Help & information    View the list of Transcripts


Thursday, May 27, 2010

9:00 a.m. workshop session


The following represents an unedited version of
realtime captioning which should neither be relied upon
for complete accuracy nor used as a verbatim
The original of this file was produced in all capital
letters and any variation thereto may be a result of
third party edits and software compatibility issues.
Any person who needs a verbatim transcript of the
proceedings may need to hire a court reporter.

09:05:09 >> CHAIRMAN SCOTT: Tampa City Council will now come to

09:05:10 order.

09:05:11 And the chair will now yield to the honorable Joseph

09:05:18 Caetano to introduce our pastor for the morning.

09:05:21 >> I would like to introduce pastor Don Gratham,

09:05:28 university of Baptist church in Tampa who will give our

09:05:30 invocation.

09:05:32 He was born in Florida and has lived in Tampa since

09:05:34 1953.

09:05:36 He received his religious education at Trinity College

09:05:39 of Florida and Tampa Bay Theological Seminary, now

09:05:44 Dallas Seminary.

09:05:45 He has been pastor at University Baptist church since

09:05:49 1984 and has lived here in Tampa with his wife Selma.

09:05:53 They have three children, Jason, David, and Danny L.

09:05:56 Please stand for the invocation and remain standing for

09:05:59 the pledge of allegiance.

09:06:00 >> Join me as we pray.

09:06:07 Lord, as we begin this day's labor we come into your

09:06:10 presence with Thanksgiving.

09:06:11 We give thanks for the grace and mercy we have received

09:06:14 by your good hand.

09:06:16 Your loving kindness indeed never ceases.

09:06:19 Your compassions never fail.

09:06:21 They are fresh every morning.

09:06:22 Great is Thy faithfulness.

09:06:24 On this day, our city leaders will make decisions that

09:06:27 will affect those who are under their watch, and for

09:06:29 this reason we would ask that you look mercifully upon

09:06:32 them as they admin straight with the business of our

09:06:36 beautiful city.

09:06:36 May they lead us with honesty and integrity.

09:06:39 Bless them with faithfulness of heart as they serve in

09:06:42 our office to promote the well-being of all.

09:06:44 Inspire them with the courage to make decisions for the

09:06:47 good of all rather than the few.

09:06:48 May you grant to them wisdom in their judgment,

09:06:51 compassion in their decisions, and diligence in their

09:06:54 duty.

09:06:55 King of heaven, we ask you to bless this nation, this

09:06:58 great state, and our beautiful city.

09:07:01 Be merciful to us and those who are appointed to lead.

09:07:07 Prayers we ask from heaven, amen.

09:07:09 (Pledge of Allegiance)

09:07:28 >>GWEN MILLER: Thank you for that invitation.

09:07:35 It's an honor to have you with us today.

09:07:37 Roll call.

09:07:38 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: Here.

09:07:39 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Here.

09:07:41 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.

09:07:41 >>GWEN MILLER: Here.

09:07:43 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Here.

09:07:45 Before we move to the special ceremony item, we have a

09:07:50 memorandum from Councilwoman Mulhern.

09:07:53 I am attending the super regional leadership conference

09:07:56 in Orlando and I'm sorry that I will not be at council

09:07:59 for our workshop to discuss Tampa economic

09:08:01 opportunities with Cuba.

09:08:03 I wish to express my support for reestablishing

09:08:07 relationship with Cuba including the port of Tampa,

09:08:09 legal culture trade with Cuba, allowing all American

09:08:13 citizens to travel to Cuba, encouraging direct flights

09:08:15 from TIA to Havana.

09:08:17 This is from Councilwoman Mulhern.

09:08:21 The honorable Gwen Miller now will make several

09:08:27 presentations.

09:08:29 >>GWEN MILLER: I'm not going to say all the good

09:08:48 things about our Officer of the Month.

09:08:51 Chief Jane Castor will say them.

09:08:53 >> Chief Castor: It's again my honor to come before

09:08:57 you as I do every month to present our Officer of the

09:08:59 Month.

09:09:00 This month it's a great honor to bring Paul Smalley

09:09:04 forward.

09:09:04 He is our special events coordinator, the lead planner

09:09:08 in the special events unit.

09:09:10 He has been with the Tampa Police Department for 20

09:09:12 years.

09:09:13 As you all are aware, we have over 800 special events a

09:09:17 year.

09:09:17 And Paul Smalley and the individuals who work with him,

09:09:22 are a very small group, basically coordinate every one

09:09:25 of these events.

09:09:25 He does all of the Gasparilla.

09:09:27 There's over 1400 officers that are brought in from a

09:09:30 number of jurisdictions to put that event on and make

09:09:33 it a safe and fun event for the City of Tampa.

09:09:35 He also does the children's parade, the knight parade,

09:09:39 St. Patrick's day, Puerto Rican parade, Outback Bowl,

09:09:44 all of those events not to mention the distance classic

09:09:47 and all the small runs and events that add up to those

09:09:53 that project the City of Tampa in a very wonderful

09:09:55 light.

09:09:55 He also has a responsibility for dignitary protection.

09:09:59 Whenever the dignitaries come to the City of Tampa,

09:10:03 it's Paul Smalley and his co-workers that put that plan

09:10:09 together as far as motorcades and so forth.

09:10:11 And of particular interest is when President Obama

09:10:14 visited us during the Gasparilla season, the heart of

09:10:18 the season, and we tried to get him to postpone, and

09:10:21 they weren't hearing of it, so he spoke at university

09:10:25 of Tampa.

09:10:25 We had a motorcade transportation plan that went up on

09:10:32 the Crosstown.

09:10:33 Just as he was getting ready to leave the venue, a

09:10:36 tanker truck had broken down on the Crosstown.

09:10:39 We weren't able to move it out of the way.

09:10:41 And as a result had to change the entire motorcade at

09:10:45 the drop of a hat.

09:10:47 Paul Smalley got on the radio and dispatched officers

09:10:53 to every one of the intersections and was able to

09:10:55 change that from a straight shot down the Crosstown

09:10:58 down Henderson Boulevard and Dale Mabry all the way to

09:11:01 MacDill Air Force Base.

09:11:02 The secret service needless to say could not have been

09:11:05 happier with his performance, and he obviously showed

09:11:09 the Tampa Police Department a very polite in the city

09:11:13 as well.

09:11:14 If that's not enough, he's also in charge of our

09:11:16 emergency operations plan.

09:11:18 If a hurricane is to hit, they have to do all of the

09:11:21 preplanning.

09:11:22 We had our meeting yesterday.

09:11:23 It's everything from hurricane evacuation to allowing

09:11:28 residents to reenter.

09:11:29 You can imagine what that entails, all the way up to

09:11:33 contra flow.

09:11:34 If the evacuation notice comes and wave to change all

09:11:36 of the Crosstown lanes to one direction, he's got that

09:11:40 planned together, too.

09:11:40 So he does some amazing things for the city.

09:11:44 The commanders of the Tampa Police Department talk with

09:11:51 him for every event that occurs.

09:11:52 He does a wonderful job.

09:11:53 We could not do it without Paul Smalley and his

09:11:56 co-workers.

09:11:57 So I'm very proud to present to you Paul Smalley as the

09:12:01 Officer of the Month.

09:12:02 [ Applause ]

09:12:12 >> On behalf of the Tampa City Council I would like to

09:12:14 present you this commendation.

09:12:15 I am not going to read it because the chief just said

09:12:19 all the good things you are doing and keep on doing it.

09:12:21 Now we have some people from the private sector to give

09:12:25 you some gifts.

09:12:26 I'm going to start with Charlie's steak house.

09:12:29 >> Danny Lewis from Bill Currie Ford.

09:12:33 Paul is sort of my secret weapon.

09:12:38 When he's not there, I know I'm in the wrong place.

09:12:40 Thank you very much.

09:12:40 >> Thank you very much.

09:12:41 Very nice.

09:12:42 >> I'm vice-president of the Tampa PBA.

09:12:48 Paul, let me congratulate you and appreciate what you

09:12:51 do every day, give you a $100 gift card.

09:12:54 >> Thank you very much.

09:12:58 >> Congratulations.

09:13:01 Steve Stickley representing Stepp's towing service,

09:13:05 Jim, Judy Stepp.

09:13:06 I want you to be careful with this.

09:13:08 I just noticed a broken leg.

09:13:11 If you would, call me, and I'll get that replaced for

09:13:14 you.

09:13:15 It's ridiculous.

09:13:16 But I also have a gift card from Lee Roy Selmon

09:13:19 Expressway for lunch, dinner, whatever.

09:13:22 Thank you very much for what you do for us.

09:13:23 We appreciate it.

09:13:23 >> This is for your significant other.

09:13:53 >> I would like to depart for a second and get a little

09:13:57 serious about what law enforcement officers do for us.

09:14:00 And I would like to thank you, and thank all the

09:14:02 servicemen and all the servicewomen, all the law

09:14:05 enforcement officers, all the firefighters, for what

09:14:08 you do for us every day, and you keep us safe, and you

09:14:11 make us secure, and we ask that the good Lord give you

09:14:14 the power and the spirit and the guidance to shield you

09:14:18 when you are on the street and when you are protecting

09:14:20 us.

09:14:20 And we thank you for that.

09:14:23 On behalf of Bern's steak house we would like to give

09:14:26 you a gift certificate so you can enjoy yourself at

09:14:29 Bern's.

09:14:29 On behalf of rigatoni's, a gift certificate to enjoy

09:14:33 yourself there.

09:14:34 And if you allow the rest of your family to a company

09:14:38 you, you can go to Bryn Allen studios and have your

09:14:41 photographs taken.

09:14:42 And I hope that you enjoy that.

09:14:44 And we do sincerely hope that God's watchful eye will

09:14:48 protect you on the streets.

09:14:49 >> Thank you very much.

09:14:55 >> Good morning.

09:14:56 Chief Castor, members of City Council, and master

09:15:01 police officer Paul Smalley, it's an honor for me to be

09:15:06 here to recognize officer Smalley.

09:15:08 The performing arts center is successful only through

09:15:10 major partnerships, and one of the most significant

09:15:13 partnerships is the partnership, the public-private

09:15:15 partnership with the City of Tampa, which manifests

09:15:18 itself in many ways, not the least of which is the

09:15:21 important service we receive from our police department

09:15:26 here.

09:15:27 If we are speaking special -- speaking special events,

09:15:32 I don't think the Straz center is anything but special

09:15:34 events, but at the same time the emergency component is

09:15:37 one that we take very seriously, and the open

09:15:40 communication, the direct access to officers like Paul

09:15:44 Smalley make us comfortable that we can withstand

09:15:48 anything that may come our way.

09:15:49 On behalf of the center, I would like to present you

09:15:52 with four tickets to the show.

09:15:55 -maybe a steak dinner and come down and enjoy the show

09:15:59 from the other side.

09:16:01 Thank you, Paul.

09:16:02 We appreciate it.

09:16:05 [ Applause ]

09:16:10 >> Thank you.

09:16:15 I couldn't do this without the help of ... Vaughan and

09:16:20 Mr. Tom Berry and my sergeant. And I'm not a good

09:16:21 talker, so I'm going to get out of here.

09:16:23 I'm done.

09:16:24 Thank you.

09:16:25 [ Applause ]

09:16:28 >> Before you leave, just one second, Councilwoman

09:16:31 Saul-Sena.

09:16:32 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: You know how in two years we have

09:16:34 the national Republican convention coming up.

09:16:38 You cannot leave us.

09:16:39 You cannot.

09:16:40 We need your professional expertise.

09:16:42 Will you stick around?

09:16:44 >> I have been asked to stay so we'll see what happens.

09:16:46 >> Good.

09:16:47 >> Thank you again.

09:17:10 >>GWEN MILLER: Council members, we are always talking

09:17:12 about our community and our neighborhood and how great

09:17:14 we are.

09:17:14 Today we are going to show you just how great our

09:17:16 neighborhoods are.

09:17:18 So I'm going to ask the East Tampa he advantage a line

09:17:24 best to pleas come up.

09:17:26 For all the good work of the neighborhood association.

09:17:36 >>GWEN MILLER: One second.

09:17:38 Can we get them to close the door to hold the noise

09:17:41 down?

09:17:41 Go ahead, Ms. Miller.

09:17:51 >>GWEN MILLER: I would like to present to the East

09:17:52 Tampa community revitalization partnership in

09:17:55 recognition of East Tampa community revitalization

09:17:58 partnership the best umbrella association award given

09:18:02 by the Hillsborough County neighborhood association on

09:18:04 March 27, 2010.

09:18:07 The Tampa City Council would like to take this

09:18:09 opportunity to extend congratulations to your

09:18:13 organization as you continue to address your

09:18:15 community's future economic and political undertaking

09:18:20 for a job well done and the Tampa City Council saying

09:18:23 best wishes to all of you and hope you will move

09:18:25 forward in your commitment to make our city a wonderful

09:18:27 place to work and play.

09:18:29 I would like to present this for the good work you all

09:18:31 are doing.

09:18:31 >> Thank you.

09:18:33 Thank you.

09:18:33 As you know, I could not stand here alone.

09:18:53 One of the proudest moments as chair has been to see

09:18:58 the support of the associations, the crime watch

09:19:03 groups, and the businesses, everybody, the school

09:19:08 system has just rallied to this organization.

09:19:10 I stand here with some of the community leaders, and I

09:19:14 told them that I would stand here as chair, only if I

09:19:17 had all my behind-the-scenes support with me.

09:19:23 There are many of you that are in the viewing audience

09:19:25 that could not be here, but you know who you are.

09:19:28 You were invited but you could not be here.

09:19:30 But I would just like for the council to know what

09:19:34 really, really this means to me.

09:19:38 We have Denise who made the recommendation as the

09:19:45 aesthetic and beautification chair, to recommend our

09:19:49 association for this award.

09:19:52 And it is my understanding that -- and I did receive

09:19:55 the award last year.

09:19:56 So this is two years in a row that we are growing in

09:19:59 the area of umbrella association.

09:20:02 The other thing is that two years ago we started out

09:20:08 with approximately ten associations, and about ten of

09:20:15 the crime watch groups.

09:20:17 I stand before you today.

09:20:20 That number has increased.

09:20:21 We are 20-plus associations in our crime watch group.

09:20:26 So I compliment all of them for having them put up with

09:20:31 me, calling to say we need to keep coming and growing,

09:20:34 because when you see this kind of support you know that

09:20:36 we are listening to the community, and they are

09:20:39 involved in every step of the way of what we are doing.

09:20:42 So thank you.

09:20:43 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Well said.

09:20:48 [ Applause ]

09:20:49 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you all very much.

09:20:51 >>GWEN MILLER: We have another great community, a

09:20:57 representative from Seminole Heights.

09:21:05 I would like to present to the southeast Seminole

09:21:07 Heights civics association recognition of southeast

09:21:11 Seminole Heights civic association for the best news

09:21:16 let area ward given by the Hillsborough County

09:21:17 neighborhood conference on March 27th, 2010.

09:21:20 Tampa City Council would like to take this opportunity

09:21:22 to extend congratulations to your organization as you

09:21:26 continue to address your community's future economic,

09:21:30 social and political undertaking for a job well done,

09:21:33 and the Tampa City Council extends best wishes to you

09:21:36 as you move forward in your commitment to make our city

09:21:39 a wonderful place to live, work and play.

09:21:42 I would like to present this to you.

09:21:47 [ Applause ]

09:21:48 >> I'll make it short and sweet.

09:21:50 One thing that isn't mentioned here, actually got two

09:21:53 awards, and the other award is for our event, which

09:21:56 happens to be the annual ice cream social, which is a

09:22:00 give-back event, completely sponsored by the

09:22:02 association.

09:22:03 It's free for all kids and all residents of greater

09:22:06 Seminole Heights.

09:22:07 And the reason I mention is, it's on the 12th and you

09:22:12 are all invited.

09:22:14 It's a great time.

09:22:15 Normally we would be -- we have issues right now but

09:22:20 they play with water guns, and face painting and clowns

09:22:24 and pinatas and ice cream and hamburgers and hotdogs,

09:22:29 and it's kind of a Saturday free for all.

09:22:31 Everybody has a great time.

09:22:32 So if you would like to come, please do.

09:22:34 Thank you for this.

09:22:35 You all know with the little engine we could, we keep

09:22:42 trying.

09:22:42 And I want to say also that we appreciate our

09:22:44 association of East Tampa.

09:22:45 We appreciate the back of you.

09:22:49 Thank you again.

09:22:50 [ Applause ]

09:22:50 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: When I was first elected 24 years

09:22:57 ago, T.H.A.N. didn't exist, these neighborhood

09:23:01 organizations were either didn't exist or were

09:23:05 fledgling, and it has been the most gratifying

09:23:08 experience to see the neighborhood organizations,

09:23:11 because of individuals who care about their communities

09:23:15 grow and flourish and be creative in what you offer,

09:23:18 and for the city to give you what you need, it's been

09:23:23 wonderful, because it really takes the elected

09:23:26 officials, it takes the neighbors to say what they need

09:23:30 and working hard.

09:23:31 It takes the press talking about it.

09:23:33 And it's the changes in our neighborhoods, Tampa's

09:23:37 neighborhoods that have just been positive and

09:23:38 profound.

09:23:39 So this is a marvelous way to start a meeting.

09:23:43 Thank you all for being down here.

09:23:49 [ Applause ]

09:23:51 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you very much and

09:23:52 congratulations.

09:24:00 Our workshop.

09:24:00 The first workshop that we have scheduled is the high

09:24:04 speed rail.

09:24:05 Anyone here for the high speed rail?

09:24:15 >> I think there might be a communication problem.

09:24:21 I assumed we were having this.

09:24:22 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I did, too.

09:24:24 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: But I don't know if it was clear

09:24:26 whether it was the city clerk's office or City Council

09:24:28 office who was supposed to make the arrangements with

09:24:31 the presenters.

09:24:34 And perhaps we need to clarify that as we move ahead on

09:24:36 workshops if it's not a city staff person doing the

09:24:39 presentation, who the presenting -- you know, which

09:24:43 office will make those arrangements, because I think

09:24:46 this is -- I downtown see anybody from the Department

09:24:51 of Transportation.

09:24:52 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, I guess my concern is that we got

09:24:54 a memo from Councilwoman Mulhern requesting that we

09:24:58 remove it from the agenda, and the question becomes,

09:25:01 did she make contact?

09:25:03 In case you don't know, there is a high speed rail

09:25:06 conference going on right now in Orlando.

09:25:08 I don't know whether you all know that or not.

09:25:10 I talked to several people that was already over there

09:25:13 this morning, and I just got a memo this morning saying

09:25:16 Ms. Mulhern is there.

09:25:17 My concern is that no one council person can cancel a

09:25:22 council meeting that is by vote of council.

09:25:25 I as chairman can't cancel a meeting.

09:25:30 I have to bring it to the council and it has to be

09:25:31 discussed by this board and bring this body.

09:25:33 We are a panel of seven members and no one person can

09:25:38 arbitrarily cancel anything without a vote.

09:25:39 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, I moved to receive

09:25:50 and file based on a later date based on council's

09:25:54 calendar.

09:25:55 We aren't going to listen today.

09:25:57 There's no one here.

09:25:57 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I second your motion.

09:25:58 And I think perhaps next time we set up workshops we

09:26:01 need to clarify whether the arrangements are being made

09:26:04 through the City Council office or the city clerk's

09:26:07 office.

09:26:07 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.

09:26:12 I didn't hear the -- she was just saying --

09:26:17 Councilwoman Mulhern was going to make all of the

09:26:20 arrangements for the people to be here.

09:26:21 So that was a problem for us because evidently this

09:26:26 is -- it was on our schedule, and evidently she didn't

09:26:30 make contact for all the speakers that were supposed to

09:26:34 be here, which gives us a little pause, because we are

09:26:36 here as a council ready to move forward, and nobody is

09:26:41 here.

09:26:42 But that concerns me.

09:26:43 So I need to hear the motion again and what direction

09:26:47 you want.

09:26:49 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: The motion is to receive and file

09:26:52 the letter from Ms. Mulhern, the e-mail, and then the

09:26:56 council later on May set another meeting regarding this

09:27:01 high speed rail with all the council members voting.

09:27:05 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

09:27:07 I second the motion.

09:27:08 But I really am very disappointed.

09:27:10 I was very much looking forward to this presentation.

09:27:15 And I wonder if there is someone within City Hall with

09:27:21 this information who would be able to share it with us

09:27:24 in perhaps 15 minutes if we took a break.

09:27:26 I don't know.

09:27:29 >>THOMAS SCOTT: But everybody is in Orlando at the

09:27:31 super conference that's going on.

09:27:32 I talked with several people already and that's where

09:27:34 they are.

09:27:34 There's a motion.

09:27:36 I guess my concern is it's one thing we probably need

09:27:41 to discuss in the future when we are having a workshop

09:27:42 of this nature who is going to be responsible for

09:27:44 making contact, and that nothing is canceled without

09:27:48 the full board approval.

09:27:51 I think that is the process.

09:27:54 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Yes.

09:27:56 >>THOMAS SCOTT: So with that in mind, the motion is to

09:27:59 receive and file, reschedule at a future date.

09:28:01 It's been moved and seconded. All in favor signify by

09:28:05 saying aye.

09:28:06 Opposes?

09:28:08 And we'll have a rescheduling to discuss this at a

09:28:12 future date.

09:28:13 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Since we have a moment of time can

09:28:17 I share something that transpired?

09:28:19 >> Just one second.

09:28:19 We have something from the city attorney's office that

09:28:21 wanted to come forwardings.

09:28:23 Are you prepared now?

09:28:25 >>SAL TERRITO: Legal department.

09:28:26 As you know, we have been working for about four years

09:28:29 with the Encore project going and we think we have it

09:28:31 going.

09:28:32 So I would like to request, there's a resolution before

09:28:35 you today calling for a hearing on June 10th.

09:28:37 It's a CRA day rather than City Council day.

09:28:41 It will require both CRA and City Council approval.

09:28:44 So we would like to have a special hearing called for

09:28:47 the June 10th date at 9:30 or actually soon after

09:28:50 the CRA finishes.

09:28:52 Our expectations, the presentation will be a made

09:28:55 basically to the CRA because that's going to be meeting

09:28:57 first.

09:28:58 There are CRA funds involved so that's why you want to

09:29:00 have that first.

09:29:01 The public hearing is a requirement, actually it

09:29:03 requires two public hearings and the kind of

09:29:06 development agreement we are doing.

09:29:07 And we hope to get the development agreement to you by

09:29:11 next week.

09:29:12 That's why we are shooting for the June 10th date.

09:29:15 And because of all the lead times, we have to do it

09:29:17 today rather than wait till your next regularly

09:29:19 scheduled meeting.

09:29:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: So move the resolution.

09:29:23 >> Second.

09:29:24 >>THOMAS SCOTT: All in favor?

09:29:27 Opposes?

09:29:27 Thank you very much.

09:29:28 Anything else on that?

09:29:29 Okay, Councilwoman Saul-Sena.

09:29:30 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I serve on the river board, and we

09:29:33 had a meeting the other day, and we brought up the

09:29:37 fertilizer ordinance.

09:29:39 City Council has already taken action asking them to

09:29:41 adopt this estuary model, the Pinellas County model.

09:29:46 And we voted on that.

09:29:48 We took the recommendations, the technical advisory

09:29:51 committee, and had a successful vote asking the board

09:29:56 to do that.

09:29:58 The person who is the chair of the Environmental

09:30:00 Protection Commission did not support the motion, and

09:30:06 the Environmental Protection Commission is the one

09:30:08 whose word will affect all of us is meeting on June

09:30:10 10th which is also a council day, unfortunately.

09:30:13 I think their meetings are at 9:00, same as ours.

09:30:17 I would like to attend their meeting briefly at the

09:30:19 beginning to present the river board's opinion.

09:30:24 I'm the vice chairman.

09:30:25 River board.

09:30:26 I feel it's really important for the quality of the

09:30:28 Hillsborough River which affects us.

09:30:30 So I just wanted to give you a heads-up that I will be

09:30:33 doing that.

09:30:33 Because I think it's really important, and I was

09:30:36 pleased that both the technical advisory committee and

09:30:38 the river board supported the strongest protection.

09:30:42 >>THOMAS SCOTT: That's at the EPC which is on June

09:30:47 10th?

09:30:48 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Correct.

09:30:48 But I was very disappointed that they scheduled it in

09:30:50 the daytime because it's a great public interest.

09:30:52 I was hoping they would schedule it and be more

09:30:56 accessible for us.

09:30:58 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.

09:30:59 Let's take care of new business.

09:31:00 Then I guess we'll take a break.

09:31:02 New business.

09:31:03 Councilwoman Miller.

09:31:04 >>GWEN MILLER: I would like to present a commendation

09:31:07 to the greater Mount Carmel AME Baptist church, and

09:31:11 they are going to be celebrating their 103rd church

09:31:14 anniversary and Sunday, May 31st and I will be

09:31:19 presenting it at that time.

09:31:25 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Moved and seconded.

09:31:27 All in favor signify by saying Aye.

09:31:29 Opposes?

09:31:30 Okay.

09:31:30 Anything else?

09:31:33 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I was going to suggest that maybe

09:31:36 --

09:31:36 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Let's do new business and then come

09:31:38 back.

09:31:38 Mr. Caetano, anything?

09:31:41 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: No.

09:31:42 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I have a request for the steel family

09:31:45 reunion week of July 2nd.

09:31:47 This is not to be presented at City Council.

09:31:49 It's presented to the family.

09:31:51 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Second.

09:31:51 >>GWEN MILLER: We have a motion and second.

09:31:54 All in favor?

09:31:57 >> We have Darrell Smith chief of staff requesting that

09:32:01 chief Thomas forward is scheduled to appear on June

09:32:04 3rd, ten-minute presentation on hurricane

09:32:06 preparedness.

09:32:07 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Excellent.

09:32:08 Second.

09:32:08 >>GWEN MILLER: All in favor of the motion say Aye?

09:32:13 >> Then the last item here, we have assistant city

09:32:20 attorney Julia Cole requesting, I guess, request for --

09:32:31 Florida land use environmental dispute act,

09:32:35 recommendation of a special magistrate.

09:32:39 I understand this cannot take place unless we put it on

09:32:46 the agenda.

09:32:46 I would like to move that we place this on the agenda.

09:32:49 And this is going to be scheduled for June 3rd?

09:32:53 Is that what it is?

09:33:00 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: We have a statutory time limit.

09:33:02 My understanding is we need to be meeting in June.

09:33:04 I think Julia's request is for the 3rd.

09:33:08 >> June 3rd, regular City Council agenda, so June

09:33:16 3rd.

09:33:16 We still have June 3rd.

09:33:18 >> Does it have to be a time certain or under staff

09:33:20 reports?

09:33:23 >> Probably setting it with staff reports will be fine,

09:33:27 but probably should for everybody that would want to

09:33:29 come and speak to the issue.

09:33:31 I don't know if there are folks or not.

09:33:32 >> Set it for a time certain would be appropriate.

09:33:35 >> 11:00 perhaps.

09:33:37 >> We can do that right now.

09:33:48 So that will be my motion.

09:33:49 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Second.

09:33:50 >>GWEN MILLER: Motion and second.

09:33:51 All in favor of the motion say Aye.

09:33:53 Opposed?

09:33:55 >>MARTIN SHELBY: And the time again?

09:33:57 >> 11:00.

09:33:58 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Under staff reports.

09:34:00 Thank you.

09:34:08 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

09:34:10 I received a call this morning from LENA Young-Green

09:34:13 about the Lamar street church.

09:34:17 An agreement has been reached between the neighborhood,

09:34:21 the Department of Transportation and the city, that the

09:34:25 Lamar street church is vacant.

09:34:27 It's abandoned.

09:34:29 It's on the side of the interstate where things may be

09:34:32 widened some day, maybe in the future like 50 years

09:34:34 from now.

09:34:35 In the interim, the FDOT has decided to allow the city

09:34:38 to give it to the community to refurbish the church for

09:34:43 community activities.

09:34:44 And everybody has agreed to this.

09:34:46 And it somehow is going through the city process.

09:34:49 And Ms. Green was wondering about the city process so

09:34:55 they can start work.

09:34:56 I wanted to request a written report.

09:35:01 Since it should already be in the works, I would just

09:35:04 like a very short, written report by our next council

09:35:07 meeting saying when the neighborhood can expect that

09:35:12 the city can make it available to the community.

09:35:14 So that would just be under staff reports, time frame.

09:35:20 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Second.

09:35:25 >>THOMAS SCOTT: That's June 3rd.

09:35:27 Moved and seconded.

09:35:28 All in favor?

09:35:29 Opposes?

09:35:29 Okay.

09:35:33 >> We'll take a few minutes.

09:35:44 Anyone want to address council?

09:35:46 They have to speak on the subject of the workshopment

09:35:49 let me hear what the issue is.

09:35:51 >>> My name is Denise James.

09:35:56 Thank you so much for allowing me this opportunity.

09:35:59 I bring greetings to each of you from the Board of

09:36:01 Directors and Tony Watts of the corporation to develop

09:36:07 communities of Tampa, CDC, which myself serve as board

09:36:17 meetings.

09:36:18 We held our graduation ceremony in preparing students

09:36:21 for life after school.

09:36:22 This program offers activities that are attractive to

09:36:25 young people, foster their health and development and

09:36:29 participation at a level significant enough to make a

09:36:32 positive difference in their lives.

09:36:34 This is accomplished by building strength, recognizing

09:36:37 the need for both ongoing support and challenging

09:36:40 opportunities.

09:36:41 Through experience, we have learned that the students

09:36:43 are most vulnerable in 8th through 12th grade.

09:36:48 That's when they feel they have outgrown traditional

09:36:51 after-school and summer programs.

09:36:52 The boys and girls clubs, recreation centers,

09:36:55 et cetera.

09:36:56 By this time, if they have not grounded with a strong

09:36:59 support system, this is why your financial support has

09:37:04 been and continues to be so crucial.

09:37:07 The funds you provide supports an average of 75

09:37:10 students per year as well as staff by bridging a

09:37:16 connection between the students, family and school, and

09:37:19 we truly thank you.

09:37:21 Of the 31 graduates, two will join the military, two

09:37:25 will attend out-of-state schools, 24 will attend

09:37:28 Florida colleges, USF, FAMU, Florida international

09:37:33 university, Miami-Dade, Bethune, and others will seek

09:37:37 employment.

09:37:37 We would also like to ask you to mark your calendars

09:37:40 and plan to visit the CDC on June 9th at the urban

09:37:46 enter praise center at 1907 east Hillsborough Avenue

09:37:50 for an open house from nine until three.

09:37:54 Brunch will be served and you will see first-hand what

09:37:57 services are provided by the CDC.

09:38:00 In addition, we will host our 18th annual

09:38:03 anniversary luncheon, which will be held on October

09:38:06 13th at the downtown Hyatt Regency.

09:38:10 You will receive additional information on these

09:38:12 activities at a later date.

09:38:14 And again we thank you for all of your support and look

09:38:18 forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

09:38:22 We have one for each of you, and they show the

09:38:26 astronauts, the graduates and the schools they are

09:38:29 attending in Hillsborough County.

09:38:30 Thank you so much.

09:38:32 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you so much.

09:38:32 Yes, ma'am?

09:38:38 You have one for the clerk?

09:38:39 >>> Mr. Chairman, members of council, ladies and

09:38:43 gentlemen.

09:38:43 My name is Angela cross and I'm I am a concerned

09:38:50 citizen of Tampa.

09:38:50 I noticed walking around Tampa that there are no

09:38:53 garbage cans especially on the north side, and as a

09:38:56 result of that the area is filthy and dirty.

09:39:00 I am proposing that something be done about that.

09:39:02 Also, I have noted in the downtown area of Tampa, there

09:39:05 are many buildings.

09:39:08 Why Tampa is the city beautiful.

09:39:10 There are many buildings vacant and they are abandoned,

09:39:16 and I am proposing that something be done to restore

09:39:21 those buildings, you know.

09:39:23 I would like to see something like maybe a major

09:39:26 department store downtown, a restaurant, so that people

09:39:35 can come out with their families, you know, and there

09:39:40 are things that can be done.

09:39:43 As president I note in walking downtown in the

09:39:46 afternoon on a Saturday, it's pretty much like a ghost

09:39:52 town, you know.

09:39:54 And nothing is happening down here, you know.

09:39:56 I also noticed that in speaking with the homeless

09:39:58 population at the Salvation Army, I have noticed many

09:40:03 people there.

09:40:04 They have a very good heart, they are very bright.

09:40:06 What they are looking for is not so much a handout but

09:40:08 a hand out.

09:40:13 And what is standing in their way, as the case may be.

09:40:21 Accordingly, no one is willing to take a chance on

09:40:23 them, you know.

09:40:24 I am hoping that in this proposal, in getting those

09:40:32 garbage cans in the street, and also like a

09:40:34 beautification for the City of Tampa, because I have

09:40:36 noticed that all of the north side, but especially may

09:40:43 visit around the Marion Hart center, that there is

09:40:47 absolutely nothing there, you know,.

09:40:51 It's parched and dry.

09:40:53 I'm hoping that council can make some recommendations

09:40:55 recommendation whereby something can be done to sort of

09:40:57 address the issue.

09:40:58 And in so doing, that that population -- homeless

09:41:04 population can be incorporated in the plan so they can

09:41:06 do something for themselves, to gain a livelihood and

09:41:10 sort of be incorporated into the workforce.

09:41:12 Thank you so much for hearing me.

09:41:14 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you, ma'am.

09:41:17 I guess we have to forward that over to administration.

09:41:20 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: The proposed high speed rail

09:41:25 station will be located exactly in the area that you

09:41:27 are speaking of.

09:41:28 It will be immediately north of the Marion street

09:41:31 transitway stretching from the previous jail site all

09:41:34 the way west to where the city used to have a rec

09:41:41 department.

09:41:41 So there's going to be a tremendous amount of

09:41:43 reinvestment and building along there.

09:41:46 What our responsibility will be is to try to see if

09:41:52 something can be incorporated into the expectations of

09:41:54 the people, the contractors for building the high speed

09:41:56 rail station for retraining and being -- to have skills

09:42:02 and hired so that that can just help reintegrate them

09:42:09 into the community.

09:42:10 But we also have that opportunity with the Encore

09:42:12 project.

09:42:12 And I'm not exactly sure how well we are doing with

09:42:15 that.

09:42:16 And perhaps, if I may, Mr. Chairman, I would like to

09:42:19 make a motion that we have under staff reports at the

09:42:24 third meeting in June, that Roxanne -- or maybe during

09:42:31 the CRA meeting -- to have an update on Encore and

09:42:35 specifically see how we are doing with making sure that

09:42:37 the hiring for all of the building that's using public

09:42:40 money has some programs for integrating ex-offenders

09:42:48 into learning some job skills.

09:42:50 Do you think that would be more appropriate for our CRA

09:42:53 meeting?

09:42:54 >> Well, Encore is in CRA area, and that will be city

09:42:59 attorney.

09:42:59 >>SAL TERRITO: We are coming to you on the 10th

09:43:02 with a full-blown development agreement that will

09:43:04 explain and discuss all those items.

09:43:06 You will have an opportunity at that time, because the

09:43:07 10th will be the first public hearing of two

09:43:10 development agreements for the whole project.

09:43:12 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Perfect.

09:43:14 So perhaps because this issue was raised and because

09:43:16 it's something that we are all interested in, if that

09:43:19 particular area could be brought out as part of the

09:43:22 many components of the development agreement.

09:43:29 Do you know if there's going to be any public other

09:43:31 than council, any public meetings about this through

09:43:33 the neighborhood?

09:43:35 >>SAL TERRITO: I'm not aware of any at this time.

09:43:39 We haven't finished drafting at all.

09:43:42 So we are moving very quickly on this.

09:43:43 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you.

09:43:44 Thank you for joining us this morning.

09:43:59 >>THOMAS SCOTT: We have a workshop on the 17th.

09:44:08 There are going to be quite a few things on the

09:44:10 17th.

09:44:11 Our workshop day on the 17th of June, we changed

09:44:14 things around in June, pretty much is what she's

09:44:16 pointing out.

09:44:18 I want to the say in reference to the Encore project

09:44:20 now, you know we just had a big celebration last week,

09:44:25 I think, the week before last, and so that project

09:44:28 is -- and received $28 million, so that is moving

09:44:36 forward.

09:44:36 And as Sal pointed out, they will be coming back with a

09:44:39 development agreement, moving forward, so that there

09:44:42 will be an opportunity to raise any questions that we

09:44:44 may have relative to that.

09:44:46 Okay?

09:44:48 Anything else?

09:44:50 Okay, we can take a 15-minute recess.

09:44:53 Our next workshop is at 10:00.

09:44:55 And that is on the -- I guess while we are here,

09:45:00 council, that is scheduled for 10.

09:45:04 For some reason we only have 30 minutes.

09:45:06 That's probably going to take longer than 30 minutes.

09:45:09 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Since we have extra time --

09:45:11 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, let me just finish.

09:45:13 Then you have the 15 minutes for the expenditure

09:45:17 report.

09:45:17 Then you have 11:00 on the utility tax ordinance.

09:45:22 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Could we do the revenue report now?

09:45:28 It's just staff.

09:45:29 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, the problem is that it's 10:30 on

09:45:32 the agenda.

09:45:33 I don't know whether you can move it up.

09:45:34 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: It's just a workshop.

09:45:36 We are not taking any action.

09:45:39 But we could call them up and see if they couldn't get

09:45:42 here.

09:45:42 It's just a couple of staff people.

09:45:44 >>THOMAS SCOTT: The other issue I was concerned about

09:45:46 was the, take tax because I was under the impression it

09:45:51 was moved by the administration.

09:45:53 I see it's on the agenda for 11:00 and some

09:45:56 recommendations on the budget.

09:46:01 I thought the administration was withdrawing that item.

09:46:03 But, anyway, let's take a 15-minute break and give

09:46:07 everybody a chance to get here.

09:46:08 Because they are not here now.

09:46:12 So we stand in recess till 10:00.

09:46:14 Thank you.


09:57:38 (Recess).


10:04:28 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Tampa City Council will now come to

10:06:44 order.

10:06:44 Roll call.

10:06:45 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Here.

10:06:49 >>GWEN MILLER: Here.

10:06:50 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.

10:06:53 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Here.

10:06:59 Our 10:00 workshop on the reestablishment.

10:07:02 Relationship with Cuba.

10:07:04 It's my understanding, so we can outline the agenda,

10:07:08 that it's a five-minute presentation by the following

10:07:11 organizations: The World Trade Center, University of

10:07:13 South Florida, Mr. Albert A. fox, Jr., and U.S.

10:07:20 representative Kathy Castor or her representative.

10:07:25 >> I don't believe the last one is here.

10:07:29 >> I spoke with a representative from the University of

10:07:32 South Florida yesterday and they will not be attending.

10:07:35 so we might be able to give the other folks a minute or

10:07:38 two.

10:07:38 >>THOMAS SCOTT: All right.

10:07:46 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: The University of South Florida

10:07:47 will not be in attendance today, so we might be able to

10:07:50 give the other groups a few more minutes.

10:07:53 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.

10:07:54 Mr. Michelini is here.

10:07:57 >>STEVE MICHELINI: Good morning.

10:07:59 I'm here on behalf of the World Trade Center.

10:08:01 I would like to introduce some of our Board of

10:08:03 Directors who are here including our president Jack

10:08:06 barley, Frank Cisneros, and one of our assistants is

10:08:14 Stefan Hobb has been working very closely with us in

10:08:17 preparing these presentations for you.

10:08:19 In front of you, you have a booklet.

10:08:23 It basically will run through some of the information

10:08:25 that we are going to present to you this morning.

10:08:27 And with that, we would like to go ahead with our

10:08:31 PowerPoint presentation.

10:08:32 One of the most important things that we believe has to

10:08:35 happen is that Tampa must be more active and more

10:08:39 aggressive in becoming a trading partner with Cuba, and

10:08:42 becoming a gateway designation for trade with Cuba.

10:08:48 We have learned a great deal about what's happened in

10:08:50 the past, and over the last 48 years the policies have

10:08:56 been modified some.

10:08:57 We are not here talking about whether the current

10:08:59 administration in Cuba is going to remain or not, but

10:09:03 whether or not it's a smart thing to do for Tampa to

10:09:05 become more aggressive and more active with trading in

10:09:09 terms of opening those ports with the trade in Cuba.

10:09:15 There's a couple things that have happened.

10:09:17 Senator LUGAR has produced a white paper which

10:09:21 essentially called for a more normalizing relations

10:09:25 with Cuba, and as a result of that, some of the things

10:09:27 that have happened, President Obama has allowed Cuban

10:09:32 citizens residing in the United States to travel more

10:09:36 freely.

10:09:36 Two bills are pending before Congress, one of which

10:09:40 will lift the restrictions that are currently in place

10:09:42 regarding agriculture.

10:09:45 Right now, Cuba has to prepay for anything they buy

10:09:48 from the U.S., and that means it has to be cash.

10:09:53 That is a serious constraint on trade between the U.S.

10:09:56 and Cuba, in particular con strains trade from Florida,

10:10:03 Florida being one of the biggest agricultural producers

10:10:06 and closest in proximity to Cuba.

10:10:08 The second bill will release and allow American

10:10:10 citizens to travel freely between the U.S. and Cuba.

10:10:15 Right now you have to apply for an application through

10:10:17 the U.S. treasury department to gain approval.

10:10:21 That is a tedious process.

10:10:23 In order to travel under a commercial Visa, we recently

10:10:27 took 13 people to Cuba, and it took us more than six

10:10:31 months to get those permits.

10:10:32 You can still travel under humanitarian Visas, and

10:10:36 that's a quicker process.

10:10:37 But if you are going down to conduct business, you are

10:10:40 required to go through the U.S. treasury department to

10:10:42 obtain those approvals

10:10:48 One of the estimates in terms of economic benefit to

10:10:51 the United States is 1.1 billion dollars in economic

10:10:55 benefit.

10:10:57 If the house bill passes, it removes the restrictions

10:11:01 on agricultural products.

10:11:03 Tampa is in a prime position to take advantage of that.

10:11:06 One of the issues that we are dealing with now is the

10:11:09 fact that we have competition coming from all over the

10:11:13 place.

10:11:14 Texas and Louisiana are very aggressively seeking those

10:11:18 designations to allow trade to occur with their states.

10:11:22 Houston recently received an approval to trade directly

10:11:26 with Cuba by container ship.

10:11:29 And our port should be aggressively seeking those kinds

10:11:32 of shipping and container services that would allow

10:11:36 that to happen.

10:11:37 Countries like Canada, Brazil, Spain, Venezuela, China,

10:11:43 Vietnam, are aggressively trading now with Cuba.

10:11:48 There are resort areas that are developed by the

10:11:52 Spanish in Cuba, and they are welcoming those kinds of

10:11:55 initiatives.

10:11:56 One of the key factors that we believe in normalizing

10:12:00 relations and making a better commitment between the

10:12:03 U.S. and Cuba is to talk, to trade and to visit, and

10:12:07 those kinds of relationships will break down whatever

10:12:10 other barriers there are.

10:12:13 Are we ready for this?

10:12:17 Basically we are not actively and aggressively moving

10:12:22 forward for Tampa and trying to obtain a designation

10:12:27 that will allow us free and active port status to trade

10:12:30 between Havana and the U.S.

10:12:32 And we want that to happen for Tampa.

10:12:36 What happens normally is you have to trade through and

10:12:38 travel through Miami.

10:12:41 That's the gateway designation.

10:12:43 L.A. has a designation which is underutilized, and we

10:12:47 were told during our recent visit to Cuba that L.A. is

10:12:50 not even using their gateway status.

10:12:54 The other is New York.

10:12:55 And we understand that New York is marginally involved

10:12:59 in trading with Cuba, although there's a huge

10:13:02 population of Cuban Americans in New Jersey.

10:13:05 By the estimates of the Miami international airport and

10:13:09 one of the charter services, the number of passengers

10:13:13 that could be departing on two trips a day from Tampa

10:13:19 with 300 passengers each, which is about 8,000

10:13:22 passengers a month, and that translates to $420,000 in

10:13:27 revenue in passenger taxes just for that trip alone.

10:13:33 When we were in Cuba, we prepared a declaration

10:13:35 announcing that the World Trade Center would be

10:13:39 aggressively working towards normalizing relations

10:13:42 between the two cities of Tampa and Havana and other

10:13:45 cities as well in Cuba, and our initiative there was

10:13:49 designed to capitalize on the historic nature of the

10:13:56 relationships that exist between Tampa and Cuba.

10:13:58 We took with us -- and Frank Cisneros prepared and had

10:14:04 us take some drawings from Mr. Martinez.

10:14:09 I think you are familiar with it, the coffee drawings

10:14:12 of Jose MARTI, and they were very well received.

10:14:17 The individuals that we met with, we met with people in

10:14:21 the foreign service as well as the commercial offices

10:14:24 and the trading offices, and they were very, very well

10:14:28 received there, and they feel because Jose MARTI had

10:14:33 such a relationship with Tampa that they also have a

10:14:35 friendship and a relationship with Tampa that they

10:14:37 would like to explore.

10:14:40 The direct flights from Tampa would enable us to create

10:14:43 jobs.

10:14:44 It would increase our passenger traffic through Tampa

10:14:47 international.

10:14:48 It would assist us in overnight hotel stays and

10:14:52 restaurant purchases and equipment and other purchases

10:14:54 that are necessary for travel.

10:14:57 Right now you have to stay overnight in Miami, and then

10:15:02 showing up at the airport at four or five in the

10:15:04 morning in order to get your transit Visas if you leave

10:15:07 in the morning for travel.

10:15:08 All of that revenue goes to the economic engine of the

10:15:13 Miami-Dade community.

10:15:15 We would like to see some of that come to Tampa.

10:15:20 We are talking about all of these different

10:15:22 organizations which should join together and become a

10:15:25 central focus with the World Trade Center in helping to

10:15:28 bring the attention that's necessary to make change

10:15:32 occur.

10:15:34 We are looking for increases in trade and tourism and

10:15:37 create learning opportunities involving our community.

10:15:43 We started to establish a relationship with the medical

10:15:45 school in Havana and the USF medical school here in

10:15:48 Tampa.

10:15:50 And we spoke with president Genshaft about that, and

10:15:53 Maria Crummet, and they were very interested in

10:16:01 stabbing a relationship with the University of Havana

10:16:03 which is in historic old Havana. We also spoke to the

10:16:07 city planning office in historic old Havana and talked

10:16:07 about the opportunities that would be available for the

10:16:10 USF architectural school to go and study on a regular

10:16:12 basis.

10:16:13 Other schools and universities are already doing that.

10:16:16 But it makes sense for Tampa and the University of

10:16:18 South Florida to do that.

10:16:22 And there are a couple of pictures here of the medical

10:16:26 school.

10:16:27 And they offered us, at the time, they said we have 500

10:16:31 scholarships for U.S. students to study free of charge

10:16:34 at our medical school.

10:16:35 They have to come from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

10:16:38 They have to qualify, and then they are sent there, and

10:16:43 the Cuban government pays for all their expenses.

10:16:48 But the students that we spoke with were very

10:16:51 energetic, very excited about being there.

10:16:53 We spoke with two from California and two from New

10:16:57 Jersey, and they said, but for the fact that the Cuban

10:17:00 government had offered them those scholarships they

10:17:02 would not be able to study medicine.

10:17:04 They do have reciprocity when they come back to the

10:17:07 United States, in California, and they were working on

10:17:11 reciprocity in New York.

10:17:13 We believe that the goals that we have laid out are

10:17:16 attainable.

10:17:17 We believe that you can have direct flights from Tampa

10:17:22 to Havana and to other cities in Cuba, but the focus

10:17:26 has got to be drawn quickly on the U.S. administration.

10:17:31 It's not a legislative change that has to occur.

10:17:34 It's an administrative change, and it rests with the

10:17:40 president and his staff as well as the state department

10:17:42 and U.S. treasury.

10:17:44 That's an important step.

10:17:46 And it should occur.

10:17:49 There is no reason why other cities should have that

10:17:51 advantage and Tampa doesn't have that advantage.

10:17:54 We have a huge Cuban population, and I can tell you

10:17:57 from my visit there that in many respects what we saw

10:18:02 in Havana, you see the same kinds of things in Tampa.

10:18:06 The houses and the people.

10:18:08 You wouldn't know the difference.

10:18:11 There needs to be a little restoration on some of them

10:18:13 but they couldn't have been more friendly and more

10:18:16 hospitable to us during our stay.

10:18:20 If we can establish a long-term relationship with some

10:18:24 of these institutions between Tampa and Cuba, we will

10:18:27 have done things that haven't been done in 48 years.

10:18:31 And I think we will have gone a long way toward

10:18:34 establishing a relationship which means something, and

10:18:37 is sustainable.

10:18:42 It's a positive change for us.

10:18:45 The competition from other states is increasing.

10:18:50 Tampa and Cuba have a lot of relationships that need to

10:18:53 be capitalized upon.

10:18:55 These are individual relationships, and individual

10:18:57 efforts, and we are suggesting that perhaps the World

10:19:00 Trade Center become a central point of focus so that

10:19:03 everyone, they can still maintain their individual

10:19:06 efforts, but to do it under the umbrella of the World

10:19:08 Trade Center so that it's focused, its concentrated on

10:19:12 the appropriate approvals that have to occur at the

10:19:15 federal level.

10:19:19 And with that I will close with any questions you might

10:19:21 have.

10:19:23 And we believe that Cuba is the next best place for

10:19:27 Tampa to begin opening a relationship, and that that

10:19:31 will create jobs, and it will also help to break down

10:19:34 some of those old historic barriers that need to be

10:19:36 broken down in a peaceful way, through trade and

10:19:39 through tourism.

10:19:40 Thank you.

10:19:48 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I'm not an expert on Cuba.

10:19:50 I don't think many of us are.

10:19:52 I guess one or two in the audience I would consider

10:19:54 very close to being experts.

10:19:56 You talked about the 500 doctors in Cuba.

10:19:59 I think they have to sign a reciprocal agreement that

10:20:04 when they go back they have to practice general

10:20:07 practition medicine, am I correct, or something like

10:20:10 that?

10:20:11 >>STEVE MICHELINI: You are.

10:20:11 I forgot to mention that.

10:20:12 They ask if you take advantage of their full paid

10:20:15 scholarship that you come back and practice in public

10:20:17 health.

10:20:18 Or you go back to a community that needs a doctor that

10:20:21 normally would not have one, and not go into a

10:20:24 general -- as a general doctor.

10:20:28 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: In other words, they want you to

10:20:30 give back just like you received.

10:20:31 >>STEVE MICHELINI: Exactly.

10:20:34 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: That's the way it should be.

10:20:36 Also, you talk about container.

10:20:38 I saw the word container ships and so forth.

10:20:42 Due to the widening of the Panama canal and the much

10:20:45 larger ships that are carrying container ships, I

10:20:50 believe there's only three, like I said I am not an

10:20:54 expert in container ships either, but three ports in

10:20:58 this hemisphere, on this side of the world, that can

10:21:01 handle those large ships.

10:21:03 Am I correct?

10:21:05 I'm not into all that stuff.

10:21:06 But one of them is in Cuba at Mariel port.

10:21:11 >> I don't know if it's three but it's limited, and the

10:21:13 Cuban government is moving towards building a large

10:21:16 container facility to take those ships that come to the

10:21:19 Panama canal.

10:21:20 >> But I believe there's none of those deep ports big

10:21:23 enough on the side -- the eastern side of the United

10:21:27 States.

10:21:29 So that means that you would piggyback on something,

10:21:34 whether it's Cuba or Santo Domingo, or one of the areas

10:21:38 where they have the deep port that can handle the very

10:21:41 extreme large container ships that would be unloaded to

10:21:46 smaller vessels for distribution.

10:21:48 It would be like a distribution like for Wal-Mart.

10:21:53 That's how I envision it.

10:21:54 >> A maritime transit center.

10:21:58 Well, that's a good word.

10:21:59 That's the proper word.

10:22:00 I didn't want to give Wal-Mart or K-Mart or somebody

10:22:03 else a leg up on it or rooms for whatever.

10:22:06 But they are thinking in advance.

10:22:10 And I was there once in 2006 with Mr. Al fox, and I

10:22:18 closed my eyes.

10:22:19 I remember being there in 1954.

10:22:22 Nothing changed.

10:22:24 The people are very friendly.

10:22:25 And they knew I was a tourist.

10:22:29 I had a camera bigger than my head.

10:22:31 And we were treated very cordially everywhere we went.

10:22:37 Tampa has a much longer history with the island itself,

10:22:40 with the nation of the Cuban people than most.

10:22:45 Tampa, way back, when Jose Marti came, they gathered

10:22:50 money here for his cause.

10:22:52 In fact, in the mid 50s, Fidel Castro was in Tampa.

10:22:59 They had a big parade in Ybor City and they gathered

10:23:03 money for the revolution.

10:23:04 All of that is historical with the Cuban people.

10:23:06 When the train was first built to come from Key West to

10:23:11 Tampa for the productivity of Jose, Ybor Martinez and

10:23:17 others that were working, the save our factories

10:23:20 started because the Cuban people came to work.

10:23:22 And there was a big industry, and the relationship --

10:23:27 most of us don't remember, unless you are a little

10:23:31 older than I am, I don't remember it myself, but there

10:23:35 used to be a couple of ships that used to go to Cuba on

10:23:38 a regular basis.

10:23:39 One of them that I believe was the Floridan or

10:23:44 something.

10:23:45 The Florida ship.

10:23:46 Some of you may remember that because I see you are

10:23:48 older than me.

10:23:49 Not the ladies, of course.

10:23:50 But what I am saying is those ships, it was a cruise

10:23:53 line ship way back in the 40s and the 50s.

10:23:55 And that used to happen.

10:23:58 There was a relationship far above -- and the sports

10:24:05 arena, the Tampa smokers, and I believe it was the

10:24:08 Cuban hurricanes or sugar canes or one of them canes,

10:24:13 when they played here at Plant Park, it was standing

10:24:16 room only.

10:24:17 Most of the players played on the first Cuban team that

10:24:20 I saw, went to the majors, and we used to call it the

10:24:26 team that would go to the Washington Senators, Sandy

10:24:31 Consuega... all them guys made it through Tampa to the

10:24:39 major leagues that were Cuban players.

10:24:42 And they had some crazy names for their players.

10:24:44 (Speaking Spanish)

10:24:48 That means -- well, I am not going to -- Jack is

10:24:53 smiling but that was his name in baseball.

10:24:55 (Speaking Spanish)

10:24:57 I can go on and on but I am going not going to bore you

10:25:00 with all of this.

10:25:00 I used to watch these guys when I was a kid and try to

10:25:03 emulate them.

10:25:04 But I was never that good.

10:25:09 They are a fantastic group of humanitarians, the Cuban

10:25:13 people are.

10:25:14 And where their competition is always welcome in

10:25:19 America.

10:25:19 And I can tell you -- and not speaking with anybody in

10:25:22 Cuba -- that the Cuban people would rather do business,

10:25:29 in my opinion, with Tampa than any other part or any

10:25:31 other airport or any other city in the United States,

10:25:35 because their heritage and our heritage, there's a

10:25:39 combined mix.

10:25:42 My father himself comes from San Fuegos, Cuba, which I

10:25:52 plan to visit. I'm glad you're bringing it up.

10:25:52 But cultural and history tie with Cuba is no greater

10:25:55 than the City of Tampa.

10:25:56 >> Thank you very much.

10:25:59 Mr. Fox, if you will come now.

10:26:02 Mr. Fox is well-known for his visitation and

10:26:06 presentation, I think about a year and a half ago, a

10:26:08 number of elected officials joining down in Ybor City

10:26:12 with a number of speakers.

10:26:18 So we welcome you today for the next presentation on

10:26:22 Cuba.

10:26:23 Mr. Albert fox, Jr.

10:26:25 >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

10:26:28 Excuse my allergies.

10:26:30 Mr. Chairman, more than most people, I think I

10:26:34 understand the importance of coming before a body like

10:26:37 this.

10:26:39 And I don't take that, my appearance here, lightly.

10:26:43 And I mean that, because I know the hard work that you

10:26:45 all do and all the jokes that go with what you don't do

10:26:55 and it's a pleasure to be here this morning.

10:26:57 I want to thank Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena for taking

10:27:01 the initiative to bring this together this morning and

10:27:08 she's not here but her trip to Cuba was a learning

10:27:11 experience for her.

10:27:12 I'm here this morning as the president of reliance for

10:27:16 responsible Cuban policy foundation, a 501(c)3

10:27:20 charitable organization that was founded by myself and

10:27:22 former United States senator Dennis Deconcini, late

10:27:30 secretary of commerce Alexander B. Trobrige, and

10:27:32 Congressman Anthony from Arkansas, and we traveled to

10:27:36 Cuba 75 times legally in the last 12 years.

10:27:40 We had two distinguished citizens of our community that

10:27:42 are on the board, John McDonnell and David H. Strice,

10:27:52 Jr., and they traveled with us as well.

10:27:53 You may have read the last couple of weeks in

10:27:55 St. Petersburg times and fortune magazine and in the

10:27:58 newsletter called "Cuba standard" that the alliance is

10:28:03 taking an organization in Houston, Texas called

10:28:05 international association of drilling contractors, in

10:28:11 August to meet with people of Cuba.

10:28:14 This is something we have been working on for a long

10:28:16 time.

10:28:16 It bothers me because I live in Tampa, and yet I take

10:28:21 people from Texas, the governor of Idaho, and it is

10:28:26 Tampa that wanted to do this.

10:28:28 Before I ever dreamed of moving back to Tampa, I would

10:28:32 bring people when we go on a private aircraft.

10:28:36 You can no longer do that anymore, partly because of

10:28:39 Mayor Greco's trip that got so much publicity that the

10:28:43 people in Miami used influence so no one can take a

10:28:46 private charter or commercial charter out of Tampa.

10:28:51 And I'm not optimistic.

10:28:52 It is not going to happen, unless you make it happen.

10:28:55 And I'll comment on that in a minute.

10:29:00 I am not familiar with the World Trade Center of Tampa

10:29:02 Bay, but I welcome them in joining this effort and

10:29:08 helping enhance U.S.-Cuba relations.

10:29:11 You may recall when Mayor Greco went to Cuba -- and

10:29:13 this is one of the problems and my frustration.

10:29:17 There were 19 people on that trip.

10:29:19 When they returned, they were all excited and they were

10:29:22 going to do this and do that and do the other thing,

10:29:25 and that was in July of 2002.

10:29:28 At the end of the day they ended up doing nothing.

10:29:32 Excuse my -- for me this issue is right there for

10:29:37 Tampa.

10:29:38 Just imagine what would happen if the Tampa City

10:29:40 Council and the county commission and the Port

10:29:42 Authority and the Aviation Authority issued a statement

10:29:45 tomorrow, and the mayor of this city, that we are going

10:29:48 to go to Cuba as an official delegation.

10:29:51 Whale we don't support the present government of Cuba,

10:29:54 the time has come to engage in their dialogue like they

10:29:56 are, not like we want them to be.

10:29:59 And if you ask, why does this policy remain in place?

10:30:04 If you all were to make that statement, I'm going to

10:30:08 guess that 37 people in the City of Tampa would go

10:30:11 ballistic.

10:30:11 They would go stark raving mad.

10:30:13 They would go crazy.

10:30:15 But what about the rest of the people in the City of

10:30:16 Tampa?

10:30:18 What would be their reaction?

10:30:19 They would welcome it and they would encourage you to

10:30:22 do it.

10:30:23 And Mary will tell you that she's had two irate e-mails

10:30:27 and phone calls, you are a communist, you are this, you

10:30:30 are that.

10:30:30 And almost 100 communiques have been nothing but

10:30:34 positive, "way to go" and it's time to do this.

10:30:37 So it beg it is question, request why don't we do it?

10:30:40 We don't need any more studies to the economic benefit

10:30:43 to this community.

10:30:44 It's insanity.

10:30:45 It's there.

10:30:46 When I took the governor of Idaho to Cuba in 2003 and

10:30:53 they purchased $10 million worth of potatoes and cotton

10:30:57 seed, that is our business.

10:30:58 And in those negotiations when the governor said, how

10:31:02 are we going to ship this stuff to you?

10:31:04 Well, we have a good relationship with the port of

10:31:06 Mobile, the port of New Orleans, a good relationship

10:31:09 with Galveston, Texas.

10:31:13 I jokingly interjected, what about Tampa?

10:31:16 And the gentleman said, you are our first choice, but

10:31:20 you don't want to be do business with us.

10:31:22 We have to bridge that and jump that perception.

10:31:29 Why does the embargo remain in place?

10:31:33 It does not remain in place because of communism,

10:31:36 political prisoner, confiscated property.

10:31:39 Those are all great stories.

10:31:41 This embargo remains in place because of vengeance,

10:31:44 pride, retribution, and political money.

10:31:48 And I have a different view than most people.

10:31:51 The president of the United States is going to do

10:31:53 absolutely nothing on this issue in the fought.

10:31:55 You can take that to the bank.

10:31:57 The pieces of legislation the gentleman commented on

10:32:00 will not pass this Congress just like it hasn't passed

10:32:03 for the last 12 years I have been working on it.

10:32:06 The alliance wrote the first travel ban bill in 2000

10:32:09 when we took the author of the bill and the Congressman

10:32:13 to Cuba.

10:32:14 So this is not a federal issue.

10:32:17 This is a local issue.

10:32:19 And as the gentleman commented about, you go to Miami,

10:32:22 and everybody gets on an airplane to go to Cuba and

10:32:26 pays a $53 airport departure tax to Miami.

10:32:30 So if they keep the embargo in place they are also

10:32:34 benefiting economically.

10:32:35 That is insane.

10:32:36 Now how do we get direct flights from Tampa to Miami?

10:32:39 You have to get our congressional delegation in the

10:32:45 surrounding area, and they have got to go to the FAA,

10:32:48 and they have to go to the treasury department, and

10:32:50 they have to go to the Commerce Department, and they

10:32:51 have to say, this is what we want, and we want it now.

10:32:56 And this is the demand that we have.

10:32:58 We can give you 5, 6, 700 passengers a week.

10:33:01 Until show you there's a demand, it's not going to

10:33:03 happen.

10:33:03 But how can we talk about the legislation lifting the

10:33:09 travel ban for Americans to travel to Cuba but do not

10:33:12 support the legislation that will allow you to buy the

10:33:14 ticket to get on the plane to go to Cuba?

10:33:17 This is above a lot of people's pay grade in Congress

10:33:21 when they work this way.

10:33:23 I spent a year and a half of my life campaigning for

10:33:26 Barack Obama and raised a lot of money for him and I

10:33:29 don't regret voting for him because in my alternative

10:33:31 the alternative was not very good.

10:33:33 However, I'm enormously disappointed in his position on

10:33:37 then policy and all of the optimism that so many people

10:33:40 think they had, get over it.

10:33:42 Look at what the facts are.

10:33:44 About a month ago, the president went to Miami.

10:33:49 Why did he go there?

10:33:50 A fund-raiser.

10:33:51 He leaves Miami with 2.5 million.

10:33:54 Gloria Estefan's father was the chief of security.

10:33:57 For her, it's personal.

10:33:59 But she didn't tell that to the president when he was

10:34:01 at her house, okay?

10:34:03 So this issue is so personal for so many people.

10:34:07 Okay?

10:34:08 And the Cuban American community, those in the extreme

10:34:12 wing, they have actually kept the embargo in place,

10:34:15 okay?

10:34:16 Some of them now have seen the light and they are to be

10:34:19 commended for that, and that is important.

10:34:21 But the Cuban government knows what goes on in this be

10:34:24 community.

10:34:25 Believe me.

10:34:26 One of the most influential leaders in this area of

10:34:31 Cuban relations, his daughter lives in Carrollwood.

10:34:36 Now, who do you think she's reporting back to?

10:34:40 And so for me, if I sound frustrated, I am frustrated.

10:34:45 And the one thing I want to do is I think to find a way

10:34:49 that all of us can work together for the good of this

10:34:51 community.

10:34:52 Every time I go to Cuba now, the FBI calls me, and

10:35:00 before that trocar called me, Al, you are doing

10:35:03 something illegal.

10:35:04 You have an illegal license.

10:35:06 That's insane.

10:35:07 You have all heard the rumors of this license and that

10:35:10 license and the other thing.

10:35:11 I invite all of you again to go as a body and take the

10:35:16 county commissioners with you, take the mayor with you,

10:35:18 take the Port Authority with you, take the Aviation

10:35:20 Authority.

10:35:21 There is no question that we are Cuba's first choice.

10:35:25 But as this thing moves on and on and we hear people

10:35:29 say, well, when Cuba opens up.

10:35:31 Cuba is open.

10:35:32 We are shutting ourselves out.

10:35:33 Let me just stop there and be glad to answer any

10:35:36 questions that you all may have.

10:35:38 But I would encourage you to go to Cuba, not as an

10:35:44 individual.

10:35:45 Go as a body.

10:35:46 Go representing people.

10:35:48 You are our leaders.

10:35:51 In 2006, in 2006, at the time a very influential person

10:36:00 at the time, he has since changed some structure, but

10:36:04 at the time -- and this Samantha purchased all the

10:36:06 information, and this is what he said.

10:36:08 He said some nice things about me.

10:36:10 Cuba is grateful for your support, et cetera,

10:36:12 et cetera, et cetera.

10:36:14 We have purchased 1.9 billion dollars with the United

10:36:18 States food and agricultural products delivered in Cuba

10:36:21 and interested in enhancement of the business

10:36:23 relationship with the American business community, and

10:36:26 particularly -- and particularly with the area of

10:36:28 Tampa, and its port.

10:36:30 Now, when the port director of Mobile saw this letter,

10:36:33 he wasn't too happy about that.

10:36:35 He was a we are looking forward to continuing the

10:36:39 development of mutually beneficial relationship with

10:36:42 its entrepreneurs and using this port to deliver the

10:36:47 products we contracted with our country.

10:36:51 What more can they do?

10:36:54 What more can they do?

10:36:56 So I will take any questions.

10:36:59 And thank you so much.

10:37:01 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Any questions?

10:37:03 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Not a question, a comment.

10:37:05 Thank you for coming.

10:37:06 Thank all the people from the World Trade Center for

10:37:08 coming.

10:37:09 It's so obvious that we have an opportunity in our

10:37:12 community to generate business for the City of Tampa

10:37:18 through this relationship.

10:37:21 And I'm very proud of my fellow members on council for

10:37:23 having this workshop today.

10:37:25 And I would like to move forward with an initiative

10:37:32 coming from City Council to foster these business

10:37:35 relationships.

10:37:36 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I want to say thank you, Mr. Fox.

10:37:41 Thank you, Mr. Michelini, for being here today.

10:37:45 It's very clear -- and I have attended both the World

10:37:49 Trade Center presentation, the university club, and

10:37:54 also Mr. Fox and Ybor City, and it's clear to me,

10:37:58 number one, that there has to be a concerted, unified

10:38:01 effort of this community coming together first.

10:38:05 That's very important that all parties should come

10:38:11 together and map out a plan or strategy to move forward

10:38:15 to normalize the relationship that we can in terms of

10:38:19 Cuba.

10:38:19 I think that if my ears are right, I am hearing two

10:38:27 different sides today.

10:38:28 I think it's very important that everyone get on the

10:38:33 same page so that we can move forward to do whatever is

10:38:38 necessary to make sure that those relationships with

10:38:41 Cuba are established for the business aspect.

10:38:46 I think we all agree, one is that we have a good

10:38:51 location in terms of the port here.

10:38:53 Secondly, as councilman Miranda pointed out, because of

10:38:56 the family ties and relationships, that's the other

10:38:59 benefit.

10:39:00 Third is economic benefit.

10:39:02 Economic benefit to this community, to this city, if we

10:39:06 can make that happen.

10:39:07 So all of that is very important here.

10:39:22 I do know there are some constraints or some things

10:39:28 that the president has not acted upon.

10:39:31 So I am aware of some of those issues, yes.

10:39:34 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you.

10:39:35 I didn't know whether you wanted to hear from the

10:39:37 public --

10:39:38 >>THOMAS SCOTT: We will have public comment right now.

10:39:39 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: After that I'll make a motion.

10:39:41 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I just want to make sure to give

10:39:43 council an opportunity to raise any questions or make

10:39:45 any comments.

10:39:45 >>STEVE MICHELINI: I think we are all on the same page

10:39:50 and we are all working toward the same goal.

10:39:52 I think what happened is you have different people

10:39:54 working individually, and we need to focus that

10:39:57 attention very directly on the people that can make

10:40:00 that approval happen.

10:40:03 And I think Mr. Fox has pointed out his frustration

10:40:06 about making it happen over the time he's been trying

10:40:08 to do it.

10:40:09 And we are saying we have a lot of energy here with a

10:40:12 lot of people.

10:40:13 We don't want to do it individually.

10:40:15 We want to do it as a group and make it effective and

10:40:17 open Tampa for trade with Cuba.

10:40:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Let me just raise a -- raise a

10:40:25 question.

10:40:26 Has there been a dialogue, Mr. Fox?

10:40:30 Has there been any dialogue with Mr. Fox's organization

10:40:32 and the World Trade Center to talk about a strategic

10:40:36 plan of action moving forward?

10:40:39 You said that we are all on the same page.

10:40:42 I hear Mr. Fox say -- and I hear you make a

10:40:46 presentation.

10:40:46 I'm not sure that you are that you are on the same

10:40:49 page.

10:40:49 I think we agree that we all need to make it happen.

10:40:53 What I'm saying is how do we bring everybody together

10:40:55 including the mayor, the county commission, City

10:40:57 Council, the Port Authority, Aviation Authority, come

10:41:01 together as one group, one body, and talk about moving

10:41:04 forward?

10:41:05 That's what I'm talking about.

10:41:06 I'm not talking about the World Trade Center going off

10:41:09 and doing something, not talking about Mr. Fox going

10:41:11 off and doing something.

10:41:12 I'm saying what needs to happen is a unified

10:41:14 concentrated concerted effort, in that are for the

10:41:19 elected body to be a part of the dialogue and

10:41:22 discussion.

10:41:23 >>STEVE MICHELINI: One of the elements that we are

10:41:26 planning now is to hold a forum where we would invite

10:41:32 U.S. governmental officials to Tampa along with the

10:41:34 elected officials here from the airport and the

10:41:37 Aviation Authority, from the cities and the Board of

10:41:39 County Commissioners, to have a forum on Cuba and what

10:41:46 is it going to take to get Tampa designated as a

10:41:48 gateway to bring that focus here.

10:41:51 We are trying to get that done within the next 60 days.

10:41:54 It may take 90 days to coordinate that.

10:41:58 But that would be an element that would help to bring

10:42:00 the decision makers here, including the congressional

10:42:05 delegation that Mr. Fox referred to.

10:42:07 And if they can't come, they can certainly send their

10:42:11 aides or staff members so they can hear first hand from

10:42:14 the people that live here and the businesses who stand

10:42:16 to benefit from that what we want.

10:42:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Mr. Fox, and then councilman Miranda.

10:42:22 To the mike.

10:42:23 Speak into the mike.

10:42:24 >> Al fox: Well, I'm not trying to pick a fight, but I

10:42:29 see your point.

10:42:30 But this gentleman just said that -- this is the first

10:42:34 I have heard about it.

10:42:35 The alliance is planning a seminar.

10:42:40 You attended our seminar in June.

10:42:42 I reached out to the world trade center to see if they

10:42:44 wanted to join us, for reasons unknown to themselves

10:42:47 they chose not to.

10:42:48 But as far as I'm concerned, that's in the past.

10:42:51 And we are here --

10:42:53 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, Mr. Fox, let me just say that it

10:42:56 is not my intent to pick a fight.

10:42:57 My intent southbound to bring us together.

10:42:59 That's why I made the statement, when one person says

10:43:02 we are all on the same page, and I heard what you said,

10:43:04 and I thought I heard you saying, well, we plan a

10:43:08 conference.

10:43:10 Do you know how many seminars and conferences we have

10:43:12 been to already?

10:43:13 But I'm saying what needs to happen is that since you

10:43:16 all seem to be the experts on the issue, why not come

10:43:19 together and sit down and map out a strategy and plan

10:43:23 to bring everybody together?

10:43:25 That seems more logical to me as opposed to somebody

10:43:28 saying that, well, we are planning this, and you say

10:43:31 you don't know what's going on.

10:43:32 I'm simply saying, if this is going to happen, it

10:43:35 appears to me that all players, all parties, need to

10:43:38 come to the table and have a strategic plan, a strategy

10:43:42 to move forward that would include the elected body,

10:43:45 elected officials of the communities.

10:43:46 >> I couldn't agree with you more.

10:43:50 I had a pretty good life in Washington, D.C.

10:43:52 I moved back to Tampa because I'm convinced that

10:43:54 Tampa -- when Tampa decides to break ranks with Miami

10:43:58 on this issue, this thing is over.

10:44:01 It's over.

10:44:02 But in this community, not only our leaders do not work

10:44:06 together, okay, but the people that have some knowledge

10:44:09 about this issue don't work together.

10:44:11 And because I'm a lightning rod for some people, don't

10:44:16 invite fox because he's controversial.

10:44:19 Who says I'm controversial and why am I controversial?

10:44:21 Because I have been in Cuba 75 times?

10:44:23 Because we have had nine means with Castro?

10:44:25 Because we wrote the trade sanctions format?

10:44:29 >> Well, see, Mr. Fox, and I hear what you are saying.

10:44:32 First of all that's why we need to come together.

10:44:35 You have got to have a unified effort.

10:44:39 People have to come to the table and sit down and

10:44:42 dialogue, okay?

10:44:44 That's what I'm saying.

10:44:45 And so that's what needs to happen.

10:44:47 So we can move forward together.

10:44:50 Because this is too important an issue to decide as to

10:44:56 picking a fight and all of that.

10:44:57 It's not worth the fight.

10:44:59 We all should be on the same team, same page.

10:45:02 Let's make it happen.

10:45:03 Let's come together.

10:45:03 Let's work together and make it happen here for you.

10:45:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, again going by

10:45:09 memory.

10:45:09 I apologize if I'm off by a month or so.

10:45:11 But this council passed a resolution in May of 19 --

10:45:18 excuse me, May of 2009.

10:45:22 And I have a pretty good memory.

10:45:25 On the same subject matter.

10:45:27 About flights to Cuba.

10:45:30 You know what?

10:45:31 That doesn't mean anything, if we don't have the power

10:45:35 to do that.

10:45:36 And like Mr. Fox said and others said, it's incumbent

10:45:40 upon the Congress and the pressure to be built up to

10:45:44 the administration to change the policy.

10:45:46 We could write all the resolutions.

10:45:48 I don't know what your good intentions are, to have a

10:45:51 motion made.

10:45:52 And now what?

10:45:53 That's like putting butter on the bread and throwing it

10:45:55 away because nobody is going to eat it up there.

10:45:57 So what I'm saying is, what are we going to do?

10:46:03 And let me say, I don't take offense to anything.

10:46:06 But in water and sewer, I work very good with

10:46:10 Hillsborough County.

10:46:11 This council works really good with Hillsborough

10:46:13 County.

10:46:14 But we don't have the legislative responsibility nor do

10:46:19 we have the legislative power to tell a federal agency

10:46:25 tomorrow you are going to start shipping aircraft from

10:46:30 Tampa to Havana.

10:46:32 That's not going to happen overnight.

10:46:36 And I've read about five letters from Congressman Kathy

10:46:46 Castor to the Secretary of State, to treasury

10:46:49 department, to other departments about that same

10:46:50 subject matter about trying to facilitate flights

10:46:53 directly from Tampa to Havana.

10:46:57 Where those talks are, I don't know.

10:47:00 You know why I don't know?

10:47:01 I don't sit on the Aviation Authority board.

10:47:04 I don't know if it's brought up in the Aviation

10:47:06 Authority board.

10:47:06 I don't sit on the Port Authority board.

10:47:08 I don't know that it's ever been discussed in the

10:47:11 authority board.

10:47:12 So what I'm saying is, it's not going to be simple,

10:47:18 thinking that this is going to pass, it's not.

10:47:21 Not for a while, until the top person in this country

10:47:26 says enough is enough.

10:47:29 This is what I have got to do.

10:47:31 And whether they do that or not, I don't know.

10:47:34 But I can see that there's been some activity, much

10:47:38 more than there has ever been in the last ten years

10:47:42 regarding this subject matter.

10:47:44 And, again, how do you build relationships with Cuba?

10:47:49 It's through people, through contacts with the people

10:47:57 who you shake their hands, and it's not all about lease

10:48:03 laws and lawyers and accountants and this and that,

10:48:05 it's that they have confidence in you and you have

10:48:07 confidence in them, and therefore those relationships

10:48:10 start to build, with the people.

10:48:14 I'm not saying the government.

10:48:15 I'm saying the people of Cuba.

10:48:17 They already have a spot in their heart for this area.

10:48:22 Because they no, sir that this area is the closest

10:48:25 thing to them.

10:48:27 Over 100 years.

10:48:28 So we are spending time.

10:48:35 And I don't think from what I see so far there's

10:48:37 compelling interest here that hasn't come together.

10:48:42 Whether they come together or not, I don't know.

10:48:44 Whether you come together or another party -- and I'm

10:48:47 not mentioning anyone individually -- whether we come

10:48:51 together with you, whether the other government comes

10:48:54 together, it takes more than the idea in a sandbox.

10:49:00 It takes a willingness to understand what the problem

10:49:06 is.

10:49:07 And the problem as I look at it is us.

10:49:10 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

10:49:11 >> Al fox: If I could on a very rare indication to

10:49:19 disagree with you in a little part.

10:49:20 >> A lot of people disagree with me and they are

10:49:22 usually right.

10:49:23 >> And it's this.

10:49:24 Whether we agree or disagree or work together on the

10:49:26 out side, it's not as important as the people sitting

10:49:29 on that dais.

10:49:30 And when you say that -- the Congress' attitude on this

10:49:35 issue is generated by members of Congress from Florida,

10:49:41 and they have told every member of the United States

10:49:43 Congress, this is a Florida-Miami-Tampa issue.

10:49:47 We know it.

10:49:48 Stay out of our business.

10:49:49 And the minute that those members of Congress across

10:49:52 America, across America, hear, read, understand, that

10:49:56 the City Council of Tampa has traveled as an official

10:50:00 body to Cuba, the county commissioners, the Aviation

10:50:03 Authority, they are going to say to themselves, well,

10:50:06 it's okay with them, they change their mind, then it's

10:50:09 okay with me.

10:50:09 And if a vote to place the legislation, talk to me

10:50:15 about it.

10:50:16 If Nancy Pelosi called that bill up today at 2:00 it

10:50:21 would get 350 votes.

10:50:22 So why doesn't she call it up?

10:50:25 Because she doesn't want to call it up because they get

10:50:26 some political money from the people in Miami.

10:50:30 And I am going to give you one story that just takes a

10:50:33 minute, but you all remember the famous football coach

10:50:38 from Nebraska Tom Osborne.

10:50:40 He retired from football.

10:50:42 He's an icon in the state of Nebraska.

10:50:44 He becomes a United States Congressman.

10:50:48 The vacancy for governorship of Nebraska occurs and

10:50:50 he's a conservative Republican and decides to come in

10:50:53 and say, why don't you be the next governor of

10:50:55 Nebraska?

10:50:56 This is great.

10:51:00 He had a 92% approval rating.

10:51:02 That is unheard of.

10:51:04 Okay?

10:51:05 Out of nowhere, young man named David HINAMAN,

10:51:11 conservative Republicans, enters the challenge and this

10:51:15 is what David said.

10:51:17 I want Congressman Osborne to explain to the people of

10:51:21 Nebraska why he goes down to Miami to get political

10:51:24 campaign money and then votes against legislation in

10:51:27 the Congress that dense Nebraska farmers the right to

10:51:30 sell their beef and their beans to Cuba.

10:51:33 And they took another poll.

10:51:36 Congressman Osborne was 80%.

10:51:40 You know where I am going with this story, okay?

10:51:41 The governor of Nebraska is David HINAMAN, a

10:51:47 conservative Republican, is Sporn in as governor, he

10:51:50 goes to Cuba and he gets $10 million worth of business

10:51:52 for his farmers.

10:51:53 Can you imagine if the governor of Florida went, if the

10:51:56 mayor officially -- when Mayor Greco went it was

10:52:00 unofficial trip and there was a lot of whistles and

10:52:02 horns and that sort of stuff.

10:52:04 But if you all go as a body, and you are our leaders,

10:52:07 and we'll support you, we'll carry your bags, okay?

10:52:11 I know how this process works.

10:52:15 I know what they want to hear in Cuba.

10:52:18 Last week, the Cuban government called us to go to Jose

10:52:22 Marti park and plant a flower in front of his statue,

10:52:25 his 145th anniversary.

10:52:28 They called us.

10:52:29 Okay.

10:52:30 They know what's going on in this community.

10:52:32 And the minute they see that things have changed -- and

10:52:35 look at of what they do.

10:52:38 When Mayor Greco went to Cuba, taking over 700 people

10:52:42 in 12 years, the Cuban government never comped one room

10:52:46 at the hotel, not one.

10:52:48 But they comped Mayor Greco's room.

10:52:53 Why?

10:52:53 Because Dick Greco is George Washington?

10:52:56 No.

10:52:56 He was the mayor of Tampa.

10:52:57 >>STEVE MICHELINI: Let me add one thing.

10:53:01 When we were there in January a lot of the questions

10:53:03 that we got repeatedly was, when are you going to bring

10:53:05 the elected officials from Tampa to Cuba?

10:53:08 And we want them to come.

10:53:11 It's an open invitation.

10:53:12 Let me echo what Al just said.

10:53:15 We want you to come down here and visit with us, we

10:53:18 want to talk to you.

10:53:19 We want to open those relationships between Tampa and

10:53:22 Havana.

10:53:23 And again, the last thing they said, we feel like we

10:53:27 are brothers and sisters with the people that live in

10:53:29 then community.

10:53:31 And we don't understand why you are rejecting us.

10:53:34 I can't put it more simply than that.

10:53:37 This is young people, middle aged people, old people.

10:53:41 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.

10:53:41 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: If I may, I just want to clarify, I

10:53:46 apologize if, my memory was wrong, it was not in May,

10:53:50 it was in April of 2009.

10:53:53 Somebody heard me say that.

10:53:54 They brought me the resolution.

10:53:56 That was April 13th, 2009.

10:54:00 Announced it would lift all restrictions in families

10:54:03 traveling to Cuba to find a family member,

10:54:05 blah-blah-blah, whereas the result of a number of U.S.

10:54:08 travelers to Cuba is expected to triple from currently

10:54:10 10,000 a month to nearly 30,000 a month.

10:54:14 We passed this resolution.

10:54:15 It goes on and on and on.

10:54:17 We passed this, signed by Chairman Scott, and I don't

10:54:21 see no dissenting votes.

10:54:23 It talks about only three airports, Miami, New York and

10:54:26 Los Angeles, that are authorized under title 19-CFR

10:54:31 chapter 1, part 122, section 122.153 for flights to

10:54:37 Cuba.

10:54:38 The Tampa Chamber of Commerce sent a letter, protection

10:54:43 and support of direct flights from Tampa International

10:54:44 Airport to Cuba.

10:54:46 This council has not been sitting on its heels.

10:54:52 Here, over a year ago, we did this.

10:54:58 So let me also say that I'll be going to Cuba possibly

10:55:02 within the next ten days.

10:55:07 I have never met one part of my father's family.

10:55:09 I don't even know they are alive.

10:55:13 Let me also tell you that in 2006, when I went with Mr.

10:55:16 Fox, I wrote a letter to the treasury department.

10:55:21 A whole bunch of guys go -- they are a little older

10:55:27 now -- to play ball.

10:55:30 I never heard from them.

10:55:32 So in 2009, of November, that's a long time from 2006,

10:55:38 I wrote President Obama a letter.

10:55:41 I never expected to get an answer.

10:55:45 About three Fridays ago, I got an answer from the state

10:55:48 department, and I thought, what the hell have I done

10:55:53 now?

10:55:54 And they asked me, what was the trip about?

10:55:57 What was it about, this, that and the other.

10:56:00 I didn't get anyone involved.

10:56:02 There was no names on the thing.

10:56:03 I just sent a letter.

10:56:05 And they told me what to write the treasury, what to

10:56:10 do, and how to do to get whatever they need to take

10:56:14 this ball team of now 67 and 70-year-olds to play ball.

10:56:21 If you think that's easy at that age, try it.

10:56:24 I also told them I want to take a ten-year-old

10:56:26 championship team from here to play ball.

10:56:29 I also told them I was going to ask my friend Pete rose

10:56:32 to get a team of former major leaguers, 45 to 55, and

10:56:37 they would play ball.

10:56:38 And since 1954 when I went to play ball, I was the

10:56:43 worst player on the team, there was no women sports to

10:56:48 speak of.

10:56:49 So I'm figuring, you know what?

10:56:51 We owe something, so I want to take a senior basketball

10:56:54 team and a junior varsity basketball team to play ball.

10:56:59 You see, I don't know if this is going to happen or

10:57:04 not.

10:57:05 All I can tell you, I'm trying.

10:57:06 I'm not doing it for any political reasons.

10:57:09 I want to go back, and the guys want to go back and

10:57:13 play one last time.

10:57:15 I'm trying to find a Cuban to get the home run off of

10:57:20 me that more likely was the first thing to hit the

10:57:22 moon.

10:57:23 Way before the astronauts.

10:57:26 That baseball that I threw was still in the moon

10:57:30 because he hit it hard.

10:57:32 And I would like to face him one more time.

10:57:34 But that's just me.

10:57:37 It's a dream.

10:57:38 Whether it happens or not, I can't tell you.

10:57:41 But I can tell you that had we had not been on our

10:57:47 heels -- and it talks about the airport, the port of

10:57:50 entry and exit for direct flights to Cuba.

10:57:54 And I am going to put it back into the record so

10:57:56 that -- we have trade to do what we can do, although

10:58:03 some of us think that we don't have that kind of power,

10:58:07 we have if we had the kind of power we have there -- we

10:58:11 have said that.

10:58:11 That's been done a year ago.

10:58:13 So now we are back at the table a year later on the

10:58:15 same basic discussion.

10:58:19 It's like running a track meet without track shoes.

10:58:23 You don't go too far.

10:58:24 >>STEVE MICHELINI: We thank you, chairman.

10:58:28 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Can we hear from the public,

10:58:29 please?

10:58:31 >> Thank you, Mr. Michelini and Mr. Fox.

10:58:33 And we still go back to the question everybody

10:58:37 commenting together, and the elected body to have a

10:58:41 plan as we move forward.

10:58:44 I still say that.

10:58:45 Okay?

10:58:46 We will hear from the public at this time.

10:58:48 Anyone who wants to address council may come forward at

10:58:50 this time.

10:58:52 If you plan to address council, please come forward.

10:58:54 Anyone else?

10:58:54 >> Thank you for the opportunity.

10:58:58 I'm Jose valianti.

10:59:02 You heard from two noncubans.

10:59:05 I figured you would like to hear from a real Cuban

10:59:08 regarding this issue.

10:59:10 I came to the United States in 1962, 47 years ago, and

10:59:16 I went back for the first time in January after 47

10:59:19 years.

10:59:20 So it was quite an emotional time for me.

10:59:24 I see family that I haven't seen in 47 years.

10:59:26 I see my home where I was born, been there 47 years.

10:59:32 So it was especially very emotional for me to go to

10:59:36 there.

10:59:37 And let me give you some of the stuff that I came back

10:59:39 with, my opinions.

10:59:41 First of all, we met and were very warmly received.

10:59:46 We met with the business sectors of Cuba.

10:59:50 We have a very active Chamber of Commerce that was

10:59:52 created in 1963.

10:59:55 We had a huge meeting with them.

10:59:57 Warmly received.

10:59:59 I can stand here and tell you with certainty that the

11:00:02 Cuban people want nothing more than to be friends with

11:00:06 the U.S.

11:00:07 They are ready to be friends with the U.S.

11:00:12 Also, as president of the Florida Institute of CPAs, I

11:00:18 had the opportunity by chance to meet my counterpart,

11:00:22 much to my surprise, and unbeknownst to me, my

11:00:25 profession in Cuba is highly respected.

11:00:29 And like the president of the National Association of

11:00:32 Economists and Accountants, they have 80,000 members

11:00:35 throughout the island.

11:00:37 So I was very fortunate to meet the gentleman and learn

11:00:42 about their profession over there.

11:00:43 So I feel good about that.

11:00:45 I went back to the home where I was born.

11:00:49 By the way, after 47 years, I took the driver to my

11:00:56 front door.

11:00:56 I never forgot about where I lived.

11:00:58 The sad part is witnessing how difficult it is for the

11:01:00 people of Cuba to live there.

11:01:03 Very difficult.

11:01:04 Mr. Miranda, you said that you went in '54, you went

11:01:08 back the and it has not changed.

11:01:12 The people have not changed.

11:01:13 When for the first time, it feels that it is the first

11:01:18 time.

11:01:18 But the country is totally run down and dilapidated and

11:01:22 is a third world country, to much of my embarrassment.

11:01:28 A cousin of mine who left when she's two years old,

11:01:31 she's now 49 years old.

11:01:33 She's a doctor.

11:01:33 To go to work every morning, just to go from my

11:01:36 hometown to another town to catch a bus to go to work,

11:01:40 from my hometown to catch a bus, the mode of

11:01:44 transportation is the wagon pulled by two horses.

11:01:48 Today.

11:01:48 This is today.

11:01:49 I took a picture of it.

11:01:51 I couldn't believe it.

11:01:54 So they are desperate for change.

11:01:59 They just want an opportunity to succeed.

11:02:02 The Cuban people that I saw, highly educated, highly

11:02:06 educated.

11:02:06 The problem is when they get to the end of the line

11:02:08 there's nothing for them to do.

11:02:09 There's no opportunity for highly educated people.

11:02:12 And a lot of the young people, over 70% of the people

11:02:16 in Cuba living today were born after 1959.

11:02:22 In our first meeting the chamber did express

11:02:25 appointment with President Obama and the promise he

11:02:27 made in his campaign.

11:02:29 We responded then that unfortunately for President

11:02:32 Obama, 95% of his first year was consumed by health

11:02:36 care and the economy.

11:02:38 But I felt that he had the good intentions of doing

11:02:42 things like he promised in the campaign.

11:02:48 They raised money.

11:02:50 I don't know whether he changed histone now but it

11:02:53 remains to be seen.

11:02:59 My Cuban American friends, I have been in this

11:03:02 community since 19262.

11:03:04 I truly and highly respect the opinion of Cuban

11:03:07 Americans.

11:03:08 I used to believe the same thing, that we need to get

11:03:10 rid of Fidel Castro and that government and I have

11:03:17 learned that the embargo is what has kept the

11:03:21 government in power, and the embargo will keep that

11:03:24 government in perpetuity.

11:03:25 (Bell sounds).

11:03:26 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.

11:03:27 >> If it was up to me, I would lift the embargo

11:03:30 tomorrow.

11:03:30 Not because I want to do business with Castro.

11:03:33 I want to bring change to Cuba.

11:03:37 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.

11:03:38 Thank you very much.

11:03:39 Next speaker.

11:03:39 >> My name is Ann Sherman.

11:03:44 And I have lived in Tampa for four years.

11:03:46 And I am an American citizen.

11:03:50 And I would like to say that this issue, I'm pleased

11:03:54 you are discussing it in a workshop, and that there has

11:03:57 already been an action that you took over a year ago.

11:03:59 But to continue, I ask you to continue in your

11:04:01 leadership role and as a body plan a trip to Cuba as

11:04:07 soon as possible.

11:04:09 And it means much more to Tampa, to Florida, to the

11:04:12 United States.

11:04:13 Cuba affects our immigration issues, our drug

11:04:17 interdiction issues, trade and commerce and culture

11:04:20 issues, and oil drilling issues.

11:04:22 It is a very big issue.

11:04:25 And when I hear Cuba, a small country, I don't feel

11:04:30 that way.

11:04:31 It's very important to the United States.

11:04:32 And I'm a citizen, and my rights are abridged because I

11:04:35 can't travel there legally.

11:04:37 That can be handled elsewhere.

11:04:38 But you as a body can take your trip and make up your

11:04:42 own mind, see it for yourselves, and be leaders.

11:04:47 You would be doing a great service to all Americans.

11:04:52 And I wish you good luck.

11:04:53 And if I could do anything, I'm a retired CPA.

11:04:57 I would be happy to assist.

11:05:01 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you very much.

11:05:01 Next speaker.

11:05:04 >> Don Barco, a local businessman in Ybor City.

11:05:08 When I was a kid I grew up in Palmetto Beach and Ybor

11:05:11 City was my downtown.

11:05:13 I have been in business there for 25 years and know the

11:05:16 great history of Jose Marti, and what I have always

11:05:21 felt, I recently learned two or three years ago, I knew

11:05:26 that Jose Marti was an important person to the Cuban

11:05:30 people but I didn't realize the importance that the

11:05:36 Cubans in Tampa were to free Cuba from Spain.

11:05:40 I applaud the world trade group's efforts.

11:05:43 I went to school with Jose, and Mr. Fox is my old

11:05:48 baseball coach.

11:05:49 We won a championship under Mr. Fox way back when

11:05:52 dinosaurs roamed the earth.

11:05:54 And you have a lot of talented people with both of

11:05:58 these groups.

11:05:59 I applaud the world trade sent group's efforts that

11:06:03 they are joining Mr. Fox's effort that he's been now

11:06:06 for 12 years.

11:06:08 I think it's shameful that it's taken so long.

11:06:12 And I hope from this that you guys do in fact go to

11:06:17 Cuba.

11:06:18 I beg you to do that.

11:06:19 And any other groups, political boards in Tampa that

11:06:23 can do that.

11:06:24 It's really an important thing.

11:06:25 And we can't give up the fight, Charlie.

11:06:27 Sometimes things that we really want to have happen, we

11:06:30 have got to keep pushing until we can make it happen.

11:06:33 And I think there's two things we are talking about.

11:06:39 One, we keep talking about lifting the embargo, which

11:06:41 is the federal.

11:06:43 And the other thing is bringing business to Tampa,

11:06:45 which other cities are already doing in the United

11:06:49 States.

11:06:50 And if they can do it, we can do it.

11:06:52 There's no reason we can't that I know of.

11:06:54 I don't know all of the mechanizations of local

11:06:59 governments, that if they can do it, we can do it.

11:07:02 And in fact in bad economic times Tampa can really use

11:07:05 the money.

11:07:05 And I ask you to keep trying.

11:07:08 Thank you.

11:07:08 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Next speaker.

11:07:12 >> Good morning, council.

11:07:14 Jason Busto, 1702 St. Louis, Tampa.

11:07:18 First I want to thank you for calling this workshop,

11:07:21 Councilwoman Saul-Sena.

11:07:27 Going to Cuba, councilman Miranda and councilman

11:07:31 Mulhern H.I don't know what you are saying you are not

11:07:33 leaders on the issue.

11:07:35 You just brought two very important groups in our

11:07:38 community together standing together side by side on an

11:07:41 issue before all of us.

11:07:42 You are absolutely right that it's a federal issue.

11:07:44 But it's a federal issue as has been indicated today

11:07:47 with three primary integrated components, metro Miami,

11:07:50 metro Tampa and metro union city, New Jersey.

11:07:54 For the last five years, $11 million has been assembled

11:07:59 and put into national elections from a group of that is

11:08:01 well organized, to point out the disorganization on the

11:08:06 opposing side, but that is changing substantially as we

11:08:09 speak.

11:08:11 The other issue is the votes.

11:08:15 You know, Don Straz used to say in politics you need to

11:08:18 have money and/or votes to get things done.

11:08:21 The votes are clearly on the national level on the side

11:08:23 of an embargo. It will be proven if it's addressed to

11:08:27 be an unconstitutional issue because the latest change,

11:08:32 I'm very delighted that the Cuban American citizenry

11:08:35 are allowed to go back and forth to Cuba.

11:08:38 It creates an unfair suspect class and right that is

11:08:42 not available to all of us Americans, which is

11:08:45 fundamentally unAmerican, but in Miami, last Friday, I

11:08:53 went to a convention, a conference for the

11:08:55 normalization of ties between the U.S. and Cuba, and I

11:08:59 just want to share with you a couple of really amazing

11:09:02 things that happened.

11:09:03 First of all, some of the organizers included two basic

11:09:07 veterans, one former general counsel found earth's of

11:09:10 the Cuban American foundation which had led on this

11:09:13 issue consistency, largely because they are unified,

11:09:16 largely because they have an immediate purpose, and

11:09:19 they are well funded.

11:09:21 And smart about their strategies.

11:09:23 However, things are changing on the embargo front 50

11:09:28 years, and you can see even that group of people is

11:09:30 changing.

11:09:31 Many of them are dying.

11:09:33 With all due respect.

11:09:35 Their children do not agree.

11:09:37 And at the conference, two things happened.

11:09:40 One is they released this congressional district of

11:09:44 polling for the top five polling districts down there

11:09:46 for Cuban Americans.

11:09:48 That's Washington Shultz, Ralph Ladely, Diego -- David

11:09:57 Rivera. Anyway, 51% or more in every one of those

11:10:03 districts of Cuban Americans want to end the embargo.

11:10:10 The second thing that happened at the convention was

11:10:12 there was a protester toward the very end, 15 minutes

11:10:15 left, screaming, this woman in the back, out side of

11:10:18 the tent.

11:10:20 Then the organizer came back and she says, I have been

11:10:23 called to task.

11:10:25 I was yelled at out side by a protester.

11:10:28 And her protest was fair.

11:10:30 She said that the maritime industry was not adequately

11:10:34 represented in this panel discussion.

11:10:38 It wasn't about dealing with Castro.

11:10:40 It wasn't about going to Cuba.

11:10:42 And the reason you matter as City Council people is

11:10:45 that you can convince our mayor and our other elected

11:10:50 that this is a federal issue that is run by Tampa,

11:10:52 Miami and union city.

11:10:53 We need your help.

11:10:54 Please go as a group down to Cuba for the future of

11:10:57 this city.

11:10:57 Thank you for your time.

11:10:59 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you very much.

11:11:00 Councilwoman.

11:11:00 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I would like to make a motion.

11:11:02 First I want to thank everyone who has come down today.

11:11:05 And I think we do see a unity, a unity in this

11:11:08 community saying we need to do business between Tampa

11:11:13 and Cuba.

11:11:15 It's for our economic future as well as our cultural,

11:11:19 socio and economic heritage.

11:11:20 So my motion is that a group of the Tampa City Council

11:11:26 goes as a group to Cuba to create economic

11:11:30 opportunities for our community.

11:11:32 We invite the mayor.

11:11:34 We invite the county commission.

11:11:36 We invite the Port Authority and the Aviation

11:11:38 Authority.

11:11:39 But regardless of their ability to join us, that we go

11:11:42 as a group, showing thoughtful leadership on something

11:11:45 that will be an economic boon to our community.

11:11:50 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Is there a second to that?

11:11:57 All right, Councilwoman Miller.

11:11:58 >>GWEN MILLER: I listened to everybody.

11:12:01 Everybody seems to want the same thing.

11:12:03 They want the trade, they want to have flights

11:12:06 directly.

11:12:07 But what steps do you take?

11:12:09 How do you go about doing it?

11:12:10 Nobody says what do you do?

11:12:13 Who do you go to?

11:12:14 How do you do it?

11:12:16 Nobody brought that up.

11:12:17 >>STEVE MICHELINI: Mr. Fox answered some of those

11:12:20 questions and we answered some as well.

11:12:22 In your packets, you have an outline of an action plan.

11:12:26 And there's himself a CD in there that goes through the

11:12:29 very various elements that we presented.

11:12:32 But if I could just offer this to the council, that

11:12:35 perhaps maybe with the motion that you encourage people

11:12:38 to participate, and not make it mandatory for

11:12:42 encouraging the council and the BOCC and Aviation

11:12:45 Authority to participate, and then we can perhaps --

11:12:49 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.

11:12:49 We have to move to the next workshop.

11:12:51 Let me just say from my perspective, I think there has

11:12:54 to be a strategy, first of all from my standpoint, and

11:12:58 I'm amenable to this, and that is, I think that you

11:13:01 need to pull together these two groups here in the same

11:13:05 room, Kathy Castor, chairman of the county commission,

11:13:12 chairman of City Council, the port director, Aviation

11:13:16 Authority director, or chairman of their board, and

11:13:19 talk about -- and the mayor, talk about going as a

11:13:24 body.

11:13:24 The problem we have us going as a board, there's ab

11:13:27 sunshine issue that comes up.

11:13:29 That's a big, a huge issue, all elected officials on

11:13:32 one board because you are going down to discuss issues

11:13:34 that may come back to vote on creates a sunshine issue

11:13:38 and a possible violation.

11:13:41 I think a strategy of the elected officials and the

11:13:43 chairman of the board, these two groups, meet in one

11:13:46 room and strategize and talk about coming forth,

11:13:49 setting a time to go as a body, and having a joint

11:13:53 press release is the way to go, once you have a

11:13:56 strategy.

11:13:57 So my suggestion would be to follow that.

11:14:02 Probably more amenable to move forward.

11:14:05 I think if you have the mayor, I think you have

11:14:09 Congresswoman Castor, I think again chairman of the

11:14:13 county commission, chairman of City Council, the Port

11:14:17 Authority director or its board chair, and Aviation

11:14:21 Authority chair, and any other interested party coming

11:14:25 together and strategizing with these two bodies here as

11:14:29 we move forward, and then coming out with a press

11:14:32 conference of a time and day to move forward.

11:14:37 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, I would like to add to

11:14:38 that, it's not only about Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

11:14:43 There's a lot of others that represent this area in

11:14:45 Congress.

11:14:47 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yes.

11:14:47 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: So for one Congress person to go is

11:14:50 like dropping a drop of water into the Hillsborough

11:14:52 River.

11:14:53 Not going to make a change.

11:14:55 Not going to make a difference.

11:14:56 You must invite those in the surrounding areas and the

11:14:59 surrounding districts so that the achievable can be

11:15:04 achieved.

11:15:04 I agree with your motion, or your discussion on it,

11:15:08 that before we get way ahead of ourselves, let these

11:15:12 individuals meet, let's find out what it is, and then

11:15:16 go forward from there.

11:15:18 I agree with you.

11:15:19 I said I was going to Cuba in about ten days.

11:15:22 Legally.

11:15:26 I don't know if I will ever be back to Cuba again.

11:15:31 I am going to try to find my family, like I said.

11:15:34 I have the addresses where I am supposed to go.

11:15:36 And that's all that I know.

11:15:37 But I am not going to support a motion today of all of

11:15:40 us going to Cuba.

11:15:44 We don't need all of us to go to Cuba.

11:15:46 That's number one.

11:15:47 You need individuals to work together first and set a

11:15:49 stage of what your goals are and what your objectives

11:15:55 are with the individuals not only from Congress --

11:15:58 notice I said individuals -- but you also Virginia two

11:16:01 state senators.

11:16:04 U.S. senators that should be contacted.

11:16:11 You have an election going on.

11:16:14 Why don't you pose this in the election?

11:16:16 You have some people running for office way on the

11:16:19 left, you have some that are way on the right, and now

11:16:23 you got a new one that's in the center.

11:16:26 That's my moon.

11:16:27 And I am not going to mention names.

11:16:29 It's really no political thing.

11:16:31 So what I'm saying is, here is your opportunity.

11:16:35 There's an opportunity and an election that's going to

11:16:38 happen in November.

11:16:39 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Let me raise the question, Mr. Fox,

11:16:43 and will you all be amenable to my office coordinating

11:16:47 a meeting with all interested parties to try to convene

11:16:50 that?

11:16:51 >>STEVE MICHELINI: Yes, sir.

11:16:52 >>THOMAS SCOTT: And invite the other congressional

11:16:54 representatives?

11:16:55 That would be my motion.

11:16:56 >> Second.

11:16:58 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: The reason that I made my motion is

11:17:03 to get things going, because sometimes it's hard to

11:17:05 coordinate schedules.

11:17:06 But whatever leadership Tampa City Council can provide

11:17:09 to moving this issue along, I am supportive of.

11:17:12 And I look forward to the you propose taking place, and

11:17:17 us all moving expeditiously.

11:17:18 >>GWEN MILLER: We have a motion and second.

11:17:20 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Before we do that, let them speak,

11:17:24 and then you have to look at -- somebody is going to

11:17:27 have to take the bull by the horns here and see how

11:17:29 many representatives are in the area.

11:17:34 >>THOMAS SCOTT: As I said, I will coordinate the

11:17:36 meeting, and send out letters and make phone calls and

11:17:39 pull everybody together at a convenient time.

11:17:41 We will make sure everybody is invited including the

11:17:43 mayor and all interested parties, governments, leaders,

11:17:48 and Congress person as you pointed out, and then sit

11:17:52 down at the table in a room together, and dialogue.

11:17:55 >>> Mr. Chairman, I couldn't agree more with you.

11:18:00 And I would just add that there are other groups here

11:18:05 many years, and I think they should be extended an

11:18:07 invitation as well.

11:18:09 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, give us a list of names.

11:18:10 >>> Al fox.

11:18:12 And one thing that I think you all can do, following

11:18:15 your sunshine laws, if we can get one person from each

11:18:18 of the elected bodies here to go to Washington and have

11:18:21 dinner with the Cuban ambassador, he would host you in

11:18:24 his home.

11:18:25 That would send a tremendous message.

11:18:28 >>THOMAS SCOTT: That's why all that committee can

11:18:30 discuss in that meeting.

11:18:31 To me you have a strategy meeting on a plan of action.

11:18:34 >>STEVE MICHELINI: And wee we agree.

11:18:40 The motion is certainly in order and I think will go a

11:18:43 long way toward resolving some of these deadlocks.

11:18:45 Thank you.

11:18:46 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: Mr. Chairman, I think your idea

11:18:50 is great.

11:18:51 We need to unite.

11:18:55 I never met Mr. Fox, but to me he's an expert on Cuba.

11:18:58 I know Mr. Michelini has been working on this for a

11:19:01 long time with the World Trade Center, and we need to

11:19:04 get off the dime and get something going, because all

11:19:06 we are doing is spinning our wheels.

11:19:07 And forget the politics in Washington.

11:19:09 I mean, we got the Republicans on one side, the

11:19:13 Democrats, and we have got to stop that, because we are

11:19:18 never going to get anywheres.

11:19:20 We'll be spinning our wheels, studying the study the

11:19:23 study.

11:19:23 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I understand the clerk wants to

11:19:27 restate the motion.

11:19:28 The motion is that we invite all elected officials, the

11:19:33 chairman of the different boards, the county

11:19:36 commission, City Council chair, the mayor, the port

11:19:41 chair, or CEO, director, Aviation Authority director,

11:19:47 Congress persons in the area representing this area,

11:19:52 other interested parties that were named before to us,

11:19:55 along with Mr. Fox's group as representing that group

11:19:58 and along with Mr. Michelini or whoever represents --

11:20:02 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: And other groups.

11:20:04 >>THOMAS SCOTT: They will be notified and have a

11:20:08 representative there.

11:20:09 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: And this is a public meeting?

11:20:14 Wait a minute.

11:20:15 You are going to be there.

11:20:16 I can sit in the audience.

11:20:17 >>THOMAS SCOTT: That may be an issue -- there may be

11:20:21 issues because you are an elected official, and if that

11:20:24 happens -- maybe you can speak to that because of the

11:20:27 sunshine issue.

11:20:28 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: We are not going to interrelate

11:20:31 with each other at that meeting.

11:20:32 >>MARTIN SHELBY: The question is based on your motion

11:20:35 we will have to investigate.

11:20:38 Ultimately depending on what your group does may

11:20:41 ultimately make it a sunshine group.

11:20:42 But that will have to be investigated.

11:20:44 >>THOMAS SCOTT:

11:20:47 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: One other thing on sunshine group.

11:20:49 Maybe I'm wrong but sunshine is a violation when you

11:20:53 are from the same governing body.

11:20:55 Where no more than one can attend.

11:20:57 If two attend -- you could meet with a county

11:21:00 commissioner or a mayor from another body that you have

11:21:04 jurisdiction for in that subject matter and I don't

11:21:06 believe that's a violation of sunshine law but I'm not

11:21:09 an attorney.

11:21:09 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Unless it is noticed and recorded

11:21:12 which it certainly would be.

11:21:14 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: And that's what I'm saying.

11:21:16 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Call the question.

11:21:18 >>GWEN MILLER: We have a call for the question.

11:21:21 All in favor of the motion.

11:21:26 Nay?

11:21:30 >> I seconded that motion.

11:21:32 >>THOMAS SCOTT: We'll take a break and then five

11:21:33 minutes to come to our next item.

11:21:34 Okay.



11:21:37 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Council will come to order.

11:31:10 Roll call.

11:31:10 >>

11:31:11 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: Here.

11:31:12 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Here.

11:31:14 >>GWEN MILLER: Here.

11:31:15 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Here.

11:31:16 We have a 10:30 and then 11:00.

11:31:20 We are going to take them in reverse.

11:31:22 It will probably be better to deal with the utility tax

11:31:24 first, and then the six months revenue.

11:31:29 My intent is to take a recess at 12:00 and come back at

11:31:34 what time this evening, 6:00?

11:31:35 So Ms. Wise?

11:31:47 >>BONNIE WISE: Bonnie Wise, director of revenue and

11:31:49 finance.

11:31:50 I am going to quickly address the utility tax ordinance

11:31:53 matter.

11:31:54 This is something that has come before you for first

11:31:56 reading, and you have scheduled a workshop for today,

11:32:00 and second reading is scheduled later.

11:32:03 I apologize, Mr. Chairman, there had been some

11:32:06 confusion whether this was going to be held but we are

11:32:10 going to go ahead and address a few quick matters and I

11:32:13 understand that there is an interest in time in moving

11:32:15 us quickly.

11:32:17 We have not had the opportunity to fully sit down with

11:32:20 T.H.A.N. or the Westshore alliance, although there have

11:32:25 been some conversations with both groups.

11:32:27 I wanted you to know that.

11:32:28 Real quickly, we had talked about this, and I do have a

11:32:31 PowerPoint on this matter.

11:32:34 It can be distributed.

11:32:37 Thank you.

11:32:38 We talked about simply combining the utility tax moneys

11:32:43 into the general fund.

11:32:45 Currently, we now budge for these separately, and there

11:32:49 is a large transfer, and I am going to show you a graph

11:32:53 that shows you that a large percentage of the utility

11:32:56 tax moneys are currently transferred into the general

11:32:58 fund.

11:33:00 I one is for -- we wanted flexibility.

11:33:03 We wanted to be allowed to use the utility tax moneys

11:33:07 for city purposes that are allowed by law.

11:33:09 So therefore it would be used for CIP operating debt

11:33:12 service, for the phase that we are dealing request now.

11:33:18 Currently -- there is a can misconception.

11:33:20 Currently whenever we move moneys from personnel to

11:33:23 operating or capital, we come before you with a

11:33:25 resolution.

11:33:26 If we were to make this change and we were to move

11:33:29 those moneys from personnel operating or capital, there

11:33:33 would still be a resolution that would come before you.

11:33:36 I think there was some confusion regarding that.

11:33:38 I just wanted to hit that head on.

11:33:40 Under the more transparency, you are going to see we

11:33:43 transfer 36, $37 million or so from the utility tax to

11:33:47 the general fund.

11:33:49 Right now I think it is more appropriate just to simply

11:33:52 budget in the general fund.

11:34:00 It's complex right now.

11:34:02 We show the transfer of revenue.

11:34:03 We show the transfers of expenditure.

11:34:05 It is really making our accounting process or budget

11:34:10 process more complex than necessary.

11:34:12 As I mentioned before, I am not aware of any city in

11:34:17 the State of Florida that does it in the manner that we

11:34:19 do.

11:34:20 Our legal staff looks back, apparently our original

11:34:23 ordinance regarding this matter was from 1946.

11:34:27 It appears that wave not changed this since that time.

11:34:31 Perhaps the laws were different at that time.

11:34:34 Other governments do just do it differently.

11:34:36 So we think that the other concern that we have heard

11:34:40 from, our discussions with the various groups, is when

11:34:43 we merge it, it is going to limit the funds available

11:34:47 for capital purposes.

11:34:48 By making this change, it will neither increase the

11:34:52 amount of funds available for capital or decrease the

11:34:55 amount of funds for capital.

11:34:57 We recognize that our funds are limited.

11:34:59 We recognize that our funds for capital are limited.

11:35:03 That will not change if we make this accounting change.

11:35:08 I wanted you to know that since we went back to 1997,

11:35:13 although we could go back further, since 1997, we have

11:35:16 transferred between 45 and 63% of the utilities tax

11:35:21 moneys into the general fund on an annual basis

11:35:24 already.

11:35:24 This is not new.

11:35:26 This is perceived, all of us, at the city.

11:35:29 This has been going on for a very long period of time.

11:35:34 You can see there a percentage basis on the left and

11:35:36 the dollars on the chart that range from that 45%s to

11:35:42 63% of the moneys have been transferred over.

11:35:45 And then you can see it there.

11:35:47 The entire utility tax amounts that are transferred is

11:35:51 the portion in orange, and the other moneys are used

11:35:55 for various other purposes.

11:35:57 And so that includes debt service and capital, transfer

11:36:00 to stormwater, various other purposes.

11:36:02 So in my professional opinion, it is more practical to

11:36:08 combine these two funds.

11:36:10 I do not like when we have these separate pockets of

11:36:12 money.

11:36:13 I think it is really more clear and appropriate to have

11:36:15 it in one area, and that is why I had brought this for

11:36:20 your consideration.

11:36:21 And with that, if there are any questions I will be

11:36:24 happy to address them.

11:36:26 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Any questions by council?

11:36:29 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Just a statement.

11:36:34 When I look at the utility tax money, I guess you are

11:36:38 looking at a -- I also look at it very keenly on debt

11:36:43 service, to make sure that the debt service of those

11:36:46 funds are first met, and that in the future, if there's

11:36:52 a projection of less revenues, that the debt service

11:36:57 continues to be paid off so that the possibility of a

11:37:01 lesser rating somewhere will not occur, then you will

11:37:04 be paying more money on the same money you borrowed.

11:37:07 So I think that's a true statement.

11:37:10 So I want to make sure that the moneys that are set

11:37:16 aside for debt service are the first that are met.

11:37:19 You have got to make your house payment.

11:37:25 If not you get foreclosed on.

11:37:27 I guess that's a bad term to use in today's

11:37:30 environment.

11:37:32 But that's a guarantee that that's what you do first.

11:37:35 Am I correct?

11:37:38 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, sir.

11:37:39 Thank you for bringing that up.

11:37:39 The bondholders actually have the very first lien on

11:37:45 the utility tax revenues and that is why we had a

11:37:47 discussion with our bond counsel before we even

11:37:49 proposed this ordinance to you, to ensure that our

11:37:51 bondholders would remain secure, and, yes, we want to

11:37:56 make sure that our creditworthiness remains intact.

11:38:00 In fact our utility tax bonds were upgraded a few years

11:38:03 ago, so we are very proud of that.

11:38:05 And yes, councilman Miranda, that did reduce our

11:38:08 borrowing costs because of that upgrade.

11:38:10 And that will continue under this process.

11:38:12 So even if we move those moneys into the general fund,

11:38:15 bondholders would continue to have first lien on those

11:38:18 revenues.

11:38:19 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: And if I may, if you make

11:38:23 statements regarding -- perfectly legal, has been done,

11:38:25 and the second statement was there are various -- you

11:38:29 don't know of any city, I believe, that doesn't follow

11:38:31 the same trend that you are talking about.

11:38:33 >>BONNIE WISE: I can't tell you that I read all of

11:38:37 their CAFRS, but we are not aware of any.

11:38:41 We have inquired, myself, my staff.

11:38:45 We are not aware of any other cities that do it in this

11:38:47 manner.

11:38:47 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: So then what you are saying is I

11:38:53 guess what we are trying tock achieve, from what you

11:38:55 are saying, is that transfers that have to come back

11:39:00 and sent back -- in other words, the cycle starts, it

11:39:04 comes here, and it goes back to release those funds for

11:39:07 capital improvement after debt service, and you do that

11:39:11 on a continuous basis during the year for that tax

11:39:15 year, or for that income year, I should say.

11:39:17 And what you are trying to achieve, I guess, would

11:39:20 really -- less paperwork and less accounting work.

11:39:24 I'm just making an assumption on my part.

11:39:29 Less paperwork and transactions with the same results

11:39:31 at the end.

11:39:34 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, sir.

11:39:34 I think it's much more clear.

11:39:36 Our chief account accountant says this is the

11:39:39 accountant's employment act we have hear.

11:39:41 It is extra paperwork, extra transfers, extra journal

11:39:45 entries the way we have it set up now.

11:39:47 >> Let me ask this.

11:39:48 When you say transfers and journal entries and so

11:39:51 forth, if this was to change, would there be a

11:39:54 periodical statement sent to the council regarding ins

11:40:00 and outs of these funds through the year?

11:40:04 In other words, every three months, instead of having a

11:40:06 paper transfer, there would be something like what you

11:40:14 brought here on the scale of this is what came in, this

11:40:19 is what went to debt service, and this is what went to

11:40:23 capital improvement?

11:40:25 >> BONNIE WISE: We could do that.

11:40:26 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I'm just saying that as items that

11:40:29 we follow.

11:40:30 Not that you or anyone else -- and I have said this

11:40:33 before.

11:40:33 I never met an administration or worked with somebody

11:40:36 in this government -- I can't talk about other

11:40:38 governments -- that has done anything but the right

11:40:40 thing.

11:40:42 I'm proud of that.

11:40:43 And that's you will got to say, Mr. Chairman.

11:40:48 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I really appreciate your

11:40:50 explanation and the idea that this gets rid of

11:40:53 paperwork without changing.

11:40:59 >>THOMAS SCOTT: So that's no action necessary.

11:41:07 Comes up for second reading June 3rd at 9:30 a.m.

11:41:11 So, okay.

11:41:16 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: Ms. Wise, you say we have 37

11:41:18 million in utility tax fund this year?

11:41:21 >>BONNIE WISE: That we are transferring into the

11:41:23 general fund.

11:41:23 >>JOSEPH P. CAETANO: How much has that decreased over

11:41:25 the last, say, three years?

11:41:28 Total amount.

11:41:33 >>BONNIE WISE: The total or the transfers?

11:41:35 The transfer and the -- we can go to the chart, the

11:41:40 second to last chart, the green line.

11:41:43 There we go.

11:41:44 That's the history since 1997.

11:41:47 So you can see the transfer, 26.2, 26.2, 34.5, 37.6.

11:41:52 >> So you would transfer the total amount, qualifier is

11:41:55 in that fund?

11:41:55 >> Yes.

11:41:56 We would budget for it in the general fund.

11:41:59 And when I go through the six-month update I am going

11:42:01 to go through the various general funds revenues.

11:42:04 And I'm going to talk about utility tax, and this is

11:42:07 something that would be part of that general fund

11:42:09 because it is such a major revenue source.

11:42:11 I always talk to you about the major revenue sources.

11:42:15 But that's the amount we have been transferring.

11:42:17 So you can see there about 60%.

11:42:21 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Let me hear from the public so we can

11:42:23 get to your other report here, if you don't mind.

11:42:27 Anyone that wishes to speak on this particular item may

11:42:29 come forward at this time.

11:42:29 >> Good morning.

11:42:31 Spencer Kass representing not only myself but the

11:42:34 Virginia park neighborhood association.

11:42:37 And a lot of the other neighborhoods.

11:42:38 You haven't received letters from all the neighborhoods

11:42:40 because obviously everybody thought this wasn't going

11:42:42 forward.

11:42:47 They haven't sat down and had that large meeting they

11:42:49 were supposed to have with everybody.

11:42:50 Processwise, I don't think we should be continuing.

11:42:54 First have the meeting and then move on.

11:42:56 To move past that, a compromise has been offered.

11:42:58 We discussed this at the budget committee yesterday.

11:43:00 And if we would have had the meeting we could sit down

11:43:05 and discuss the compromise that would make everybody

11:43:07 happy.

11:43:08 It's been discussed with legal so they are aware of

11:43:10 what's going on.

11:43:11 The compromise would be that we allow the funds to be

11:43:14 transferred to the general fund, but did we keep the

11:43:17 language that says this can only be used for capital

11:43:19 improvements.

11:43:22 Council's word whether it was passed 100 years ago or

11:43:26 yesterday has to be worth something.

11:43:27 We as the public need to know that we are imposing a

11:43:32 tax on ourselves for a specific purpose that that's

11:43:35 what's going to happen, not with the next council it's

11:43:38 going to change.

11:43:38 This comes becomes an issue when it comes to light

11:43:41 rail.

11:43:42 Because if council can change their mind whenever the

11:43:44 next council is in there, there's going to be an issue

11:43:46 because why shouldn't anybody you have to spend more on

11:43:48 roads if you are not going to spend it on something

11:43:51 else entirely?

11:43:52 So the compromise is simple.

11:43:53 Let it be transferred into the general fund, keep the

11:43:55 restricted language on.

11:43:56 You should have all had this memo from Councilwoman's

11:43:59 Mulhern's office.

11:44:00 And at that point it will be one sheet of paper, once a

11:44:04 year at budget time, that will allow you to free up the

11:44:06 money and use it for general fund purposes.

11:44:10 It's one sheet of paper once a year.

11:44:15 The Westshore alliance, neighborhoods, everybody.

11:44:18 If you want to delay this and force them to have the

11:44:20 neighborhood meeting so you can discuss this, I'm happy

11:44:22 to do that.

11:44:23 We have meetings scheduled, and I think that's the

11:44:28 smart way to do it.

11:44:29 I think it's a win-win situation.

11:44:31 It gives you the clarity in your budget books that you

11:44:35 want.

11:44:35 I see absolutely no reason to do it if you are not

11:44:37 going to support that, I would like to hear the

11:44:40 specific reasons as to why a compromise like that would

11:44:43 be unacceptable.

11:44:44 Thank you very much.

11:44:44 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.

11:44:47 >> Good morning.

11:44:53 Ann KUBICK with the Westshore alliance.

11:44:58 We support the compromise that.

11:45:01 We understand and I have had a conversation with

11:45:03 Darrell Smith that economics change, there's going to

11:45:07 be need to have flexibility in the process.

11:45:09 But I'm kind of with Spencer on this, that we are not

11:45:14 concerned about the accounting of it.

11:45:17 The city staff.

11:45:19 The issue is what was the intent for this tax it and

11:45:22 the language that was in the original ordinance, and in

11:45:25 the existing ordinance, pretty clearly states that this

11:45:28 is to be used for capital improvement.

11:45:31 Anything over and above debt service are to be used for

11:45:33 capital improvements.

11:45:34 And we are fine and understand the city has some need

11:45:38 for flexibility.

11:45:38 But to just change this ordinance for this year,

11:45:44 because there's a need to fix the way that we do the

11:45:47 budget, I think it needs more consideration and more

11:45:49 discussion before you change the intent of what it's

11:45:55 there for.

11:45:55 So we would support the compromise position that we

11:45:57 really think the, but we understand there are going to

11:46:02 be budget years and there's going to be a need to do

11:46:04 transfers to general fund.

11:46:05 We understand that when you spend capital and maybe

11:46:08 have an impact for operations for the city.

11:46:10 We certainly understand that.

11:46:11 If you do new parks, there's going to be a staff

11:46:14 operational need for that.

11:46:16 But to simply change it today, and even though the

11:46:20 intent is -- or they say the intent is we are going to

11:46:22 continue to spend it on capital, you are really

11:46:25 changing the ordinance that requires this.

11:46:27 Thank you.

11:46:27 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Can I ask a quick question of

11:46:32 legal?

11:46:38 I thought that the speakers made a lot of sense, what

11:46:40 they propose makes sense.

11:46:41 Is this up for first reading or second reading?

11:46:47 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: It's a workshop.

11:46:48 Second reading June 3rd.

11:46:49 You would have to do another first reading to make that

11:46:51 type of a change.

11:46:53 I just looked at the memo for the first time now.

11:46:58 Frankly not quite sure what it means or how we would do

11:47:01 it.

11:47:01 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: It's pretty simple.

11:47:04 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: The whole purpose of this is to

11:47:09 reduce the accounting --

11:47:11 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Right, right, right, right.

11:47:12 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: I don't see how that helps with

11:47:16 it, frankly.

11:47:18 And so at this point you would have to Virginia a

11:47:22 change with the -- it's first reading which would be

11:47:27 June 3rd, and frankly, I think the administration's

11:47:30 preference -- I can't speak for them -- but based on

11:47:34 why it was proposed in the schedule given the budget

11:47:37 would be to just drop this and continue with the

11:47:40 existing practice, frankly.

11:47:42 Rather than to get into something like what appears to

11:47:45 be in the memo, which I think it's more complicated

11:47:48 from an accounting standpoint.

11:47:50 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I really Virginia to compliment the

11:47:54 community.

11:47:56 What Bonnie said made sense.

11:47:58 What they said makes even more sense in order to

11:48:00 control things.

11:48:01 So I really -- I won't be able to support what's coming

11:48:06 up June 3rd, which is next week, and I wouldn't

11:48:08 assume that putting it off a few weeks to change the

11:48:11 language to reflect this would be such a hardship.

11:48:14 But it's up to the administration, because it's your

11:48:15 call.

11:48:15 But I really like the protections in what they have

11:48:18 proposed.

11:48:19 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: The purpose of doing this is so

11:48:24 complex transfers would not have to be included in the

11:48:27 budget.

11:48:27 They have to work on the budget now.

11:48:29 If they don't have the authority to do the budget in

11:48:34 this more transparent manner they have to start using

11:48:36 the budget using the existing process.

11:48:39 That's why we need to get done or get pushed off into

11:48:42 the future.

11:48:42 They need to start preparing the budget now to deliver

11:48:44 to you all, and they need to know what the rules are

11:48:47 for doing it.

11:48:48 If we stick with the current process, we just stick

11:48:50 with the current process, that's fine.

11:48:52 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I'm saying if we as council would

11:48:56 prefer that you go in the manner that the community is

11:49:00 suggesting then it's your call whether you want to

11:49:01 change to the this or stick with what we have got.

11:49:04 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me say this.

11:49:09 I have listened to both sides, and they both make

11:49:14 sense.

11:49:14 I think it comes down to one simple statement.

11:49:19 What was the intent of the utility tax ordinance at the

11:49:23 time it was passed?

11:49:27 I hear from one side, and I understand exactly, and I

11:49:30 even made some suggestions.

11:49:31 Now the other side is saying that we should be only for

11:49:39 debt service, and for the utility tax revenue should be

11:49:46 used for improvements, capital improvements.

11:49:50 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Unless approved by council.

11:49:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Unless -- well, okay.

11:49:54 So then that's where it is.

11:49:56 So I think we need a legal opinion of what this tax

11:50:01 was.

11:50:01 I don't remember back to '97.

11:50:06 I can only go back to '98.

11:50:08 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: If I could, what Councilwoman

11:50:12 Saul-Sena described just now is exactly what our

11:50:14 current process is.

11:50:15 So that's why I don't really understand the memo and

11:50:17 understand how that would be different and what's

11:50:20 intended, because right now what happens is it goes

11:50:22 into a fund for capital projects, and once approved by

11:50:27 council for other purposes.

11:50:28 That's what we are trying to get away from.

11:50:30 Where you have got an expectation for one thing.

11:50:32 But then through various actions of council it

11:50:34 continues for something else.

11:50:36 We think it's more transparent just to budget it

11:50:39 appropriately with the general revenues.

11:50:41 So I guess that's my confusion with what the proposal

11:50:45 is.

11:50:45 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: If I may continue.

11:50:47 So what I'm hearing now is that the structure of it

11:50:50 would be that during the budget process, I'm going to

11:50:56 say 40 million instead of 37 or whatever, to make it

11:50:59 equal.

11:50:59 So you are going to say, all right, out of that 40, 10

11:51:02 million is for debt service and 30 million are for

11:51:05 these other capital improvement budgets.

11:51:07 Is that what I'm hearing?

11:51:10 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes.

11:51:10 We would still budget, would show the revenue, the

11:51:13 whole $62 million revenue, and we'll show the $10

11:51:16 million of debt service, we'll show the amount going

11:51:18 for capital, and the rest will go for operating

11:51:21 purposes in the budget.

11:51:24 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Next question.

11:51:25 Would that be in a separate statement that could be

11:51:27 viewed regularly?

11:51:30 Or is that just budget items that you never see?

11:51:34 If you put them in a budget item that's the whole $700

11:51:38 million, it would be hard to decipher where that money

11:51:41 is at.

11:51:41 >> It would be in the general fund, just like, for

11:51:43 example, sales tax is in the general fund.

11:51:46 So you will see the revenue line, sales tax, and the

11:51:49 amount.

11:51:49 You will see the revenue line, communication services

11:51:52 tax, water utility tax.

11:51:54 You know, you will see the utility tax.

11:51:57 But could you track dollar for dollar which dollar is

11:52:00 going where?

11:52:01 You know, what part of it is going to the police

11:52:03 department?

11:52:04 You will show the whole police department budget.

11:52:06 You will see each department's budget.

11:52:08 But it will be just like another non-ad valorem revenue

11:52:12 source

11:52:14 And used in that manner.

11:52:16 And once again, one of the speakers may have sounded

11:52:18 like this, something we are doing for this year.

11:52:20 We are not doing it for this year.

11:52:22 Historically we have transferred half of the money over

11:52:26 into the general fund.

11:52:28 This enormous transfer, I think, is misleading.

11:52:31 And I'm just trying to make it more clear and

11:52:34 transparent for everybody.

11:52:35 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Any other questions?

11:52:42 So no action is required.

11:52:45 It generally comes up for second reading June 3rd.

11:52:47 And at that time I think there's a public hearing, so

11:52:51 the public will be allowed to speak on that.

11:52:54 But given your position, Mrs. Ms. Wise, and

11:52:59 professional opinion that this process is a lot more

11:53:02 transparent versus the memorandum we have from

11:53:05 Councilwoman Mulhern, because it's what you are doing

11:53:08 already is what I hear you saying, more convoluted.

11:53:12 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, sir.

11:53:12 I would rather keep it the way it is.

11:53:14 I'm not sure what benefit -- I really had 12 seconds to

11:53:18 read this memo. But in quick consultation with your

11:53:21 counsel, I just don't see how this practically works.

11:53:24 >> what I would suggest is that we met it stay there

11:53:29 for the June 3rd at a time we have public comment,

11:53:31 and if council wants to act on it or leave it the way

11:53:35 it is, we have that.

11:53:38 They have a choice at that time.

11:53:38 Is that right?

11:53:40 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, sir.

11:53:40 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.

11:53:41 And okay.

11:53:45 We have a dilemma.

11:53:49 I think your six month revenue expenditure is going to

11:53:52 be more than eight minutes.

11:53:55 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, sir.

11:53:55 >>THOMAS SCOTT: How much time?

11:54:01 >>CHAIRMAN: How much time do you need?

11:54:03 >>BONNIE WISE: At least 15, 20 -- it really depends how

11:54:07 much you want to get into the numbers.

11:54:09 But at least 15, 20 minutes.

11:54:11 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilwoman Saul-Sena says she has a

11:54:17 12:00.

11:54:18 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I move to put it on our next --

11:54:23 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, our only problem is we can't add

11:54:25 anything else to our June agenda.

11:54:27 It's already --

11:54:32 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Should we add it to 6:00 tonight?

11:54:36 At the beginning of our meeting?

11:54:39 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I think that would be a mistake.

11:54:41 We have bigger items for tonight already.

11:54:46 I don't have that right before me.

11:54:47 So in talking with the clerk, our schedule is already

11:54:53 packed for June, because, you know, you go on vacation

11:54:58 the 28th so everything is moved around and shifted

11:55:00 to accommodate our schedules.

11:55:03 I guess at this point -- is it possible that --

11:55:12 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I am going to meet with a group of

11:55:13 people and I already bumped it from noon to 12:15

11:55:16 assuming I leave at 12.

11:55:18 I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman.

11:55:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: The other four people can stay for

11:55:22 another 15 or 20 minutes and maybe you can give her a

11:55:25 personal --

11:55:25 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I would be happy to.

11:55:26 >> So give you about 20 minutes or so, and free up the

11:55:36 rest of the day until this evening and then meet with

11:55:38 Councilwoman Saul-Sena.

11:55:39 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you.

11:55:41 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you very much for that.

11:55:43 >>BONNIE WISE: I will try to go through it quickly and

11:55:45 you all do have copies so I can answer any questions

11:55:47 that you may have.

11:55:49 This is the calendar.

11:55:52 And you can see there that you all have scheduled two

11:55:54 workshops.

11:55:54 One in June and one in July.

11:55:57 The budget presentation is August 12th.

11:56:00 And we have tentative dates for the public hearing.

11:56:02 I am going to go through the general fund, utilities

11:56:06 tax and the various enterprise funds, as well as the

11:56:08 stormwater fund.

11:56:11 This is what I am going to be showing you.

11:56:14 That in fiscal year '10 we have projected, as you might

11:56:18 recall, too, to use a certain amount of our fund

11:56:21 balance.

11:56:22 But our revenues are projected to be a little bit less

11:56:24 than budgeted.

11:56:25 And $30 million less than last fiscal year.

11:56:29 And that is predominantly due to the reduced taxable

11:56:32 value.

11:56:33 Revenues are forecast to be $18 million less in fiscal

11:56:37 year '11 than in fiscal year 2010.

11:56:41 I am going to try to give you some information about

11:56:44 '11 as we move forward.

11:56:45 We are going to need to reduce property values.

11:56:47 We will get final values from the property appraiser's

11:56:50 office on June 1, so information that we provide to you

11:56:53 after that time will have that exact value.

11:56:55 We are using a 12.5% value decline at this time.

11:57:01 Expenses for fiscal year 2010 are projected to be less

11:57:05 than we originally budgeted and that is really due to

11:57:07 the aggressive work that our departments have done in

11:57:11 reducing this year's expenses.

11:57:14 I know that you, too, have participated in that expense

11:57:17 reduction, exercise, and we appreciate that, and all

11:57:20 the departments as well.

11:57:23 However, for fiscal year 2011 as we look forward,

11:57:26 expenses are forecast to be greater than they are in

11:57:29 fiscal year 2010 and that's predominantly to increased

11:57:34 pension obligations that we are foreseeing, and as I'll

11:57:37 show you later, a parking deficit that the general fund

11:57:40 is going to have to help parking with.

11:57:42 So what have we done this year?

11:57:45 Various solutions.

11:57:45 We have taken the department -- we have done various

11:57:48 departmental consolidations.

11:57:50 As I mentioned the operating expense reduction.

11:57:53 Continuing to look at every pocket of money that was

11:57:56 used for one-time purpose, to see if it's still needed,

11:57:59 move it over if necessary, and any noncritical

11:58:03 positions remain vacant whether it has been through

11:58:08 attrition or whatnot.

11:58:09 As you know, scrutiny on every single position in the

11:58:12 city.

11:58:18 This is going to allow us to save money in this fiscal

11:58:21 year and save money from the money that was saved from

11:58:23 the operational changes that every department is doing,

11:58:26 so where we thought we were going to need to transfer

11:58:29 over about 31 million as you recall from the budget

11:58:31 process from fund balance.

11:58:34 It looks like it will be about half that.

11:58:36 This is our general fund revenues.

11:58:40 Actually, what I did for you is that pink part of the

11:58:43 pie is the utility tax transfer.

11:58:46 I actually highlighted that for you so you can see what

11:58:50 a large number it is, about 10% of the entire budget.

11:58:53 But you can see the largest revenue source being the

11:58:56 property taxes.

11:58:57 So we are really reliant on approximate taxes of about

11:59:00 38%.

11:59:03 Just generally -- and I am going to go through some of

11:59:06 these various revenues individually.

11:59:08 You can see there that we have in the budget book

11:59:10 budgeted about 332 million for general fund revenues,

11:59:15 and we are coming in just under that on a projection

11:59:18 basis for this fiscal year.

11:59:23 I am going to go through each item individually, the

11:59:25 major items.

11:59:26 Property tax.

11:59:27 And there you can see the trim line going back to '05

11:59:32 actual, and we have budgeted 137.7 million and we are

11:59:35 expecting to collect about $139 million.

11:59:38 The one thing I will note, you probably will want to

11:59:40 have a whole separate discussion on this, is what's

11:59:44 happening in the CRAs.

11:59:46 Although we are projecting going forward, the values

11:59:50 city-wide to go down about 12.5%.

11:59:52 The word we are getting from the property appraiser's

11:59:55 office is the values in the C rah As are going to go

11:59:59 down dramatically greater than in the city as a whole.

12:00:03 Usually in good years the CRA increase of value greater

12:00:06 than the city as a whole.

12:00:08 Now we are seeing the CRAs really decline.

12:00:10 And that is going to really force each CRA to go

12:00:13 through their programming and capital programs the next

12:00:16 year.

12:00:17 What that means probably for the downtown CRAs

12:00:20 specifically is that we may not have enough money in

12:00:22 the downtown CRA to pay for the convention center debt

12:00:26 service.

12:00:26 And so that means that the general fund utility tax

12:00:30 fund -- it's actually utility tax pledged toward

12:00:33 repayment of that -- utility tax that will have to be

12:00:36 used to help make up that debt service.

12:00:39 We haven't had that situation for a number of years.

12:00:43 TECO franchise fees coming in, we project it to be

12:00:48 slightly better than budget, about $1 million greater.

12:00:51 And sales tax.

12:00:53 One of these revenues that you can see that trend line

12:00:57 is not a good one.

12:00:59 Continuing to go down to '06, and another decline of

12:01:02 about 5% we are anticipating for fiscal year '10.

12:01:10 This is our payment, taxes in lieu of franchise fees

12:01:14 that comes from our enterprise funds, which is on

12:01:17 budget.

12:01:18 And this is municipal revenue sharing, another one.

12:01:22 Trend line continues down.

12:01:24 So here we are going to be a little less than budget,

12:01:27 down about another 5%.

12:01:30 The convention center, of course, in this economy is

12:01:34 seeing a decline as well.

12:01:35 We have budgeted $7.3 million.

12:01:39 In revenue, and we are only anticipating about 6.6

12:01:42 million.

12:01:44 Building permit fees.

12:01:47 Another item.

12:01:48 We had a rate change January 1 of 2010, and therefore

12:01:52 we had budgeted an increase.

12:01:54 However, you can see there that we are only expecting

12:01:57 5. 5:00 million.

12:02:00 If you have any questions on any of these, I'm really

12:02:02 just trying to go through them quickly.

12:02:05 These are the expenditures.

12:02:06 This is the expenditure side.

12:02:07 You can see there the big blue side of the chart,

12:02:11 police, fire, code enforcement, our public safety

12:02:13 component, more than 50% of our general fund

12:02:16 expenditures.

12:02:19 And this is the expenditures personnel operating grant

12:02:24 aids transfers and the total.

12:02:26 And you can see there that our expenditures are coming

12:02:29 in slightly under budget.

12:02:31 So that's good.

12:02:34 And that is primarily due to the personnel savings that

12:02:38 you can see there, and the operating savings.

12:02:40 Once again, the vacancies not replacing the positions,

12:02:45 some of the savings and the consolidation efforts, as

12:02:47 well as the operating efficiencies that the departments

12:02:50 are doing.

12:02:51 And these are the utility tax revenues.

12:02:54 The same utility tax revenues that we were just talking

12:02:57 about.

12:02:57 These are the ones that I'm talking about showing in

12:02:59 the general fund.

12:03:00 So if we were to do this, this would be part of the

12:03:04 presentation.

12:03:05 I would show you the same graphs in the coming year,

12:03:09 councilman Miranda was asking about.

12:03:12 You can see the revenues are coming in about $1 million

12:03:14 over budget, but really right in line.

12:03:17 What's happening there on communication services tax, a

12:03:20 decline since last year.

12:03:22 Last year there was actually a one-time increase.

12:03:25 And that was due to, frankly, Sharon fox in my office

12:03:29 who follows this very closely.

12:03:30 We had a one-time adjustment.

12:03:32 There was an audit performed by Florida D.O.R. so we

12:03:37 had that increase in '09.

12:03:40 But this year, declines from even budget.

12:03:45 TECO utility tax.

12:03:46 TECO did Virginia a rate change.

12:03:48 And so, therefore, we are seeing a little bit higher

12:03:52 utility tax on that side.

12:03:54 Higher than budget.

12:03:56 And the water utility tax.

12:03:57 We are going to talk a lot about water.

12:03:59 Maybe not so much today.

12:04:00 But a lot about water and how the water revenues, the

12:04:06 consumption has declined enormously as well as the

12:04:08 number of accounts, and despite our rate increase, we

12:04:11 are not seeing an increase in water utility tax.

12:04:16 And this is the side on the expenditures.

12:04:18 We have made the changes on capital equipment.

12:04:23 So, therefore, we are send spending less than we

12:04:26 originally budgeted.

12:04:27 Once again our cost saving measures that we are doing.

12:04:31 And, therefore, we are projected to use about 16.5

12:04:37 million of revenues and our expenditures, when you look

12:04:40 at the two, instead of using the 31 million that we got

12:04:44 from fund balance, it looks like about 16.5 million

12:04:48 because of the changes we have made.

12:04:49 Further, we are still looking at, as I mentioned, any

12:04:53 destination accounts -- destination accounts, anything

12:04:58 that can be moved into our account for next year.

12:05:02 There are a few items that I wanted to mention to you

12:05:04 on a city-wide basis.

12:05:06 The personnel costs, as I mentioned, declining because

12:05:09 of the changes and the restrictions frankly on hiring

12:05:13 noncritical positions.

12:05:16 We continue to work closely on overtime, so there is a

12:05:19 trend lying line going down which is good.

12:05:24 Here is one that I really want to bring to your

12:05:26 attention.

12:05:27 Our fiscal year '10 budget, this is city-wide, not just

12:05:30 the general fund but is city-wide.

12:05:32 You can see there is a big increase into fiscal year

12:05:36 '10 on our general employees budget.

12:05:39 And we did recently get information from our actuary.

12:05:42 We are expected to go up to about 21 million for the

12:05:45 next year, so up a little bit again for fiscal year

12:05:49 '11.

12:05:50 That's part of our consideration for fiscal year '11.

12:05:53 >> Police and fire pension.

12:05:55 This is one that went up some for fiscal year '10, and

12:06:00 they are in fiscal year '11.

12:06:03 That's expected to go up to about $19.5 million.

12:06:06 I'm going to have to change my scale next year on this

12:06:08 one, because it is going to go up considerably, and

12:06:13 that is going to affect 2 employees who contribute as

12:06:15 well as the city contribution.

12:06:19 Real briefly, we'll talk about the enterprise funds.

12:06:23 There you can see there are major water waste and solid

12:06:31 waste.

12:06:32 I anything in blue is the revenue side and red is the

12:06:36 expenditures, and the dotted is the projection.

12:06:40 Water, despite a rate increase of 18%.

12:06:44 One would normally think when you have an 18% increase

12:06:47 in rates you would have approximately an 18% increase

12:06:50 in revenue or so.

12:06:52 It doesn't work exactly one for would you know.

12:06:55 However, consumption is down over 9%.

12:06:58 And our number of utility accounts is down as well.

12:07:02 And that translates into solid waste as well.

12:07:05 You will see that, too.

12:07:06 We are hoping that the last few months, we have seen

12:07:08 some stability in the number of utility accounts.

12:07:11 So maybe the downward trend is going to stop.

12:07:15 But it's something we are monitoring real closely.

12:07:17 And you can see the water revenues are down about $10

12:07:22 million from last year.

12:07:23 So something we are working through very closely.

12:07:32 Operational changes that they can make.

12:07:36 Their revenues are 74 million, expenses 87.

12:07:39 So really you have to take about $13 million in fund

12:07:42 balance for this fiscal year.

12:07:46 Wastewater, we had a rate increase as well.

12:07:48 And that was about 16% effective on October 1st.

12:07:54 And they are showing the increase in revenues.

12:07:57 And they did have some capital expenditures that were

12:08:00 unanticipated.

12:08:04 Their expenses were a little higher than budgeted.

12:08:06 So you can see their difference is about 2.3 million

12:08:12 that will have to come from their fund balance.

12:08:14 Solid waste is a situation that we really need to spend

12:08:19 much more time than we have here today to talk about.

12:08:23 Solid waste, their revenues are down considerably.

12:08:25 You can see what happened in fiscal year '09 where they

12:08:28 actually -- their lines crossed.

12:08:30 Their blue and red lines crossed.

12:08:32 And that is capital expenditures as well as operating

12:08:35 expenditures.

12:08:37 And solid waste has taken many steps to have try to

12:08:40 reduce their expenditures.

12:08:42 Many of the items that you all have been part of

12:08:44 changing the scheduling, the holiday schedule, and they

12:08:48 continue to take other steps.

12:08:50 Some of that is reflected in these projections.

12:08:53 Some of it is still to be reflected, because

12:08:56 ultimately, there are about a $4 million gap there.

12:09:01 So I have a note there that modifications continue to

12:09:03 be made, because we really need to reduce the

12:09:07 expenditures on the solid waste side.

12:09:09 We have an opportunity to refund our solid waste funds,

12:09:14 the 10-1 of this fiscal year that will help us for next

12:09:18 fiscal year but not for this fiscal year.

12:09:22 But we have to ensure that some of these changes are

12:09:25 made in order to show the rating agencies we have

12:09:28 adequate debt service coverage in order to go forward

12:09:30 with the bond issue.

12:09:31 So this is something that we are really going to have

12:09:33 to look at, how to modify some expenditures and what we

12:09:39 can do there to really close that gap.

12:09:43 The parking fund is the other area.

12:09:45 You can see there that we may even budget for the same

12:09:49 revenues and expenditures.

12:09:50 We knew that we were going to use some of their fund

12:09:53 balance to help balance the fiscal year 10 budget, and

12:09:56 those were some of those moneys from the Tampa General

12:09:57 Hospital sale.

12:10:00 What's happening on parking, however, is that next year

12:10:03 they were going to have a $4 million increase in their

12:10:06 debt service.

12:10:06 And so, therefore, although this year they used about

12:10:10 $2 million of their fund balance, next year their debt

12:10:14 service is going to increase.

12:10:15 And we knew that.

12:10:16 And that was part of the reason for the bonds for the

12:10:19 Tampa General Hospital.

12:10:20 And they don't have the revenue to cover that increase.

12:10:24 And so what does that mean?

12:10:25 It means that the general fund is going to have to

12:10:27 contribute about $2 million or so into the parking fund

12:10:31 to help them for that purpose.

12:10:36 Stormwater is not really an enterprise fund.

12:10:38 It's part of Steve Daignault's area.

12:10:43 It's included for this area.

12:10:44 Stormwater gets revenues from various sources.

12:10:47 They get their assessment to help some with their

12:10:49 administrator, their operating, but not for their

12:10:52 capital purposes, and that's part of the transfer of

12:10:54 utility taxes for the stormwater fund.

12:10:56 And so you can see there that their expenditures are

12:11:00 slightly higher as well than anticipated.

12:11:03 So they, too, are going to be short about $2.5 million.

12:11:07 And coming forward, the stormwater department is going

12:11:10 to become part of the public works department, so they

12:11:14 really will be part of the general fund going forward,

12:11:16 and will be adjusted accordingly for reporting

12:11:20 purposes.

12:11:23 I know that was a lot very quickly.

12:11:25 I want you to know that all the departments are really

12:11:27 working hard to do whatever they can do on the

12:11:29 expenditure side.

12:11:31 We do have some -- if you could take away from this

12:11:35 solid waste and parking, really areas that need to be

12:11:39 addressed, because parking is impacting the general

12:11:42 fund, and the solid waste system, as you know, is at

12:11:49 issue as well.

12:11:54 That's the speed version.

12:11:56 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Just on the solid waste, I believe

12:11:58 there's, what, a half million dollars savings by not

12:12:03 picking up the day after a holiday?

12:12:07 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, sir.

12:12:08 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: And then a $9 huge that you savings

12:12:10 on the change and routing of the vehicles, and that

12:12:15 amounts to about 1.4 million.

12:12:18 Is that included in that $4 million anticipated loss,

12:12:22 or the loss that would be 2.6?

12:12:24 Or is it an actual 4 or 2.6?

12:12:27 >> No.

12:12:29 Unfortunately it has been considered into our numbers.

12:12:31 So there's an additional $4 million of that we still

12:12:36 need to look at.

12:12:36 >> So not in dollar terms, but in budget terms, more

12:12:41 than 4 million a year, would be 5.4 if you haven't made

12:12:44 any changes.

12:12:44 >>

12:12:48 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Any other questions from council?

12:12:50 Okay.

12:12:52 Thank you very much.

12:12:57 >>BONNIE WISE: Thank you.

12:12:57 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Council, anything to come before us?

12:13:01 If not we stand in recess until 6:00.

12:13:04 Thank you.

12:13:04 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Receive and file all the items.

12:13:07 >>THOMAS SCOTT: A second?

12:13:10 >>GWEN MILLER: Second.

12:13:11 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Moved and seconded.

12:13:12 All in favor say Aye.

12:13:13 Opposes?

12:13:14 Is that it?

12:13:14 We stand in recess until 6:00.

12:13:19 Thank you.



The preceeding represents an unedited version of
realtime captioning which should neither be relied upon
for complete accuracy nor used as a verbatim
The original of this file was produced in all capital
letters and any variation thereto may be a result of
third party edits and software compatibility issues.
Any person who needs a verbatim transcript of the
proceedings may need to hire a court reporter.