral candidates - Bob Buckhorn released an extremely detailed position paper on various issues yesterday on his website, and Ed Turanchik is also introducing a new position on developing a 5-mile transit, building and new energy technology innovation corridor connecting Tampa International Airport, downtown Tampa, the scheduled to be built high speed rail station downtown, and Ybor City. You can read about both here.
And last, but certainly not least, is our brand new article in the current CL on the mayor's race, which you can read here. Or pick up throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
the report here.