Tampa City Council
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
1:30 p.m. session
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>> Chairman Scott: Good afternoon.
I now call the Community Redevelopment Agency to order
at this time.
And we have roll call.
>>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.
>>GWEN MILLER: Here.
>>MARY MULHERN: Here.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Here.
Board members, let me read a couple of memos I have
into the record.
The first one is from councilman Joseph Caetano.
Please be advised I will not be able to attend the
September 18, 2007 CRA meeting due to my not feeling
Thank you for your attention ton this matter.
Other one is councilman Dingfelder, due to a scheduling
conflict I am unable to attend today's CRA meeting.
We are going to make some adjustments to the agenda and
try to get --
>> I want you to know this is the first time we have a
[ Laughter ]
>> Two women and two men.
>>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Got it.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Give me at least an hour.
>>MARK HUEY: We have a number of important things on
We do have some approvals that we would like you to
help us with.
But because our city attorney has an appointment at
2:00, we wanted to handle item 5-B while he is here,
which is the discussion of the very important recent
supreme court decision and its implications for
So if I could do that, we'll have David Smith come up.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Mr. Smith.
>>DAVID SMITH: City attorney.
I have a copy of the case, which I will give to Sal and
pass out to each of you because I will walk you through
a couple of the provisions.
We'll try to keep it general.
There's a lot of details, but I will get you the
highlights that you need to know about.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: I know I had a briefing.
Did any other council member have a briefing on this?
>>GWEN MILLER: I did.
>>DAVID SMITH: And I spoke briefly with Ms. Saul-Sena
when I met with her in my regular meeting on Friday
>>THOMAS SCOTT: I was hoping that we would have a
briefing so that way --
>>DAVID SMITH: And I will touch the key points for you.
You have the entire opinion there for your perusal at
The case is obviously strand versus Escambia County.
It dealt with a bond that was validated in Escambia
County which was challenged by Dr. Strand.
The bond was a bond to build a roadway.
It was a TIF finance bond.
It had some other potential revenue flags but was
primarily secured by the tax increment.
It was not a CRA, however, it was a home rule TIF.
The previous law in this case, which if you will look
at pages 7 and 8 of your opinion, you have before you
at the bottom of page 7, it identifies the previous
supreme court opinions.
It's the Miami Beach case, and a Sarasota County case.
Full names are elsewhere in the text.
But if you read that at the bottom, what it says is
these cases, in their holding and the premise
underlined, quote, was that the payable from ad valorem
taxation language in article 7, section 12 -- that's a
Constitutional provision, Florida Constitution --
refers only to the pledge of ad valorem taxing power,
not to the pledge of ad valorem tax revenues.
This is the key to the case.
And what had previously been the law in Florida, was
they made a distinction between pledging the ad valorem
power and pledging ad valorem revenue.
Now what does that mean?
>>SARAH LANG: That essentially means this, that you
could pledge the revenue, in a TIF, in an increment
finance project, once the money comes in and goes into
a trust account, it has a different character, if you
It is now revenue.
It's not ad valorem taxing power.
And the people who benefit from that bond do not have
the ability to come back to the local government and
force to you use your taxing power to add more taxing
revenue to secure that payment.
It's simply that fund, that flow that already is going
to be coming into it.
And so the distinction the courts originally made was
if you are only taking the revenue and setting it aside
and pledging that revenue, that was different than
pledging the power.
What happened in this case was the Supreme Court of
Florida said, we don't believe that is good law any
longer, we are going to recede from that.
Let me point out for your information, their key
holding now at the bottom of page 8 -- actually, I'm
sorry, in the middle of page 8 -- the paragraph begins,
upon considering, but you come down about four lines,
the sentence that begins "we now hold."
This is actually what they decided.
We now hold that the phrase, quote, payable from
ad valorem taxation, close quote, in article 7, section
12, refers not only to a pledge of the taxing power
itself, but also to a pledge of the ad valorem tax
So what that now means is that even your TIF financing
is subject to article 7, section 12.
So the key is, what does article 2, section 12 say?
If you look at the bottom of page 5, and I don't know
if I did this backwards for you but maybe it will all
fall into place and make more sense for you now -- but
the bottom of page 5 in the opinion, you can see the
large type that says article 7, section 12 on the
So what the case says here is article 7, section 12, of
the Florida Constitution is the provision at issue.
It dictates that -- and here's the provision exactly --
counties, school districts, municipalities, special
districts, and local government bodies with taxing
powers may issue bonds, certificates of indebtedness
for any form of tax anticipation certificate, payable
from ad valorem taxation.
There's that phrase again, payable from ad valorem
In maturing more than 12 months after issuance, only,
essentially, only after you have a referendum.
So this article 7, section 12, says, if you are going
to pledge ad valorem taxation, you are going to have to
have a referendum.
They previously said the pledge meant only the revenue.
Now it means the taxing power and the revenue.
So if you are going to use TIF financing, you are going
to have to have a referendum.
Now let me take you back to the same phrase again and
help you understand some of the complexity here.
Who is covered by it?
Counties have the ability.
They have ad valorem revenues, they can do bonds.
That's what the CRA is.
It's a special district.
And local government bodies.
What types of instruments are covered?
Certificates of indebtedness -- excuse me, bonds,
certificates of indebtedness, or any form of accounts
Now, it looks as though this covers, for example, our
line of credit.
As you know, the prior council approved a $40 million
line of credit for financing projects over in what I
call Curtis Hixon Park and a variety of related
So that type of financing instrument, that vehicle,
that credit facility, if you will, is covered by this.
So this would say that that facility would need to be
approved by referendum.
Well, if you follow, it says in subpart A on the top of
page 6, to finance or refinance capital projects
authorized by law, and only when approved by a vote of
the electors, who are owners of freeholds therein.
Now exactly what that means, of course, lawyers being
what they are, each element of it is somewhat
So therein, I think, would normally seem to refer to
the type of district, going back to the type of
district, if it were a county bond, it would be a
If it were municipal bond it would be municipal wide
vote, so the argument goes.
If it's a CRA bond, then why would it not be within the
CRA district itself?
The argument on the other side is, yes, but you're
talking about also county revenue, because as now part
of the ad valorem we get is county money.
Part of it is city money.
Now all of it comes from that area, but, nonetheless,
there's county revenue and city revenue.
I think the language itself would suggest, it's CRA,
but as I can tell you, and I am not a bond lawyer,
there are bond lawyers that have other views.
That's part of what we are trying to do if we go to a
referendum, who votes on it? So you have those kind of
Last thing I want to point out to you -- and believe
me, there's all kinds of other issues in here.
But one thing I want to make sure you are aware of is
that this court, in its opinion, clearly intended for
it to apply to the CRAs.
If you look at the page 21, it talks about what it
calls the failed amendments.
The failed amendments were two efforts to amend the
Florida Constitution, to specifically indicate that TIF
financing for community redevelopment areas was not
what was intended to be prohibited by article 7,
So there's two different times we have referenda on
I have been a resident of the state forever and I don't
But I wasn't paying attention to that kind of stuff
But you can see it failed twice.
So the supreme court basically said, you have taken it
to the electorate, the electorate has spoken, they
certainly did not intend for that language to exempt
So for all of those reasons -- and I'll point you to
the last thing of consequence to you -- on page 26,
they confirm what their decision was, but they gave us
kind of an interesting exemption, or carve-out, if you
will, about halfway through the page, the bottom part
of that paragraph, or the middle part of the paragraph
that begins with "to be clear" an ironic phrase if ever
there was one, but to be clear, it goes on to say,
also, our decision in this case did not affect bonds
that were validated prior to this opinion becoming
Now, I'll tell you, it's my understanding that this
opinion is not yet final.
So any bond that's been validated prior to the becoming
final is exempt from this coverage, because they
literally are overruling their own precedent.
So they are saying that's a pretty extreme measure.
And because it's an extreme measure, we don't want to
affect those financings that are in place that use the
It may mean specifically validation, which as you know
is a legal process, when a bond is issued you go to the
circuit court, they evaluate the bond, they determine
it's valued and legal, and then those who buy it can
rely on that validation. But not all bonds are
And of course our letter of credit, our line of credit,
is not a bond, and so it was not validated.
My point here for you to consider, and we'll get more
information to you as we gather it because there's
motions for rehearing, motion for reconsideration, this
has ignited a veritable fire storm across the state
because certificates of occupation are hugely
significant in the way schools finance themselves.
In the Sarasota County case was part of what has been
considered as part of the school financing process.
So we have some very powerful and very important allies
And I want to tell you, bond lawyers and others around
the state are still digesting this.
But my point at this juncture is, did they really mean
validation, or did they mean we want to apply this
There's some case law for the view that when you change
your opinion, when you basically overrule precedent,
you apply prospectively.
Now why would do you that?
A, because it's fair.
People have taken option and reliance on what they
thought the law was.
It was very clear previously in Sarasota County what
the law was.
This board in fact has taken action in regard to that.
You have entered into a credit facility.
You have spent some time and effort.
You have incurred some fees.
Arguably we have also entered into some contracts, that
anticipated the ability to use that money.
Not only some reviews in terms of the scope of services
and plans and specifications, but also, as you recall,
into a lease agreement with the Tampa Museum of Art.
Those facts all militate in favor of treating that
credit facility as you would validated bond.
That having been said, that's not what the court is
So I wish I could give you the clarity they say they
are providing, but we really don't have that yet.
But what you do know is that this is the S a very
It will affect essentially everything you do in the CRA
We understand at least with regard to Tampa Heights
they have validated the bond so even under the
narrowest reading of the court's opinion, that project
may not be affected by it.
But everything else that we do as a CRA is potentially
affected by it and that could be potentially
devastating to some of the CRAs.
So we are trying to get clarification.
League of Cities is filing an amicus brief and
hopefully get some relief on that bond validation term
to cover bonds that were issued and even credit for
other arrangements that were entered into.
I would be happy to try to answer any questions if you
>>GWEN MILLER: I have one.
You are saying that the CRAs would have to be at a
standstill until we get a hearing for what's going on?
>>> You won't necessarily be at a standstill but what
you will not be able to do is you will not be able to
leverage your money.
The way you do a lot of -- effect the things of the CRA
is you take your cash flow stream and borrow against
That's what a bond is.
That's what a line of credit is.
Right now there seems to be a pretty strong consensus,
on a go forward basis meaning something that's not been
in the works yet, on a go forward basis, you have to
comply with the referendum requirement.
So not standing still, but if it's a go-forward project
we need to start evaluating the requirements for
referendum, who votes, and evaluate your projects on
The ones you have got currently out there, Tampa
Heights, that can continue.
And possibly even your line of credit facility if the
court moves in that direction.
>> What about East Tampa?
What do we have to do?
>> That's a problem which we do not yet have a solution
Bonnie Wise is here.
I don't know if she wants to talk about it now.
But the city administration is evaluating the available
funds and what can be done to try to make money
available to help these projects out.
There may be some things we can do in terms of the CRA,
and maybe interlocal with the county.
I wouldn't want to speculate.
I know solutions right now, because we need more
clarity, but it is a problem there.
It's a problem that needs a solution.
>>MARY MULHERN: I was just wondering in the central
business district, the count CRAs, how would you have
a vote, possibly have a vote when they are talking
>> Well, you notice the language says free holders
Therein assumingly means the district D.they really
mean free holders? Prim necessarily we think not.
Because what a free holder is a person that owns
The rationale is he or she who pays the taxes should
vote on how the taxes are used.
However the term free holder used in the
disenfranchises others and I believe we have case law
that says free holder is not Constitutional so we are
not even sure who gets to vote.
Along the lines of CRA.
So maybe we can do a bond by mail, we don't No. but we
will be looking into that.
We are pretty sure it's not going to be limited to free
But even if you rent you pay ad valorem in a sense.
It's in your rent.
But yet gotta be people who either live or own property
in that district.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Has a hearing be set yet?
>>> No, sir.
There's a motion filed.
There's a limited time to seek hearing.
Granted on the 16th -- excuse me, the 6th of
September, and you have, I think, ten days.
So they have all been filed.
Now, the court does not have a deadline to grant or
deny a motion for rehearing.
They can grant or deny it right away.
They can think about it.
It's my understanding there's also been a motion for
The problem is, this was a 7-0 zero decision.
It's unlikely that they are going to change their mind
on the fundamental premise.
I don't think you should count on that.
I think possibly what we could do is get some relief
around the edges, particularly this issue of when
things are vested.
And we need clarity.
To tell us who votes, because you know you have that
issue of the multiple and it makes it very difficult to
They don't want to take a risk.
So if we can't get clarity on that, that's also a
>>THOMAS SCOTT: In particular I know you are still in
the process of negotiation, contracting and all that.
And this creates a huge issue for us in East Tampa, the
whole issue was trying to bond out, you know, but now
you won't be able to do that unless comes in the
pipeline and supreme court saying we can move forward,
my understanding, is that right?
>>> Yes, sir.
And also part of the clarification they give us a
couple of windows.
It was a very unexpected decision.
It really caught the financial community by surprise.
And there's a lot of scrambling going on.
Unfortunately we are going to have some uncertainties
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Any other questions?
Thank you, sir, very much.
>>MARK HUEY: If I could just follow up with a couple
points, on the Heights, this shows you how fluid the
David isn't even aware, but I received communications
from the heights development team this morning that in
fact they do think that their project is going to be
impacted by the supreme court decision.
So, again, it is very fresh.
The opinion is only a week and a half old.
And everyone is really getting their arms around it.
So we will continue to update you.
It will affect, again, as said, our public-private
partnership like the Bank of America and the Heights
and affect all the other CRAs planning to do TIF
financing like in Drew Park.
Remember we are planning to do a TIF financing to do
stormwater improvements in the Channelside we are
planning an infrastructure bond.
So it will affect our planning.
Again, I keep clarifying for everyone I speak to on
this matter, it's not saying you can't do it, it's
saying you have to do a referendum.
A lot of questions about what it means to do a
referendum that will add to the complexity of our
But as you already know, everything we do in
redevelopment is complex.
So this is just another challenge.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: If you do a referendum you have to put
those items on the ballot.
>> And given the climate we are in now, that's not
favorable, I will tell you that.
>> Because that means that all the items that you are
doing, you have to put on the ballot, they have to go
and vote on those items.
Definitely another level that creates.
With that in mind the immediate impact of that to the
board is with our downtown TIF budget.
So what we had previously is a number of improvements
that we are very excited about doing in our downtown,
from the new Curtis Hixon park, Ashley drive, Zack
Street, Avenue of the Arts, redo of Massey park, all of
those public realm and infrastructure improvements.
We will not be able to do all of those as we had hoped
we would do.
The budget that you received, part of your budget
package, contemplated the TIF commercial paper
What we will be doing is getting to you in the next
week or so, next few days, a new downtown TIF budget
that will direct all of our downtown TIF funding toward
the completion of Curtis Hixon park.
Why to that improvement?
That's fundamental to keeping the art museum project on
Those two projects work together.
And in order to keep the art museum project moving
forward, we need to keep Curtis Hixon park on track.
So what you will see in the budget that comes to you
that puts all of our resources towards funding Curtis
Hixon park improvement, and it will take multiple years
for us to complete that project using our downtown TIF.
So that's what you will be getting in a few days, and
then we'll be asking your approval of that in October.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I just wanted to clarify, that I had
asked people to come down here to speak on the scope of
the downtown circulation study.
But it's my understanding that that is off the --
>> Can't do it.
We will not have funds to do that.
>> What about money we had committed for previous
>>> What we will be doing, in fact we are asking you
for a special meeting, item 5 on your agenda, to
actually go back at last year's budget.
Last year's budget had approximately $150,000 for that
So we are revisiting all those items, and we will come
back to you for reappropriation of last year's budget
>> So that won't be going toward it either.
>>> That's right.
So we'll line all of our resources up.
Most that we can toward completing Curtis Hixon park.
>> The only good news about that, Mr. Chairman, is that
I have raised an issue and I think Ms. Mulhern raised
issues about this, as well as members of the urban
charrette and different individuals, at least we'll
have lots of time to get a good scope before we have
the money to actually do the study.
>> Maybe years.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Maybe years, you're right.
>>BONNIE WISE: Director of revenue and finance.
I just wanted to mention a few things.
We do have convention center debt out standing.
Those bonds were validated in the early '80s so we
are not one of those bond issues that's been put on
watch by Standard & Poor's.
Standard & Poor's statewide has put over $12 billion
worth of debt on credit watch pursuant to the supreme
So that is one thing that we don't have to worry about
regarding our convention center debt outstanding.
But as everyone has said previously, this is a major
statewide issue, and the best legal minds are trying to
understand what it means and how to move forward.
>>MARY MULHERN: Bonnie, I have a question for you.
Is this going to affect the budget in other ways?
Are we going to see money moved around from the regular
budget to cover?
>>BONNIE WISE: In the short run we are trying to
identify how to handle the park, and what we are going
to do in that regard.
So there may be some things that come up subsequently
for the budget hearing for tomorrow, nothing will be
presented to you that will give everything to you in
>>THOMAS SCOTT: The general revenue and TIF.
Okay, Mr. Huey, can we move forward now with item
>>MARK HUEY: Item 1, 2 and 3 are reappropriations from
the 2007 budget, I sent a memorandum on September
13th explaining them, that I hope was very
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Can we get a motion to approve items 1,
2 and 3, and that's the reappropriation request?
>> So moved.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Moved and seconded.
So moved and ordered.
Item 1, 2 and 3.
>>MARK HUEY: Item 4 is a resolution involving the
disposition of property.
This is a piece of property on property owned by the
port that we sometimes refer to as the Bird site, which
is at the intersection of Channelside Drive and
There was a small easement there that was part of that
site that was in the path of redevelopment, and the
real estate department along with the court has worked
out an agreement for the exchange of that property, and
that's what's before you for approval.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Do we have a map of that property?
>>> Would you get the Elmo, please?
At the end of my finger, this is Beneficial Drive,
The star is a general location of the property.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
Has an appraisal been done on that?
>>MICHAEL CHEN: An appraisal wasn't done.
Real estate ran an RFP and public notice as to the
city's willingness to dispose of this land.
There was only one good response to it.
The property itself is approximately 1400 square feet,
It has little if any value to anyone outside of the
surrounding property owner.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: All right.
Is there a motion -- I'm sorry.
>>MARY MULHERN: I'm just trying to picture it.
If it's a strip is it adjacent to one of these streets?
>>MICHAEL CHEN: It is not.
It's really -- I think that it actually was at one
time, it was a right-of-way that went through there,
that has since been vacated. This was a small piece of
land that was adjacent to it.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I move the resolution.
>>MARY MULHERN: Second.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Moved and seconded.
So moved and ordered.
>>MARK HUEY: Item 5 I referred to earlier, that's your
last item for approval today.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: On the 27th, 8:45 a.m.
Do I hear a motion?
>> So moved.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
>>MARK HUEY: Next item under other CRA updates, we have
item C is a presentation.
We have John Thomas here to present on social compact.
We have already talked about the supreme court.
Item A is just your chance to provide any feedback to
us on the budget at this point.
We began our process in July.
And so if there is anything that you as a board wanted
to talk about, as we head into our approval, at your
next CRA board meeting --
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Scott you have to come back anyway with
budget changes, according to the new ruling?
>>> The only change that will occur will be the
downtown one which I will bring.
But all of the other CRA budgets will be as they are
If there are any millage rate changes at any of the
other municipalities, we will catch those.
They will be very minor.
They won't change the basic line item.
But we'll be bringing them to you for final approval at
the next board meeting.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Yesterday, council had a special discussion meeting on
funding somebody to handle cultural programming.
And Mr. Territo was at that meeting, and he told -- we
discussed potential funding sources.
I brought up the idea of taking some money from
different CRA budgets.
He said that you can't do that for somebody
specifically to do arts, parks administration.
He said we do have power as the CRA over the staff
positions that are under administration.
Currently, we as a CRA payed for city staff to spend a
portion of their time working on CRA issues.
I realize that, you know, we are into the budgeting
But because of, you know, the surprise from the supreme
court, things have changed to a degree.
Because cultural tourism is one of the things that
attracts people to downtown Channelside and Ybor CRA,
and because we all know the cultural programming is an
effective development tool, I would like for us to
explore if we could use some of the money that we
budgeted for staffing, for administration, to be used
for cultural administration, whether it would be giving
the person, the staff person, who is currently helping
the CRAs with additional responsibilities in that
area or cutting back some of their time and potentially
hiring a consultant or someone to help with that.
It's a void that we have, and what we need to be doing
in a -- as a community and something I would like to
And I would like to set up another special discussion
meeting perhaps to look at that.
If we are going to have to be regrouping anyway in
terms of our budgets for the upcoming year, to
specifically look at money that we are spending on CRA
staff, and administration, with an eye toward that
individual or other individuals, assuming some
responsibility in terms of cultural programming.
>>SAL TERRITO: Legal department.
What I basically said was you have control over your
budget, and I understand your money.
As far as staffing, yes, you can, if you want to,
decide if you want to use the money in a different
But you have delegated that authority.
So if you wanted to change something like that, if you
can get four votes to make a change in how your money
is being spent, you can do that.
But if you delegated that authority to the
administration primarily to help staff those functions.
If you decide at some point you don't want to fund
those functions, that's really a your control because
it is your money.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: The question becomes, though, let's
take you have a manager, in that area, so you change
the function and you move that money there, and who is
going to carry out the function and responsibility they
have been carrying out?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: That's what I'm saying, take 15% of
the manager's -- when we had approved previous CRA
budgets, the city administration had funded a staff
person who did cultural programming.
And somebody who was in charge of all cultural stuff
None of those individuals are there.
That funding is gone.
At our meeting yesterday, which I'm sorry those of you
who weren't able to be there weren't there, we heard
discussions from the downtown partnership, from the
Channel District council, and from the arts council
about things that used to be done in terms of trying to
get galleries in these areas, trying to get shows put
up, trying to get concerts organized.
The people who used to do that aren't there anymore.
If we want someone to do it, and we think it's a
valuable thing to happen, and we have to figure out how
to have it.
So maybe what happens is we say to Mr. Chen, since you
don't have to look over so much stuff that's going on
in terms of construction, because we don't have the
money to do construction, the 15% of your time is spent
match making artists and programming, finding studios,
doing those sorts of things.
It isn't necessarily a new person, but the reallocation
of their time, and what Mr. Territo said was that we
have the opportunity to do that.
We can direct that, as the CRA board, because we know
that in terms of creating economic development in these
areas, the cultural programming is an integral part of
And I would love it if you would like to speak up, Ms.
Mulhern, and explain what you heard yesterday.
[ Laughter ]
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilman Miranda.
>>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.
I'm not saying I'm not sorry for being there and sorry
I missed it.
I just didn't go.
I had other things I had to do.
But let me say this.
I don't know how this is going to go.
It used to take seven votes not to go to lunch.
Now it takes four votes to reallocate a program of some
But that being said, it's very difficult to try to
change something when you have something looming in
back of your head called January the 29th.
We already had one significant budget cut due to lack
What happens on January 29th may change the course
of not only this city but a lot of other cities, and a
lot of other governments in the state.
So what I am asking is to make sure that if we pass
something or change something, that you have funds to
continue doing what you do.
If you want to hire your own individuals and remove the
individuals you have and hire the same individuals
back, then I don't know what the law is regarding
retirement, insurance, vacation, whatever it is.
Do we set up a separate agency?
Can we work -- does this council then have to make an
interlocal agreement with the administration?
I don't know those answers.
So although it sounds very simple, it can be something
much more complex than what we are discussing today,
because I don't know the answers.
And I think before we go into something, we must have a
list of due diligence to whomever to speak to the
administration, and first of all explain to the
administration what the plan is, if any, and then once
you -- define the plan, then you have to come up and
say, okay, how are we going to fund this, if that's
what you really want to do.
And right now, I think we are not quite there, and
right now, I would not be supportive of changing the
system we have in place today, because I don't know
what's going to happen January 29th.
At one time I thought that vote was going to be much
different than way think now.
>>GWEN MILLER: We need to wait until January, because
we really don't know.
And we may not be a step ahead and try to change things
we don't know anything about.
A lot of us don't know what's going to happen.
And we leave people out there hanging, and we don't
know if they are going to be there, not going to be
So I would say let's just hold off.
Let's wait until January.
Then we might come back and revisit and see if we can
reorganize and do what we need to do.
>>MARY MULHERN: If I had been here a year ago, one
thing I would have thought that's something we could
look into, but I do kind of agree with people that we
are in sort of an insecure time right now as far as
money goes so it might not be the best time to look at
But I would support you, Linda, in talking -- for to
you go and talk to Mark Huey, and talk about the
possibility and try to work that out with them.
I do agree with Mr. Miranda that we don't have it.
We are not set up at this point to really be doing kind
of staffing, administrative stuff, as a CRA.
And I think that's a bigger question.
I'm not saying we shouldn't be doing that, but I think
it's a bigger question, if we are going to take that
on, you know, how are we going to do that?
So I think it's a needed position.
I think it needs to be done.
I just don't know if now is the right time for to us be
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Let me just follow up and then I'll
come back to you, in terms of what you are just saying.
At any point the board CRA can hire its own staff.
But that's not where we are.
I'm not at that point.
Problem I have at this point is you might need to
clarify, Sal, because it is my understanding, that
position was under the city administration, right?
>> And now we are talking about taking CRA.
My understanding is you can't take CRA money and
supplant it for the administration to use, and that's
what you are doing.
You are taking that and doing it.
So I don't know how we can do that legally.
Because at that point you are taking a staff position,
and you are allocating that for a responsibility that
was under the city administration.
Now, as I understand this law, you cannot do that.
>>> The statute is fairly clear that you cannot
supplant functions that are being carried out and
suiting -- substituting CRA money for that purpose.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Right.
I'm not an attorney.
I'm not a lawyer.
But I do read and I have common sense.
And so when I look at this, that is supplanting,
because that function was carried out under the
administration and now you say CRA will carry out that
function by staffing it and funding it.
Do you follow what I'm saying?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Yes.
The reason that we have CRA districts is to try and
take blighted areas and redevelop them.
We have all recognized that an important tool in
redevelopment is cultural activity.
I'm trying to creatively, with you all, my colleagues,
figure out how we can have the staff support, which is
necessary, for creative activity.
If you don't feel comfortable pursuing this, my and I
understand your reasons, then we need to look to some
But the bottom line is, the City of Tampa needs
cultural activity, downtown, Channelside, and in Ybor
It's one of the -- it's one of the drivers in the
redevelopment of these areas, and it's something in
which we need to continue to invest.
And I'm trying to be creative about finding the source
of that funding.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: From my perspective, I think we all
Just make sure with the CRA we are on legal ground and
legal footing for this, you know.
Again, when I was with the county, I hit the city hard
on this issue, you know.
So I don't want to be guilty of doing something that
the city was doing before.
So it is an issue that was under the administration.
They had a staff person. That person has been cut now.
And so maybe we can -- if you want to talk to
administration or try to find -- I'm not opposed to
I just want to make sure that we operate within the
guidelines provided us by the Florida statutes.
>>MARY MULHERN: Linda, I don't mean to be not
supportive, and I totally agree with you, and I said
many times that I think arts and you cultural are a
huge driver of economic development.
I don't think we concentrate on it enough.
I think we need to focus on it and find the funding for
But as I said in our discussion meeting, I see this on
a much bigger -- in a much bigger picture as the vision
that the city, and economic development, needs to look
at, all of our economic development, and to take that
more into consideration.
And I think the staffing needs to come, and the
programming, and the project and the goals need to come
from the higher level.
So that's a long-term thing.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: We need to move.
My time is getting away K.we move to social compact
presentation at this time?
>>MARK HUEY: Yes.
Happy to have in town John Thomas, president of social
I had an opportunity to have Tom come down a few weeks
ago when you were approving the contract you had with
social compact and give you a 2-minute briefing but
today you have the real deal.
And I think you will enjoy Tom's presentation and
hearing about what we are doing.
But encourage more private investment in our
>>> Little a -- it's a little surreal being here after
the city attorney's presentation because what social
compact does is to identify the market forces and
underserved communities and use that information to
leverage private investment.
And although an important part of that is the public
financing portion, it doesn't have to be the only
And I think if you all give me the time for the short
Social compact is a unique partnership that came out of
the regulatory community, federal reserve board, the
financial services, and neighbor works, and it came
about in order to find tools to capture the
unrecognized earnings of underserved communities.
Our board still is representative of those same
institutions, but the vice chairman of the reserve for
many years, Larry Lindsey, the chair of the White House
conference on economic advisors, Bill Goodyear, who was
Bank of America CEO at the time, all came together in
the late 1990s to try to create this new methodology of
powers to underserved communities.
And the three things we tried to capture are the
population, the number of people, the number of
households, by the U.S. census.
We capture the formal and the economic -- income of the
community, we have a methodology that we peer review
both a broad and federal reserve system.
How do you capture the amount of people -- how many
incomes depend on TIF, nursery, daycare, second or
third job that may not be created in your W-2 form.
And we try to capture the disability community.
We look for those things that we can correct
If you were to Google east Oakland, in Oakland,
California, would you think that east Oakland was the
most dangerous community in the state of California.
The fact of the matter is that it's actually 18% safer
than the city at large.
But because of the way the newspapers report that
information, it gets sensationalized and that
information, and that information and misperception of
east Oakland or Fruitville or Harlem, or pick your
poison, becomes a barrier to investment.
So we try to bring this all together in cities around
the country to kind of overcome these perceptions.
It's not a very sexy thing to do to talk about data,
but we data mine, and we look at any number of data
sets, and come up with that missing population, and the
things that we found -- and the reason we do this, we
are very involved in the census and sort of the issues
around the census.
But Newark, New Jersey, for example, under the last 3
sense us, 30 years, averages 32%.
The city of Los Angeles estimates they were
undercounted in 2000 between 180 and 200,000 people,
and guesstimates that that cost them 60 to $80 million
a year in federal revenue.
There were any number.
There were challenges where 700,000 people were added
back to the census in those cities but it isn't added
back to the aggregated population.
So Louisville, Kentucky, they lost population this
year, just because the weighted number of folks,
challenged in census.
So we are working with Congress on this issue to try to
correct some of these things.
Because there's a bias against cities, a bias against
urban America, and how it's calculated.
80% of all private sector retail commercial residential
development is based on the census.
And I'll show you some examples of how important this
But if you don't have an accurate count, then do you
have the structure barriers.
What we have found, we have worked in 12 cities to
In some we have only worked in parts of the cities.
But we had 8,000 people missed by the U.S. census.
By the time we completed, some 30 cities we expect to
find $3.5 million people on the United States census or
the equivalent of 1% in selective neighborhoods.
This number represents $20 billion of unrecognized
And in the 30 states we will have been in, $80 billion
of earning potential.
Control of the currency has taken the position if a
bank recognizes our numbers internally, they will have
a regulatory obligation to increase their CRA, their
In the case of city group, that could mean an
additional billion dollars.
So the numbers are very astounding but again they
created information, a structural barrier to
If you look at places like East Tampa, Ybor City, and
some of the neighborhoods we are talking about, and I'm
from Gainesville so I'm sort of familiar with Tampa,
and I'm a big Buccaneers fan, that we can't garner the
schools and the -- go gators -- we can't build the tool
kit that we need to properly assess -- it's not that
City or Bank of America or Wachovia or Regents don't
want to do the right thing.
The regulators don't allow them to do things they might
want to do if they can't prove the numbers.
So there's disinformation we always have to overcome.
What we try to do is information to identify market
And I'll use two cases to illustrate the public
policies construction that goes around the market
In the case of Santa Ana, California, we looked at a
community about 100,000 people in the downtown.
And what we found was that the average household income
was $62,000 per household.
For the market anomaly that I'm going to put this into
context at was remember $62,000 of average household
Medium home value is $420,000.
52% of the homes are owner occupied.
69% of the households did not have credit histories,
didn't have mortgages, didn't have credit cards, didn't
have debit cards, they are paying a poverty tax by
having to use alternative services, check cashers, pawn
shops, whatnot, in order to access their financial
The utility department often has said based on what
your FICA score is.
In Washington, D.C. you can't rent an apartment anymore
without a FICA store.
In many places you can only get a job.
So 69% of these households in Santa Ana, California who
have a lot of equity.
69% do not have credit scores, or credit history, means
they are paying a poverty tax, for things we all take
In the case of -- I don't have it here as an
illustration, but in downtown Detroit, greater downtown
Detroit area, we found that it had a 61% higher income
again than the census document.
And in this case it wasn't income as it was in Santa an
a, it was the 3500 new condo units in downtown Detroit,
selling for over a million dollars.
That number does not find its way into the census until
you get to 2010.
But the what the market anomaly is, the greater
downtown Detroit area, there are 22 grocery stores, 17
of them are smaller than 2500 square feet, remaining
five are smaller than five thousand square feet.
They are convenience stores.
And so if you put this into the context that some of
the researchers like in Houston, she correlates obesity
and diabetes rate to the saturation of fast food
restaurant, lack of access to full service groceries.
It's imperative why you need to have grocery stores as
an integral part of neighborhood development.
You also add another layer, in Detroit, which showed
that African-American families living at the lowest
income live a mile and a half farther away from a
grocery store than their white counterparts. But 35%
of those households don't have access to cars.
Grocery store developments are not a matter of
convenience, it's a public policy imperative to
integrate that into any kind of comprehensive economic
development plan, because if you don't, you're
condemning support for public health outcome for the
lack of having private investment in your community.
And so we are taking these numbers wherever we go.
We partner with the international council of shopping
centers right now.
We are in the process of say a day or two days,
research real estate, management divisions of national
retailers, the data into the national retailers, or
work, with living cities, foundations and others to try
to create a group of small business indicators, because
one of the technology firms that powers Bank of America
and Citibank, you can take this kind of information and
create adjustment bridges for underwriting standards,
to get to the price line for lending or find other ways
to show the market strength for small business lending
other than using just traditional types of underwriting
criteria. The idea is to have you take information and
really begin to create a tool kit to help the private
investment move into certain communities.
I use Miami as one of our starkest examples.
We are working with mayor Diaz very closely, in fact
there every Friday for the next year, just beginning to
help the city integrate data information into their
But the reason we are so involved in Miami, when we did
it, five neighborhoods in the northern part of the city
we found there were 42% higher populations than the
In African-American neighborhoods that exceeded 95%.
What did you do with that?
The population is twice as large.
Any retailer using the census or any other kind of
proprietary demographics to determine where a Publix
should go, or where a retailer should go, or how you
are going to underwrite a loan, can't make a rational
decision when the numbers are so wrong.
And when we conducted a survey in the same community,
and found that 83% of all the households there take all
or some of their bills in cash.
So there's a complete disconnect between what
Washington mutual has on the streets and what was
happening actually in the household.
And so again when the urban institute comes out with a
study next year, that shows that the correlation for
incidence of violent crime and the presence of
alternative financial services, you walk out with cash
in your pocket.
So a place where predatory crime is happening.
So again this is some of the basis of the survey.
But again, 82% of the households, cash, across the
board, everyone has to leave their neighborhoods to buy
They can't buy things locally.
Again it's not a matter of convenience.
It's a matter of economic development.
Again in the case of downtown Detroit they built their
3500 units but what they found was they can't build the
next 3500 units until they have the retail components
to accommodate it.
And so to have mixed use, mixed income development, and
the barrier for investment, a barrier for how you
leverage public dollars, and you don't have the outcome
that you would expect to have.
One of the things we are trying to do also creatively
is to create micromarket indicators.
Everyone expects target to use site selection but
expect the mom and pop to use intuition.
How do you extend the science down to the mom and pop?
And knowing that they try to create a business
intelligence unit, if you will, for urban America for
underserved America, for small business.
So in the case of Miami, I can tell you 22 barbershops
in Liberty City, that the average square footage is X,
low is Y, the high is Z, so microlending, using
relationship or lending as your underwriting criteria,
you have something to gauge the market against.
Because that doesn't exist today.
And in the pace of Detroit again, 22 grocery stores,
averaging $350 a square foot, but -- I'm sorry, the
national average for sales of square foot for grocery
stores is $350 a square foot.
There's a 500 spread between what the market was
supporting and what the national average is.
But I can't tell you certainly that it cost $355 to
operate a grocery store in Detroit because no one
collects that N number.
By the time we have gone through 30 cities we can tell
you that it costs 400 or 500.
What that number ultimately becomes to open a grocery
store, operate a grocery store in underserved America,
and we want to reduce the hurdle rate.
I worked in New Orleans and in New York City, and it's
no surprise that Starbuck's had the most opening was
here and whole foods in New Orleans, because of hurdle
What they have to earn, just to make that initial
investment, is so high, that we don't need the best
start-up, we just need a good start-up.
So we hope that we are adding to that value.
And I would conclude with this now, to tell you that
the Tampa project is very important for us.
Citibank has stepped in to offer to underwrite the
project that was all privately financed.
The relationship with the city, to help identify some
of the operations for the study.
The study area, what we will be recording my
communities, and using the relationship with the
federal government consumer bankers association, other
types of industry associations, national retail
federation, to find ways to help move this data into
the decision makers hands at different national
retailers, and if there's a small business strategy to
associate it with, to help those small businesses.
We will have the tool in a year that will help allow us
to track the movement of capital from the household to
the point of sale, actually not -- if you are going
>> In the year?
>>> In the year.
Actually see how capital moves down.
Why is it missing these three stores and going to the
And if these three stores were to mix up their
merchandise or change the merchandising a little bit to
make it more what the local community wants, would that
increase their sales?
We are beginning to aggregate performance, and how
credit and debt operates in the underserved community.
Charter one just did a study where they ran
collateralized against uncollateralized products in the
underserved communities and found the uncollateralized
debt functions better, they have a higher return on
Because they pay more attention to it.
And a lot of lessons to learn, that you are paying more
attention to the.
If we can aggregate low performing, and serve
aggravate, show how stock moves around, we can show how
the micromarket consumer -- show what the market
strength is and pull all those together, and show how
tools can actually move private investment into
communities, not just where Publix or Wal-Mart may want
it but where the strategies are where they need it and
link it to public policy outcome like public health
concerns, or whatnot.
So that is the project, and we are in the data
gathering point now and hopefully be able to share with
you in the fall.
>>MARY MULHERN: Citibank is underwriting this?
>>> The primary underwriter.
Generally the way -- we are foundation supported so
it's a city foundation.
And what they have done, the reason that they were
mentioned doing this, to go back and look where we
conducted before to conduct a longitudinal analysis, to
conduct a new set of tools, for example, if a target
were to go into Gulf Gate mall in Houston, what small
business categories open up alongside target.
So if we have a target come into the community, what
small business can you target, to try to bring along
with that --
>>MARY MULHERN: So you can use that in the next city
you are working.
[ Laughter ]
>>> Thank you.
We look forward to bringing back the results.
>>GWEN MILLER: You made a statement that
African-Americans did not have supermarkets near their
>>> In Detroit.
Little mom and pop.
>> What about in the City of Tampa?
Are you going to get those too?
I mean, when I got these statistics that's a full range
that we will bring.
We will create specifics for Tampa, overlay outcome,
education outcome, to show the correlation between
where private sector works and where investment may not
be working as well, and how far people live away --
people have a two-mile to travel to groceries.
So you buy your Levis where you work.
You buy your groceries close to where you live.
If you don't have access to full service grocery, then
it's not your fault, it's never your fault that you
will use -- fast food restaurants.
In the case of Detroit we are trying to create a
grocery underwriting fund, a specific attraction, or
the Detroit police department to create liaison for
All the areas that groceries say they have.
Not all the excuses they have, not to be in the Detroit
We'll go to come up with a public policy, the solution,
and at the end of the day, the grocery issue is so
>>GWEN MILLER: You keep saying Detroit.
I want to speak about Tampa.
>>MARY MULHERN: Well the --
>>GWEN MILLER: I want to hear about Tampa.
>>MARY MULHERN: They just started.
>>GWEN MILLER: When do you this study for Tampa, I want
all that in this study.
>>> We are starting the study now.
When we come back in the fall we will have the
information on franchises, grocery stores, retail --
how much East Tampa spends outside the East Tampa area.
>>MARY MULHERN: I want to ask you.
I to take your time.
When you talk about people basically living on cash and
not having credit and not having bank, I've Wen been
there, and part of the problem, there aren't any banks
in your neighborhood, just like there aren't grocery
stores, and the other problem is the cost of having a
bank account if you don't have enough money in there.
And I'm wondering if the banking industry, which is
helping, if they are remedying that at all, in those
It seems like that would be a great thing to wish.
>>> The answer is, they are a dinosaur in the street.
They are trying.
No one is moving quickly enough to meet a lot of
You know, when Bank of America merges, it's an
opportunity to use the CRA in order to leverage more
types of resolution like that.
Come out with interest-free checking, and no-fee
checking, because bank activity is completely flat in
the United States.
So what happens, folks are now competing for the
And because it's cheaper for Bank of America to find an
unbanked client than, but the unbanked, the code word
for entrepreneur, is for -- it's not all things to all
And so there is a very vibrant discussion going on in
Congress right now about what CRA means, and what is
the cost of banking, because if your business loan is a
business credit card of 24%, that's another form of
So city, for example, defines a small business as 15,
million a year.
They don't have the intelligence to extend the products
down and -- America spends more money in check cashing
fees than --
>>THOMAS SCOTT: I'm about lose my quorum.
So it's very good information.
If you would, provide each council member with a copy
of your presentation, I think it would be helpful as
>>MARK HUEY: Glad you're enthusiastic.
You can see why we are enthusiastic.
This initiative came out of our initial redevelopment
efforts in East Tampa, where we met with bankers.
We met with grocery store operators.
And we asked them to consider development in East
Tampa, and what we heard was the numbers aren't there.
The market is not there.
And our effort to respond to those questions has really
led up to social compact and the ability to provide a
business case to bankers, grocery store operators, for
why she enthused come into a neighborhood like East
>> Looking forward to the results.
>>>: The next item, I would like to have Mike Chen come
We have the consultant that we have retained to help us
create a vision for arts and culture in the Channel
And he would like to introduce her.
>>MICHAEL CHEN: Ms. Saul-Sena, I'm ahead of you.
I expect the next several months I'll be standing --
spending 15, 20% of my time managing Channel District,
art consultant with studies and interactive meetings
with the public.
I would like to introduce you to project resources who
is the consultant that was selected, and Lisa Mullen is
the president of that company who will give you a brief
description of her experiences.
>>> Thank you.
I also want to commend social compact for their good
work and thank the council for taking the time to let
us introduce ourselves today.
Especially in light of the very pressing issues as a
result of the referendum.
I am Lisa Mullen, president and founder of land air
I want to tell you very briefly what we are intending
to do, and brief background on our skills and resources
Just very briefly, we are charged with the cultural
resources within the district, and we are reaching
beyond the district as well to understand what the
needs are, cultural users in Tampa.
We are also going to be examining best practices, and
councilwoman, I believe we may be able to identify some
best practices that have been successful in other
cities across the nation that could help, perhaps give
you some ideas of other ways that these assignments can
be funded, and accessed.
In fact, one of our charges in making our
recommendation is to find solutions and recommendations
that are other than city funded.
So Wie we bring a lot of experience in working with
other funding sources on the federal and state level as
well as corporate and foundation research as well and
some tax credits idea that have worked in other cities.
Just very briefly.
My background span it is public and private sector.
I spent a number of years running the capital program
for the New York City department of cultural affairs,
and also spent several years in real estate
So I personally bring a rounded experience in both
public and private sector.
My team of experts on staff also span public-private
sector development and public arts administration and
arts planning and arts industry.
So we really -- I believe one of the reasons the
selection committee voted in our favor is we do bring a
good deal of depth and breadth in spanning a lot of the
issues that are pertinent to Channel District planning
I'm also joined on our team by evergreen solutions, a
We opened our office in Tallahassee two years ago and
got to know evergreen there.
And evergreen is going to be doing the surveying for
We do plan a very extensive public outreach.
We will be conducting a public meeting in October and
issuing a survey that will be acceptable by the
Internet, and basically available to all who have an
interest in the arts, especially in the Channel
Some of our experience I think really does lend itself
to the study.
We worked with the city and state in a nonprofit
association in New York City on the redevelopment of
pine square from '93 to the year 2000, and I guess pine
square is up there in terms of recognizable success of
a very blighted neighborhood that has been totally
renewed and turned around, amazing commercial success.
We have also, in Manhattan, worked with the lower
Manhattan Development Corporation and other entities in
the really the renewal of lower Manhattan since 2001.
We had the honor of administering the memorial
competition for the World Trade Center memorial, and
which was probably one of the most extensive outreach
We reached about -- we received about over 13,000
applicants, registrants, interested in submitting their
design for the memorial.
We received over 5,000 entries from 92 countries around
So we were very, very successful in creating a process
that was really in all regards the fairest and most --
probably the most extensive outreach, I think in the
history, that I November. Anyway, it was a great
honor, a very healing experience for all of us who
worked on that.
We also worked with the city of Stanford cultural
Development Corporation, and I think in a way that
project mirrors the Channel District in a very close
We were charged with surveying and identifying all of
the cultural aspects in the city of Stanford and it was
very interesting to unearth organizations that were
providing cultural and arts services, small
organizations that were really below the radar screen,
operating out of storefronts, and schools and churches,
and we were really able to portray and paint the
picture of cities, very rare cultural resources, that
even the city itself wasn't aware of.
And we are currently working on a project in Newark,
New Jersey, a city that's been challenged, in many ways
for many years, and also, always on a redevelopment for
probably two or three decades.
In fact, probably four decades.
We are working with a private property owner there
to -- very closely with the city -- to create an arts,
entertainment and mixed use district, that it's really
sort of leaping over the bounds, the boundaries of
what's been perceived, in really creating a new
district on the waterfront there out of what is
currently an underutilized warehouse district.
So we are going to be very focused on bringing arts and
entertainment on water related services to that site.
I think one thing that sets us apart from our
competitors, and other organizations, we are very
So when we plan, it's always through what it takes to
actually takes to get something accomplished.
Mike Chen was very, very clear in our charge that
everything that we study here and everything that we
recommend here really has to be vetted through the
We are going to be doing a great deal of interviewing
and outreach and discovery so that we understand what
the local resources are, and what the -- really what
the City of Tampa wants to see happen in the Channel
So we really -- we are very serious about finding the
balance between what's doable, what's viable, and
what's worked in other places, really vetted against
what's possible here and what's really desired here.
We do have a great deal of breadth of experience, in
that we serve as consultants, public servants, that's
given us a great deal of sensitivity to fiscal
accountability and the importance of maintaining a very
high degree of public scrutiny, and we also recognize
that it's ultimately, you know, this is the goal of the
public service, is to get things accomplished.
So we see our job as finding -- identifying the
resources that are here, linking those with
opportunities within the Channel District, and really
finding the public and private initiatives to bring
those results home.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you very much.
I will allow a couple of minutes for questions.
Thank you for being here.
>>> My pleasure.
Looking forward to working with all of you.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: One last item, then we have public
My goal is try to get us out by three.
We have ten minutes left.
So here we go.
>>MARK HUEY: The next item was the neighborhood
>>THOMAS SCOTT: I handed the recommended approach out
Mr. Huey and I met, had lengthy discussion on this.
Do you want to walk us through this?
You don't have your copy?
Do you want to borrow my copy?
>>MARK HUEY: It's memorized.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Do you want to borrow my copy?
>>> The purpose of the meetings, we have laid it out
very straightforward, timing, purpose of the meeting,
Purpose of the meetings would be to receive input from
the community regarding redevelopment activities of the
There will be no official business conducted at the
meeting, nor any attempt to set policy for the
And by doing that, the sunshine issues are limited.
The meetings would be held quarterly.
So once every quarter.
And we are suggesting January, April, July, and
They would be in the evening.
We would coordinate with the advisory committee, and
whether it would start at 5:30 or 6:30, whatever makes
the most sense in that community and would coordinate
it with the board.
Board attendance, what we have written is that there
would be a requirement that there be a quorum of board
members at each of these meetings, and that's
The communities want to interact with the board, and
having a quorum there will represent the board's
commitment to hearing from the community.
If there isn't a commitment in a particular quarter, if
we can't -- two weeks prior, assure that there's going
to be a quorum, we would cancel that neighborhood
Do you want me to keep going through here?
We would notify communities of the board meeting
through the normal sunshine law requirement.
Additionally, we would notice the communities through
our extensive e-mail list of contacts and possibly even
The minute the recording of activity of the meeting
would be made with an audio recording, and the clerk's
office would prepare written minutes of those meetings.
So that's what we have outlined in terms of -- in
response to the direction that we have gotten to this
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I think this is great.
I'm dying to do this.
I have been wanting to do this for years, if you know.
I will show up.
I will be there.
I think it's unfair to a neighborhood to not -- to
cancel the meeting if for some reason you don't have a
I think we should go ahead, schedule them, and have
them irregardless of having a quorum.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Just one correction I need to point out
and it just came to me.
July is a short month.
We have two weeks that we are out.
So we may want to look at an alternate date in terms of
So I just --
>>MARK HUEY: Right.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: We are out the first two weeks of July.
>>> I understand.
I hadn't thought about that.
I was thinking about our budget cycle.
And the board gets real involved in the budget around
We can we look at -- fine tune the July.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: What we could do, one in January, one
in May, then one in October, something like that.
July is just a short month.
>>MARY MULHERN: I kind of agree with Linda on the
quorum idea, because I'm always the quorum -- not
necessarily everyone else.
I want to thereby because I want to thereby.
And this is our CRA meeting.
This is an add -- isn't an administration meeting.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Any other discussion on those items?
>>MARK HUEY: In terms of action, I want to make sure
I'm clear, there's been some discussion in that the
quorum recommendation is an issue.
I don't know if you are trying to approve this today or
just if you want to think about it and maybe take it up
at our next meeting.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I remember we -- move we adopt and
leave out the board attendance paragraph.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: The what?
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: The board attendance.
That we adopt this including purpose, timing,
>>THOMAS SCOTT: I got a problem with that then.
I have a real problem.
Because -- the issue is you have a quorum.
If you don't have a quorum then you have to cancel that
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Mr. Territo, can't we just have a
public forum without necessarily have a quorum of board
>>SAL TERRITO: It's your meeting.
However you want to conduct the meeting is up to you.
If there's no action then a quorum is not necessary.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: I only have one vote.
Let me say. This when you advertise the board is
coming and you show up and you only have two people, it
creates a problem, number one.
Number two, since I have been on the CRA, it's really
hard to get a quorum to these meetings.
I'm telling you.
And I think last meeting, I think we had to take a
break, because one of them had to step out for a
We couldn't move forward.
So it just creates a problem.
The issue becomes, though, you tell the community that
the board is coming, and only one person shows up,
that's an embarrassment, from my standpoint.
>>> If I can share two examples from last year, when we
had our Drew Park strategic action plan review.
The board had committed to go to Drew Park to review
the strategic action plan.
Chair Gwen Miller was there. In your council role.
But board member Miller here.
And that was it.
I will tell you, I had many, many community people come
up and say they were disappointed that more folks
That's what we are trying to curtail.
It is a bad reflection if the board does not show up.
So I think if you are serious about this as a board, I
believe you will show up.
But I don't think we should create an environment where
whether or not the board comes we have the meeting
If everyone is going to take this seriously enough, I
believe the board should make the commitment to have a
quorum and be there, and to hear collectively the input
from the neighborhood.
That's our input, and that comes from really very
recent experience that we have had.
Again you don't need to approve it.
Really I was asked to bring -- work with the chair to
bring an unusually recommendation.
And you can talk about it, or reflect on it.
>>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Why don't we share it with the
people who didn't show up today?
>>MARY MULHERN: That's a good idea.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: We'll take it up -- everybody get a
copy of this.
But it's very important, you know.
I'm accustomed to going out and doing meetings, you
But, yeah, the issue becomes, got to have people there.
>>MARY MULHERN: Some of these CRA areas are within
And I think it would be incumbent upon the district
person to show up for their CRA meeting.
If any part of that CRA is in their district.
I tend to show up for everything I can.
And I'm city-wide.
So I don't need a rule to make me show up at a meeting.
But I think if the public sees that -- and I'll be
there, Linda will be there, and Tom will be there, and
Gwen will probably be there.
I think it was the last council.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
Ms. Best is the newly-elected chairperson for the East
I want to acknowledge her today and welcome her to the
first CRA meeting as chairman of the East Tampa
You have three minutes.
Public comment of those who want to come address the
I think it's a very good meeting today.
I want to thank the council for being here.
I really appreciate that very much.
>>MARK HUEY: Can I remind you quickly of next month,
the items on the agenda?
We had to reschedule the Heights presentation from this
month to next month.
We will also be bringing to you the advisory board
policy follow-up discussion.
We have a presentation scheduled by Lewis Miller
regarding the airport's cargo road project in Drew
We have East Tampa strategic plan update.
And plan update for Central Park as well.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: That will be the second Thursday in
>>> At 9:00.
So a lot of things including budget approval.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you all for being here today.
>> Need a motion to receive and file.
>>GWEN MILLER: So moved to receive and file.
>>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you very much.
We stand adjourned.