Help & information    View the list of Transcripts

November 8, 2007
Tampa City Council
9:00 AM






11:14:27AM >>GWEN MILLER: Tampa City Council is called back to order.
11:14:29AM Roll call?
11:14:30AM [ROLL CALL]
11:14:38AM >>GWEN MILLER: Before we begin, I would like to have a
11:14:40AM moment of silence on Mr. Bill Stoltzing, who is the founder
11:14:46AM and president of Brian Adams Surgery who passed away and
11:14:50AM we're having a memorial service for him at the First Baptist
11:14:54AM Church. Will you please have a moment of silence. Amen.
11:15:04AM We now go to Mr. David Smith.
11:15:07AM >> Good morning. David Smith, city attorney. Thank you
11:15:10AM very much for giving me an opportunity to speak today. I
11:15:13AM had a professor at the University of Chicago when I was in
11:15:15AM graduate school that once said, people should always take
11:15:18AM politics seriously, because politics takes us seriously.
11:15:22AM Unfortunately, I seem to have violated that victim with a
11:15:25AM rather flippant remark that had the regrettable consequence
11:15:30AM of reflecting in my opinion unfavorably on this board, and
11:15:34AM for that I apologize. I certainly would not want to do
11:15:37AM anything that would reflect poorly on this board or the
11:15:40AM members that comprise it. I have worked with those of you
11:15:43AM here for maybe three, three-and-a-half years, some of you
11:15:46AM less. This is anything but a part-time job. The commitment
11:15:49AM that you make to your job, the energy and the time you put
11:15:52AM in it, is commendable. And it's important that that never
11:15:55AM be diminished in any way. I think miss Mulhern, and my
11:16:00AM opportunity to speak of you each individually, probably
11:16:02AM characterized it best and that was that the comment will the
11:16:06AM unfortunate consequence of appearing to diminish the
11:16:09AM council. I can certainly tell you that that was not my
11:16:11AM objective. I actually thought the comment was not one on
11:16:14AM the record. Unfortunately it was a comment I made, so one

11:16:16AM must pay the consequences for one's flippancy so I want to
11:16:22AM make sure the public understands my true opinion. I have
11:16:25AM respect for everyone on this board. I appreciate what you
11:16:26AM do. I understand what you do for the city, and it is
11:16:29AM important, and it is significant. That having been said, we
11:16:33AM need to talk about the issue itself, and that is the
11:16:37AM interaction and relationship between the two very important
11:16:40AM parts of our city government, the legislative branch and the
11:16:44AM executive branch. So what I would like to do, I provide you
11:16:47AM a somewhat abbreviated statement. I'd like to walk you
11:16:49AM through the analysis. There's only about five portions of
11:16:52AM the city charter that are relevant. If you -- I don't know
11:16:55AM if you have it with you, but I'll put my rather lapped,
11:17:01AM dog-eared and overread version on the Elmo, and if you look
11:17:07AM at section 1.01, which is, I think, the first part, it
11:17:11AM refers to the fact that we, the people, of the City of Tampa
11:17:14AM create a home rule charter to create an organic structure of
11:17:18AM government. What's important about this section is two
11:17:20AM things. One, that it is the people who have approved this
11:17:24AM charter. It is to them we are accountable, and it is that
11:17:27AM theme that carries throughout. It is also important to
11:17:29AM recognize that it contemplates an organic structure of
11:17:34AM government. I think that structure of government is what
11:17:37AM should also inform our reading of the charter. The second
11:17:39AM provision is right below it in 1.04. I don't know if you
11:17:45AM can make that out with all my highlighting. Let me move it
11:17:48AM up a little bit.
11:17:51AM >>GWEN MILLER: Cable, would you put the council's monitor,
11:17:56AM please?
11:17:57AM >> Yes. It would be helpful if you could see it. I know
11:17:59AM this stuff by heart, but I know you haven't had the
11:18:02AM opportunity to do it as often. If you look at section 1.04,
11:18:05AM one of the things it says that's important is that there
11:18:07AM shall be a distinct separation in powers. That is for a
11:18:12AM purpose. It is very important. It is the extent to which
11:18:16AM we have checks and balances in this system. It is that
11:18:20AM concept of a separation in powers. This council performs an
11:18:24AM extremely significant function in that regard. You are a
11:18:28AM check and balance with regard to the executive branch. That
11:18:32AM having -- I still haven't got that voice issue. That having
11:18:36AM been said, this charter does create a strong mayor form of
11:18:39AM government and, let me go to the very next section here,
11:18:41AM which is 2.01. And really, it's the first part of 2.01
11:18:48AM that's important. It says that we create in this charter a
11:18:52AM city council in which all legislative powers shall be
11:18:56AM vested. And that's a slight paraphrase, but that's exactly
11:18:59AM what it says. The point being in the separation in powers
11:19:02AM government, we have a legislature, the council, you. You
11:19:05AM have all of the legislative power. Now, again, it's a
11:19:09AM distinct separation, not a complete separation. There is a
11:19:13AM necessity that the branches work together. That's an issue
11:19:17AM we need to talk about a little bit when we get through this
11:19:21AM little exercise that we're going through, and that's
11:19:23AM extremely important. So anyway, as you can tell, 2.01
11:19:27AM provides this council with the legislative power. A
11:19:37AM provision that is relevant to the specific issue, which I
11:19:40AM really don't want to spend too much time on, but it's
11:19:42AM incumbent upon me to point it out to you, is 2.05. It
11:19:46AM indicates that all legislative power is exercised by this
11:19:51AM council through ordinance. All administrative powers such

11:19:54AM as are conferred upon this body by the charter, are
11:19:57AM exercised by resolution. And intra-city communications and
11:20:03AM internal determinations are made by motion. That's
11:20:05AM important. Ordinance, resolution, motion. Unfortunately,
11:20:11AM sometimes things happen around here in which that
11:20:14AM distinction, particularly wean the latter two, is not
11:20:16AM sustained, and we need to make sure it is. The next area I
11:20:22AM would point out to you is section 4.01, which is a rather
11:20:26AM long one. It starts on the bottom of the page, and I'm not
11:20:31AM sure how it's going to show up on the Elmo. But -- yeah, we
11:20:36AM need to raise that up, if we can. So that you can see more.
11:20:41AM We'll do it in sections, then. Let me just tell you, the
11:20:43AM first part down here, it indicates that we have a mayor form
11:20:48AM of government in whom all executive powers shall be vested,
11:20:57AM and who is appointed the administrative head of the
11:21:01AM government. I believe it goes on to indicate that the mayor
11:21:04AM shall be directly responsible for the administration of the
11:21:07AM government to the people of the City of Tampa. This refers
11:21:10AM back to our section 1.01, where the people are, in fact,
11:21:14AM those who created this charter pursuant to referendum. If
11:21:18AM you look at the series of powers they give her, and we'll
11:21:21AM use her in a sense in as much as we could use him. It's her
11:21:25AM in this case. The powers that are given to the mayor are
11:21:29AM stated as including but not limited to the following:
11:21:32AM That's a rather broad statement. Frequently we think of our
11:21:37AM federal government, for example, as a government of
11:21:40AM enumerated powers, meaning that the powers not enumerated,
11:21:44AM it hasn't been provided to that government by the people. A
11:21:50AM couple of provisions that are relevant here, and I think it
11:21:52AM shows up on there, is it talks about the role of the mayor
11:21:56AM as the representative of the city. Upon all public
11:22:01AM occasions where such representation shall be right and
11:22:06AM proper. The other issue, is, I think Subpart A uses a vague
11:22:11AM term, the cognizance of the relation of the city to the
11:22:13AM county, state, federal and other municipal governments,
11:22:17AM point being there that the chief executive is provided and
11:22:20AM charged with the responsibility of representing the city
11:22:23AM government in its activities. I think there's some concern
11:22:26AM that subpart 7 is really meant to be ceremonial, but I would
11:22:30AM differ from that interpretation. I think that as you know,
11:22:33AM the mayor represents the city in those occasions such as
11:22:36AM hurricanes, emergencies and other matters. And I think
11:22:39AM that's consistent with the charter because the charter says
11:22:43AM the mayor shall be the administrative head of the
11:22:45AM government. It also is consistent with the charter because
11:22:48AM it indicates that the administrative powers provided to this
11:22:51AM body are those such as are conferred by the charter. That
11:22:56AM is intended to be a very limited of administrative powers.
11:23:00AM Right, wrong or indifferent, the concept of government --
11:23:03AM the structure of government, if you will, the organic
11:23:06AM structure of government, that informs this charter, the one
11:23:09AM that they really appear to want to keep the legislative
11:23:13AM body -- sorry -- fairly removed from the administrative
11:23:17AM process in the administration or government. That having
11:23:19AM been said, you effect that process by the ordinances that
11:23:22AM you pass. You also have the ability to articulate your
11:23:26AM position with regard to any issue of moment. You are not --
11:23:32AM and I will never try to --muzzle you in that regard. I
11:23:37AM think the only instances that we had that occurred lately
11:23:40AM was a situation dealing with MFL's that I knew was about to

11:23:45AM go into litigation or had been in litigation. Be that as it
11:23:47AM may, I think you're still free to always speak your mind,
11:23:50AM and there's nothing in here, in my opinion, that provides
11:23:52AM the mayor any power to say that you cannot speak and express
11:23:57AM yourself on any policy issue. That is your prerogative, and
11:24:00AM that is what you should do. Let me look at one last thing
11:24:04AM because I think this is important as well, and this is
11:24:06AM section 5.01. I'm never real pleased with any animosity
11:24:19AM that is calling attention to oneself but this deals with my
11:24:22AM role, and it's section 5.01 which deals with the role of the
11:24:26AM city attorney. And as I read this provision, and I think
11:24:29AM it's pretty clear, it charges the city attorney with the
11:24:31AM responsibility. You can see at the very bottom part, but if
11:24:37AM you will follow up in the top part, it also goes on to talk
11:24:41AM about the obligation to represent and be the political
11:24:45AM advisor not only for the mayor, but for city council.
11:24:49AM >> I think that was a faux Pas. You said political advisor.
11:24:59AM >> Sorry about that. I think I learned that lesson. No.
11:25:02AM Politics is not my venue. Legal and solely legal advisor.
11:25:05AM And one of the things I try to do, which I apparently wasn't
11:25:08AM as successful at as I had hoped, is to stay out of the
11:25:11AM political side of things. Governments by nature are
11:25:14AM comprised of people with agendas who want to do things that
11:25:18AM are for the good of the city. Each of you up here ran for
11:25:21AM office and were elected with an agenda that you want to
11:25:24AM foster. I've worked with various -- various of you and
11:25:28AM various -- in various ways on some of your agendas. The
11:25:31AM mayor obviously has one as well. To the extent I have a
11:25:34AM role, it's simply to advise you as to what the legal
11:25:37AM constraints are within which you are to operate. The
11:25:41AM political constraints are very different, and they're much
11:25:44AM broader, and they're not for me to have an opinion about.
11:25:47AM That is, I think, for you guys to specifically determine,
11:25:50AM and for the mayor herself with regard to her political
11:25:53AM activity. Some people, unfortunately, don't see politics as
11:25:59AM comprehensively as they should. Politics is not all about
11:26:03AM self-advancement or ego. It is about how do we govern the
11:26:09AM city, in this case, in which we reside. It is an extremely
11:26:12AM important activity. Just like we have comments about
11:26:15AM lawyers or comments about politicians. Politicians are
11:26:20AM those who represent free people. The burden is tremendous.
11:26:24AM It's not one that I would particularly feel comfortable
11:26:28AM shouldering. I admire you for taking that responsibility.
11:26:31AM Someone has to do it. And all of you, from my experience,
11:26:35AM are trying to do what you believe is best for the city. I
11:26:39AM have the same view of the mayor. So to the extent you have
11:26:42AM conflicting or clashing political agendas, I need to get out
11:26:47AM of the way and you guys need to have your discussions. My
11:26:50AM role is to advise you as to what I think you can legally do.
11:26:53AM And I admit sometimes I'm a tad fastidious about that. I
11:26:58AM read these things as creating the process by which this
11:27:01AM thing functions. I also think that the process and the
11:27:06AM structure creates can assist the civility of that conflict,
11:27:09AM and that's imperative. I think it's important that this
11:27:12AM council and the mayor and the various departments work well
11:27:17AM together. We do not serve the city well when we do not work
11:27:22AM well together. To the extent I can be of assistance in that
11:27:25AM regard, I certainly offer my help. I do talk to the mayor
11:27:29AM frequently. I need to talk to you all more. There's seven
11:27:33AM of you. But I think I can help, and I do regret, as I

11:27:36AM started out with, the fact that if -- instead of helping, I
11:27:39AM became part of the problem recently. But we're moving on
11:27:42AM from there. I will make sure that whatever I say and do
11:27:46AM reflects my accurate opinion of this body. So that's my
11:27:49AM explanation of my legal opinion in this regard. I'd be
11:27:52AM happy to answer any questions or provide any further
11:27:55AM explanations. And thank you for listening.
11:27:58AM >> Thank you Madam chair, members of council, thank you,
11:28:01AM Mr. Smith, for -- for what you have opined today. Let me --
11:28:12AM let me just say to all of us today that, first of all, I --
11:28:15AM I believe in the charter, and the way it's structured in
11:28:20AM terms of a strong mayoral form of government. This is what
11:28:26AM the people voted upon. But clearly, as has been historical
11:28:30AM throughout this United States, there are times when there
11:28:32AM are varying opinions, and I think that's what we have to do
11:28:38AM in one instance, okay? I want to also say that because two
11:28:46AM facets of government disagree, does not mean that is
11:28:49AM negative. Okay? It's unfortunate that there are those who
11:28:54AM have taken the negative connotation as opposed to the
11:28:57AM positive, because I believe you can disagree and not be
11:29:00AM disagreeable. And I think when you disagree it can be
11:29:04AM healthy, in particular when there is a healthy resolve. And
11:29:08AM it is in particular healthy for this community and for the
11:29:11AM people and for those of us who represent people and
11:29:14AM constituency, so I want to be clear on that. From my
11:29:18AM standpoint, I can't speak for anybody else, but from my
11:29:20AM standpoint, raising the issue is it is not a graph of power
11:29:26AM or play on power or bickering for powering. That's not my
11:29:29AM sentiment at all. My intent is to try to understand this
11:29:33AM charter and work within the framework of the charter and
11:29:36AM make sure that everyone work within the framework of the
11:29:39AM charter, executive branch, as well as the legislative
11:29:42AM branch. Clearly that is -- that's my whole motive in terms
11:29:45AM of this. That raises the question, who we look at this, and
11:29:50AM since you opined even in your written document pretty much
11:29:54AM says that we have to do everything by resolution. I mean,
11:29:58AM that kind of caught me off guard because we had the issue of
11:30:02AM the Ed Jensen situation. That came up. I'm just pointing
11:30:06AM that out. The other issue I will point out to us as well is
11:30:10AM that we acted as a legislative body, and according to this
11:30:15AM same charter, in section -- I'll get it here. I think I
11:30:24AM should know this charter back and forth now. I've slept
11:30:27AM with it for the last couple of nights. In section 4.01,
11:30:34AM article 4 executive, mayor and on over to page 7, it says
11:30:38AM here, mayor may, you know, give recommendation to council as
11:30:43AM being necessary, expedient, in the interests of the city to
11:30:47AM the council -- rather to the adoption of ordinance,
11:30:50AM resolution, provided, however, that nothing herein
11:30:56AM contains -- you know if you look at that. There it says
11:31:01AM that once -- when I read this and look at this, and I'm not
11:31:04AM an attorney, I have consulted with three different attorney,
11:31:07AM as well as our city council attorney, and we -- we made a
11:31:11AM legal decision on the motion that was made by Council Woman
11:31:18AM Mary Mulhern. We made a decision. We voted upon that. We
11:31:23AM asked a letter be drafted, as I recall, right, by the
11:31:26AM chairman, and sent to the delegation, as well as to the
11:31:29AM governor. -- to the governor. It was a letter to the
11:31:34AM governor, I believe, wasn't it? Excuse me, correct me if
11:31:37AM I'm wrong, I thought it was to the governor.
11:31:38AM >> I actually have a time line here if anyone wants to look

11:31:41AM at it. But -- but we -- I want to say that we sent two
11:31:47AM letters to -- the chair sent two letters on behalf of city
11:31:51AM council. One was back in June, I think.
11:31:55AM >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yeah, June.
11:31:56AM >> Where we first asked Crist to -- and this was my motion,
11:32:02AM and I was very naive then, but I -- I asked that we write a
11:32:11AM letter to Governor Crist asking that the city of
11:32:16AM Hillsborough county, the three municipalities that are part
11:32:19AM of Hillsborough county, have the seat on the environmental
11:32:25AM protection commission of Hillsborough county. So we sent
11:32:26AM that letter. Later, at another meeting, I asked that for
11:32:34AM council agreement that I draft legislation to give us
11:32:47AM representation on -- on that board, and I also asked that we
11:32:51AM ask Temple Terrace and Plant City if they would wanted to be
11:32:57AM party to this. Which I did. And Temple Terrace later city
11:33:03AM council voted to support it. Plant City discussed it, but
11:33:06AM didn't vote either way on it. Then, so that was another
11:33:10AM vote unanimous vote by council. Then I drafted the
11:33:13AM legislation, a draft, which is not what ended up being
11:33:18AM submitted. And -- and we did write a letter to the
11:33:22AM legislative delegation, copied to the mayor, and that was
11:33:28AM back end of July. So we've had many opportunities to have a
11:33:34AM discussion about it. But we did vote twice unanimously to
11:33:38AM write a letter.
11:33:39AM >>THOMAS SCOTT: The issue for me, what I was trying to
11:33:41AM raise, was that this body took legal action or took a vote,
11:33:44AM and -- and it was passed. Now, again, I conferred with --
11:33:52AM you know, we have -- we have your opinion, Mr. Smith, in
11:33:55AM writing, as well, and I've talked with several persons who
11:34:01AM were the framer of the charter, I talked with -- Jan Platt
11:34:05AM was one, former city commissioner Jan Platt and city council
11:34:09AM member, I've talked with some other folks who may not want
11:34:12AM to be mentioned, but also the former mayor Sandy freedman.
11:34:15AM I talked with her with regards to her perspective of this
11:34:20AM charter, and their opinion is, as is mine, that based on the
11:34:23AM letter that was drafted by the mayor on the stationery of
11:34:28AM the city that clearly says, here, in paragraph two, it says,
11:34:32AM I know you have many issues on your agenda right now, with
11:34:35AM the special session, but I did not -- I did want to write to
11:34:39AM make clear that the City of Tampa does not in its full
11:34:45AM support changing the composition of the EPC. Drop down to
11:34:49AM the last paragraph again, the City of Tampa opposed any
11:34:52AM changes to the composition of the EPC board. And so the
11:34:56AM question I raised was, you know, we took action, okay, and
11:35:02AM the issue for me is not what we did. The issue is what the
11:35:07AM mayor did. Okay? Whether we did it by resolution, whether
11:35:11AM we did it by motion, which, again, that's debatable, and I'm
11:35:15AM not trying to get into that. The issue is what the mayor
11:35:17AM did, and that is on city stationery, which is fine, but, she
11:35:26AM wrote the City of Tampa opposes. And in my conferring can
11:35:32AM commissioner Jan Platt, as well as Sandy freeman and
11:35:37AM attorneys, they felt that this was inappropriate, that under
11:35:42AM the charter, it does not give that broad discretion of
11:35:44AM power. However, that she should have said, I, the mayor,
11:35:47AM oppose this. And that's the issue that is here. Now, I
11:35:55AM also talked with city council attorney, our attorney, and I
11:35:58AM recognize also under the charter that the -- he -- his
11:36:02AM opinion, he advises this council, advises us. His opinion
11:36:08AM does not have the final say-so. It is the city attorney.
11:36:12AM However, he is the attorney that advises us, and I conferred

11:36:17AM with him and I'd like to hear his opinion at this time on
11:36:20AM this issue that we have been discussing and raising whether
11:36:23AM the mayor has broad powers under the -- under the action
11:36:26AM here.
11:36:30AM >> Council Member Scott, in reference to the mayor's letter
11:36:34AM of October 24th, 2007, which you've discussed, the charter
11:36:38AM has no express language that authorizes the mayor to send
11:36:42AM out this kind of letter in the name of the municipal
11:36:45AM corporation. And it's my opinion that from a reading of the
11:36:48AM charter, and looking specifically perhaps at sections 1.02,
11:36:53AM the body corporate and the separation of powers, it's my
11:36:55AM opinion that this charter contemplates that neither branch
11:36:59AM of city government can invoke the name of the municipal
11:37:02AM corporation without the assent of the other branch. That's
11:37:04AM my opinion.
11:37:05AM >>THOMAS SCOTT: And so with that, Madam chair, I will also
11:37:08AM say that here again, I want us to understand, the issue for
11:37:13AM me is the charter. Keep it in the frame. It's not
11:37:18AM personalities. It is not even the current mayor. It is the
11:37:20AM fact of future, because you will have other mayors, and you
11:37:24AM got to make sure. That's why I told you about the
11:37:26AM ordinance. Don't create an ordinance just for now. You got
11:37:28AM to look at futuristic, and so this issue could occur again
11:37:32AM in the future, and so therefore it has to be addressed, and
11:37:35AM it has to be clear as we move forward. And so that's what I
11:37:38AM think seek, is clarity and understanding so that we can work
11:37:42AM together. The citizens can work together, is committed to
11:37:47AM win when we can work together, okay, and understand our
11:37:50AM roles, our authorities, our function, and what we are
11:37:53AM required to do. I submit that all of us elected by citizens
11:37:58AM of this -- citizens of Tampa, all of us, every one of us.
11:38:03AM We may represent -- some of us represents city at large,
11:38:07AM some of us represents districts, but be as it may, we are
11:38:12AM representatives of the City of Tampa. On the ballot it says
11:38:15AM City of Tampa district 7. Thomas Scott, district 5 --
11:38:20AM district 5. Thank you. So, again, I -- I would, though,
11:38:25AM because there is varying opinions, I would like to come back
11:38:29AM later and make a motion to the effect that we, and that
11:38:33AM depends on counsel, that we have a workshop on the charter
11:38:36AM and invite the attorney general to come and also have input,
11:38:39AM as well as an independent consultant to guide us through it
11:38:44AM and give it to us in our workshop at some point.
11:38:49AM >>GWEN MILLER: Mr. Dingfelder.
11:38:51AM >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Just so --
11:38:53AM >> Just so I could keep track as we go, one of the things
11:38:56AM that I want to clarify, my view has been, and I think we've
11:39:00AM been consistent in this, that is literally an internal
11:39:03AM determination made by this body to make an appointment that
11:39:07AM is within the purview of this body. So that is done by
11:39:10AM motion, not by resolution. We have historically followed up
11:39:13AM with the resolution. You may remember, we had this issue
11:39:17AM come up a while back, where someone had by motion been
11:39:20AM appointed to the planning commission. Six months later the
11:39:22AM resolution was down here. It's argued that you have acted
11:39:26AM legally when you do that by motion for an internal
11:39:29AM determination. The resolution as to the purpose of having
11:39:32AM the ability to track it through the system is not necessary
11:39:35AM to be legal. The motion it self, in that instance, was
11:39:38AM sufficient. And I guess that's really about all I need to
11:39:42AM say at this juncture, and I will respond to some of the

11:39:45AM other comments at the end, if I may.
11:39:47AM >>GWEN MILLER: Mr. Dingfelder?
11:39:48AM >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Thank you, Madam chair. It brings up a
11:39:51AM lot of issues. First, David, I think on behalf of council,
11:39:54AM we appreciate your apology.
11:39:56AM >> Thank you.
11:39:57AM >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Sometimes we all speak out of turn, we
11:39:59AM say things we regret later. And we do things we regret
11:40:02AM later, and -- but when we can apologize, it just means we're
11:40:06AM a bigger person and we appreciate that.
11:40:08AM >> Thank you.
11:40:08AM >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Another thing I'll say, as an old friend
11:40:11AM of David's, almost about 20 years, is I think he's one of
11:40:14AM the best lawyers in this city, but I tell him over and over
11:40:17AM for the last three-and-a-half years that I think he's really
11:40:20AM bad at politics and I'm glad he says he wants to stay away
11:40:22AM from it and I encourage him to do so. But getting to the
11:40:27AM serious stuff, the -- a couple of things. For one thing,
11:40:31AM the charter -- the charter is obviously is really silent on
11:40:34AM this point, and that's -- and that -- and of course that's a
11:40:38AM good thing, because that's why we have lawyers in this
11:40:40AM world, and being one of them. But -- but, you know -- but
11:40:45AM that's why we end up with these varying opinions is because
11:40:48AM the charter doesn't speak to it. Four or five years ago,
11:40:51AM this council began the discussion about saying maybe we need
11:40:54AM to amend the charter to tweak some of these issues. They
11:40:57AM don't come up very often. But when they do come up, then we
11:41:01AM end up with what now could be perceived as sort of a
11:41:04AM constitutional crisis. In a very small way. And the way we
11:41:09AM could fix that is we could put some -- put some charter
11:41:13AM language on the ballot to tweak some of this. And it's
11:41:18AM really funny, I don't know if you looked deeply into the
11:41:20AM charter, but the charter speaks to the mayor as he. He, he,
11:41:23AM he, he. Well, guess what, when Sandy freedman was elected,
11:41:27AM all of a sudden it became a she and it's been a "She" now
11:41:30AM twice. And I'm sure it will be again in the future. So the
11:41:32AM charter is a little bit out of date and needs some cleanup.
11:41:36AM Another area where I believe the charter needs cleanup is
11:41:39AM this issue about the city council attorney. I think the
11:41:42AM city council attorney should not be the -- I think the city
11:41:46AM attorney should give opinions for the city. But I think
11:41:50AM that the city council attorney should not be subservient in
11:41:54AM any way, shape or form to the city attorney. Now, I know we
11:41:57AM haven't had a problem in that regard because they get along
11:41:59AM well. But it's strange. It's a strange thing. Because I
11:42:03AM think it impedes the city council attorney from just being
11:42:07AM as free as he needs to be to give us the best advice
11:42:10AM possible. So I think that, you know, with all that said, I
11:42:14AM think that we do need to revisit this issue about putting
11:42:17AM some charter amendments back on the ballot. One of the last
11:42:22AM things I wanted to say was -- and one of the most
11:42:26AM interesting things that you pointed out, David, that I keep
11:42:29AM forgetting about and you keep reminding us, is that one of
11:42:32AM those provisions in the charter says what our real role is
11:42:36AM here, and it says that all legislative powers are vested in
11:42:40AM city council. All legislative powers are vested in city
11:42:44AM council. And David and I have talked about this on numerous
11:42:49AM occasions, and I don't think we do enough legislative
11:42:54AM things. I don't think we really jump into the ordinances
11:42:58AM and fix the ordinances and clean up the ordinances.

11:43:00AM Instead, we sit back, and we have deferred some of that
11:43:04AM responsibility and obligation to the administration. There
11:43:09AM is not a provision in that charter that gives the
11:43:11AM administration the right to -- you know, to jump in to the
11:43:14AM ordinances. To hand ordinances to us that are effectively
11:43:19AM policy changes, and say, you know, this is what you should
11:43:21AM do, and a lot of times we just rubber stamp them. Okay.
11:43:25AM What we need to be doing and I think that we're heading in
11:43:27AM the right direction with our change in scheduling and stuff,
11:43:30AM is we need to be spending more time on these legislative
11:43:33AM matters, and we need to recognize and take back some of that
11:43:36AM authority because we've given it to the administration and
11:43:41AM whenever you have a balance of powers, once you give
11:43:43AM something, it's a little hard to take it back, but I think
11:43:46AM that that's an important thing that we should do. Because
11:43:48AM that's the balance of powers. That's the responsibility
11:43:50AM that this community has given to us, is the legislative
11:43:55AM responsibility. I'm right in the middle of this right now
11:43:56AM with the green ordinance. Okay. And I've had some tension
11:44:00AM with the administration on who should be drafting the green
11:44:02AM ordinance. Okay. Well, you know what? There's no tension
11:44:06AM anymore because now that I re-read the charter, it says that
11:44:08AM this council is in charge of drafting the ordinance, and I'm
11:44:11AM going to draft a green ordinance and bring it to this
11:44:14AM council, and then together we will work on it. We will work
11:44:18AM side by side with the administration, but at the end of the
11:44:20AM day, it's our responsibility to do these things. It's our
11:44:23AM responsibility, and we shouldn't delegate it to anybody
11:44:26AM else. I think that's -- that's the end of -- the end of my
11:44:31AM long list. I -- I think that it's all about respect. We
11:44:36AM need to rebuild the respect between this council and the
11:44:39AM administration, and vice versa. When we write letters, we
11:44:43AM need to make it clear that our letter is from city council,
11:44:46AM okay, and vice versa. I would encourage the mayor, when she
11:44:50AM writes letters that she knows conflict with our opinion,
11:44:52AM that she needs to say, council might differ, but it's my
11:44:57AM opinion as the mayor, and that's rebuilding the respect
11:44:59AM that's appropriate.
11:45:00AM >>GWEN MILLER: Mr. Miranda.
11:45:03AM >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you, Madam chair. You know, as
11:45:05AM you look at the charter, there's another document in the
11:45:08AM United States that is much larger. That's the constitution.
11:45:12AM To me, this is our constitution. Certainly that
11:45:15AM constitution has been shot at many times, but changed very
11:45:18AM infrequently. In the amount of time it's been standing.
11:45:22AM Like Mr. Dingfelder said, yeah, there's a he and she that
11:45:25AM should be put in there, there's no doubt about that.
11:45:27AM However, I'm not here to applaud anyone of this council or
11:45:32AM any mayor, present, past or future or strike out at anyone.
11:45:36AM What I'm here to do, is if you're really going to have a
11:45:41AM separation of power, this is the document you should go by.
11:45:45AM It's very clear, I'm not a lawyer, but I did go to Ybor City
11:45:48AM and stay there many years and you learn a lot of things on
11:45:51AM the street that you should have learned in law school. And
11:45:54AM that's respect and dignity for each other. When you read
11:45:57AM this and interpret it like I have, not once, but I did it
11:46:02AM back in '74, when, then Jan Platt made the sweeping changes
11:46:07AM and rightly so at that time. When plat, freeman and Miranda
11:46:11AM were all elected together, and if you all see they've been
11:46:14AM to bigger places than I, it's incumbent upon me, and I'm

11:46:19AM only speaking about me, that I understand what this thing
11:46:22AM says. This is not about a letter, this is not -- I'm going
11:46:26AM to get right to the meat of this thing. This is about egos
11:46:29AM to some point. When you look down and sit down, every mayor
11:46:34AM that I've worked with has been different. Certainly bill
11:46:36AM pole and Dick Greco are different in style and in
11:46:41AM motivation. Certainly Pam Iorio is different than Bill Pole
11:46:46AM and Dick Greco in style and motivation. However, all three
11:46:50AM have one thing in common. They ran for mayor to do the best
11:46:54AM they can for the City of Tampa, and to my opinion, they're
11:46:57AM doing that, have done that, and will continue to do that.
11:47:00AM When I look at the charter, it's very incumbent to me on
11:47:06AM what the separation of powers are, what the powers -- I can
11:47:08AM speak here for two weeks, because I did all this here last
11:47:13AM night and this morning again to make sure that what I
11:47:15AM thought was there is there, and what it is is that we, or
11:47:20AM some of us or all of us don't want to go by whatever the
11:47:26AM administration adheres to, says I want you to speak to these
11:47:30AM five or six individuals that run those departments who have
11:47:33AM five or six subdepartments under them. So instead of doing
11:47:36AM that, some of us go under, including myself, and therefore
11:47:41AM we get zero response. When you call a department head, I
11:47:46AM have yet to not receive the phone call back and work out
11:47:50AM something for the citizens. We were elected to serve the
11:47:54AM people, not the mayor. But along with that, it's my
11:48:01AM responsibility to transmit to the administrator, whoever he
11:48:04AM or she is at that time, what I think is best reflected of
11:48:09AM the district that I represent, and I've been in district 1,
11:48:12AM 5 and 6 when 5 was in another part of the city. So what I'm
11:48:15AM saying is I understand the charter. I have no problem, and
11:48:20AM I'm not going to vote to change powers and give us more
11:48:23AM powers. When you look at any other form of government, you
11:48:29AM have many, many mayors, and a lot of finger pointing
11:48:33AM everywhere, and no one knows who is responsible for whatever
11:48:37AM axe we're taking. And in this system of strong mayor, maybe
11:48:43AM one day one of these colleagues may be mayor, but they got
11:48:47AM to get elected, then they have the power to follow this same
11:48:50AM charter. I wonder if I was there or if somebody else was
11:48:52AM there from this council, would this debate be going on at
11:48:55AM all? Do I agree with the response that was given? Yes. Do
11:48:58AM I believe the letter sent by the administration was a little
11:49:01AM hard? Yes. I think I would have worded it a little
11:49:04AM differently. But however, the text of the conversation is
11:49:08AM in the charter. It's very clear about separation of powers.
11:49:14AM It's very clear on the duties and the responsibilities and
11:49:19AM things that have been said on both sides of the aisle.
11:49:22AM However, I would not vote to have our own city attorney, but
11:49:27AM I think you're entitled to know why. That individual will
11:49:31AM be sitting on pins and needles always looking for four votes
11:49:35AM because if he or she don't have four votes, he or she are
11:49:39AM not going to be the attorney for the city council. So that
11:49:42AM becomes more of a political issue than what we have now. I
11:49:46AM have not seen one iota of evidence that our present system
11:49:52AM between the city attorney and the city council attorney has
11:49:57AM not worked. I haven't even seen an argument between those
11:50:01AM two bodies, so therefore, I think that's a moot question.
11:50:06AM You've been getting along. You know, marriages last not
11:50:09AM because you win all the arguments. Mine lasted because I
11:50:12AM always have the last word. And that is, yes, ma'am. So
11:50:16AM when you look at all these things, I don't know what we're

11:50:19AM discussing. I've heard now we want the attorney general.
11:50:22AM The attorney general is going to look at this? This is no
11:50:26AM violation of the law. We haven't had a power struggle here.
11:50:31AM I've seen no guns pulled. So attorney general's going to
11:50:33AM say what are we thinking about? And to pay an outside
11:50:38AM attorney to give an opinion on two other attorneys is my
11:50:41AM point. We're going way off the left field and there's no
11:50:46AM fence in sight. The ball will always travel. So I -- I
11:50:50AM just vented my feelings. I don't think I'm going to -- no,
11:50:54AM I don't think -- no, I know I'm not going to vote to change
11:50:57AM the structure of our city council or attorney the way it is
11:51:03AM now. It's fine with me. It's been that way for many, many
11:51:05AM years. I never had a conflict, not only this term, in other
11:51:09AM terms under other circumstances that the city has been
11:51:12AM through. It's always worked out between those two
11:51:15AM individuals. I don't -- I'm not even going to ask you if
11:51:19AM there's ever been a conflict because I don't think there has
11:51:21AM been. But you're entitled to an answer if you want. So
11:51:26AM what I'm saying is this talks about staff. It talks about
11:51:29AM everything in the world that you can think of. The
11:51:31AM corporate body, the powers, the separation of powers. The
11:51:35AM duties of that person. On both sides of the aisle. When I
11:51:40AM ran for this office, I knew I wasn't a mini mayor. I a city
11:51:45AM council member. And in those ineligible rights that I have,
11:51:49AM you have to know how to communicate it to whoever the mayor
11:51:53AM is to understand what the other side feels. And before we
11:51:58AM go attacking somebody -- and I'm not saying we are -- I'm
11:52:01AM saying you have to have the -- here we go again, see,
11:52:06AM that -- the body language -- I always have a saying. I
11:52:09AM remember what everyone says. I remember most what they
11:52:14AM don't say. Thank you, Madam chair.
11:52:16AM >>GWEN MILLER: Miss Saul-Sena.
11:52:19AM >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you. I've served under three
11:52:25AM different interpretations of this very same charter. When I
11:52:29AM was first elected, city council had a city council attorney.
11:52:34AM When I was next in office, the mayor interpreted that city
11:52:38AM council shouldn't have an attorney, and we didn't have one.
11:52:41AM And this -- the last time city council asserted itself that
11:52:46AM it wanted an attorney, and we selected one. And I can say,
11:52:50AM having served in all these different situations, that it is
11:52:53AM a tremendous help as a council member to have a city council
11:52:58AM attorney. It makes a huge difference. Some of us aren't
11:53:01AM attorneys, I am not, and it's tremendously helpful to have
11:53:04AM an attorney, and I feel that the degree to which this
11:53:07AM attorney can be independent makes their opinion that much
11:53:11AM more helpful. I believe that the charter muddies -- the
11:53:16AM current charter muddies things by saying that the city
11:53:19AM attorney functions under -- the city council attorney
11:53:22AM functions under the city attorney. And all of this
11:53:24AM conversation is not a reflection on Mr. Shelby, Mr. Smith.
11:53:28AM I'm looking at this structurally, and I'm speaking
11:53:32AM objectively. I think it would clarify, and crisp things up
11:53:36AM for the city council attorney to be directly hired by
11:53:43AM council, as they are now, and responsive to council. And we
11:53:46AM haven't had any problems. But it's not clear. It's muddy.
11:53:49AM And I think this would be tremendously helpful. I very much
11:53:52AM appreciate the comments all my colleagues have made, but
11:53:56AM particularly Mr. Dingfelder's comment about our legislative
11:53:59AM powers. I think that is the heart of it, the reason that
11:54:02AM I've served all these years, is because in our legislative

11:54:05AM capacity, we do have many powers, from land use to asking
11:54:10AM our legislative delegation to do certain things on behalf of
11:54:13AM the city. And I think that it would be -- it would make
11:54:18AM future functioning better and clearer if we were to clarify
11:54:25AM council's role not only to select our own attorney, but also
11:54:29AM a budget analyst. We have -- I have functioned, again, with
11:54:32AM a budget analyst, and without one, and I can tell you that
11:54:36AM given the complexity of our city budget, having an
11:54:39AM independent budget analyst directed by council, I think,
11:54:42AM would give us additional analytical tools to help us make
11:54:47AM different decisions as we fulfill our role as enumerated in
11:54:51AM the charter, that we have the last word on the budget. So I
11:54:56AM think those two clarifications in the -- in the charter
11:55:00AM would be helpful and I would encourage us to do that. Thank
11:55:03AM you.
11:55:03AM >>GWEN MILLER: Mr. Caetano.
11:55:06AM >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: Madam chairman, I'm not defending the
11:55:09AM mayor or defending Mr. Smith, but who typed this letter or
11:55:12AM who did this letter for the mayor?
11:55:14AM >> David Smith, city attorney. I have no idea. I was not
11:55:19AM consulted. I got it after you did. I assume it was typed
11:55:23AM by her secretary.
11:55:25AM >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: In my opinion, I think she should have
11:55:27AM said here that the city council supports, but she does not
11:55:30AM support this motion. I think it's a matter of choice of
11:55:32AM words, and I think that's where it's at. I think you do a
11:55:35AM great job, sir, and so does Mr. Shelby. He's always there,
11:55:39AM even at midnight I've called him. He answers me. But it's
11:55:43AM a hard act to follow after Charlie talks, because rule four
11:55:47AM says five minutes and he took six-and-a-half minutes. Thank
11:55:54AM you.
11:55:56AM >>GWEN MILLER: Miss Mulhern?
11:56:00AM >>MARY MULHERN: Well, this started -- I kind of started
11:56:08AM this I didn't start it. It began when tried to figure out a
11:56:16AM way to protect the health, welfare and environment of the
11:56:27AM city, and tried to find a way that I, as a city council
11:56:36AM person and the city council, could make an effort to really
11:56:43AM effectuate what our constituents would like to see, starts
11:56:53AM our protection of the Hillsborough river, whatever wetlands
11:56:55AM we have left, the bay, all of those parts of the air, the
11:56:58AM environment, that are in the city. I wasn't doing that out
11:57:01AM of ego. I wasn't trying to start a fight. In fact, when I
11:57:06AM first made this motion here, I think I had read that the
11:57:11AM mayor was questioning some of the -- or what some of the
11:57:17AM Board members of the EPC were doing. So I actually assumed,
11:57:22AM which everyone knows you should never assume, that the mayor
11:57:25AM would be behind this, and it was at least a month, if not
11:57:30AM more, after I talked to her many times before she told me
11:57:36AM that she was not in favor of what we were going to do, which
11:57:41AM was to ask for this seat on the board. So by the time she
11:57:46AM expressed her lack of support, we had already made all of
11:57:53AM the motions that I'm talking about here. I'm just saying
11:57:55AM this because I want it to be clear that I -- I was -- none
11:58:00AM of what I was trying to do had anything to do with creating
11:58:03AM a fight, and I would expect, especially, the women
11:58:09AM reporters, not to report this as it was a -- a fight, or we
11:58:14AM were angry. It had nothing to do with that. And I -- it is
11:58:24AM not about my ego. I don't know who is the egotist here, but
11:58:29AM nothing that I did was because of my ego. So what really
11:58:33AM brought this about was the mayor's letter. And what it

11:58:37AM boils down to for me is we've all read the charter over and
11:58:42AM over. We all have talked to lawyers about it. We've heard
11:58:46AM David's opinion. We've heard Marty's opinion. We formed
11:58:49AM our own opinion. And it comes down, to me, to three words,
11:58:55AM because it isn't explicit in the charter who can say they
11:59:00AM are -- speak for the city other than in ceremonial. I do
11:59:05AM grant that's in there. Okay. What is the city? If I say
11:59:11AM the city supports this, or the city doesn't support that.
11:59:16AM Well, the only thing even close to a definition in this
11:59:20AM charter is the body corporate, which is the people. So that
11:59:25AM doesn't clear it up, really. Then we see there's a
11:59:29AM separation of powers in city government, which I think
11:59:33AM that's what this charter is talking about, city government.
11:59:41AM There's an administrative/executive, and there's a
11:59:45AM legislative branch. We're the legislative branch. We
11:59:52AM proposed supporting some legislation. We voted unanimously
11:59:59AM to do that, and we did that. So I think clearly we do need
12:00:04PM to at least -- we may not need to change the charter, but we
12:00:11PM may need to be explicit about how we understand it and
12:00:19PM clarify what our attorneys can do and what their opinions
12:00:26PM are. And I just want to make it clear that I didn't really
12:00:33PM intend to be spending my time having these academic space,
12:00:42PM but it is important, it is democracy, and while the mayor is
12:00:46PM given any power, there's that line that David showed us, she
12:00:51PM has -- the mayor has any power except a purely legislative
12:00:56PM power. Even if you decided that what we did was not
12:01:00PM legislative, I don't think that the mayor has absolute power
12:01:09PM to speak as if she were the entire city. Or he were. So I
12:01:15PM think -- you know, it was worth having all of this fun so
12:01:20PM that we could talk about this.
12:01:22PM >>GWEN MILLER: Okay. Council members, it's 12:00, and
12:01:25PM we're supposed to go into a closed session. Mr. Smith?
12:01:28PM >> Just one thing, I would like to follow up because I want
12:01:30PM to make sure that I do my job for this body and that is to
12:01:34PM make sure you know what my opinion is because a couple of
12:01:37PM other clarifications are necessary. First I do need to tell
12:01:40PM you I understand the desire, but I don't think the attorney
12:01:42PM general will get involved in municipal government. The
12:01:45PM second thing is I want to make sure you realize that when I
12:01:48PM give you, when I give an opinion, is my opinion. Now,
12:01:51PM frequently this is after talking with Sal and Julia, et
12:01:54PM cetera. It is not -- I do not find out what the mayor
12:01:57PM thinks. I don't find out what you think. I try to make
12:01:59PM sure I analyze what the charter requires. So that is my
12:02:04PM opinion as unbiased and as objective as I can make it.
12:02:09PM Admittedly, it is affected by certain considerations,
12:02:12PM primary of which is what's best for the city. I also want
12:02:14PM to indicate that it's important to remember that the
12:02:17PM legislation you're referring to that Council Woman Mulhern
12:02:22PM was addressing, is state legislation so when the term
12:02:25PM legislation and legislative powers is used in the charter,
12:02:28PM it means your legislative powers, so I think both of you are
12:02:31PM free to speak to that. When I say both of you, I mean the
12:02:34PM mayor and this council. That's when we start getting into
12:02:37PM the political arena. As long as it's not legally
12:02:39PM objectionable, and I got to tell you, I do not find the
12:02:42PM mayor's letter legally objectionable, I think she's free to
12:02:45PM write what she wrote. Would I have written it that way?
12:02:48PM No. But that's not -- I'm not getting into the political
12:02:51PM arena. I shouldn't have even said that.

12:02:53PM >> Well, maybe you are --
12:02:58PM >> That was an opinion. I retract it. Legally, it was
12:03:01PM permissible. I think what this council attempted to do with
12:03:05PM EPC is legally permissible. I need to get out of the way.
12:03:09PM As long as you're acting legally, that's your purview, and I
12:03:12PM want you to know, that will be what I will do. So -- and
12:03:15PM then the last thing I would say is by analogy is it's not
12:03:18PM specifically in the U.S. constitution, either, but the
12:03:21PM president -- actually, I do think it's in this charter for
12:03:24PM the mayor to speak for the city, but even assuming that were
12:03:27PM not the case, I don't want to mislead you, that is my
12:03:29PM opinion, it's not in the U.S. constitution, either, but the
12:03:32PM president clearly does speak for the country because he's
12:03:35PM given the forum of various powers, et cetera, et cetera, so
12:03:39PM anyway, we beat this to death. We need to work on working
12:03:42PM together better.
12:03:43PM >>GWEN MILLER: You know, they talk about the mayor's
12:03:45PM letter. You know, when you write a letter, everybody speak
12:03:48PM their opinions, and then, like we say, for 40 years, we have
12:03:52PM had a strong mayor, and I think my opinion, when you write a
12:03:55PM letter and you're the mayor, you think -- you're -- you
12:03:59PM govern the city, so you say the city. It just automatically
12:04:03PM come to you like when I write, I say city council, I say the
12:04:07PM city council because I'm representing the city council. So
12:04:09PM I feel like the mayor she showed the respect -- she had
12:04:14PM thought about it and is going to bring a difference between
12:04:17PM the council, I don't think she would have written, but being
12:04:20PM having a strong mayor, you would say the city because you
12:04:23PM are the city representative. You represent all the city.
12:04:25PM You represent every district, from one through seven. She
12:04:29PM represent all of the communities. And changing the charter
12:04:35PM is not going to help us. We need to work together. Like
12:04:37PM somebody said, you get respect when you give respect. And
12:04:40PM we need to learn how to work together and give respect to
12:04:42PM each other. And I think we can have a good relationship
12:04:46PM with everybody, with the council, with all the
12:04:48PM administration, because, you know, when I call any
12:04:52PM administrator, I don't get a -- nothing saying I cannot talk
12:04:57PM to you. It's the way you got to represent yourself. And
12:05:00PM everybody you want to talk to, you got to treat them the way
12:05:03PM that you want them to treat you. And I think we can work
12:05:05PM together, and -- this -- let's just forget about this.
12:05:10PM Let's start anew and work with the administration, and I
12:05:13PM know the administration will work with us, because we know
12:05:15PM we got to work together, get things done for the community.
12:05:18PM We represent the community, and if we don't help the
12:05:21PM community, we don't get nothing done in the City of Tampa.
12:05:24PM And bickering back and forth are not going to help us to
12:05:27PM serve the community, and that's what we're here to do, is to
12:05:30PM serve. That's why we got elected. We promised to serve the
12:05:33PM community, and I want us to do just that, serve the
12:05:35PM community. Mr. Dingfelder?
12:05:37PM >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Thank you. Those are good words, Madam
12:05:39PM chair. The -- I just wanted to clarify one thing, when I
12:05:43PM said we should review the charter and possibly have some
12:05:46PM charter amendments, on this particular issue, it would be my
12:05:49PM leaning that we clean it up and definitively say that the
12:05:52PM mayor speaks for the city, okay? I would do that. But then
12:05:55PM I would put the caveat in to say, however, okay, if the
12:05:58PM mayor is cognizant of a specific conflict with council's

12:06:02PM position, then the mayor would, you know, make that known as
12:06:04PM well. You put that in some language that's workable, okay?
12:06:08PM But overall on a day to day basis, I don't think there's
12:06:11PM anybody up here who would disagree that the mayor is the one
12:06:14PM who speaks for the city, but it's not clear in the charter.
12:06:16PM That's why we have lots of different legal opinions. But I
12:06:19PM think that at the end of the day, David's right, the
12:06:22PM president speaks for the country, the governor speaks for
12:06:24PM the state, the mayor speaks for the city. I recognize that.
12:06:27PM I'm comfortable with that, but I also think that there's a
12:06:30PM lot of things in this charter that could use to be cleaned
12:06:33PM up and clarified and when the council has a directly
12:06:35PM opposite opinion that's been voted on from the mayor, then
12:06:39PM there should be something in the charter that would preclude
12:06:42PM her from saying I'm going to speak for the city, period.
12:06:44PM She would have to recognize -- he or she -- would have to
12:06:47PM recognize that, you know, I speak for this office, but
12:06:51PM council says something different. That's number one.
12:06:53PM Number two, while I have the floor, Madam chair, before we
12:06:55PM close, I have a commendation I want to give next week and I
12:07:00PM won't have time before next week's meeting, if I could.
12:07:03PM Mr. Don Stichter is a fine attorney in this community, he's
12:07:06PM celebrating his 50th year of being an attorney in this
12:07:10PM community and we wanted to give him a resolution.
12:07:14PM >>GWEN MILLER: We have a motion and a second:
12:07:17PM >> S-t-i-c-h-t-e-r.
12:07:21PM >>MARY MULHERN: A couple of things I forgot to mention. I
12:07:24PM got an E-mail from a constituent, Steve Lebor who used to be
12:07:31PM or is on T.H.A.N., the Tampa Hillsborough Association of
12:07:38PM Neighborhoods, and he reminded me that at council's request
12:07:42PM last year, than undertook to review the charter and made
12:07:47PM recommendations which were never -- I don't know if you even
12:07:52PM saw them, but he still had them. They were never voted on
12:07:56PM last January. So I'm going to hand these out so, you know,
12:08:00PM this isn't a crazy idea to review the charter. Apparently
12:08:03PM people were talking about it even last year. I also wanted
12:08:08PM to say that I did follow the -- a bill that this council had
12:08:13PM approved under just my name is Tampa City Council District
12:08:17PM 2, so the bill has been filed, and none of this had any
12:08:22PM effect on the fact that the bill was filed, and I know that
12:08:25PM I had the support of council to do that.
12:08:29PM >>GWEN MILLER: Reverend Scott?
12:08:31PM >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yeah. Let me just say, Madam Chair, this
12:08:34PM has been a healthy discussion. And again I want to stress
12:08:37PM the fact, choice of words can be very devastating when you
12:08:40PM use words like bickering or grabbing, that sort of thing,
12:08:45PM power, power struggle. You know, those seem to be words
12:08:49PM that highlight get printed. That's not the case, in my
12:08:53PM opinion. This has been a healthy discussion by this council
12:08:56PM to talk about the charter, and the function of the charter,
12:09:01PM and our roles. So I want to be very clear on that. Okay?
12:09:04PM Secondly, I will say also, keep this in mind, not one of us
12:09:10PM can act independent of this body in terms out in the
12:09:14PM community. You can go out and give your opinion. Early on
12:09:20PM on county commission, commissioner Jan Platt, I sent out a
12:09:24PM letter saying on behalf of the county commission, thus and
12:09:26PM so, we support the civic talks program moving forward. Jan
12:09:31PM Platt says when did the county commission vote on that? We
12:09:34PM didn't take action on that. You need to retract that
12:09:37PM letter. This body did not take a vote on that. You can --

12:09:40PM and I was chairman. You can only speak to those issues
12:09:45PM instead of city council is when we take legal action. Okay.
12:09:51PM In terms of the charter, again, apparently nobody wants to
12:09:56PM have a workshop on the charter. I thought it would have
12:09:58PM been healthy for us to do that before we do anything in
12:10:01PM terms of amending the charter. Sometimes you got to be
12:10:04PM careful what you ask for, but I am open -- I am open if we
12:10:08PM want to have a discussion in terms of the charter, workshop
12:10:11PM on the charter and have an independent consultant come in
12:10:14PM and walk us through it, maybe a couple hours or something
12:10:16PM like that, and discuss that. I also want to say, again, to
12:10:21PM Mr. Davis, thank you for your public apology. Thank you
12:10:26PM very much. And you called me on the phone and talked to me
12:10:29PM as well. Thank you so very much for that. Of course, I did
12:10:32PM take offense to your comments. I think you know that. I
12:10:36PM think I expressed that. Also, I want to say that Marty
12:10:39PM has -- Mr. Shelby has served this council well. From my
12:10:48PM standpoint, he has served this council well. I do know for
12:10:52PM us that the charter is not clear on that. We hire him. It
12:10:55PM says we appoint. That's what it says. If you read the
12:10:58PM charter, it says we appoint. Is that right, Mr. Smith? We
12:11:02PM appoint. It don't say anything about we hire him. Now, it
12:11:05PM says we can fire him -- Mr. Charlie -- Mr. Miranda -- and
12:11:10PM the charter does say, even now it takes four votes. Right
12:11:13PM now it takes four votes. We want to fire him, it takes four
12:11:16PM votes. Isn't that what the charter says? That's right.
12:11:19PM Now, we can debate this another time. Can the mayor or can
12:11:22PM the city attorney fire him? It doesn't say it in the
12:11:27PM charter, but it's been interpreted that way. That's why you
12:11:32PM need to have a workshop on this charter and look at what it
12:11:34PM is that you really think you need to change. Okay? And so
12:11:38PM I just want to just put that out there again for our
12:11:40PM consideration. Thank you.
12:11:45PM >>GWEN MILLER: Miss Saul-Sena.
12:11:46PM >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you. I think that today's
12:11:48PM conversation is a healthy conversation. I think that the
12:11:54PM recommendations are very thoughtful recommendations and I
12:11:57PM would like to move that we schedule a special discussion
12:11:59PM meeting on the city charter for January. And we need to
12:12:03PM look at our calendars.
12:12:07PM >>GWEN MILLER: Mr. Shelby?
12:12:09PM >> If I may, January is already getting -- you better look.
12:12:13PM My suggestion is you better look at February. January you
12:12:15PM got CRA and one part of the district, another CRA, possibly
12:12:21PM another part of the district.
12:12:23PM >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: We're going to put that in February.
12:12:25PM Sure.
12:12:25PM >> And you have a -- it's a long, long month because of the
12:12:29PM vacation. You have double the work on zoning hearings the
12:12:32PM first time available, I think that's the second Thursday of
12:12:36PM January, and it -- it just gets real cumbersome where you
12:12:41PM have a hard time planning out where you're at. I can only
12:12:44PM speak for myself, and may I continue, Madam Chair, for a
12:12:47PM minute?
12:12:47PM >>GWEN MILLER: Sure. Sure.
12:12:49PM >> I have a very liberal heart, but I have a very
12:12:52PM conservative mind. What it means by that is that in '99, I
12:12:59PM think, was the last year we had a city budget that was
12:13:03PM brought up to date. I'm against that, and I'll tell you
12:13:06PM why. That individual is now happier, more productive in the

12:13:13PM classification than what he was in when he was here. We
12:13:16PM don't have budget matters running around every day checking
12:13:20PM everything. That's our responsibility. That's what we get
12:13:23PM paid $40,000 a year for, which is more than the mean average
12:13:27PM of the citizens of the City of Tampa. So whatever it takes
12:13:29PM to give, I want to be there. But if you go back and do the
12:13:33PM study, I guarantee you, if you add benefits, pension,
12:13:38PM retirement, so forth, we've saved over $700,000. And that's
12:13:44PM all I'm going to say, Madam Chair.
12:13:51PM >>GWEN MILLER: Miss Saul-Sena.
12:13:52PM >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I want to thank Mr. Miranda for the
12:13:54PM suggestion that January is busy, and February 28th, which is
12:13:58PM our city council workshop session, at this point on my
12:14:00PM agenda looks pretty open so I'd like to schedule a
12:14:03PM discussion of the budget -- not the budget, excuse me, the
12:14:06PM charter, at that session. I don't think we need a
12:14:10PM facilitator. I think that we can all read it. It's not
12:14:13PM that complex. And we can look at the recommendations from
12:14:18PM Stan and we can ask our constituents if they have any other
12:14:21PM recommendations to provide them to us.
12:14:23PM >> Will we be allowing the public to give us comments --
12:14:27PM >>GWEN MILLER: Mr. Shelby?
12:14:29PM >> May I make a suggestion? Rather than having council take
12:14:32PM action today, if you'd like I can put this on for discussion
12:14:36PM through Docgenda. The public will have the opportunity to
12:14:40PM speak before council takes any action, and then council can
12:14:43PM decide how it wishes to provide and have that opportunity.
12:14:45PM >>GWEN MILLER: Great idea, Mr. Shelby. Everybody agreeable
12:14:49PM with that?
12:14:49PM >> I just want to be clear that we're talking about a
12:14:53PM workshop as opposed to just discussion. That's two
12:14:55PM different things, as I understand here, right?
12:14:57PM >> Right.
12:14:58PM >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay. That's fine.
12:15:00PM >>GWEN MILLER: All right. I need to read so we can go out
12:15:02PM and close the session. Notice is here by given that Tampa
12:15:05PM city council is going into a closed session pursuant to
12:15:07PM section 286.011 (8) Florida statutes for approximately one
12:15:15PM hour. The meeting will convene in the city council chamber
12:15:18PM and will move to the conference room on the eighth floor of
12:15:21PM city hall for the closed session. The council will discuss
12:15:24PM settlements, negotiation of strategy session related to our
12:15:27PM litigation expenditures for the case of Mag versus City of
12:15:33PM Tampa, Case Number 00-1147. The meeting will be attended by
12:15:37PM City Council Chair Gwen Miller, council members Mary
12:15:40PM Mulhern, Linda Saul-Sena, John Dingfelder, Thomas Scott,
12:15:45PM Charlie Miranda, Joseph Caetano and David Smith, Gary
12:15:51PM Glassman and Marty Shelby. Following the closed session the
12:15:54PM council will reconvene an open session in city council
12:15:57PM chambers so that the chair can announce termination of the
12:16:00PM closed session and the council will take any actions deemed
12:16:03PM necessary. We will now go into closed session.
(The City Council Adjourned)